Closely observing a space that combines architecture and design, man and nature, the duo behind Haarkon, India Hobson and Magnus Edmondson have adventured on a greenhouse tour. Travelling the world to find the most spectacular greenhouse spaces - be it botanical gardens, orangeries or pavilions - they have published their Glasshouse Greenhouse book to share a curated collection of their best finds. The pair shared insights about their adventures, love for greenhouses and their HaarkonGreenhouseTour.
Where does the name 'Haarkon' come from and what does it mean?
M: Haarkon is one of my brother's middle names. We chose it because we liked the word and wanted to have an umbrella name to fit all our adventures into that didn't really point to anything in particular but could evolve with us and whatever we put our minds to.
We were instantly drawn to your HaarkonGreenhouseTour project. How did this start and how many have you visited?
I: Our greenhouse tour began around five years ago; we travel a lot for work as we are photographers and like to make the most of any time in a new place by exploring wherever we are. There was something about our visit to Oxford Botanical Garden in 2015 and that was almost magical - we enjoyed the quiet stillness and exotic plant life. From then on, we chose to travel with greenhouses as our central destination.
M: We haven't counted up the numbers to be honest. It's not about 'ticking them off a list' for us but more about seeing how different climates, cultures and geographic locations respond to the greenhouse brief.
What fascinates you both so much about greenhouses?
I: That's hard to articulate and I think we do a much better explanation with our images! We like architecture, engineering and design and like to see how people use different methods to deal with creating such buildings. The interest for us lies in the relationships that people develop with the natural world and how they explore that.
Tell us about your favourite greenhouse?
M: The Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore is really spectacular - it's home to the world's largest indoor waterfall and is breath-taking. We also have a love for those that are much, much smaller and belong to individuals that take a great deal of time and care in looking after their collections. I guess it's the huge variety that fascinates us.
I: it's difficult to pin-point a favourite because it would be difficult to choose just one - there are so many reasons that we love different greenhouses; the scale, a particular design or the people that make them what they are.
What adventures will the two of you undertake within the rest of 2019?
I: We will be spending a few weeks in Japan again this upcoming spring/summer and that is huge for us; we went for the first time in autumn 2017 and saw so many things so we're really looking forward to going back. There's something about the Japanese aesthetic and culture that feels very 'us'.