In the Stone Forest, sleeps a staircase. A staircase, which only ghosts, can ascend.
This place that once was, is now reborn as a garden for all in the city.
Before the time of the Stone Forest, was the time of the staircase.
This staircase leads to the otherworld, a world, which was desired and created for pleasure.
Yet, the time of this world was limited and therefore destroyed by the Army of Angels.
The Army of Angels were not angels at all, but a society seeking to remove all pleasure from the city.
This army was searching for this staircase specifically because of its popularity with the citizens.
The staircase had become a temple or cathedral to the space in the mind of all.
This mind could not be controlled by the Army of Angels, and therefore needed to be removed as soon as possible according to their decree.
The Army of Angels removed the staircase quickly during the night under darkness on a moonless eve.
The moonless eve was an omen; one, which predicted that the removal of this artifact, only meant it would return in a new, but meaningful form.
The Army of Angels guarded the site of the staircase for one year after its destruction.
On the anniversary of its removal the army celebrated their victory over the citizens.
This victory was premature in that the citizens were preparing for a day in which to memorialize the staircase in an unpredictable way.
The citizens went to the Army of Angels, and proposed an outdoor natatorium on the site of the former staircase.
The army accepted this proposal, and construction began immediately.
The construction was short as the former staircase site was transformed into a garden of water surrounded by topiary arches.
The popularity of this outdoor natatorium quickly became a problem for the Army of Angels once again.
The problem arose from the citizens using the waters of the natatorium as a place of rebirth and soulful awakening.
The Army of Angels planned another assault on the site during a night, which was predicted to be moonless once again as a few years prior.
As the army approached and reached the site of the outdoor natatorium, it was greeted by a former foe.
Inside the topiary arches a new ivy staircase had grown.
The new ivy staircase completed the natatorium as a palace to the citizens of the city, one that could now be used year around.
The ivy staircase evoked memories, which could not lay dormant any longer.
The Army of Angels drew closer to the site and was welcomed by a citizen’s crowd protecting the site as well.
The Army of Angels requested the citizens to leave immediately, but they stood steadfast in their devotion to the spirits of the waters they loved.
A mysterious, yet remarkable moment then took place for all to witness.
Because it so happened that this night was the two-year anniversary of the destruction of the staircase, an unforeseen guest arrived to assist the citizens against the army.
As all prepared for a battle between the army and the citizens, the unforeseen guest made its appearance.
The waters of the natatorium began to rumble with the violent action of waves, and then as if a phoenix rising so did the Stone Forest rise from the depth of the waters of the natatorium.
A voice could be heard from the Stone Forest announcing that none could defeat her physical presence.
She also projected to the army of angels to leave at once, to avoid her powers.
The army convened and then retreated from the site, never to return.
The Stone Forest protected the citizens of the city then, and for centuries into the future.
As a celebration of these events, a festival is held to honor the Stone Forest.
The Vessel of the Lake is its name and it commemorates the annual return of the Stone Forest on the anniversary of its first appearance.
This festival is held to this day as the Stone Forest sleeps under the Ivy Staircase as the warder of this water.
Waters, which memorialize the removal of the former staircase by an army bent on the destruction of free will.
The citizens who bathe in its pool are reborn from the oppression of the Army of Angels.
The spirit of the once removed staircase has reappeared as a living epitaph to the soul of the city.
In the Stone Forest sleeps a staircase. A staircase, which only ghosts, can ascend.
Location: New York, NY. US
T. Joseph Surjan - design scientist & writer
S. Hjelte Fumanelli - project architect & digital modeling