chaumont-sur-loire project explanation

Chaumont-sur-Loire is an annual garden festival in France.

Each year's festival has its own particular theme.

The theme for the 2004 festival was order, chaos and confusion in the garden. At the beginning of the final year of study, we kicked off with this project as a one week sketch design. This was done in order to get "the old grey matter" working again after all students had worked the previous year in various placement jobs.

The garden festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire is known for the the particular layout of the individual plots. All of them are bell-shaped in form (see image above), which makes layout within a challenge for the designer. There is only one access point to each garden. The shape of each plot makes circulation a key element of each design: the designer want all visitors to see the whole design.

In my proposal, I endeavour to highlight that what is order for us humans, may not be order for mother nature. In contrast, what is order for nature, may appear as chaos for us!

Consequently, this plot was divided into two contrasting halves. One was to use local garden topsoil, be fertilized, and then left to develop unattended; growing into chaos. The other half consisted of a highly manicured lawn, perceived by us humans as perfect order. This perceived order is very confusing for the plants growing there, programmed by nature to develop in an entirely different way.

You may take a look at the homepage for the garden festival by clicking here.


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