Chinese Garden News - Two new pavilions and a rock grotto open to the public

March 08, 2014

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Visitors who thought the Chinese Garden at The Huntington was beautiful already are in for another visual feast this March: the unveiling of two new pavilions and a rock grotto as part of the Phase II construction of Liu Fang Yuan.


A group of 23 artisans from Suzhou, China, worked from September through January on the three new features on the west and north sides of the lake. (The south and east sides were completed in the garden's first phase, which opened to visitors in 2008.) The new features that opened to the public March 8 are a rock grotto, eloquently named Lingering Clouds Peak, that visitors can walk through as water cascades from a stream overhead, and two new tile-roofed buildings: the Waveless Boat pavilion, facing a picturesque view of the existing Jade Ribbon Bridge across the lake, and the Clear and Transcendent pavilion.


Each new feature carries with it deep symbolism and meaning:


The Clear and Transcendent pavilion(Qing Yue Tai) 清越臺 

This intricately designed pavilion with an elegant roof structure is located on the north bank of the Lake of Reflected Fragrance. Its open sides are designed as a stage for music and other performances. The simple name Clear and Transcendent evokes the crystal pureness of music gently floating over the water, permeating the other structures around the lake.   


Lingering Clouds Peakrock grotto (Liu Yun Xiu) 留雲岫

This rockery, called Lingering Clouds Peak, takes its name from the grotto in the elegant Lingering Garden, Liu Yuan留園, in Suzhou. Situated on the northwest side of the lake, Lingering Clouds Peak is an essential element in a Chinese garden. Its ever-lasting strength complements the garden’s water, which is ever-changing. Rocks and mountains represent stability and endurance in both Daoist and Confucian thought. 


Waveless Boat pavilion (Bu Bo Xiao Ting) 不波小艇

This boat-shaped pavilion, just south of Lingering Clouds Peak on the west side of the Lake of Reflected Fragrance, provides a scenic view of the pavilions and bridges in all directions across the lake. The name, Waveless Boat, recalls a similar pavilion in the Verdant Mountain Villa, YongcuiShanzhuang擁翠山荘, a historic garden in Suzhou. The phrase “Waveless,” or bubo, is often used in literature to describe a serene atmosphere – a boat gliding effortlessly over the water. 


Fundraising for the completion of Phase II remains a high priority for The Huntington.  Critical elements to come include a celebration courtyard anchored by a small gallery for displaying Chinese art; a penjing court (Chinese penjing is a style of horticulture known as  bonsai in Japan); and a hillside pavilion.

About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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