Reset Urban Design worked in collaboration with Dr Diane Menzies and Ngai Tai artist Rueben Kirkwood to design a New Zealand exhibition garden for the 2016 Tangshan International Horticultural Exposition in China.
Tangshan, located approximately 200km east of Beijing, is an industrial city that is transforming itself from an earthquake to eco-city, with a modern metro area emphasizing sustainable development. In 1976 Tangshan suffered a severe earthquake in which a quarter of a million people were killed. As the city continues to rebuild, the 2016 International Horticultural Exposition marks the renewal of Tangshan into a modern, thriving city, with the theme: ‘City and Nature: Phoenix Nirvana’.
The overall concept for the “Life-Miracle” garden was to increase the understanding between New Zealand and China. Traditional Chinese garden elements were incorporated into the design such as a Moon gate, mountains, water, and terraces to abstractly portray the dynamic and contrasting island landscape of New Zealand. The gardens narrative was based on the 13th century Great Fleet that was sent out from China. One of the ships found NZ and they have returned and the garden is their way of describing the series of islands and the culture they found, using only Chinese materials and plants.
It is a permanent garden, well constructed with quality materials by local craftspeople. Post graduate students from the landscape Architecture Dept at the Beijing Forestry University assisted with the development of the detail drawings under the supervision of Professor Xiaoming Liu.