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  • A Garden of Eden in the Shadow of a Coup d’État

    Expo 2016 Gardening World Exhibition
    Antalya, April 23-October 30th, 2016

    Text and photos: Pál Lővei

    Turkey has been one of the most industrious participant of gardening exhibitions and world exhibitions for about 25 years now. Since then its presentations tend to be of larger and larger scales, and integrate contemporary architecture and design with well-conceived representations of historical and art traditions. This year’s gardening expo in Antalya is focussed on a 112 hectare elongated rectangle on the north-east periphery of the city conglomerate. To make approach easier to the exhibition the routes of the modern fast tram connecting the suburbs were extended as far as the exhibition premises which now by the addition of a subroute the system offers access to an international airport as well. At two-thirds of the length of the expo area a system of lakes was built with a straight shore flanked by an avenue of restaurants, whilst the other side has been shaped with an irregular zigzagging shoreline. The hosts have designed and arranged a minor part of the whole site as an Ottoman garden. The centrepiece of this is an octagonal kiosk with a traditional design and ornamentation. Next to it, there is a water-basin pierced with openings: it was carved from white marble with Baroque-style ornaments and a multi-level fountain in the middle. The elongated bodies of water of the expo feature spectacular bridges. On one of them flowerbeds arranged on both sides connect the vegetation of the two shores, whilst the wide middle lane of the pavement of a minor hanging bridge has been constructed with glazed paving. The irregular tracery of the lake system joined a circular basin. The logo of the exhibition is an abstract flower motif which re-appears in the trefoil design of the look-out deck of the 17-storey Expo Tower.