Chapman Taylor’s masterplan for the World Horticultural EXPO site in Łódź, Poland’s third-largest city, has been unveiled to the public.
In 2018, the city of Łódź in central Poland was awarded Horticultural EXPO (also known as Green EXPO) – an international exhibition devoted to the use of greenery and landscaping in urban environments. Originally scheduled for 2024, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the Łódź event being rearranged for 2029.
Circular Village garden pavilion | Bird’s-eye view towards Baden Powell Park
The 80-hectare project is the first of its kind because, whereas all previous World Horticultural EXPO developments were created in remote, undeveloped areas, in Łódź it is located in the heart of the city centre, not far from the main railway station and surrounded by urban fabric. The site includes two existing parks – May the 3rd and Baden-Powell – as well as the areas adjacent the city’s Medical University.
Chapman Taylor’s masterplan concept represents a step-change for EXPO, with an intensive focus on regenerating, restoring, recycling, repurposing and reusing. The masterplan’s functions are arranged around four themed zones, developed in consultation with the city and more than 50 other organisations.
Circular Village | Garden of Forest Flavours
These themes are:
• Nature of Leisure – the May the 3rd Park represents forest and lake environments, offering family recreation as well as sport and fitness options for people of all ages within the park’s restored and enhanced spaces, designed with respect for its history.
• Nature of Living – Baden Powell Park will host the main EXPO programme, including the Polish Pavilion, the City of Łódź Pavilion surrounded by Gardens of Four Cultures, the international participants’ National Gardens, an amphitheatre, a viewing tower and exhibition halls.
• Nature of Health – the Zieleniec area includes environmentally friendly design solutions combined with EcoUMed Health Academy’s horti-therapy programme, Gardens of Healthy Food, Clean Air and Water, Gardens of Senses and the Circular Village.
• Nature of Business – the Zatorze area will host conferences, seminars, science meetings and business networking, with a focus on the exchange of ideas for improving quality of life.
In addition, an overall “Nature of Us” theme combines elements of all the others to reflect a modern city that provides employment, facilitates rest and recharging in green surroundings, showcases cultural diversity and provides daily close contact with the environment, delivering significant physical and mental health benefits.
Exhibitors and participants are expected from 43 countries, including international organisations, sponsors and partners. It is anticipated that 4.5 million visitors will attend EXPO during the six months in which it will be open.
Polish Pavilion | Amphitheatre
After EXPO completes, some facilities will remain, while others will be converted to new uses such as permanent exposition spaces as well as business and administration, cultural, educational, healthcare, sport and leisure, recreational and gastronomic facilities – all within a mostly retained and carefully maintained, landscaped green environment. Some pavilions, structures and installations will be moved to other locations within the city, mainly its public green areas, parks and squares.
Horticultural EXPO is part of the city’s longer-term development strategy – incorporating substantially more green space within the city’s urban fabric as an engine of urban regeneration, creating pocket gardens, woonerfs (living streets) and a network of over 120km of green trails as the core elements of the “Blue-Green Network” – a spatial development strategy connecting the city with its green surroundings, natural parks and forests, rivers, water reservoirs and trails.
Lodz Pavilion | Palm House at Zieleniec
Chapman Taylor was awarded the public tender to create the Łódź EXPO masterplan concept in December 2018. A 30-strong multidisciplinary team worked intensively under the direction of Associate Director Mariusz Wróblewski, in collaboration with the City and other stakeholders, to deliver this innovative design in December 2019. Originally scheduled for 2024, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the Łódź event being rearranged for 2029.