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Shanghai Botanical Garden Children’s Garden
Shanghai Botanical Garden Children’s Garden

Garden leadership sought to create a magical world to engage, delight, and inspire visitors of all ages while establishing an innovative model for China’s public gardens. 3. Fromme Design partnered with HDLA (Nashville, TN) to envision an interactive series of plant and art-based interwoven experiences supporting play, learning, and a sense of connection to the Chenshan region’s heritage. 

3. Fromme Design and HDLA developed an overall garden framework conceptual design seamlessly integrating visitor experience and amenities; design themes; horticultural directions; architecture; custom art elements; and interpretive opportunities. The plan also resolved circulation and connections with the rest of the Botanical Garden’s destinations. 

Seven interwoven major areas comprise the overall garden. The Gathering Grove welcomes visitors with sculptural fountains interpreting the roles of trees in the water cycle and climate. Flowering meadows contain pavilions focusing on bees and butterflies along the winding Pollinator Path. 

A stone causeway guards the entrance to the River Valley where children manipulate and frolic in various aspects of water. Sculpted friendly guardian monsters form paths, caves, and tunnels along crests of the Dragon Ridges. Stairs descend into the Quarry artfully revealing aspects of local geography. A sloping lawn encourages free play and serves as amphitheater seating for performances on the adjacent stage. 

Boardwalks lead across the pond at the stream’s terminus; while paths meander through an ecologically vibrant wetland. A stone boat in the pond provides shaded seating and an aquatic themed classroom. The Village and Farm celebrate Chenshan’s rural agricultural history while the adjacent Enchanted Gardens play with the scale of miniature and gigantic plants, giving children new perspectives on their place in nature. Children explore the diverse Wondrous Woods ecosystem via rope bridges, logs, and balance beams and construct forts from natural materials. 


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