The ‘Outside-In‘ garden by Paris-based architects Meir Lobaton Corona and Ulli Heckmann, is conceived as a visual paradox, as device that enhances such conditions in order to make the audience realize how by relying only on sight we rely on imagination, that is to say, on interpretation. In other words, how the sense of vision can become a shield that precludes us the possibility of having a holistic experience of life, one that involves the entire body and that extends beyond it.
The experience of the garden begins when the visitor finds himself confronted with a seemingly void space, only the sound of his footsteps walking on top of the red sand surface and a minimalist white box mysteriously levitating sixty centimeters above the ground complement his experience.
The weightless, five meters wide by eight meters long, semi-cubic volume –defined by a translucent white skin– takes almost one third of the extension of the garden and works as a floating canvas where a monochrome world of shadows is casted suggesting the presence of what seams to be a tiny and inaccessible chunk of forest confined within. Only when gazing inside –either by crouching down and looking under it or peeking through one of the peepholes scattered on top of the white surface – the visitor is drawn into an illusory space in which trees and plants vanish into the distance. An effect attained by the fact that the four interior faces of the volume are covered with two-way mirrors and thus create a seemingly infinite forest reflected in all directions.
all images © FABIO FERRARIO