Recycled "Garden" Inspired by Alice in Wonderland

cjlim main view photo

Called "Seasons Through the Looking Glass", this installation is located in a tunnel that forms the basement entrance to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Created by Malaysian architect C J Lim, it is inspired by Alice in Wonderland.

As Alice said "A large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the garden; the roses growing on it were white, but there were three gardeners at it, busily painting them red. Suddenly their eyes chanced to fall upon Alice, as she stood watching them. "Would you tell me, please," said Alice, a little timidly, "why you are painting those roses?"- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865)

front view by

This underground garden is made out of honeycomb cardboard, and rolled up pieces of recycled clothing. These "roses" are changed and moved around every few months to reflect the changing seasons. When Dezeen photographed it in April, the roses were all white. In January they were red, with white on the outside, interspersed with white ones.

CJ Lim is an architect and professor. The practice's designs focus on environmental sustainability programmes and interpretations of culture. They represented the UK at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2004.

Although they have been a practice for nearly ten years, their work is mainly theoretical. As he says "We haven't built a lot. Our ambition is to build. We want to look at architectural possibilities - how you can challenge programmes that have existed since the Dark Ages especially in the UK, where competition briefs tend to be very conservative." Victoria & Albert Museum

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