Jinzhou city, with a population of three million inhabitants, located less than 500 km northeast of Beijing, recently benefits of a new public park having an area of 176 ha, located on a site recovered from the sea. If in the first phase, in 2013 the park has hosted Jinzhou World Landscape Art Exposition, after the closing of the exhibition, in 2014, the zone will become the center of a new urban development.
Considering the development plans of the area, 20 houses of architecture and design were requested to achieve 20 projects, on circular surfaces of the same size in different areas of the park. All projects had as theme the concept of cultural hybridization, phenomenon developed over many centuries of trade and cultural exchanges between East and West.
The projects design had to emphasize the paradox of globalization, although this was associated with the destruction of the local identity, it provides the possibility and it can generate the identity. The same thing is proposed by the Mosaic Park realized by the Casanova Hernandez Architects from Rotterdam, Netherlands. On the one hand, Dutch designers have chosen to use different colored ceramic pieces in order to realize alleys, banks from the park and for the museum facades. They wanted to evoke the old tradition of the Mosaic, that was widely spread in Europe by the Roman Empire. On the other hand, the geometry of the park is inspired by the crackled glaze of the Chinese porcelain developed from the 10th century during the Song Dynasty in the Ru Ware and Ge Ware ceramic pieces.
The Mosaic and Ceramic Museum Park remind the citizens that the Jinzhou region was once the largest producer of ceramics and porcelain. Tradition that has been lost for centuries and whose existence is little known today. Mosaic Park has a hybrid character, combining architecture and landscape and the natural with the artificial. The geometry of the park is represented by a polychrome mosaic made of the combination of four species of flowers of different colors with mosaics made of Chinese ceramics pieces. The park brings together nature and native crafts in the same place.
The way it is realized the polychrome mosaic formed by ceramic and floral surfaces offers the geometric and visual unit of the project. The landscape and architecture merge into one surprising and multifaceted work. The iconic nature of the project serves as an attraction that invites the visitors to enjoy a multisensory experience. The park offers comfortable spaces for relaxation, stroll and recreation, being equipped with long benches that have become informal places for meetings. The ceramic museum functions as an activator of the social and cultural life in Jinzhou, trying to arouse the visitors’ curiosity about the history of the place. The museum is conceived as an open structure, a platform that allows local artists, designers and artisans to exhibit their works of ceramic and porcelain. Beyond its main purpose of recreation, the Mosaic Park realized by Casanova Hernandez Architects has a much broader social impact.