We were commissioned by the Class of 1954 to create a garden for the present and future students of McMaster University. The garden was intended to express the spirit of the Class of 1954.
At the Oasis Garden, nature and timelessness are represented by rock, the pink granite of the Belmont Rose Quarry of Havelock, Ontario. Surrounded by the grey limestone of the surrounding heritage campus buildings, the garden is truly an oasis of colour in all seasons.
Fifty hand-hewn granite rocks reflect the 50 years. The rocks are ordered within a grid of coloured concrete paving stones. The grid alludes to science and mathematics, and the relationship between man and nature.
Among the fifty seat rocks are cap rock with tops smoothed by millions of years of weathering. Others bear the traces of the drill marks which occur as a result of the quarrying process. The pavers contain fine pinkish aggregate which is derived from crushing Belmont Rose granite as part of the paving stone manufacturing process.
The paving pattern was inspired by contemporary artists of the 1950’s.
In 1954 the University was comprised of a handful of buildings and three faculties: Arts, Science and Divinity. Situated in the planting beds which surround the grid, three irregularly shaped upright rocks bear the names of the faculties of Arts, Science and Divinity.