outside in: the infinite garden by meir lobaton corona + ulli heckmann
outside in: the infinite garden by meir lobaton corona + ulli heckmann outside in: the infinite garden by meir lobaton corona + ulli heckmann
may 17, 2013

outside in: the infinite garden by meir lobaton corona + ulli heckmann

outside-in: the infinite garden by meir lobaton corona + ulli heckmannall images © fabio ferrario



the ‘outside-in’ garden by architects meir lobaton corona and ulli heckmann, is conceived as a visual paradox for the 22nd international garden festival of chaumont sur loire, france – a device that enhances conditions in order to make the audience realize how by relying only on sight, they rely on imagination. the intervention provides a sense of how vision can become a shield that precludes the possibility of having a holistic experience of life – one that involves the entire body and that extends beyond it.





the experience of the garden begins when the visitor finds himself confronted with a seemingly void space, only the sound of his footsteps walking on top of the red sand surface and a minimalist white box mysteriously levitating sixty centimeters above the ground complement his experience. the weightless, 5×8 meter semi-cubic volume – defined by a translucent white skin– takes almost one third of the extension of the garden and works as a floating canvas where a mono-chromatic world of shadows are cast, suggesting the presence of what seams to be a tiny and inaccessible chunk of forest confined within. only when gazing inside – either by crouching down and looking under it or peeking through one of the peepholes scattered on top of the white surface – the visitor is drawn into an illusory space in which trees and plants vanish into the distance. the effect is attained by incorporating four covered interior faces with two-way mirrors that createa seemingly infinite forest reflected in all directions.



inside – the infinite forest



like the scene in ‘alice in wonderland’, in which alice peers through the keyhole of a tiny door onto a beautiful garden only to realize that she is unable to enter, this inverted experience of peeking inside to actually look outside, is meant to be both engrossing and frustrating. this voyeuristic experience allows for the viewer’s presence never to interrupt the tableau: the forest remains infinite and trapped inside this solipsist hall of mirrors while the visitor is confronted with the paradox of being looking inside a box where the contained space is actually larger than its container.



inside – the infinite forest



‘outside-in’ is a garden within a garden, a contemplative space, a small universe where landscape and architecture are fused to create an experience capable of raising questions rather than answering them, a live mechanism whose aim is to make us reflect on the contrast between what we know and what we see, demanding us to constantly negotiate the gap between physical reality and visual perception.’ says corona and heckmann. ‘it is a meditation on space, light, and the possibility of infinity as seen through the limitless reflections of a trapped narrative meticulously fitted inside a world of two-way mirrors.’


interior and exterior context comparison



inside – the infinite forest during fall



inside – the infinite forest during spring




looking through a peephole



looking under



view from the path leading to the site



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

  • Solano Benitez did it before it was cool…
    And did it not only coolest, but simpler and more sensitive

    Mr. Gaschler says:
  • I love this,it’s so magical .The kind of thing you expect to happen upon as a child ,alice in wonderland,the Chronicles of Narnia etc,bringing childhood dreams into reality and bringing about again that wonderment.I see bluebells my favorite ,bad luck to bring them indoors though .

    Jolieme says:
  • “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite”

    Harry says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

art news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
501,537 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample