Hedgespace explores the theme of boundaries as an immersive, inverted spatial maze like installation. Whilst the political debate around national boundaries seem to be the quintessential response of the Western world struggling to deal with increasing complexity, we want to shift our focus back to our immediate front yard, doorstep, and back garden. From rural, suburban to urban areas, one specific typology of boundary is so omnipresent throughout that we run the risk of overlooking it: the hedge; a domestic boundary in the midst of intimate neighbourly separation. Yet, historically at the larger, more public scale the pleasure gardens of the Renaissance elevated the hedge to a more elaborate function. When freeing it from its linear typology into an intricate maze, they challenged the notion of a binary spatial boundary. As a result, instead hedges were designed as a threshold experience, with duration, depth, ambiguity and complexity. This established a single message, that here the only boundaries are in our head.
Hedgespace revisits this form and invites visitors to navigate the familiar typology to reconsider the spatial nature of the boundary. As participants walk through however, only their upper body will be in the maze - the rest remains in the ambiguous free space visible when ‘cutting the plan’ at hip height. This allows visitors still to get immersed and lost, whilst enabling new ways of solving the maze in previously unthinkable ways. The journey and navigation around the space provides the visitor an experience of the complexity of being confronted with a boundary that represents a physical as much as an ephemeral space - the contrasting staircases they encounter allow a brief escape, to step above the hedge space, crossing the maze boundary and getting a glimpse of what lies beyond.
Hedgespace is eco-friendly. It is constructed through modular, prefabricated components. Artificially tufted hedge panels are mounted onto a lightweight substructure which hangs from a grid that is resting on a space frame from three core access-elements. Made from pre drilled hollow aluminum sections that slot into each other the grid can be assembled on site. The access elements - two stairs and one water feature - are constructed from aluminum sections and stainless steel mesh and are accessible to the visitor. The maze does not need to be invigilated, it is inclusive and is accessible for wheelchair users and children alike.