A stunning greenhouse complex shimmers on the hillside in Xi’an, China, with a faceted glass shell inspired by crystal formations. UK-based Plasma Studio gave this modern facility housing thousands of plants a dramatic appearance that almost looks, from afar, as if it could be a natural part of the landscape.
Shaped like a horseshoe with a courtyard in the center, the 43,000-square-foot greenhouse holds plants from climactic zones around the world. To access it, visitors must take a boat across a lake and enter through a deep cut in the earth, slowly emerging up into the illuminated structure.
Says Plasma Studio, “Conceived as a precious crystal, semi-submerged in splendid isolation, reached by boat across the lake followed by a short walk from the shore, the greenhouse blends into the hillside. With the interior and exterior ground planes gradually shifting in relation to each other, the visitor experiences a sequence of visual enclosures alternating with long vistas out and across.”
Plasma’s impressive portfolio of architectural work includes quite a few more faceted crystal-inspired designs, as well as sustainable structures like a low-carbon exhibition center in China and Italy’s stunning Strata Hotel.