Black on Black: A Sensory Experience


Architects: Topotek1
Location: Pyeongtaek, South Korea
Area: 209.00 m2
Year: 2020

The Black over Black garden, an unavoidable entrée, located in the direct vicinity of the main entrance, is a scenic overture to Dongmal Neighborhood Park. It readies visitors for the things to come and invites the contemplator to concentrate entirely on the sensory experience of passing through this cleansing environment: the cloudy mist that rises from the ground feels pleasantly cool on the skin and then disappears between the trunks of the birch trees. With the slight rustling of the leaves above and the firm dark ground underfoot, the visitor walks through this protected space and is connected with another world.

The fog, immediately perceived by the eyes, but felt even more vividly by the skin, resonates with the observer. It shifts and changes in temperature and density, and all of a sudden provides a clear view of the central, pitch-black ground. The paving stones are made of asphalt – a conventional material used in urban settings. Topotek 1 extracts this every-day material from its traditional context and transforms it into a sublime, aesthetic experience.

The notion of “nature vs culture” is marked by an inherent divide that presupposes humans as something separate from nature. But nature is within us! The garden is an experiment that attempts to overcome this age-old dichotomy via one’s physical perception. It takes up the concept of the garden as a sensual space of experience that establishes a connection with our physical, inner nature.

Visuality, form and material distinguish the garden as a protected, metaphysical space, which allows the visitors to step into an inner dialogue with their environment.