Drawing inspiration from Heironymous Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights and natural vegetation, we proposed installing a vibrant and lush foliate of continuous shade meandering throughout the main courtyard. A formal ‘orchard’ in the large square court is comprised of silver reflective trees for sunbathing; there is a dripping cave for cooling off; and the garden’s fallen fruit becomes communal pools and lounging hammocks.
To fabricate the petals of the canopy, Matter used agricultural shade cloth—a recyclable, UV-fast, lightweight and economical fabric designed specifically for exterior shading that allows both wind and water to pass through. The pattern for the petals was a simple circle, gathered and pulled taut. The irregular edge and shadows created by sunlight passing through each petal produces a luxurious and ever-shifting field of pressed flowers, rendered differently throughout the day with the changing angle of the sun. To support such a large and continuous canopy without impeding the crowd below, Matter adopted a successful, though seemingly counter-intuitive, strategy of deploying many columns of small diameter.
Assuming fabrication by a non-professional crew, imprecision is adopted as a strategy, and no component of the assembly requires more than two people to lift it into place.