Jan 30, 2019
163 Views

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation [23 pics]

Written by

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

 
Once a year in May, the Garden of Cosmic Speculation by Charles Jencks is open to the public. The garden is located on a private residence known as the Portrack House near the town of Dumfries in Scotland. Started in 1988 it was dedicated to Jencks’ late wife Maggie Keswick.

The garden has such a name because Jencks, Keswick, scientists, and their friends designed the garden based on natural and scientific processes. Jencks goal was to celebrate nature, but he also incorporated elements from the modern sciences into the design.

Below you will find a collection of pictures, most by photographer Paulus Maximus, who took two trips to the Garden in 2006 and 2008; along with additional information on the garden and Charles Jencks himself. Enjoy!
 

 

2.

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

 

3.

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

The snail mound allows visitors to explore and learn about the Fibonacci sequence

 

4.

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

 

5.

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

 

6.

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

DNA’s double helix

 

7.

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

Fibonacci sequence

 

8.

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

 

9.

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

 

10.

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

 

THE GARDEN OF COSMIC SPECULATION BY CHARLES JENCKS

 
Preserving paths and the beauty of the garden is still evident but Jencks enhances the garden using new tools and artificial materials. Just as Japanese Zen gardens, Persian paradise gardens, the English and French Renaissance gardens were analogies of the cosmic universe, the design of Jencks’ garden represents the cosmic and cultural evolution of the contemporary world.

The garden represents a microcosm of the universe. As one walks through the garden they are experiencing the cosmic universe in miniature. According to Jencks, gardens are like autobiographies because they reveal the happiest moments, the tragedies, and the truths about a person. As the garden developed since 1988, so too did such sciences as cosmology and this allowed a dynamic interaction between the unfolding universe, a progressing science and design.

Jencks believes that contemporary science is potentially the greatest moving force for creativity of our time because it tells us the truth about the way the universe is. Cosmic passion, the desire both to know and to relate to the universe, is one of the strongest drives in sentient creatures. The laws of nature may be omnipotent, but they can also be challenged. A garden is a perfect place to try out these speculations and celebrations because it is a bit of man-made nature, a fabricated and ideal cosmic landscape, and a critique of the way the universe is.

Jencks has become a leading figure in British landscape architecture. His landscape work is inspired by fractals, genetics, chaos theory, waves and solitons. In Edinburgh, Scotland, he designed the Landform at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in collaboration with Terry Farrell and Duncan Whatmore of Terry Farrell and Partners. These themes are expanded in his own private garden, the Garden of Cosmic Speculation, at Portrack House near Dumfries. He is also a furniture designer and sculptor, completing the DNA Sculpture in London’s Kew Gardens in 2003.

Jencks studied under the Modern architectural historians Siegfried Giedion and Reyner Banham. He first received his BA in English Literature at Harvard University in 1961, later gaining an MA in architecture from the Graduate School of Design in 1965. He took his studies even further and received his PhD in Architectural History from University College, London in 1970. [Source]  

 

11.

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

Nonsense Pavilion designed by James Stirling

 

12.

Photograph by FLEXDREAM

 

Fractal landscapes and black hole pools

 

13.

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

 

14.

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

 

15.

Photograph by FLEXDREAM

 

 

16.

Photograph by FLEXDREAM

 

 

17.

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

 

18.

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

 

19.

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

 

20.

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

 

21.

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

 

22.

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

 

23.

Photograph by PAULUS MAXIMUS

 

 

Sources

Photography of Paulus Maximus
Wikipedia Article on Charles Jencks
Charles Jencks official site
Blog post by Kuriositas

 

 

 

 

 

If you enjoyed this post, the Sifter highly recommends:

 
15 Incredible Vertical Gardens Around the World

 

 

 

Article Categories:
art · GALLERIES · TRAVEL

Leave a Reply

hit tracker