Gondwanaland, San Franscisco Botanical Garden

The design seeks to capture the upheavals, shifts and fractures of the ancient primordial land mass called Gondwana. Whilst it is impossible to provide a full narrative, such forces imbued unimaginable destructive power. Displacement, the sinking of land mass and lava explosions, are all signs of hidden energies unleashed by movement of the land mass.

After the eruptive forces settle down, the colonization by plant life commences.
We sought to capture this moment - this fraction of time where the first signs of plant colonization emerge, before the entire surface is claimed by plant life.

The surface is highly fragmented. Fragments represent different sections of Gondwana and are separated by still or moving water.  Shifting mass forms, crevices and nooks, are “colonized” with plant life. Plants are assigned a strongly symbolic role - they represent individual sections (continents) of Gondwana.

We propose to use typical ancient plants like cycads, grass trees and others which developed early and remained seemingly frozen in time. Translating the concept into materials is quite straightforward. Strata of stone, ideally sourced from the same seam in a quarry, to maintain cohesion and continuity, are laid over each other. Splits whilst separated spatially, will show the same material origins – for example, the top strata of stone, would be confined to one section whilst the strata below continues over to another “continental fragment”.

Design Team: Terragram Pty Ltd
Location: San Francisco Botanical Garden

Year: 2009