Gardens are symbolic spaces, with connotations on many levels. Gardens can be read – and can therefore also be written. This garden addresses the pattern of relationships between the semiotic tradition of landscape architecture and perception of the visitor. The starting point for this theory was in the planning of a ‘Christian garden’ in the context of the ‘Gardens of the World’, referring to the Christian culture as a complex source of understanding regarding the garden.
In its conception a topos of a form steeped in symbols is chosen, developed from the organizing principle of the cloister. This architectural motif is may be differentiated into a wooded frame, an orthogonal system of paths and a walkway made of shiny gold coloured letters.
The walkway creates linguistic space, indifferent to interior and exterior, light and shadow. Its characters are the supporting constructional element. The text follows a thematic and chronological order and outlines the spectrum from creation to death and from the Old Testament to the present day. The walkway encloses a garden courtyard, its compartments lent structure by evergreen planting with white flowering ornamental shrubs, perennials and annuals. The intersection of the axes pathways is emphasized by a stone water feature.
Project: The Written Garden
Location: ‘Gardens of the World’, Berlin
Landscape architecture: relais Landschaftsarchitekten
Client: City State of Berlin / Grün Berlin GmbH
Co-financed by The Allianz Environment Foundation
Structural Design: schlaich bergermann and partners
Theological Advice: Dr. Thomas Brose, Jürgen Israel
Design and construction period: 2007-2011
Area: 7,000 m2
Photos: Hanns Joosten