Inspired by the Dan Kiley landscape at Eero Saarinen’s iconic Miller House and Garden, in particular the dense hedgerow of Arbor Vitae that make up the perimeter, Into the Hedge by SO – IL is an interactive installation that playfully re-interprets elements of the modernist landscape as an interactive environment.
A grid of 130 living Arbor Vitae trees planted in a large-scale hammock structure on the Bartholomew County Courthouse Lawn, creating an inviting space for gathering, and a welcoming landmark at the gateway to downtown. The light and colorful hammock structure pulls the soft planters, and moves the trees. As visitors interact with the net, the trees shake and respond. Rather than using the hedge as divider, the installation invites people in, and creates a responsive and playful environment out of the Miller House hedge.
The Arbor Vitae that make up Into the Hedge were selected in partnership with the Miller House and Garden so that after the exhibition they can be permanently replant the iconic hedgerows, creating a link between the installation’s original architectural inspiration and a contribution to the stewardship of one of Columbus’ seven National Historic Landmarks. The site, the Bartholomew County Courthouse Lawn, was designed between 1871-74 by Isaac Hodgson. Occupying the city’s original town square, the courthouse was one of the first significant architectural investments in Bartholomew County, and has remained at the center of Columbus’ civic life for nearly 200 years. Built with Indiana limestone in the Second Empire style, the courthouse was designed by Hodgson, an Irish immigrant and one of Indiana’s first licensed architects. Landscape design by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and the 1997 addition of the Bartholomew County Veterans Memorial by Maryann Thompson and Charles Rose welcomes people into downtown as they cross the Robert Stewart Bridge.
Into the Hedge Plan. Caption: (c) Spirit of Space, Courtesy of Exhibit Columbus.