For the 2011 Xi'an International Horticultural Exposition, the Berlin-based landscape architecture office Topotek1 “dug” a hole to the other side of the world.
From the edge of this precipice, you can eavesdrop on the “soundtracks of the life on the other side: cows from the pampas of Argentinas, commuters rushing among transit through New York City, the maritime life of Stockholm, and layers of history so audible among the streets of Berlin. These soundtracks pique the imagination of the visitors, transferring them away from China, away from the garden,” away from Alice's rabbit hole, and to more exotic locales, real or fantamagical.
“As tradition,” explains Topotek1, “a garden is a place that transfers someone into a ‘foreign’ space: from inside to outside, from city to nature, from one culture to another. This garden is the cusp at which two worlds are colliding, a foreign world entering China, defined by the visitor's imagination.”
One wishes the hole was an actual entrance to another satellite garden. Take away the glass railing so visitors slide down into the portal, sliding non-stop through the dankness and darkness of the earth before finally popping out a little soiled, disoriented and swooning from claustrophobia into the blinding light again, perhaps into a more lush landscape. For to enter this Eden, one must first endure the Abyss.