Into the Hedge

Into the Hedge

Architect
SO – IL
Location
Columbus, Indiana, USA | View Map
Project Year
2019
Category
Exhibitions

Pavilions
© Hadley Fruits for Exhibit Columbus

Into the Hedge

SO – IL as Architects

As one of the J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize recipients of the second edition of Exhibit Columbus, SO – IL took on the preservation effort at the Miller House and Garden and turned it into a temporary landmark for play in the city of Columbus, Indiana.

 

The Arbor Vitae hedgerow at the Miller Garden is a modern icon of landscape and architecture. While the glass walls of Saarinen’s Miller House disappear – erasing the boundary between inside and outside – the densely planted hedgerow on the perimeter defines a hard edge to the site between the streets and the private grounds of the Miller residence. The 70 year-old Arbor Vitae trees are due to be replaced. It was an opportunity for a project to create a different and more engaging relationship with this modern icon.

 

In partnership with the Miller House and Garden, SO – IL procured 130 living Arbor Vitae trees and placed them in a large hammock structure on the lawn of the Bartholomew County Courthouse. After the exhibition the trees can be permanently planted in the garden, making a direct link between the installation’s original architectural inspiration and a contribution to the stewardship of one of Columbus, Indiana’s seven National Historic Landmarks.

 

The over-sized hammock is made by hand with nylon webbing – its color taken from the color palette Alexander Girard developed for the dining chairs at the Miller House. Through a partnership with Indianapolis’ People for Urban Progress, the net will go on to become a series of handbags and totes or even beach bags.

 

For the other components of the installation simple off-the-shelf agricultural and construction materials were used to ensure that everything could have a life afterward. The gabions, mulch, limestone and stakes that comprise the planters and central pathway will all be recycled into local infrastructure projects.

 

Committed to taking a critical approach to preservation and material use, “Into the Hedge,” temporarily re-organizes the elements of local construction and landscape as well as recognizable modern architecture into a memorable experience and a new landmark.

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