Come and grow – the spoga+gafa blog » Articles by: Leif Hallerbach

Garden Expo in China: Project by Penda

Selected as the winner of an international competition, Penda´s landscape pavilion for the 10th international Garden Expo in China seeks to highlight the importance of clean water and protecting the environment. The project is called “Where the River runs“ and takes visitors through a landscape on a pathway resembling a river.

The project is an ode to water. Penda´s task has been to find a reasonable way for a sensible use of our natural resources. Their proposal for the garden expo has been a natural statement for the importance of clean water and a healthy environment. A river-like pathway guides visitors through an artificial landscape of hills and valleys. Penda sees the location as a connection in between other pavilions and it can be entered from three sides. Visitors are naturally guided through the riverbed. On their way they will pass by various landscape formations, like a narrow shore, high cliffs or a natural cave. As visitors are strolling through the pavilion, all paths are leading to the central plaza, where people have time to rest, reflect or have a drink. A natural canopy offers shadow to the plaza.

Seeds of different plants are given to the visitors at each entrance and they get the opportunity to plant local flowers, vegetables, fruits or herbs along the “riverbed”. As people are hiking through the landscape and seeding their plants, they take over the function of a river as they bring life to the pavilion. Like the river does in an natural environment, the visitors become the starting point in the lifecycle of plants. They are an essential part to design the pavilion and that will increase the sensibility towards the importance of clean water and clean air. On their walk through the pavilion, the landscape offers the visitors a wide variety of visual, haptic and scented expression from different terrain-formations to various colourful plants, while they become an essential part in the circle of life.

Green Sculpture: The Biesbosch Museum in the Netherlands

For most visitors, the Biesbosch Museum is the starting point for exploring the Biesbosch National Park. Like a green sculpture the museum has been completely transformed and extended with a new wing by Studio Marco Vermeulen.

Both the new wing of the museum and existing volume are designed to minimize energy consumption. On cold days, a biomass stove maintains the building at the right temperature through floor heating. On warm days, water from the river flows through the same piping to cool the building. Sanitary wastewater is purified through a willow filter: the first in the Netherlands. The old and new sections of the museum are surrounded by earthworks and covered with a roof of grass and herbs. The roof adds ecological value, creating a sculptural object that reads as land art and, at the same time, manifests itself in the surrounding landscape.

Water safety was the key reason for the development of the Biesbosch Museum Island. As part of a national water safety programme, the 4450-hectare Noordwaard polder has been turned into a water-retention area. The Museum Island, which will be realized in the spring of 2016, is a freshwater tidal park that receives river water through a newly dug creek. A meandering path provides access to the island, which continuously changes in appearance because of the changing water levels.

Further information: and

Fama Sofas: Allrounder for the Garden

For over 40 years, Fama design is known for his high quality and innovation, which is also shown in their latest design. For the upcoming season the Spanish company offer the new Armchair „Arianne Garden“ for outdoor-areas – a guaranty for comfort and flexibility.

Arianne Garden has been created with outdoor living in mind. Single modules with a polyethylene base which can be placed together, individually or creating different shapes to adapt to the features of the garden. The back folds down to create a table and at the same time encases the cushions so that they are protected from all weather conditions, family pets, etc. The base is available in seven colours. The cushions provide a great comfort as well as a great variety of exclusive patterned fabrics.

Further information:

SCAB Design: New Seats for Outdoor Areas

SCAB Design represents the redefinition of the concept of design, a new artistic vision that finds expression in the Italian-made collection. The new chairs of the premium brand are characterized by simple and pure lines, for a sober and refined elegance.

One of the new chair collections is ‘Sunset’, a comfortable armchair ideal for outdoor use. Designed by the architect Luisa Battaglia, the chair made in technopolymer, is practical and easily stackable to be put away quickly and easily. Its ergonomic and practical shape includes a classic design with pure lines that intersect in a game of symmetries. ‘Sunset’ adapts to multiple contexts: the outdoor tables of a restaurant, the terrace of a city café or a domestic garden. It is available in several colours, which range from warm shades to cooler colours.

Another new chair by SCAB Design is ‘Ginevra’ with or without integrated armrests. The shell of the chair in organized shape offers excellent comfort. The material used, a technopolymer worked with air moulding technology, allows using the chairs in a variety of locations: in meeting and public spaces, at home or in the garden. The frame is available in a wide range of colours, for a game of combinations that will transform it easily.

Also new is the collection „Chloé”. Architects Arter & Citton sign the collection in „Chloé Mon Amour“ and „Chloé Trend“ line. The young and glamour look is reflected in the practicality of the material and is ideal for contract or outdoor use. The aluminium legs structure of „Chloé Mon Amour“ is expertly finished thanks to the coating, which highlights the elegant stretched of the line towards the foot. The „Chloé Trend“ is linear, with and without comfortable and elegant armrests, embraces modernity with simplicity and consistency.

Further information:

Emu: Combination of Light and Pure Lines

The new collections of Italian outdoor brand Emu are a perfect balance between classic sophistication and innovation. The close collaboration between the brand and the designers Christophe Pillet and Stefan Dietz has been renewed.

Exploration of form, attention to details and the use of technological materials are the hallmarks of Ciak, the contemporary aluminium “director’s chair” by Stefan Diez. Simple yet sophisticated, Ciak is a perfect blend of function and design. The distinctive feature of the seat and matching footrest is the spiral shape of the aluminium framework and the transparent, high-performance technical fabric. The result is a solid, versatile, durable outdoor product, suitable for both residential and contract settings.

Also the close collaboration between Emu and the French designer Christophe Pillet has been renewed. Following on from the Round and Shade collections, the new Kira collection is a complete furnishing range, crafted in aluminium combined with a variety of materials: outdoor technical fabric for the seats and laminated porcelainfor the tabletops. The French designer has drawn inspiration from a combination of light, pure lines and elements with a unique personality, thus striking a perfect balance between classic sophistication and innovation, conceived principally, although not exclusively, for residential settings.

Further information: