Exhibit designer, Fernando Gonzalez, executed his striking Japanese Zen garden design with thermoformed mountains made of solid surface Hi-Macs, fabricated into sweeping contours. These Hi-Macs mountains were placed admist a 'sea of gravel' - symbolising water - against a 60-year-old bonsai tree, and a backscreen made of English Yew.
Entitled, Sound of Silence, the exhibit has been awarded a Silver Gift medal at the show, and was inspired by the ancient Zen riddle known as koan - used as a meditational exercise along the road to enlightenment.
Fernando had full confidence in his selection of the material, "Hi-Macs was the only material in my mind from the beginning for this garden. I wanted to create something organic and enigmatic and Hi-Macs was perfect because of its thermoformable properties and seamless joints. It offers limitless possibilities, great functionality and a very high quality finish. This is very important from a design point of view.”
The feature was sponsored by Viking River Cruises, a RHS Chelsea Flower Show first. They helped to create a truly immersive experience at the garden by offering sound-cancelling headphones to create a serene space in which visitors could relax and let the mind wander, without the surrounding hustle and bustle.
Thermoforming specialist, Solid Surfaces Northwest, said that Hi-Macs was the only material for this project. "We selected HI-MACS® for this project due to its excellent thermoforming properties and also felt that the material would best reflect the designer’s vision of having curved panels made of a stone-like material, Hi-Macs has a higher mineral content than any similar products” explains Mark Robinson.
Hi-Macs is thermoformable to any three dimensional shape, is impervious to moisture, permanently colour-fast and exceptionally durable, especially within an outdoor context such as this.