When Science and Nature Meet

by Veronica on April 20, 2010

Last week I was in downtown Toronto wandering through the concrete jungle looking for signs of life, non-human that is, in the form of plants. What a pleasant surprise to find what looked like a leafy glade right smack dab in the middle of the enormous “foyer” of  Brookfield Place. Admittedly, I’ve seen far more lush, pretty indoor gardens, but the plants in this little garden are just window dressing.

A Lush Oasis in an Unlikely Place

This garden is a piece of art…an interactive sculpture  called  VOTA: Meniscus.

Movement Caused by Sound

Can you see the wires vibrate?

The wires vibrate when sounds are emitted. It could be a group of people talking as they walk by. Or, in this case the wires vibrate at different speeds depending on the pitch of the music playing in the background.

Horsetails and Water Hyacinth

If you take a look close up, the little pond looks more natural. The horsetails and the water hyacinths were a nice touch, though I can’t say I have ever seen them growing together in the wild.

The entire installation is composed largely of recycled materials that will find a second life following the exhibition at Brookfield Place.

The artists are Brad Hindson a Toronto-based architect who has contributed to numerous recognizable buildings and public installations in Toronto and abroad and Mitchell F Chan is an interactive media artist.

A Little Bit of the North Country

Just outside Brookfield Place, between two buildings, is a surprising little bit of greenery that is more natural. When you climb the concrete steps you are in a little area with a shallow pond that is surrounded by large boulders and spruce trees.

The Water Hyacinths Overwintered

Look closely and you’ll see water hyacinth…they overwintered! That isn’t supposed to happen in Toronto. But, it goes to show you just how much heat is generated in a city made up of so much concrete.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

heather @ whats blooming this week April 20, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Hi Veronica – where exactly is this? I’m downtown all the time and haven’t seen it. Amazing that the water hyacinths made it through the winter.

Veronica April 21, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Hi Heather,
The building used to be called BCE Place. It’s at Wellington and Bay. The little indoor garden is in the glassed area known as the Allen Lambert Galleria. Just outside the building from the Galleria you can see this small treed area with the pond. I met my husband down there last week (he works in the building) and he assured me that the water hyacinth were in there since last summer. He visits the spot everyday because he is a birder and was keeping an eye on the bird life that stop by,

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