For the 2011 Xi’an International Horticultural Exposition, the Berlin-based ‘urban open space’ firm Topotek1 created this unique installation cum landscape architectural design. The Big Dig, a large hole dug into the ground, simulates an audio connection with Germany, the USA, Argentina and Sweden.
While standing at the edge, you can hear soundtracks of life on the other side: ‘cows from the pampas of Argentina, commuters rushing among transit through New York City, the maritime life of Stockholm, and layers of history so audible among the streets of Berlin,’ says Topotek1.
Now you don’t need to build sandcastle tunnels as far as Australia to be transported to new exciting places! And Tokotek1 agree that gardens – as well as their work – should take you to new, fictional, unknown places: ‘A garden is a place that transfers someone into a ‘foreign’ space: from inside to outside, from city to nature, from one culture to another. This garden is the cusp at which two worlds are colliding, a foreign world entering China, defined by the visitor’s imagination.’ Their Big Dig project, however, doesn’t lead into a new space, and visitors must use their imagination to slide through the tunnel and out into the other side, into a new world.