We had a great team for the project Neeraj Bhatia (the Open Workshop), Cesar Lopez, and myself (Anesta Iwan). Although we were not amongst the winning entries, we still think we had a great concept for the garden!
In Canada, 486 invasive plant species exist, several of which were introduced during the colonization period of the 1800s for ornamental purposes — to create gardens. Ironically, it is the success of these plants in flourishing in non-native environments that now makes them a threat. Simultaneously, several of these ‘alien’ plants have resided in Canada longer than Canada’s own formation in 1867. Our proposal produces a living archive of 22 of the earliest invasive plant species to Canada that were intentionally introduced for their beauty. Organized within a tensile structure that allows each of these species to hover behind a transparent veil, these plants are separated from the ground below where they could pose a threat. As the festival continues through the summer, these plants will develop and their weight will pull them closer to the earth — the tension of the flexible portico structure aligning with the tension of the approaching species. In plan, the proposal forms a threshold — an outdoor room for relaxation, contemplation, and admiration of these species while framing the context beyond. Our garden celebrates these species by allowing people to interact with them and re-positions them as a part of Canadian culture.
If you’re curious, see more of it here.