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a reaction to the classic gardens of the past,” says Grant. “Designers everywhere are trying to find new ways of presenting space, using new geometry, repeated circles and organic forms. The orchid was my natural reference, which I then abstracted to find a new way to organise space.” The more fantastical elements of the garden are inspired by Grant’s love of Studio Ghibli films, in particular Princess Mononoke with its lush jungle scenes. The team worked with tropical botany experts to create a futuristic fusion of nature and architecture, reminiscent of the reconstructed images we often see of prehistoric earth. Millions are spent each year on building and designing artificial habitats – parks, urban wetlands, botanical gardens. It is perhaps

worth remembering that, meanwhile, millions of hectares of real habitats – primary rainforests, reefs, dune systems and natural wetlands – are being destroyed due to lack of investment, protection and political interest. Botanical gardens do encourage a “nature as themepark” mentality, but they also educate people to treasure nature’s last wildernesses, and help fund genuine preservation and conservation projects. Designs like these illustrate how the future we aspire to is beginning to look more and more like earth before the destructive impact of mankind. Text Lotte Ould

Images courtesy of Squint/Opera and Grant Associates

Architecture AnOtherMan 105

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