Venice Biennale - Towards Paradise

  • Gustafson Guthrie Nichol and Gustafson Porter were jointly commissioned by 2008's Out There Venice Biennale Director, Aaron Betsky, to create the architectural Biennale's first-ever landscape architecture installation.
  • Towards Paradise was sited at the end of the Arsenale, within the overgrown grounds of the former Church of the Virgins, a Benedictine nunnery that was destroyed in the late 1800s. 
  • Towards Paradise presented a contemporary allegory in the broadest sense - taking the visitor on a journey through earthly dilemmas, evoking what has been lost and what can now be gained between man and the landscape. Telling a story of past, present, and future, the garden is composed of two main spaces linked by pathways cleared through the thick overgrowth and ruins of the abandoned garden.
  •  In ‘Nourishment’ one discovers a traditional food garden -- sustenance for body and soul. Deeper through bramble is the contrast of ‘Enlightenment,’ where unearthly "clouds" lift one's eyes above a decidedly sculpted, ergonomic landform for reflection and dreams of Paradise. 
    In ‘Nourishment’ one discovers a traditional food garden -- sustenance for body and soul. Deeper through bramble is the contrast of ‘Enlightenment,’ where unearthly "clouds" lift one's eyes above a decidedly sculpted, ergonomic landform for reflection and dreams of Paradise. In ‘Nourishment’ one discovers a traditional food garden -- sustenance for body and soul. Deeper through bramble is the contrast of ‘Enlightenment,’ where unearthly "clouds" lift one's eyes above a decidedly sculpted, ergonomic landform for reflection and dreams of Paradise. In ‘Nourishment’ one discovers a traditional food garden -- sustenance for body and soul. Deeper through bramble is the contrast of ‘Enlightenment,’ where unearthly "clouds" lift one's eyes above a decidedly sculpted, ergonomic landform for reflection and dreams of Paradise.