The project's design and symbolism must acknowledge Québec City's seemingly incompatible intentions to celebrate "nature" and "culture," the history of Quebec's First Nations peoples and its first French settlers, as well as contemporary United States/Quebec relations. The landscape must have a strong sensual presence during both the day and night, and rely upon prefabricated elements.
The legend of Aataensic's fall through the sky and the 400th anniversary of Québec City exist in tandem as they celebrate the origins of when nature and a new culture came "to be." The honey bee, also introduced to the new world four hundred years ago, is nature's most industrious society; it was a symbol of France from the Merovingians to Napoléon, and the stability and industry honey bees represent characterize Canada's first French emigrants to a land of "milk and honey," and the current economic and social relations with the United States.
Our garden is a multi-sensory world turned upside-down: suspended, brightly-colored tubes swaying in the breezes deliver sweetened water to nourish our garden's buzzing caretakers, who endlessly commute from their hives within glass "trunks" to the abundant flow(er) tubes above. At dusk, their workday buzz lulls into a hum; this daily cycle is synchronized with a glow emitted from within each hive's translucent casing and is celebrated as well by a softly–playing, digitally-orchestrated concerto composed from the sounds of both bees and visitors.
The care requirements for our honey bees have been developed with an Agriculture Canada bee-keeping scientist. Please note as well that an architectural insect screen is provided solely to ensure the psychological comfort of our guests: honey bees never stray from the shortest course made available to them between their hive and nourishment.
Paul duBellet Kariouk (Principal)
Chris Davis (Senior Design Associate)
Susan Gardiner (Design Associate)