DnA plants chinese herbal garden within densely populated neighborhood – Designboom


DnA design and architecture has planted a herbal garden as part of a new public square in china’s zhejiang province. located in songyang county, an area known for its medicinal herbal practices, the site is surrounded by important landmarks including temples and palaces. after a trade market at the heart of this dense residential neighborhood was demolished, it was decided to leave its footprint vacant to provide valuable public space, while opening up access to the aforementioned landmarks.

all images by wang ziling

DnA became involved in the design of the project while the market was already undergoing demolition. given just six weeks to complete the scheme, the architects proposed a chinese herbal garden that would consolidate both district planning and landscape design. the project involved carving out the existing cement floor to grow plants within the outline of chinese characters that correspond with the herbs they contain. elsewhere, trees have been planted between to provide shade.

meanwhile, a new wall artistically illustrates the history of the region’s medicinal culture. the structure not only provides background information, but also offers seats for those needing a rest. ‘looking down from the upper floors of the surrounding residences, this herb garden is seen as calligraphy written with chinese herbal plants,’ say the architects. ‘with the cycles of growth and decay, the plants flourish and wither throughout different seasons of the year, like the ink of calligraphy.’