Chinese Garden at the Montreal Botanical Garden

August 14, 2009

With Permission of Montreal Botanic Garden

With Permission of Montreal Botanical Garden (Michel Tremblay)

The Chinese garden is the fruit of bonds forged between the Parks Department of the City of Shanghai and the Montreal Botanical Garden.  The concept of the garden was the work of Le Weizhong, renowned architect and master landscaper and the then (during construction in 1990-1991) director of the Shanghai Institute of Landscape Design and Architecture.

Nestled in the heart of Montreal Botanical Garden is the Dream Lake Garden, an authentic Chinese garden inspired by the private gardens in the southern Yangzi River region during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).

This garden is unique.  Rustic and asymetrical at first glance, it was nonetheless created according to a rigorous esthetic principle.  It is both a place of contrast and harmony.  The spatial organization and pavillions’ architecture, the selection of plants and minerals, the water and the contrast of yin and yang are all expressions of the secular principles of the Chinese art of landscape design.

Chinese gardens play havoc with perspectives and Western conventions  Their components are laden with great metaphorical meaning  A designer reproduces nature not by imitating it, but rather by interpreting it by creating a three-dimensional portrait.  Shapes and masses are used to achieve contrast and arouse emotion.

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