Landscape Architect: Meyer + Silberberg Land Architects / David Meyer and Ramsey Silberberg
Client: Westonbirt International Festival of Gardens
Location: Tetbury, Gloucestershire, UK
Scope: Conceptual Design — Construction Observation
Budget: $23,500 (USD)
Text & photos by Meyer + Silberberg
The goal of this design was to draw attention to a Champion tree in England’s National Arboretum. A large, hollowed mound was sculpted to frame the tree and distinguish it from the surrounding grove. Seen from the outside, the earthen crescent takes the symbolic form of a medallion. Inside the concave space, the form creates an enclosure where one can sit and admire England’s grandest Sycamore Maple.
It was a rare opportunity to do an installation within an arboretum. Its presence broadened and strengthened the way visitors saw their surroundings. The earthwork became a beautiful device that allowed one to pause and reflect, observe and notice what was frequently walked by without acknowledgement. For larger gatherings the tree became a structure that framed the amphitheater and its guests.
Although it was a temporary project, its impact clearly transcended the duration of the festival. The tree stood out as something special, and all who return will take notice, despite the absence of the earthwork. As one visitor exclaimed upon seeing the installation “I never noticed that tree the many times I’ve visited here.” Now she will always remember it.