Common Ruins
Château de la Mothe Chandeniers, France

There is something inherently magical about the current state of Mothe Chandeniers as a historical “ruin”. Its interior, surrounded by multiple layers of 3-feet thick stone walls, has become a garden. An interior garden. It has become an introspective space that contains a miraculous fragment of the outside world. Sociologist Richard Sennett used the term “interiority” to describe a space that isn’t detached from the exterior, but has a particular kind of relationship with the exterior. It’s a space that allows observation and the work of memory to go on. It is through such interior space we find essential accessibility to the outside world. Such inherent quality of Mothe Chandeniers shall be enhanced, multiplied, celebrated.

The Château de la Mothe Chandeniers is placed in a beautiful and symmetric garden surrounding the renaissance castle with strict and composed moats highlighting the structure of the garden design. Through times the landscape has transformed from a simple and elegant renaissance design to a less maintained farmland. Outside-In proposes to implement the structure of the symmetry from the remnants of the renaissance garden of Mothe Chandeniers to revive the ruin. The overall landscape transits from structured and dense to wild and untamed to tell the historical transformation of the site through the ages. As the vegetation has been designed to embrace the castle’s grounds, the castle becomes hidden to then be rediscovered over and over again.

Competitional material for Common Ruins in collaboration with Paul Mok