Thursday, September 18, 2008


ENVIRONMENT # 2 – The Arsenale. Towards Paradise – Gustafson Porter and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. Towards Paradise, is the first major landscape installation featured at the Venice Architecture Biennale. The garden is conceived as a contemporary allegory in the broadest sense. It takes the visitor on a journey through earthly dilemmas, evoking what has been lost and what can be gained. Situated at the end of the Arsenale, on the grounds of a former a nunnery, the visitor passes through an ivy tunnel and enters a large space; an illustration of the abundance of the plant world’s earthly and aesthetic delights. Rows of plants drooping with fresh fruits and vegetables invite the visitor to be aware of the abundance around them. Benches are placed throughout for people to sit, and absorb this sensory experience: smelling, seeing, and touching the lushness around them. The rectilinear layout is reminiscent of the vegetable and flower allotment gardens that once existed on this site. The garden seeks to be a place for conversation, where one can tell or hear a story; a very colorful, dense and richly textured space. This is a place of sustenance for the body and the soul, a place where each visitor is, invited to reflect on the abundance in his or her own life.

The Landscape design team. Maria Cornego, Shannon Nichol, Neil Porter, Mary Bowman and Jennifer Guthrie of Gustafson Porter and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol.
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