The goal of this project was to add nearly fifty percent to the existing sculpture garden designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes in 1988 while creating a design that would complement, through contrast, the formality of the original garden. The expansion design is flexible, providing a range of sites for performance or site-specific installations, and for an evolving collection of sculpture. MVVA worked with a variety of sculptors -- Martin Puryear, Judith Shea, Mark Di Suvero, Brower Hatcher, and others -- to locate the work. The design is informal, composed of a simple arc path with a spruce hedgerow extended from the earlier design. The asymmetry functions in counterpoint to the axial symmetry of the original sculpture garden.
High-branched lindens create a transparent edge between the old and new gardens aligned between the highly regular organization of the earlier garden and the stand of native trees that form a grove in our expansion. A 300-foot long stainless steel vine arbor, designed in conjunction with Thompson and Rose Architects, and adjacent perennial borders provide a terminus at the northern end of the newly expanded sculpture garden. A 50- by 100-foot sculpture plaza with a 13-foot brick wall provides a place for performances, with acoustical separation from the adjacent highway. The high branching structure of the trees at maturity is intended to create a continuous yet veiled environment, structured yet porous. As the trees mature, the reading of the sculpture in this landscape will be tempered by the range of scales of the space and by the phenomena of the changing seasons of the year.
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden