A Japanese company has designed "the biggest greenhouse in human history". Not for growing vegetables, but for creating a touristic destination out of a valley. By covering a valley in the Chinese Hebel province with glass roofs, they want to create a mountainous "Utopia".
"The site is located in the Hebel province of China.The forestation of mountains and highway constructions are under way", they write with the sketches of the plan. "The plan has a service zone with an exhibition and a conference hall and hotels, a recreational zone located in an ecosphere in the mountains with many rivers, a cultural zone introducing various ethnic cultural groups in China, a commercial zone, a sports area built by the lake side in the mountains, a residential zone with villas and in the center of this developing site, there is a valley at the scale of 15 hectares."
And that valley is what it's all about: "The valley surrounded by the mountains that are 286m to 310m high is at the center of this area and the master plan proposes to change this whole area into a tourist destination. It’s a large scale plan to make the whole valley into a large greenhouse covered by the glass roofs, where trees and plants brought from Hainan Island, China will be planted."
The height of the mountains is what urges them to call the project the biggest greenhouse ever built. "It is not planned to do land formation, because it costs a lot. We use the original shape of the valley to build a greenhouse. The most beautiful shape is nature itself."
This is quite complicated. "There are no greenhouses in the shape of a valley. The shape of the big roof is the shape of the valley itself and it is divided into 8 areas by free hand curved lines. It is flat and made out of glass all over.
The height of the column that supports the structure of “cloud valley” is not higher than 40m. This large roof is gently divided into 8 parts like rice terrace fields. These 8 areas are united into one and built with a "beam string structure". "This is a one-directional beam with less components, allowing fair sky view. It is simple and clear. Common space frames have so many member components and it is quite obstructive. It is difficult to get a clear sky view and it blocks out the sunlight."
It is very costly to build scaffolds to build large roofs at this vast site. "Therefore, they are built on the ground and lifted up. This construction method is called “the Pantadome system.” We are the only one’s in the world to utilise this structural method", the explanation concludes.
The project is launched by the Japanese company Eastern Design Office. Read all about the project here.