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McAslan reveals plans for giant botanical gardens in China

A leading Chinese developer has commissioned John McAslan + Partners (JMP) to design a huge botanical gardens project in Dongguan, south-east China

Developer VANKE, currently working on projects in the US and China with architects including Norman Foster and Daniel Libeskind, has briefed McAslan’s practice to design the gardens and an associated research centre along the lines of a ‘tropical plant leaf structure’.

A mounded, landscaped interior – overlaid with a gridded, curved roof – will marry with the site’s external refashioning. A fifth of the roof – made from ETFE, also used in Nicholas Grimshaw’s Eden Project – can be opened to provide ventilation.

Displays within the gardens will include a year-round belt of sub-tropical vegetation, coloured foliage and flower beds at the building’s entrance.

JMP managing director Tony Skipper said: ‘The botanical gardens will provide a constantly changing scenery of habitats, sub-tropical rare plants, ravines, water and sky.’

VANKE is working with Libeskind on a pavilion for the 2015 Milan Expo. It is also backing Foster’s 61-storey skyscraper behind New York’s Seagram Building.  

John McAslan + Partners Dong

Project data

Architects John McAslan + Partners
Location Dongguan, China
Type of project botanical garden
Structural engineer Buro Happold
Client VANKE
Gross internal floor area 2,525m²
M&E consultant Walton Design Consulting Engineering (LDI)

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