Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Plexed Artistry: Parallel Pyramidal Evolution?

Science Pyramid, Denver Botanic Gardens
In Pale Fire, John Shade seeks "Some kind of link and bobolink, some kind / Or correlated pattern in the game, Plexed artistry". Plexed artistry might be a way of describing three intriguing structures I've admired in recent years that take the form of dark pyramids: the recently completed Science Pyramid in Denver is the most recent example of this genus: it stands where stood a pyramidal berm of soil clad with prairie grass in the last decade: I think it's justified the transformation, since it is not only an elegant architectural feature, but one providing valuable information and interpretation about the Gardens. Somehow, as I watched it come together I recalled some other somewhat similar structures....

Conservatory, Rio Grande Botanical Garden
It struck me immediately last August when visiting the Albuquerque's Rio Grande Biological Park that Craig Campbell's iconic conservatory. (Click on that link for another view of the pyramid) featuring tender succulents and Mediterranean plants was visually quite similar to Denver's new building: I doubt that Denver's architect even knew about this greenhouse--but there is obviously a deeper pattern in play...

Hamburg Science Pyramid
And then I remembered the blue pyramid at Hamburg's wonderful botanic garden--three navy blue pyramids in three relative young gardens--all built in the last few decades?

Pyramids haven't been this popular since Mesoamerican or Egyptian times--although I doubt whether any of the ancient pyramids were this dark in color! It would be intriguing to gather the architects of these three structures in one place and see what their inspiration was, and what their inspiration might have been. Like synchronicity, this sort of patterning points to something buried, perhaps, deep in the Human cultural psyche. Or am I being too profound?

Whatever the inspiration, the plexed artistry of pyramids and gardens seem to mesh well in all three cases.

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