MoMA's Fake Garden, designed by Ken Smith

moma garden.jpg
No irrigation. No live plants. No maintenance. No heavy planters. 185 plastic rocks. 560 artificial boxwoods. 300 pounds of clear crushed glass. 4 tons of recycled rubber mulch. This is the "garden" on the rooftop of the new Modern Museum of Art in New York. Ken Smith is a fantastic landscape architect. But everybody makes mistakes.

See, the roof below this "garden" is over the museum's new sixth floor gallery space; they wanted a garden, but they didn't want any leaks. So they hired Smith to commit the crime of the century.

The space is inaccessible to the public, including museum-goers, and can only be seen by the residents and office dwellers who spend their days and nights in the nearby glass boxes above it. They by the way, rejected Smith's first plan, which was to design fields of purple, red, green, and brown plastic daisies implanted into a grid of PVC pipes. (They also revolted against the expansion of the MoMA in the first place, but that's a different story.)

Why oh why would MoMA design such a disaster, just when we thought real green roofs were all the rage? We don't know really. We do know that that those artificial boxwoods only have a life of seven years, however, leaving the garden wide open for removal (where will all that crap go?) or new fake trees. Yay. Not.

On the other hand, we can tell you what happened to all those daisies. Smith "planted" 400 of them in an avant-garde festival installation just south of Sonoma, Calif., presumably with PVC piping in tow. Yeah, we heard it's called "In Advance of a Totally Fucked Landfill." Thanks to Remy C. Via ::NY Post Via ::Wired New York (New York Times) [by MO]