The “cloud” that dominates the square in the Belgian garden at the 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition.

Beijing: opening of the International Horticultural Exhibition


The 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition opened its doors to the public in Beijing on Monday 29 April. The theme of this nature exhibition, which chronologically falls in between two World Expos, was “Live green, live better”. The exhibition site is located 70 km outside of Beijing, near the Great Wall of China, and will run until 7 October 2019.

A Belgian garden

Belgium is participating in the 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition with a “Belgian garden”, which was designed by the Belgian architect and landscaper designer Nicolas Godelet, who was been working in China for over 20 years. The garden, which was designed to resemble a Belgian landscape, opens with a grassy area and a hilly, tree-lined lawn. A “cloud”, a stunning metal architectural structure, adds a decorative flourish to a small square. The cloud, which was built from tubes connected by cables, evokes the notion of “tensegrity”, and is light, and both rigid and flexible. The structure, which was produced using a pioneering technique, literally hovers in the air, protecting visitors.

In the centre of the square, the architect added a replica of Brussels’ famous Manneken-Pis and a photo of a tapestry by Bernard van Orley, the court painter of Charles V. The tapestry, which portrays a hunting scene in front of Coudenberg Palace (the imperial palace) in sixteenth-century Brussels, belongs to the  Louvre in Paris. It is currently exhibited at BOZAR, in Brussels. A poem by Geert van Istendael on nature added a nice finishing touch to the Brussels contribution to the 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition. All the Belgian provinces contributed to the garden’s decoration with a sculpture, a painting and a poem.

Manneken-Pis “irrigates” the Belgian garden at the 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition…
Beijing 2019 : inaugural speech by Mr Patrick Vercauteren-Drubbel (centre), the Commissioner General for International Exhibitions. To his right, the architect Nicolas Godelet.

In September 2019, a Brussels delegation will visit this international exhibition in the context of the 25th anniversary celebrations of the cooperation agreement between the Brussels-Capital Region and the City of Beijing. This visit will also be an excellent opportunity to participate in other events during the 2019 Beijing Design Week.