The Silhouette Garden is located in the French concession in Shanghai. The layout of the garden is highly influenced by hybrid of European gated garden, and Chinese “lilong ” ( the shared garden). The result of the cultural mixture creates a unique layout between the garden and the building.
This typology gives a sense of privacy from the streetside, yet creates a sharable open space in the center. Our proposal is to utilize the center to create a shared green space, and renovate the two buildings into a gallery and a tea room.
The Silhouette Garden is a 20 sqm garden. With a limited area, how to integrate the indoor and outdoor space together, and how to give a sense of nature in such a small area, become the key study points of the project.
The design strategy is to cover the whole garden with green fully, and curve out only minimal area for a path and a contemplation area to maximize the nature. The garden becomes a green void filled with plants and flowers. From the street to the garden, a sense of nature is amplified by the contrast of the fully green.
The experience at the garden continues to extend to the interior. With thoughtful openings on the walls and doorway, the garden is framed by the window and the entry. Like a living painting, the silhouette of plants is highlighted by the contrast between the darkness from inside, and the brightness from outside.
YIYU also takes this opportunity to study the potential of plants in their shapes, seasonalities, and colors. The design detail is to use plants with various silhouettes to create a combination that catches light and shadow, and mix in flowers that provide a hint of color in seasons.
The combination gives the garden an interesting layering of texture, and forms an extraordinary experience like walking into a three-dimensional picture filled with beautiful plants and colors.
The material study of the garden is to use two walls with different textures and colors, to create interesting backgrounds for the plants. The orange rammed wall creates a strong contrast to the green, yet the white concrete wall blends the plants harmoniously. The materiality, texture, and color from the constructed and the nature, create an interactive dialogue between each other.
Beyond a garden to see the nature, the silhouette garden is also a place for emotional bonding to the nature. Watering the plants in the morning, collecting a leaf falling in the dawn, we wish the connection between the garden and mind can be boned stronger with engagement. The true silhouette of the garden is revealed through memories within, at the very moment of life.
Architect: Feile Cao
Project location: Wukang Road, Shanghai, China
Design year: 2017
Year Built: 2017