Not all architecture is above ground. Architecture can happen under the dirt and pavement, or even throughout its pliable surface. This week, we’re looking at recent work by architects who manipulate the ground to achieve different effects. Monday, we saw Dutch bunkers sinking in verdant quicksand and Tuesday we looked at a Danish quilt in Nørrebro. Wednesday, we headed to Germany to see a museum extension tucked under a lawn. Today, we’re looking at what could be the most simple manipulation of the ground, gardening. But because the garden is designed by architectural theorist Charles Jencks, the resulting garden is not so simple. It’s the Garden of Cosmic Speculation.
The garden is quite large, covering some thirty acres outside Jencks’ home near the border of Scotland and England. The video above is about 20 minutes, has some pretty amazing title graphics (and background music) but for the most part is Charles talking about how his designs for the garden reflect his understanding of science and the cosmos. He discusses how the garden started as a swimming pond and the significance of various features in the garden. Some things surprised me. Did everyone know that Charles’ late wife Maggie is the Maggie’s Centre Maggie? He also talks about spaghettification and DNA mutations; at one point he even says that “the universe may be a black hole.” Saddest of all, the garden is only open to the public for five hours each year.