New York is a city of spectacle and awe. The Empire State Building, Times Square, Central Park, Coney Island, NYC Fashion Week, and the Brooklyn Bridge are just a few of the places and events that are genre-defining and renowned as quintessentially New York. New York is also a city of dramatic and contradictory scale shifts that are easily distorted while living and visiting the city. In New York what is small may seem big, and what is big may seem small. New York possesses this uncanny ability to continually reshape and alter a person’s perception of scale, space, and time.
The New York Plant Circus aims to capture this spirit of spectacle and wonder that its scale-bending urban environment cultivates. Three pedestrian bridges are situated at the intersection of Park Avenue and 47th, 52nd, and 56th Streets, enabling pedestrian flow between adjacent blocks and creating a tripartite of surreal elevated landscapes that blur the distinction between garden, infrastructure, and iconography. Hedges turn to the sky to perform aerial acrobatics, topiaries become cities unto themselves, and the Big Top is reimagined as a giant trellis for vines.
Within each of the blocks a series of quixotic New York landscapes unfold. The Bouquet Block captures the culture of cut flowers that is present throughout the city and can be easily found on a nearby corner. The Topiary City takes one of New York’s most exportable commodities, the skyline, and transforms it into a three-dimensional garden of hedges. The Edible Forest celebrates New York’s world-class foodie culture by creating a block for song birds to feast on fine dining down Park Avenue. The Three Vases creates a playful facsimile of one of the most ubiquitous, and achievable, gardens to which New Yorkers have access. These portable landscapes are turned into permanent places. Taken together the New York Botanical Circus creates a new landscape experience down Park Avenue that is as delightfully unexpected as it is undeniably New York.