Seeds of Change by Gitta Gschwendtner and Maria Thereza Alves

Let visitors experience from multiple angles.

Project Specs


非常感谢Gitta Gschwendtner将项目介绍和项目图片授权gooood发行。更多请至:Gitta Gschwendtner on gooood 
Appreciation towards Gitta Gschwendtner for providing the following description:

Gitta Gschwendtner 和 Maria Thereza Alves合作完成了一个叫 ‘Seeds of Change’的漂浮花园。







Seeds of Change

‘Seeds of Change’ is a floating garden; the result of a collaboration between the designer Gitta Gschwendtner and the artist Maria Thereza Alves.

The title ‘Seeds of Change’ stems from an ongoing ballast seed garden project from Brazillian artist Maria Thereza Alves. Between 1680 and the early 1900’s ships’ ballast – earth, stones and gravel from trade boats from all over the world used to weigh down the vessel as it docked- was offloaded into the river at Bristol. This ballast contained the seeds of plants from wherever the ship had sailed.

Maria Thereza Alves discovered that these ballast seeds can lie dormant for hundreds of years, but that by excavating the river bed, it is possible to germinate and grow these seeds into flourishing plants.

Working with the University of Bristol Botanic Garden, Arnolfini and Bristol City Council and utilising a disused grain barge, Gschwendtner and Alves have created a Ballast Seed Garden on Bristol’s Floating Harbour, populated with a variety of non-native plants, creating a living history of the city’s trade and maritime past.

Gitta Gschwendtner’s design for the ballast seed garden aims to give the visitor an opportunity to experience the garden from various levels and perspectives. The raised bed structure with its sunken paths and seating areas immerses the visitor into the garden, while the elevated central area allows an overview of the entire ballast seed garden as well as its unique position on a floating barge.

The architecture of the garden works with the structural constraints of the concrete barge; the elevated section in the centre conceals and covers the raised aperture where grains were originally loaded into the barge.

Sustainability is an important aspect of the project’s objective. Both the garden’s irrigation system – pumped straight from the river – and lighting are powered by solar panels, and the construction material used is sustainable pine treated with an environmentally friendly oil stain to soften the pine’s appearance and preserve it from weathering.










Here’s some more information from the Gitta Gschwendtner:

Gitta Gschwendtner

Born in Germany in 1972, Gitta Gschwendtner moved to London in the early nineties to study design at Central Saint Martins, Kingston University and the Royal College of Art. Following graduation from the RCA furniture MA in 1998 she set up her independent design studio in London working on a diverse range of projects ranging from product, interior and exhibition design to public art installations for arts, cultural and corporate clients. Gitta’s studio focuses on conceptually rigorous, visually intriguing, functional design across several disciplines. Other clients include: British Council, Crafts Council, Design Museum, DuPont Corian, Geffrye Museum, Habitat, Innermost, Mathmos, Peugeot, Royal College of Art, Science Museum, Somerset House, Sony, Southbank Centre, Twentytwentyone, Victoria & Albert Museum and Wellcome Trust.

Maria Thereza Alves

Maria Thereza Alves has recently exhibited in the Lyon Biennale, Guangzhou Triennale, Manifesta in Trento, the Prague Biennale and the Berlin Film Festival. Other selected exhibits include: Michel Rein Galerie in Paris, RAM in Rome, Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, Fondazione Sandretto in Torino, Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol, Kunsthalle in Basel, San Francisco Art Institute, Ursula Walbröl Gallery in Düsseldorf, PAC in Milano, NBK in Berlin, Musée Portuaire in Dunkirk, Liverpool Biennale, Palais Tokio in Paris, Culturegest in Lisbon, Werkleitz Biennale, Steirischer Herbst in Graz, Boxx in Brussels, Beursschouwburg in Brussels, Central Space Gallery in London, New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, Temistocles 44 in Mexico City, Casa del Lago in Mexico City, La Estacion Gallery in Cuernavaca, Bienal de Habana, and Kenkeleba House in New York.

Location: Floating Harbour (north side) between Bristol Bridge and Castle Park Water Taxi stops Access: Visible from Castle Park. Access by appointment Photography credit: Seeds of Change: A Floating Ballast Seed Garden, 2012. Courtesy of Bristol City Council. Photo © Max McClure

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