By drawing parallels with Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and inspiration from the film and theatre sets based on this story, the garden focuses on scientific actions with unpredictable consequences. In the past, everything was ordered, meticulous and organised in this garden which has now been taken over by disorder and chaos. It is a place reminiscent of the "understanding of the senses". Touch, smell and hearing all feature through alliances with different materials, but sight is evidently the sense that visitors strolling through the garden will use most.
Inside the laboratory, nature begins to gain the upper hand: hybrid plants, unusual combinations, withered plants and mosses blur the sharp outline of what was once a laboratory. The plugs have been pulled out, the test tubes discarded and the liquids absorbed by the vegetation and cloaked in nature itself. Nature is transformed and new species even emerge, of paradoxical beauty born out of the chaos.
Anca PANAIT and Greg MEIKLE, landscape-architects
Anca Panait started her journey as a landscape architect in Bucharest, Romania where she earned her bachelor degree in landscape design and planning. She grew up with a passion for drawing and capturing the beauty of the natural environment in her representations. She did her masters in landscape architecture at The University of Edinburgh in Scotland where a focus on creative thinking and alternative design methods helped her develop skills as an artist and improve her graphic representations to assist communication. Her training covers a wide range of disciplines which also includes architectural design and urban planning. She started working for AHR in 2014, shortly after graduating, and has been involved in several education, residential and public realm projects. Anca puts great emphasis on approaching each project with equal importance and attention whether it is at a master plan scale or a small garden design. Prior to joining AHR, Anca was involved in several international competitions and workshops with multi-disciplinary teams which helped her gain experience in spatial design and master planning. Being part of the Chaumont-sur-Loire Festival has always been one of her dreams because it offers a unique opportunity for experimentation and encourages the emergence of bold theatrical designs. Her main interest lies in process led design and using video as an analytical/design tool.
Greg Meikle originates from the rural environment of central Scotland growing up in close contact with nature within a local community involved in working the land. Inspired by the diversity and richness of the rural landscape as part of his childhood, he developed an interest for gardening and architectural design from a young age being very much aware of the ways in which knowledge is passed from one generation to the next. He began working at AHR in 2010 after graduating from The University of Edinburgh in 2012 with a degree in landscape architecture. Further education developed his knowledge of contemporary landscapes and an eye for detail whilst reinforcing underlying theories and concepts in the early stages of projects. He believes that this contributes to the creation of successful external environments which are robust and sustainable as they mature and develop over time. AHR allowed Greg to take his small scale private garden construction and design expertise and apply it to larger scaled public realm, education, commercial and environmental improvement projects all over the world, including Dubai, Kazakhstan, St. Petersburg and the UK. The prospect of organising and physically building a garden at Chaumont-sur-Loire is one he is relishing. His most recent work completed in south-west Scotland featured extensively in the international design press.