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Growing Galleries

Galleries for the display of art are always tricky to design. The planes that define each room have to be determined, as well as the flow from one area to the next, and which pieces and how many are displayed in each space. The proposition becomes even trickier when considering the creation of outdoor gallery spaces, since in many cases the rooms are defined not by solid, unchanging, man-made structures, but by walls of plants that live and grow and occasionally die.

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A lot of gardens that have a lot of sculpture – they can be great things, but if there are too many of them it can look like a junkyard.

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Designing for Distinction

Using walls consisting of various evergreen specimens, Gale created distinct rooms that isolate each sculpture and allow only tantalizing glimpse of the art in the neighboring space. Gale crews also constructed the foundations for each pieces and supervised their installations, with the heavier artworks lowered by crane. The sculptures, such as Richard Long’s riverine, ground-hugging slate creation that meanders down a hillside, were carefully chosen to fit in with the natural landscape of woodland and meadow that still covers most of the property.

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Designing Classic Features

Several gardens surround the renovated 1880 house, including a rill garden that runs down into the woods, with paths leading to a fountain and a bench at the bottom. The swimming pool and surrounding area were also renovated. The pool area, provided with its own surrounding screen of shrubs and evergreen hedges, now features matching terraces on either end adorned with identical sets of furniture arranged in identical positions. Visitors can easily be fooled into thinking this is simply a reflecting pool, another sculptural element in a garden where the focus in always on the art.

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