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Architecture Design and Construction Services Lahore

Songming Garden | Atelier VISION


Wang Xizhi’s “Preface to the Lanting Pavilion” describes a gathering during the Shangsi Festival a thousand years ago. The author used the beauty of the landscape and the joy of the gathering to convey his thoughts on the fleeting nature of life and death. Songming Garden design draws inspiration from that gathering, with a U-shaped water system forming the foundation. Outdoor activities in the garden take place along the water’s edge, and tea rooms are strategically placed by the water and arranged in a free-flowing manner.


© Qingshan Wu

About Songming Garden

Songming Garden is situated in the Chrysanthemum Garden area, which is on the northern side of Jiading Ancient City. It is approximately 2 kilometers away from the ancient city. The site is bordered by internal roads on the east and south sides, while the northwest side is adjacent to a body of water.


© Qingshan Wu

The main entrance to Songming Garden is located on the northern side. To enter the garden, you can go through a moon gate from the courtyard to the south, which offers a gradual and pleasant experience. On the other hand, the southern entrance is connected to the parking lot on the east side of the road.

The Concept Of Songming Garden

The design of the garden aims to create an immersive and natural atmosphere, so the initial entrance experience is designed to be shadowy and mountainous. As you pass through this entrance corridor, you will suddenly find yourself in an open space surrounded by mountains.

© Qingshan Wu

The Lanting gathering is often depicted in paintings set in a rural mountain forest by water, as mentioned in the phrase “meeting at the Lanting in the shadow of Mount Kuaiji…”. The artwork mainly portrays “lush forests and tall bamboo” and “clear and rapid streams”. To create a more immersive experience in nature, the garden distinguishes itself from the external environment.

© Qingshan Wu

The west side features water systems and plants; the north side has artificial mountains and terrains; the south side has plants, and the east side is filled with “lush forests and tall bamboo.” By incorporating these “natural” elements, visitors are constantly surrounded by the garden’s “wilderness.” As stated in “Yuan Ye (The Craft of Gardens)”, the garden aims to “expel the mundane” by isolating a part of the external environment, thus capturing the viewer’s attention with the garden’s scenery.


© Qingshan Wu

The choice of materials and construction in a garden reflects a natural wilderness theme. The garden uses yellow stones for the main stones and raw stones for the partial corridors and retaining walls, giving it a rustic charm. The tea room’s roof is made of thatched material, seamlessly blending the building with its surroundings. In terms of plants, Osaka pines specified by the owner are used, along with mixed woods and moss as ground cover, creating a wild and charming environment.

© Qingshan Wu

In Songming Garden, the goal is to investigate the connection between humans and water, as well as humans and nature, within the framework of the literati. Additionally, we are considering how gardens can be showcased in modern times and the potential roles they can fulfill.

Project Info:

Landscape Architects: Atelier VISION
Area: 150 m²
Year: 2020
Photographs: Qingshan Wu
Lead Architects: Guowen
Design Team: Guo Wen, Yang Xiaoqin, Bao Yu, Zhang Yiyi, Gu Hongyu, Zhao Shuangyue (intern)
Clients: Shanghai Jiahong Construction Engineering Development Co., Ltd
Engineering: Shanghai Jiahong Construction Engineering Development Co., Ltd
City: Jia Ding Qu
Country: China


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