Berlinische Galerie

Gartenparade. Gardens for the Berlinische Galerie – atelier le balto

23 May 2014 - 31 Dec 2017

Entwurfszeichnung Gartenparade, 2013, © atelier le balto
Japanese gardens often echo themes from the surrounding landscape, hence the term “borrowed scenery”. In creating their gardens for the Berlinische Galerie, landscape architects atelier le balto draw on a familiar urban theme in Berlin: the building site.

The Garden Parade is an homage to this city, which is constantly being transformed. Wasteland today, garden tomorrow; ruins yesterday, homes today! And the Garden Parade sprouted outside the Berlinische Galerie just as swiftly in autumn 2013.

The Garden Parade is a tribute to those solid wooden planks so common on Berlin’s building sites. In France this plank is actually known as a “berlinoise”, because the subsoil in Berlin is so sandy that when the foundation pit is dug, a timber frame is carved into the ground to stop it caving in.

But the typical building site engraved on the mind of every Berliner is alienated here in the Garden Parade. The materials are of better quality; burnished wood and stainless steel pose a subtle contrast to the familiar image.

A tree of heaven or birch springs up overnight on a street corner, under a wall, along a fence: these pioneer plants are the first to colonise vacant land. This is the kind of growth being enacted on the Garden Parade – except that, as with the choice of materials, there is alienation at work here too. Well-known pioneers are combined with plants not usually found in these parts, such as the Japanese angelica tree.

Opening on 23 May 2014