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Which Limbers Up Architecture

Topiary wrappers limber up and animate architecture; hard and soft surfaces merge into a performative actor.

Hotel Metropole couples hard and soft surfaces into a stately triumphal arch. Stone cornices, columns, and bases sandwich a topiary arch. The stone establishes a language and constraints on the topiary, which, in response, completes the composition. Topiary can subvert the rules to transform intended structures into new figures. Perhaps the arch grows into a bloated crescent, maybe a bedraggled mess or just a stubborn wall.

Without topiary, the stone is meaningless and out of context; without stone, the topiary has no formal justification. Successful topiary architecture requires a stable core to set ground rules and soft shrubbery to redefine them.


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