The Renaissance castle of Wolfsburg is located in a vast English landscape garden. The organisation of the State Horticultural Show of Lower Saxony in 2004 provided the opportunity to restore the castle’s historical landscape complex.
The idea was to accomplish a contemporary interpretation of the English landscape garden. This meant on the one hand to follow the concept of scenography inherent to this garden typology: a landscape set in scenes which unroll one after the other while the promenader moves through the park. Starting from this idea, we shaped new scenes and staged a sequence of differing views which can be perceived from a new circular route around the castle and towards the river.
We also took up the traditional notion of optical illusion by presenting contemporary versions of landscape garden follies. These form three circular structures made of stainless steel that house the Sculpture Garden, Rose Garden, and Shadow Garden. Their curved polished surfaces reflect the environment in multiple views. As the passer-by changes position the mirrored images are constantly changing, creating illusion and disorientation.
Whereas the English tradition always strives to create the impression of a natural landscape with buildings that have always been there, we followed the opposite approach. Our own interventions remain clearly distinguishable from the historical surroundings, which is either evident in the choice of contemporary materials (e. g. stainless steel) or in colouring. Shades of dark earthen to pinkish red highlight some elements in the garden – the pink surface of the benches clearly signal that they are not historic park furniture.