Eden – an interactive installation commissioned by Artistic Statements, located in Belgravia’s “Secret Garden” of the Halkin Arcade, is set to offer an interactive experience for residents and visitors. Its subtitle: Breathe what you Sow!
Designed by HagenHinderdael in partnership with Grosvenor Britain & Ireland and Artistic Statements, Eden celebrates the importance of natural urban green spaces through an interactive experience. Tucked away off of Motcomb Street in Halkin Arcade, visitors are invited into a secret garden providing a connection to nature as a healing force within the industrialised urban context. With an emphasis on wellbeing, community, and sustainability Eden brings awareness to the fact that we need to restore our relationship with nature as primary support system. Understanding the importance of a healthy ecosystem on our society will consequently help us to deal with the increasing environmental damage we are currently experiencing. Eden affirms this with a fully sustainable design, completing its lifecycle through all parts of the installation being distributed and re-purposed ensuring an eco-friendly “afterlife”.
Constructed of upcycled timber planters and resting atop a circular patch of grass, visitors will enter a 3-dimensional spiral housing an eco-system of greenery that immerses them into an urban oasis. Transforming from grasses into shrubbery, the culmination of the user journey is a central planter where visitors can plant their own seeds and take some away to create a wildflower meadow at home. With integrated solar lighting and bench seating, you are invited to rest in the proximity of nature – celebrating the importance of London’s green spaces as the Lungs of the City.
Healthy natural environments are our support system, reducing the rates of physical and emotional illnesses and strengthening our body’s defence. Human preferences toward things in nature, while refined through experience and culture, are largely the product of biological evolution. A vigorous and diverse natural environment has a direct impact on our very own health, but in order to be regenerated by nature we need to reconnect and make an effort to nourish it in return.
By creating a natural micro-ecosystem, Eden emphasises the most low-tech, sustainable and possibly the most effective thing we can do to contribute to a healthy environment and life: Plant Seeds.
Zoe Allen, Art Consultant, Founder of Artistic Statements comments: “The Halkin Arcade brief required artists to design a garden or installation that promoted bio-diversity, pollination and raised awareness about the importance of sustainability. HagenHinderdael’s vision managed to achieve this and more than any of us had envisaged. It’s beautiful, it’s immersive, it’s educational. What more can an architectural designer do than to positively change the world around us? To actively effect our mood, our physiology. They have designed something that creates a sense of peace in a world of unrest. What more could we want right now”.

Amelia Bright, Executive Director, Grosvenor Group London Estate: “We are delighted to be working with Hagen Hinderdael to bring Grosvenor’s commitments to community and sustainability to life through Eden in Halkin Arcade. Halkin Arcade is already a neighbourhood hub that is used by many of our local community, and Eden takes this one step further, giving Belgravia residents and visitors a place to learn about and enjoy the benefits of urban greening and biodiversity”.

Sofia Hagen, Co-Founder of HagenHinderdael: “Eden is an interactive installation created to emphasize the fact that we need to restore our relationship with nature as our support system. Nature is a healing force, as will be indicated in the many facts throughout the installation. But if we stop caring for it we won’t receive any care in return. By creating a micro-ecosystem including an urban “forest” and meadow, visitors will be encouraged to enter Eden for a full reset, bathe in the urban forest, and take away their own bag of seeds to continue their individual urban forestry experience at home”.

Lucy Jones, Author of Losing Eden: “As every passing generation becomes a little more detached from nature, they feel less personally invested in preserving plants and animals they have never seen and cannot name. We do not fully understand the psychological cost of mass extinctions and a warming planet, or the psychic suffering inflicted in a world where access to green spaces is often a luxury”.

David H. Invgar, Neurophysiologist: “It is necessary to be outside for our brains to be stimulated from the flow of sound, light, shapes and colours that nature provides, especially between the ages of three to six, when the energy flow in the human brain is at its greatest”.

Project details

Design: HagenHinderdael
Project Location: Halkin Arcade, Belgravia, London, United Kingdom
Typology: Installation
Built: 4th September – 31st October 2020
Art Consultant / Project Director: Artistic Statements / Zoë Allen
Partner: The Grosvenor Group
Construction: OOO, Out of Order Design
Horticulturists and Plant Suppliers: CLGC, Central London Garden Company
Reclaimed Timber Suppliers: Solowood Recycling

HagenHinderdael

HagenHinderdael

Trained as architects and urban designers, Sofia Hagen and Lisa Hinderdael pursue a creative approach that explores the relationship of immersive art and biophilic design. Merging sustainable materials with traditional craftsmanship and innovative technology, they produce elements, feature installations, and placemaking schemes that push the boundaries of engineering whilst bearing the incentive of a continuous afterlife. As a creative practice, beyond their conceptual visions they are also fundamentally grounded in how to be earth-conscious designers of the future: always designing with the ethos of a circular economy in mind. HagenHinderdael aim to inspire future generations into what we can do when we think outside of the box and bring our narrative full circle.