Persian Garden Pavilion
China / Naning
Pavilion / garden
Iran Ministry of Roads & Urban Development
The project is a proposal for Iran’s Garden Pavilion at the twelfth China (Nanning) International Garden Expo. The Persian Garden is a piece of Eden in the middle of nowhere, yet immediately connected to a source of water, a pond or a fountain in dessert. The Persian Garden is bounded and manifests a severe contrast to the ecological condition of its immediate surroundings. It functions as a man-made oasis. Being a walled spatial setting, makes it quite exclusive. Those that are a part of the structure of power always benefit from it directly, while the masses have access to a mediated version of it as a part of their collective memory, be it represented via Miniature paintings or narrated through literary constructs.
The project is a try to offer a contemporary reading of this cultural product and the socio-cultural and politico-economical divide that it is a representation of: The spectator enters a mirrored corridor that creates an illusion of a boundless desert. The body of the spectator becomes a spatial construct in its own right, transforming to a mediated crowd, consisting of indefinite reflections in the two parallel reflective walls of the corridor. As such, the body is a presentation of the spectator’s subjectivity while it also represents a collectivity of individuals in the mirrors. The only access to the garden is through the windows in the inner wall. The Eden is a valid yet inaccessible vision and is mediated through the openings. It is there and yet the only interaction with it is a carefully programmed gaze from the outside. As the linear garden is transformed to a grid and its axis is multiplied, from each and every opening, the same spatial configuration is viewed. It is as if beyond the wall a multiplicity of gardens exists, or, is it the same garden, viewed exactly the same way from all possible vintage points. As such, the garden acquires a sort of omnipresent sublimity.