The Duke, the Landscape Architect and the World’s Most Ambitious Attempt to Bring the Cosmos to Earth / Longreads
On an abandoned mining site in Scotland, an architectural theorist attempts to bring the mysteries of the cosmos to life on Earth.
For Atlas Obscura / Longreads
The New York Times: What We’re Reading, Sept 18, 2015
A Theory of More Than Everything: The musician and writer Alina Simone traveled with her cosmologist father to see firsthand how a Scottish landscape despoiled by coal mining had been transformed into a lush, green representation of the multiverse through spiraling mounds and boulder-limned grottos. At the center of this tale is an intriguing portrait of Charles Jencks, the postmodern architecture critic turned landscape architect, a man prone to lofty pronouncements as well as earthy metaphors based on camel-milk cheese. In tandem with the project’s patron, a bona fide duke, and a crew of workers equipped with diggers and dump trucks, they brought cosmological theories to life by creating the Crawick Multiverse, which loiters at the usually deserted intersection of theoretical physics, 20th-century land art, ancient Peruvian earthworks, and the British obsession with gardening.
— Nicholas Kulish