Labyrinths and mazes embody an age-old paradox. On entering their twisting forms, you’re compelled to lose yourself inside them only to find yourself once more. The two may be inherently different - a maze is a complex, branching puzzle with choices of path and direction, while a labyrinth is a unicursal design with only a single, unambiguous route leading to its centre - yet the conclusion is always the same. And for artists and architects, their creative possibilities are infinite. From Dutch artist Krijn de Koning’s bold, colour-blocked structure (pictured) to British designer Phil Pauley's multi-level glass cube, we venture inside eight perception-bending mazes and labyrinths that eschew the hedgerow norm...
Krijn de Koning: Dutch artist Krijn de Koning’s practice centres on creating dialogues between his playful, labyrinthine walkways and their surrounds.
Krijn de Koning: Unveiled last week, his newest artwork (and first public commission in the UK) sits across two distinctly different outdoor locations in Kent - in a terrace adjacent to Turner Contemporary gallery (pictured) and within a Victorian cave on Folkestone seafront.
Krijn de Koning: A loose interpretation of a dwelling, the structure is rendered in glossy, painted wood beams and walls, interspersed with series of voids suggestive of doors and windows.
Bjarke Ingels Group: Can a maze reveal itself? Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is turning the traditional maze on its head with its concave wooden design installed inside Washington's historic National Building Museum (until 1 September). The path you should take becomes clearer the deeper you delve into the structure
Bjarke Ingels Group: Constructed from maple plywood, the panopticon structure features 18 ft tall walls that gradually descend towards its centre, revealing a 360-degree view of the maze
Bjarke Ingels Group: Visitors can also enjoy an unexpected aerial perspective from the museum’s second- and third-floor balconies
Robert Morris: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City recently unveiled the latest addition to its Donald J Hall Sculture Park: a triangular glass labyrinth by American artist and Missouri native Robert Morris that might cause a few sore heads.
Robert Morris: The artist has spent years tinkering with labyrinth forms – previous versions include marble, granite and wood – but the latest incarnation is perhaps his most elegant.
Robert Morris: Morris has adamantly rejected spectacle in his work, making the use of glass all the more fitting – the transparent, seven foot tall sculpture blends in quietly with its surroundings.
Architects of Air: Company founder Alan Parkinson first started experimenting with pneumatic sculptures in the 1980s. Since then, his luminaria – monumental walk-in structures – have travelled across the globe, popping up everywhere from Brooklyn to Berlin.
Architects of Air: Each luminarium is a bespoke design made up of around 20 vinyl elements that are inflated and zipped together on-site.
Architects of Air: Once inside, visitors navigate an otherworldly network of winding paths bathed in James Turrell-esque light and colours, punctuated by alcoves and soaring domes inspired by everything from Islamic architecture, to Gothic cathedrals, Archimedean solids and organic forms.
Architects of Air: The luminaria will continue their world tour throughout August and September - see the full schedule
Labirinto Della Masone: The Labirinto della Masone, set to open in May 2015, is a cultural park devised by renowned Italian publisher and labyrinth enthusiast Franco Maria Ricci in the small town of Fontanellato, just outside of Parma.
Labirinto Della Masone: Spanning seven hectares of land, it is made entirely from bamboo - giving the classic labyrinth a tropical spin - and will be the largest in the world when it opens.
Labirinto Della Masone: At the heart of the labyrinth lies a piazza surrounded by colonnades, while generously sized salons will be used for concerts, parties, exhibitions and other events. A pyramid-shaped chapel overlooking the piazza serves as reminder of the labyrinth as a symbol of faith.
Labirinto Della Masone: The complex will have other cultural draws, such as Ricci’s vast private art collection (around 500 works of art from the 1500s up to the 20th century), as well as a library dedicated to some of the most famous examples of typography and art, including several pieces by type designer Giambattista Bodoni and the complete works of Alberto Tallone.
Andréa Stanislav: New York-based artist Andréa Stanislav has created a loose interpretation of a labyrinth with her 'Wonderwall' artwork, installed in the courtyard of the city's Pelham Art Center until 18 September 2014
Andréa Stanislav: Fluorescent fuschia sheets are suspended from steel tubing and rope form ‘walls’ in her decidely minimalist creation. The installation is accompanied by a remixed score of English musician George Harrison’s 1968 film Wonderwall
Studio Job and NLXL: Antwerp-based Studio Job is known for using eye-popping patterns and iconography in its designs, with labyrinths being a recurring motif. Now Dutch brand NLXL has turned this pattern from its archives into a dizzying, emerald green wallpaper design, bringing the labyrinth into the home. Not for the faint-hearted
Cubed Maze³: Escher meets Euclid in this speculative creation by British designer Phil Pauley, who adds a third and fourth dimension to traditional mazes with his Cubed Maze³. Visualisation: Pauley
Cubed Maze³: The conceptual, perception-bending structure (which would be made from 100% recycled, flexible glass-based polymer if ever built) covers nine floors connected by a series of stairs and ramp, with each of the levels housing its own individual maze. Don’t be fooled however, as you may have to trek down a floor or two to reach the higher levels. Visualisation: Pauley
Cubed Maze³: Perseverance will be rewarded – at the centre of the maze is a rooftop café bar offering panoramic views. Visualisation: Pauley
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