8 Islands

Crooksemoor Building Court, University of Sheffield. 2011.
with Jie Liao, Zoe Dunsiger and students UoS.

8 Islands cloister garden used recycled turf, stone, soil, shrubs and grasses. The garden was constructed by removing turf to create circular islands, and by seeding a ‘sea’ of native wild grasses around these preserved lawns. Removed turf was also stacked to create sculpted volumes: cube, cylinder, oblelisk, and reinforced with prunings of Contoneaster horizontalis that had been cut back to allow better stair access. The environmental principle: take nothing, re-use everything was applied.

Crossing the cloister court became a game of isle-hopping and often picnic lunches took place on the islands.

Landscape architecture is a response to context and island forms may be variously inetrpreted as sanctuaries, preserves, places of defense and prospect, places of incarceration, isolation or remoteness. The game-like garden exploited the overlay and alteration of these meanings in the abstract structure of formal circular lawns.