In Taichung, Taiwan, the recently completed Discovery Pavilion at the Taichung World Flower Expo explores what life could be like if humans returned half of the Earth’s habitable surfaces to nature — a concept known as “Half Earth” proposed by the “Father of Biodiversity” Edward Wilson in 2016. Taipei-based Cogitoimage International Co., Ltd designed the pavilion to advocate such preservation with a large-scale exhibition that covers the ecology of the Taichung Dajia River as it flows from high to low altitudes. In keeping with the eco-friendly ethos of the project, the main materials used in the project include recycled glass and cork, sustainably sourced timber and other natural materials.

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art installation with hardwood floor forming a path surrounded by grass and glass circular installations on the roof

cement pathway alongside a handmade small water collection lined with rocks with glass installations inside it

Created with the theme of “Viewing Half-Earth through Taichung’s Ecology,” the Discovery Pavilion uses mixed multimedia — from poems and crafts to art installations and new media — to promote environmental stewardship and biodiversity preservation. Spanning an area of 31,861 square feet, the exhibition covers the vertical ecology along the Dajia River, the main river in Taichung city, as it morphs from the low-lying estuary to the snow-topped mountains at 12,740 feet above sea level. Endemic species are highlighted in the exhibition, from native flora to the endangered leopard cat and the Formosan Landlocked Salmon.

decorated umbrellas with painted cats hang from a bamboo ceiling

tree installations are planted next to sculptures of animals

“With the theme of “Viewing Half-Earth through Taichung’s Ecology”, Discovery Pavilion advocates to preserve half of our planet for other species and reinterpret the ecology of Dajia River,” read the Discovery Pavilion press release. “Edward’s “Half-Earth” concept has two main points. On the one hand, we should be aware that human beings are not the only masters and inhabitants of the earth. On the other hand, we need to think about how to reserve more spaces for other inhabitants of the earth, i.e. flora and fauna in the ecosystem.”

forest installation with trees and branches on the floor illuminated by tree stumps with lights

a person walks through a light installation that resembles the Dajia River

Related: A disused railway will become a sustainable green corridor in Taiwan

The Discovery Pavilion consists of nine exhibition areas that are independently crafted with different styles that come together as a cohesive whole. To create a multi-sensory experience, the designers used a variety of materials and technologies to reproduce different landscapes, from the pyramidal glass and hand-woven rice straw roof that evokes the low-lying rural areas in Lishan to the use of imaging technology that creates the sensation of being underwater with the Formosan Landlocked Salmon and reproduce the overall biodiversity of Taiwan.

+ Cogitoimage

Images by Te-Fan Wang

a person looks at a wide screen with insects and animals in a forest

people walk across a giant screen with windmills and constellations in vibrant futuristic themes