• Client:
  • Suzhou Garden and Landscape Planning Bureau
  • Location:
  • Suzhou, China
  • Partners:
  • Shanghai Landscape Design Institute, Shanghai Planning Institute, Battle McCarthy
  • Status:
  • Competition Shortlist 2012


LAVA’s design for a leisure masterplan in southeastern China is inspired by nature - the structure and patterns of a leaf. 

The leaf layout allowed the integration and shaping of the main elements of the site – zoo, botanical gardens and theme park – along a continuous main axis.

And each part of the mixed-use entertainment master-plan references nature’s geometric beauties - from streams and tributaries, branches and trees, shells and corals, to birds’ nests and cells.

LAVA’s design was for six key areas: the zoo entrance gate, a conference centre, indoor and outdoor markets, a north gate information/ticket point, bio-dome research laboratories and a theatre. 

The design for these components draws on local cultural elements such as the dragon tail, traditional gates and rice terraces, whilst the environmental design solutions include sustainable bamboo and wood structures, performance driven structures, optimal building massing and low carbon strategies [solar, water, wind etc]. 


Visionary geometries and forms are fused with traditional elements of Persian culture in the design for the new Tehran Stock Exchange.
The design is inspired by the local morphology – wind-carved sandstone gorges and cave-houses. The Stock Exchange is envisaged as an urban rock, with smartly carved ovoid shapes that enhance natural light, panoramic views, interior spaces and the relationship with the surroundings. The façade draws inspiration from the tessellation and light prisms of the local architecture, a media wall broadcasts real time news and an intelligent skin responds to changing climatic conditions.
LAVA’s vision for a futuristic typology mixes virtual and human interaction, embracing the transition between the market space and virtual reality.
Past and future meet inside the exchange hall with modern muqarnas, an interactive data dome and high-tech data screens. Media facades stream along a horizontal façade, bent to generate different grades of openness and create carve outs and connection to the interior void, maximising fresh air and sunlight. Environmental systems include an algae bioreactor, natural ventilation and solar panels.


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Design: Toko / Development: Damien Aistrope