From lunches and carols to markets and meeting Santa
EARTHBOX is a first-of-its-kind immersive experience
Experience an immersive sensory journey into the depths of the earth
Last updated: Tuesday, 24 October 2023
Travel back through time on a trip below the surface to touch raw earth walls and layers of ancient soil dating back 560 million years. EARTHBOX is a geological and engineering marvel; a quiet place for reflection; a no-tech zone that will host guided meditations, yoga and one-of-a-kind experiences with well-known chefs, musicians and artists.
You’ve got just six months to see it, from 1 November until May 2024 at Lourensford Wine Estate. After which it will be closed and never reopened.
After 1 May 2024, the chamber will be closed and never reopened. Image: EARTHBOX/Gary van Wyk
WONDER AT AN ENGINEERING FEAT
It’s easy to understand how the space, a 8x24m chamber 5m underground, provokes a sense of spiritual peace and reflection. It’s deep in the 560 million-year-old earth where there are traces of what came before, like ancient rivers and hidden valleys.
The raw earth walls and floors, and its textures and scents, create the experience of a silent, calm world separate from our own. A world where you can see what has existed millions of years before us, and what is likely to remain millions of years after us.
EARTHBOX is not just a spiritual marvel; it’s a geological and engineering wonder too.
Planning began in 2021 and included numerous engineers, geologists, environmentalists and artists. Notable names include engineer Henry Fagan, whose projects (like the Boomslang Walkway at Kirstenbosch) integrate their natural surroundings.
EARTHBOX is the first of its kind in the world and an impressive engineering feat. Image: EARTHBOX
MEDITATION, DINING, SOUND EXPERIENCES & MORE
The space will offer an array of special events in collaboration with local creatives. There are guided meditation and geology audio tours, as well as a growing line up of daily yoga and pilates experiences. Every last Sunday of the month will be a music series, where local artists perform in the space. Also in the mix are select dining experiences by well-known chefs.
Keep a close eye on the EARTHBOX website for further event details.
TRAVEL TO 560-MILLION-YEAR EARTH
EARTHBOX has been conceptualised by The Dream Commission, an international experiential studio that wants to reawaken our sense of childlike wonder. “Reality is tough enough, so finding joy in the small things, with a sprinkle of playfulness, is a great antidote to the grind,” says Founding Partner and Director Marina Busse.
With EARTHBOX they want to create a space where you can leave the noise and stress of everyday life behind. “We live in a world where we are so distracted from what really matters. EARTHBOX is a space that invites us to reconnect with ourselves (through a physical, visceral and sensory bodily response), with others, and to contemplate where we’ve come from.”
Be in awe of earth that is over 500 million years old. Image: EARTHBOX/Gary van Wyk
HOW DOES THE EXPERIENCE WORK?
EARTHBOX is situated on Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West. Once you arrive in the Lourensford parking lot, follow the signs. A shuttle will leave from the stop in the parking area and take you to the EARTHBOX site. The time that you book for is your shuttle departure time.
When you arrive at the site, there’s a small pavilion with a shop offering a selection of carefully-curated and locally-sourced merchandise. Admire the undulating landscape (designed with the excavated earth) before you enter the chamber through a curved entrance in the ground.
It’s not a claustrophobic experience and drainage and water mitigation keeps the box dry. You’ll be asked to turn off your cellphone, to truly reap the peaceful and spiritual benefits of the space.
Once inside, you can linger, explore, admire and reflect in the space. Meditation, geological and human history audio tours are an extra R50 and any events need to be booked separately. There are no on-site sales; you will need to book via Webtickets.
IT’S FOR FAMILIES, TOO
Due to the quiet nature of the space, only children older than 5 are allowed into EARTHBOX (the chamber is dim or dark at times and might not be suitable for children who are scared of the dark).
If only some of the family are interested, then Lourensford Estate offers activities like Artjamming (which includes child minding), clay pigeon shooting, Padel, wine tasting and a restaurant.
See this one-of-a-kind feat before it’s too late.
EARTHBOX is situated on Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West. Image: EARTHBOX
EARTHBOX is available: 1 November 2023 - 1 May 2024
EARTHBOX is open: Daily, first entry 9am, last entry 4.20pm
Find it: Lourensford Wine Estate, Somerset West
Book: Via Webtickets only (no on-site sales)
Cost: From R170 for adults; from R100 for children under 12
Contact on: email@example.com
By Julia Rowley
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