24.07.15 IGA Berlin 2017

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Photo by Dominik Butzmann

In Berlin Tom presented his design for IGA 2017, an international garden festival which will open to the public in Spring 2017. The garden will be created from an empty wasteland space next to Kienberg Park where war debris and construction rubble used to be dumped from the centre of the city.

Tom's garden design is inspired by the notion of renewal and Giambattista Vico's writing on the development of society as if it were an organism growing out of the forest wilderness.

This was the order of human things: first the forests, after that the huts, thence the villages, next the cities and finally the academies.

– Giambattista Vico, The New Science 1725
Tom Stuart-Smith Ltd

The four stages that Vico describes will become apparent as the garden grows from chaos into structured order;

  1. The garden begins with seeding a wild exotic meadow which will be left to establish for one year.

  2. In the Spring of 2016, a few trees of the Stag’s Horn Sumach (Rhus typhina) will be planted amidst the wild meadow.

  3. Afterwards, a network of paths will be cut into the meadow.

  4. Later on, a section will be cleared to create a place for people in the garden. A concrete wall symbolises the hut/house that contains a long low rectangular concrete bed and a shallow iron fire bowl. The ground is paved with fine gravel except for the area around the built part that will have stone setts on the floor.

Tom Stuart-Smith Ltd
Tom Stuart-Smith Ltd
Tom Stuart-Smith Ltd
Dominik Butzmann

Tom starts the seeding process using a combination of sawdust, sand and seed mix. The seed mix was created by James Hitchmough.

Dominik Butzmann

Explaining to the IGA team the process of seeding an exotic wildflower meadow.

Dominik Butzmann
Tom Stuart-Smith Ltd

All of the space has been seeded and is covered with jute mesh to protect the seedlings as they germinate and grow.

Now we simply have to wait until this once empty wasteland begins to develop into wilderness before we can start the next stage of working it into civilised order.

Keep checking the blog for further updates on the gardens progress.