The expo site straddles the threshold between the urban city and a forested area, and this blurring of space features heavily in the design of Penda’s ‘A Thousand Yards’. The pavilion is set to be transformed into a residential area that draws inspiration from the privileged location.
The pavilion was designed and will be constructed as a fully modular, pre-fabricated and decentralised series of structures. Instead of presenting a singular building on the site, ‘A Thousand Yards’ invites attendees to wander through a series of mini areas filled with structures, plants and vibrant colours.
In order to maintain a sense of meandering interaction between the visitor and the structure, Penda elected not to go with forced circulation for the pavilion layout, and instead have designed their exhibition as a series of ‘roads’ and passageways. The intention is to allow guests to inhabit small clustered villages with pockets of buildings and various open spaces.
A network of paths passing around and through the structures allows visitors to roam freely through the pavilion and to others around it. Each structure is built to accommodate its specific function, incorporating gardens on almost every level.
Upon entering the expo, each guest receives a bag of seeds which they are asked to plant on one of the many gardens present throughout the various levels and rooftops. Visitors are brought into the creation of the space and given this unique opportunity to play the role of the designer. Essentially visitors play an active role in creating the aesthetic of the structure. In addition, once fully grown plants reach maturity, they are harvested by the staff and then use the crops to prepare locally-grown and healthy dishes at the onsite restaurant.
Founder Chris Precht states that the inspiration for ‘A Thousand Years’ was “to create a structure that forms space for exhibitions and supports nature in an equal way. A structure that can be used by plants to grow upon and form a public garden for all visitors of the International Horticultural Expo”.
Once the expo has concluded, the existing modules can be deconstructed and recycled elsewhere resulting in virtually zero waste, the landscape will hopefully continue to flourish in its own right.