• Location:
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Client:
  • IGA / Katja Assmann
  • Status:
  • Built 2017
  • Size :
  • 16m2
  • Partners:
  • Artist: Janet Laurence; Structural Engineering: Bollinger & Grohmann; Production: Archimedes GmbH; Botanical research and planting: Cityplot
  • Images:
  • Leslie Ranzoni, Michael Geßner


‘Inside the Flower’ was an experiential medicinal garden by Australian artist Janet Laurence at the International Garden Exposition (IGA) Berlin.

LAVA was engaged to materialise her laboratory-like space of discovery, an exhibition of medicinal plants, showcasing the diversity and ambivalence of botany.

Taking Laurence’s concept and design, LAVA created the sculptural pavilion based on the geometric structure of a medicinal plant, a fabricated cellular environment inspired by plant anatomy.

A transparent mesh membrane made of natural cotton was wrapped around the outside of the pavilion structure. The stainless steel cupola had twelve ribs to support a central ring, with two industrial perspex skylights forming a lens. This inflated translucent water bubble connected with tubes and hanging vials of plant fluids. Five rings of curvy shelves housed cellular clusters to display the plants. 

Both botanical display and performative space it allowed visitors to explore the plant world from the inside. 

Sicily.. luscious green olive oil, a leisurely stroll in the afternoon. 
These are the ingredients that have inspired the design of Olio Kensington Street, a new restaurant in inner Sydney by LAVA. 
LAVA created a passeggiata, using Sicilian tiles, that flows through the restaurant and connects the kitchen, bar, dining and rooftop areas. This circulation system subdivides the space, separating serving spaces and served spaces. This is also expressed in the ceiling where a layered green ribbon reflects the floor layout.
Two pieces of ‘furniture’, free flowing joinery elements for kitchen and bar, and soft, dripping, LED-lit lines on the joinery interpret the idea of flowing oil.
The restaurant is an exciting new addition to the transformation of the Chippendale area.
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Design: Toko / Development: Damien Aistrope