A long green hedge forms the main structure. The hedge is a literal translation of the word ‘garden’; with Germanic origins it means ‘enclosed space’. The hedge defines nine spaces, each concealing a different type of garden. Step through an opening in the hedge and discover a new world. Every space gives you a new idea of what a garden can be.
The Newt in Somerset, Castle Cary (UK)
Gardens have been part of all cultures over time and each garden tells its own story. In a brand new museum on an estate in Somerset we have made visible everything we have learned about gardens over the centuries. The result: an exhibition full of stories about power and ideals, faith and love, ecology, and nature. We developed the overarching concept and designed the entire exhibition down to the smallest details, from the VR-show to the children’s treasure hunt. We were also responsible for content development and construction. In short, everything involved in designing and realizing an exhibition.
A tour through the hedge is like a journey through the history of the garden. From a walled garden in Pompeii you pass through an Islamic Oasis, and from a majestic Renaissance garden into a Chinese rock garden, to finally end up in a contemporary garden. Each garden has a different character, a different function and defining characteristics. You don’t just see it, you feel it, you smell it, and you hear it. Every new garden appeals to all your senses in a new way.
Gardens are foremost places to wander through and experience. That is why we have separated ‘knowing’ and ‘experiencing’ in this exhibition. There are no explanatory texts. You can get in-depth information through a special audio tour. Each garden is accompanied by its own soundscape featuring, for example, a background of chirping birds and buzzing insects which enhances the imagination.
‘The Story of Gardening’ is an ode to everything that makes a garden such a wonderful place.
Robert van der Linde
Lead designer – KDJ
Screens integrated into the outer wall of the hedge show short animations about key figures from gardening history. VR glasses allow you to explore famous gardens such as the Monet Garden in Giverny or the Tivoli Gardens near Rome. Beside the hedge you’ll find interactive exhibits that teach you about different topics such as the workings of photosynthesis, the role of the seasons, and the need for healthy soil. On the long back wall you’ll find a fantastic collection of garden tools collected over the centuries. The Story of Gardening is an ode to everything that makes a garden such a wonderful place.
SBID International Design Award 2020