Théâtre de Signes | Versailles Palace Gardens | TOPOTEK1

Théâtre de Signes | Versailles Palace Gardens | TOPOTEK1

Like a baroque garden that makes a connection between heaven and earth with mirror-like pools and broderie parterres, so Topotek 1’s design for the ‘théâtre de signes’ makes a connection from the physical to the virtual world, with the structure of new broderie bosquets. The shape of the garden as viewed from the air is part of a coded language, providing new characters for a contemporary reading.


Théâtre de Signes | Versailles Palace Gardens | TOPOTEK1
Théâtre de Signes | Versailles Palace Gardens | TOPOTEK1
The QR code that is formed from bosquets can be read with a smart-phone with a map of Versailles or an image from Google Earth. The code links the visitor directly to the website. At this website, one will find a virtual palimpsest, besides general information about events and the history of the castle garden. The invisible historical layers of the ‘théâtre de signes’ may be experienced by walking through the garden via the Internet, augmented by audio and video.

Théâtre de Signes | Versailles Palace Gardens | TOPOTEK1
The interaction between Heaven and Earth is also felt in the spatial experience of entering the ‘théâtre de signes’, where the visitor is provided with a privileged overview of the site. The height of the hedges range between 40 centimeters to a maximum of six meters, as the ground falls below, the top of the hedges maintain a constant level. Walking through the space, one dives deeper into the new garden matrix to become completely surrounded by the hedge maze with the spectacle of the firmament above. The atmosphere and sensuality of the landscape architecture is supported by a contemporary interpretation of the baroque water feature. The entrances of the new bosquets will be staged through clouds of mist, which will refresh the immediate climate of the area, reminiscent of the former théâtre d’eau once located on this site, without being a recreation of this historic feature.

Théâtre de Signes | Versailles Palace Gardens | TOPOTEK1

Théâtre de Signes | Versailles Palace Gardens | TOPOTEK1

Martin Rein-Cano, Francesca Venier, Ida Marie Wedfall, Claire Mothais, & Frans Gillberg

competition: 2011

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