The International Garden Festival, Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens, Quebec, Canada recently announced the names of the designers selected by the jury for the 2011 edition of the Festival. A total of 194 proposals for conceptual gardens were submitted by over 500 architects, landscape architects, designers and artists from 33 countries.
The theme for the 2011 competition was “Secret Gardens”, a theme that guides the spirit of an edition while also promoting the exploration of a very particular aspect of contemporary garden design. The competition asked the following challenging question: “What do Secret Gardens look like today”?
The three projects chosen for the 2011 edition are:
The ALGAE Garden
Heather Ring, landscape architect, Dr. Brenda Parker, plant scientist and Synnøve Fredericks, artist, London, United Kingdom
The ALGAE Garden celebrates the beauty and the potential source of energy of the algae through a design that underlines its diversity and meaning. This garden stands between the landscape, the artistic and the scientific world, presenting algae organized by colour and species in plastic sleeve curtains hanging from wooden frames. The algae, often considered a nuisance in the garden pond, here because an object of beauty and leads the visitor to appreciate algae as an alternative to oil and other energy sources.
Fleur de Sel
By Urbanbees (Marco Asciutti, architect-landscape designer, Farzaneh Bahrami, artist-designer, Enrique Enriquez, architect-designer and Matteo Muggianu, architect-engineer), Montréal, Canada, Milan, Italy and Lausanne, Switzerland
Fleur de Sel is a garden of salt that envelops the site and allows the visitor to connect with it by touching, smelling and perhaps tasting. Through the salt, this garden reconnects the public with a common material, commonly used in winter as a part of our vehicular landscape. Like a layer of snow that hides the grass, objects, footprints and odours, this original garden conceals many secrets under our feet.
By Terragram (Vladimir Sitta, landscape architect and Anita Madura, landscape architect), Sydney, Australia
A secret garden with a secret shape to experience from underneath and on the surface. Formed by a strong geo-textile mat supported by trees and posts, this garden offers the contrast of a dark and strange inner world underneath the mat, but also the discovery of the natural light, plants and insects at eye level. Holes that perforate the mat allow adults and children to view and enjoy the surface of the garden.
Two projects were given special mention: Suspended Weeds Garden by Vazio S/A, [Carlos M Teixeira and Leonardo Rodrigues], Brazil, as well as Piezoplot by Abigail Ransmeier and Heinrich Lipp, Germany.
Earlier this year, the Festival launched an international competition to select the new temporary gardens for the 12th edition to be held from June 25 to October 2, 2011 on the site of Les Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens. The Festival encouraged participants to form multidisciplinary teams, to favor an approach that encompasses the various design disciplines.
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