12th International Expo Garden in Nanning, China – The Aegean Garden

Doxiadis+, in collaboration with the A&M Architects, developed the conceptual design proposal for the Greek Garden, to be implemented in the 12th International Expo Garden in Nanning, China.  Our Garden forms part of the Silk Road Garden Landscape, a collection of gardens representing countries connected by the silk road trade route.

In our design, we aspire to lure the visitor in a symbolic journey through an “archipelago” of ideals: the Aegean Garden. Five Greek islands, each representing and materializing fundamental ideals of the Greek culture and civilization, compose the heart of this water inundated garden.

The island of Creta with the architectural theme of the temple and the labyrinth symbolizes myth. Samothrace conceptualizes spirituality through a sculptural installation of water, fire and metal. Karpathos, through the use of agricultural elements, symbolizes tradition. Samos with the olive tree & rock installation -a direct reference to “The Thinker”, by Auguste Rodin- represents philosophy. The always elusive Ithaca in the middle represents the intrinsic values of the journey itself. The narrative of the garden comes to an end in Athens, materialized as a departing boat and symbolizing democracy.

Planting aims to supplement the landscape character of each island using Chinese ornamental plants, that resemble and in many cases are closely related to Greek local varieties.

The Aegean Garden is enveloped by the “Chinese landscape”, a gesture reminding the strategic position of Greece and the Aegean sea, as a final stop of the silk road route that connects China with Europe.

Keywords: the Aegean Garden, Archipelago of Ideals, China, International Garden Expo, doxiadis+, A&M Architects