Behind the scenes
Turning urban cemeteries into botanical gardens and green public spaces
Discover the “Garden of Time” exhibition and the video made in Lumion
With the “Garden of Time” exhibition and the video made in Lumion, Brazilian visual artist Pazé proposes his idea to reconfigure old and neglected cemeteries in his hometown of São Paulo and turn them into biodiverse botanical gardens and public spaces.
The debate around public spaces and how they’re used is often a contentious one. Where do the parks and green spaces go? What should be done with these old, abandoned buildings? How can we provide open, enjoyable spaces in the face of runaway population growth in major cities and suburbs?
With “Jardins do Tempo,” which is Portuguese for “Gardens of Time,” Brazilian visual artist Pazé proposed and exhibited his design concept for turning four cemeteries in São Paulo, Brazil, into beautiful public spaces. The proposals for the four cemeteries are centered around the idea of a botanical garden with infrastructure for socializing and leisure, eating, education and athletics. In total, the project would create upwards of 1.3 million square meters (~320 acres) of space that is completely open to the public, complete with lakes and a biodiverse display of Brazilian flora.
“It consists of offering the population four different botanical gardens cultivated with Brazilian flora species in public areas used solely for burials. Repurposed, these spaces would be reinserted in urban culture so that they can be enjoyed for leisure and community gatherings, along their primary function.”
Curator of the exhibition “Gardens of Time"
Because “Gardens of Time” focuses on the cemetery, the design is inherently rooted in the concept of culture. The proposal approaches the reconfiguration of the cemetery in three ways, including burial spaces, botanical parks and social leisure areas. According to Costa, this trifecta is mirrored by the project’s three forms of expression, including plastic, landscape and pedagogical. Finally, the project considers the past, present and future, the three temporal dimensions. In all, this blending of “threes” ultimately forms what Pazé calls the foundations of civilization: action, production and memory.
Pazé, who comes from a background of agricultural engineering, worked on the project and its visual aesthetics for over eight years. The exhibition was available in several languages, and it included over 110 new works from the artist, including sketches, watercolors, architectural drawings, photographs and more. The video for the exhibition, which was about 20 minutes in length (the shortened version is featured in this blog post), featured 3D models and richly detailed animations to communicate the natural beauty and lush landscape of the proposed botanical gardens.
Through the visual materials, combined with the exhibition video, Pazé emphasized that the exhibition “invites the visitor to know the potential of a seed planted in a place where contact with the richness of life is an incentive to cultivate peace. In the garden, the cycle of life appears in all stages, favoring the remembrance of the past and the projection of the future. The garden is a place to participate in culture.”
The “Jardins do Tempo” proposal was exhibited at the Banco do Brasil São Paulo Cultural Center for two months in 2019, and during that time, it attracted over 30,000 visitors.
Making the Animations in Lumion
As part of the project, Lumion user Gilson Antunes participated in making the 3D models and Lumion animations, using 3ds Max for modeling and Lumion 9.5 for the rendering projects.
In total, Gilson helped produce four videos of about five minutes each at 25 FPS. Due to the drone video integration, as well as issues of lens aperture settings and camera speed, the animations were reformatted to the standard 23.976 FPS and the same color gamut as drone videos.
The final rendering of each sequence took about 17 hours (5-star quality, Full HD) with a GTX 1080 Ti graphics card (more specs on the project post), totaling approximately 68 hours of rendering for the 20 minutes of video used in the exhibition.
* Image credits: Pazé / CCBB Divulgação.