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A Jewish Garden is a collection of plants that hold special meaning for people of Jewish faith. As a peaceful place of inwardness and contemplation, it traditionally includes shaded seating places and lush alleyways where visitors can enjoy the beauty of nature and enter the realm of cultural and personal memory. While the concept of the Jewish Garden is directly related to the sacred garden of Eden, a big gap divides this ideal from contemporary Jewish Culture.
Topotek 1’s design for a Jewish Garden in Gärten der Welt – a public recreation park in Berlin-Marzahn – juxtaposes this tension between ideal and reality. Surrounded by the green context, the garden is framed by high walls. These borders represent both shelter and limitation, protecting the visitors while quarantining them from the rich surrounding context. Formally, this garden in a box also resembles the holy Talmud.
Entering the garden through an entrance between the high walls, the plants inside show rather pale colors and create contrast with the green environment. Growing in a grit bed through randomly settled self-sowing, the garden reminds of the stony, arid landscapes in Near East.