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Anne-mie Devolder

The Public Garden
The Enclosure and Disclosure of the Public Garden

Design: Studio SD, Rotterdam, illustrated (colour and b/w), paperback, 174 pages, size: 24,5 x 30 cm
text in English, ISBN 90-5662-255-8, € 9.95 /

In cooperation with AIR, Rotterdam

The Public GardenThe Public Garden looks into the significance and potentials for today's cities of the enclosed garden, or hortus conclusus. To take pleasure in the small-scale everydayness of a well-kept urban garden is just as important in our perception of the city as is familiarity with the larger scale of its buildings and events. This viewpoint is taking an ever firmer hold on contemporary urban planning, resulting in more places for repose and more green space amidst the intricacies of bustling city life.

This book charts the course of Breeze of AIR, the seventh in the series of international interdisciplinary events held by Architecture International Rotterdam (AIR). The AIR Foundation invited nine renowned garden designers from Western and non-Western traditions - George Hargreaves, Georges Descombes, Atelier Quadrat, Charles Correa, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA), West 8, Gross.Max., Kamel Louafi and Piet Oudolf - to make proposals for nine sites in Rotterdam. In addition, eight international artists - Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby, Maura Biava, Teresita Fernández, Cristina Iglesias, Dennis Adams, Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset, Cildo Meireles and Zeger Reyers - were asked to realize projects inspired by the Erasmian vision of the hortus conclusus as a place for contemplation, for discovering the inner self.

The Public Garden traces the deliberations of designers, artists and scholars as to the role and meaning of public gardens. Its pages include essays that open new perspectives on how the garden should function as a public space in the contemporary city.

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