Grand Metis, Canada
Neeraj Bhatia, Hayfa Al-Gwaiz, Jared Clifton, Shawn Komlos, Cesar Lopez, Shirin Monshipouri
Exploration and discovery are not only key ingredients of playing, they are also the central characteristics of the botanical garden. The Garden of New Worlds celebrates five of the earliest Canadian explorers and botanists that gathered plant species from the New World to be displayed in the Old World. These plants were curated through the curiosities of the explorers and became symbols of Canada. Each of the five explorations represented through the plantings, are organized into five garden rooms. These rooms enact the geometric purity of the French formal botanical garden, but are organized in a non-hierarchical structure. These rooms are distributed as destinations within a maze structure that reinvents each user as an explorer. The multiplicity of paths and routes as well as the expansion and contraction of views is inspired from the English romantic botanical garden. As a hybridization of these two botanical garden types, the sculptural maze employs curiosity and play as the catalyst for rediscovering history.