Project Type: Garden Design
ARC 981 - Junior Independent Work Hayley Eber (EFGH)
When posed with the assignment, my first reaction was not to evaluate the site but the sculptures that would be placed on the site. I immediately started to analyze the vast sculpture collection at Princeton in the search for my missing piece (we were given Cubi XIII by David Smith and Oval with Points by Henry Moore). I wanted to choose a piece that would work together with the other two sculptures. In other words, I wanted to come up with a grouping that would accentuate each sculpture’s presence rather than detract from its individual statement. A common theme had to be chosen. A common feature shared by all three pieces had to rule their coming together—that is why I chose geometry.
The three sculptures pose geometries that—regardless of striking differences—could be related. From the rigid geometry of Cubi XIII, I was able to generate a gradient towards a more organic geometry—that of the Henry Moore. By using Naum Gabo’s Spheric Theme as the third piece of the ensemble, the transition between the former two sculptures was softened and the gradient became more evident.
To reinforce the idea of the gradient, a second reading of this notion had to be created. By obtaining tile designs that echoed the sculptures’ geometries, a new layer of gradient was put in place throughout the garden. While maintaining the contrast between rigid and organic, the site developed a transition from an area concentrated with tiles to an area dominated by greenery. These changing ratio of concrete-to grass expressed the gradual shift from rigid to organic and helped reinforce each of the sculpture’s geometries—in this case however, the most rigid of the sculptures (Cubi XIII) was surrounded by grass whereas the most organic (Oval with Points) was circumscribed by concrete. Threes were respected and given treatment as organic structures—thus their surrounding by tiles.
A further step in the project would be the manipulation of the elevation of the tiles. Simply put, the tiles would change elevation to serve as tables, benches, or sitting places that would slow down traffic and truly make this garden “the place” to hangout on campus.