International Horticultural Exposition in Kunming China
Photo: Anarchitekton

EXPO `99 Kunming

Swiss Contribution to the International Horticultural Exposition, Kunming, China
In 1998 Stefan Rotzler was, as landscape architect, requested to design the Swiss contribution to the «EXPO `99 International Horticultural Exposition in Kunming, China». In cooperation with Anarchitekton he developed the idea to use larger-than-life postcard motives of Switzerland as background for the photo shootings of the Chinese visitors. After several concepts had been rejected as unsuitable by the Chinese organizers, the authors developed the suggestion of a tripartite garden as metaphor for the Swiss landscapes: «The Mountain», with a huge postcard of Mount «Titlis» and a glacier grotto, «The Plaza» as representation of the urban Switzerland with an oversized postcard of the Zurich «Fraumünster» (women’s cathedral), and «The Cottage Garden» with a colossal postcard of the «Waadtländer Winzerfest» (wine growers` festival). The three parts were linked by the «Schifflibach» (small ship rivulet) – a reference to the Swiss Regional Exhibition in 1939 – on which the Chinese visitors, floating in halved wooden barrels, could pass through the three parts of the garden and especially through the cool glacier grotto. In the course of the 6 months of the exposition, the Swiss contribution to the «`99 International Horticultural Exposition, Kunming» enjoyed great popularity, especially among the Chinese visitors.

Landscape architecture
Stefan Rotzler

Conceptual design and realization
Anarchitekton Bern, Peter Bölsterli
Anarchitekton Basel, Andreas Wenger