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China Center Unveils Indoor Garden Design for One World Trade Center

By Julie Shapiro | April 15, 2011 6:00pm | Updated on April 16, 2011 9:45am
The China Center's
The China Center's "Folding Garden" design in One World Trade Center.
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China Center

By Julie Shapiro

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

LOWER MANHATTAN — Something green is growing at One World Trade Center.

The China Center, the building's first tenant, unveiled plans Friday to build a vertical Chinese garden through their leased space on the 64th to 69th floors of the still-rising skyscraper.

The design, called "Folding Garden," includes green walls bursting with native Asian plants lining the building's winding hallways. The walls are meant to make visitors feel as though they're meandering through nature, rather than walking through one of the most secure office buildings in the world.

China Center Chairman Feng Lun said in a statement that he wants the design to show people a different view of China than they might find in New York's Chinatown.

The rising One World Trade Center, shown in March 2011.
The rising One World Trade Center, shown in March 2011.
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DNAinfo/Julie Shapiro

"We want to create a new iconic environment at One World Trade Center to represent an open-minded and confident China that embraces all values," Lun said. "We want people to come here, look at the space, and say 'Wow! This is a side of China I haven't seen.'"

Cindy Lam, the project manager, said the design connects the floors vertically, so it is easy to see and travel between them.

"It's a very unique concept," Lam told DNAinfo Friday. "We're very excited about it."

The team is now working on more detailed plans, including the number of green walls and the type of plants, Lam said.

The green walls will help the China Center pursue a LEED Platinum rating for the 200,000-square-foot space, which is scheduled to open in 2014.

The China Center, currently located in 7 World Trade Center, builds business and cultural bridges between China and the United States. Its new space will include an event center for corporate conferences and art shows, a private dining club and spa, a visitor center and more.

The idea for the garden design came from Chinese artist Zhou Wei, and Japanese architect Kengo Kuma will translate it into reality.

"By combining the unique, meandering spatial characteristics of the Chinese garden with several floors of the iconic One World Trade Center, we can arrive at a very special kind of design that is specific to China Center and to New York City, all at once," Kuma said in a statement.

"This is a very special opportunity that bridges modern and traditional motifs, architecture and nature, and most importantly the Chinese and American cultures."