For the 2011 Xi’an International Horticultural Exposition, the Berlin-based landscape architecture office Topotek1 “dug” a hole to the other side of the world. From its edges visitors to this garden in China can peer into a real or imagined world at the end of the tunnel. Whether these are the cows from the pampas of Argentinas, commuters rushing among transit through New York City, the maritime life of Stockholm, and layers of history so audible among the streets of Berlin. These soundtracks pique the imagination of the visitors, transferring them away from China, away from the garden,” and into a far-off place.
“As tradition,” explains Topotek1, “a garden is a place that transfers someone into a ‘foreign’ space: from inside to outside, from city to nature, from one culture to another. This garden is the cusp at which two worlds are colliding, a foreign world entering China, defined by the visitor’s imagination.”