During a lecture we did at Moscow’s Strelka Institute two weeks ago, I got to speak with landscape architect Adriaan Geuze who leads the world-famous Dutch landscape design office West 8. Offscreen he showed some of his latest park designs. We would like to highlight one of the amazing parks that West 8 has created and is going to create (we keep you informed) just because this one is like an amazing Chinese dream. The garden of 10,000 bridges in the city of Beijing is especially designed for the 2011 Xi’an International Horticulture Exhibition. The park basically is a wood of bamboo trees in which a trails system is saved for visitors to walk. Above the bamboo woods a number of red bridges forms remarkable viewpoints on which users can overlook the whole park.
The park is dramatically different from regular ideas about park design, which are generally more functional and eclectical in terms of style, use and types of vegetation. Asked after the reason for this rather monofunctional park design, Geuze’s answer was perhaps the only right one: “Because it is fun! Poems are aren’t made either for any reason besides fulfilling men with pleasure, as with the Pushkin Museum”. The park has become a poem in itself according to the design statement on West 8’s website:
“Gardens tell a story. They combine poetry and narrative. The Garden of 10,000 Bridges represents the human life; the path of people’s lifetime, which is a route of uncertainty and burden, but also of highlights and elation. The garden design takes you on this walk of life as a meandering, winding trail – continuous and like a labyrinth. It lets you find your way through nature and takes you over 10,000 bridges.”