The International Garden Festival announces the designers for its 17th edition

The International Garden Festival is pleased to announce the names of the designers selected by the jury for the 17th edition presented at Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens, from June 23 to October 2, 2016. Visitors will be invited to explore the 27 contemporary gardens, and enter the interactive spaces created by more than 85 landscape architects, architects and designers.

The five new gardens of the 2016 edition of the Festival, selected from 203 projects submitted from 31 countries, are:

Le caveau by Christian Poules, architect and landscape architect, Basel, Switzerland

The growing plane is shrouded in the intimacy of Le caveau (the cave) – a four-sided room of stacked gabions full of stones. Stone that allows light to filter through its gaps and washes the room with its shadows. It is a room of reflection. It is a room for dreamers. Just as the plane levitates before us, we are held in the balance of the stone and life itself. The personification of our own imaginations suspended in time. The primitive plane symbolizes a beginning – the seed and the soil, the tilted horizon between earth and sky.

The beauty of the garden is found in the simplicity and contradiction of material, light, time and space. It is a shelter for meditation and a canvas for nature. In Le caveau, vastness is held behind its ramparts.

Christian Poules is both an architect and landscape architect who constructs poetic places in the balance of the two terms. Practicing outside of fad or style, he is concerned only with the development of the common ground between human sensory experience and natural phenomena. Nature, alone, is his muse and in her realm his work manifests care and understanding of the ephemeral and temporal qualities of space.

Carbone by Coache Lacaille Paysagistes [Maxime Coache, landscape architect, Victor Lacaille, landscape designer, Luc Dallanora, landscape architect], Nantes, France

The garden is an artifice and leaves many traces. The Earth is a garden. Farming, industry, the internet all leave their mark. Since the dawn of time, nature is altered. The gardener is the one with the restorative power. A gesture of kindness.

This installation evokes the cycle of production as a parallel to the carbon cycle. The garden landscaped or the landscape gardened. Regenerating the forest and sowing where we have harvested brings nature back to life. Transmit the love of landscape to those who will outlive us.

A noble and familiar material, wood is our crib, our bed, our coffin. Cut a tree, remove it from the forest, in itself a vast garden, is the fruit of our labour. It is the result of the work of those who came before us, who planted a seed and provide us today with the wood that gives us rest.

A sculpted tree trunk, partially cut into pieces helps to illustrate the primary material used to build furniture. A stump and its roots, a tree trunk cut into parts and five modules made of timber, some lightly burned on the surface. A young tree grows where the tree might have grown tall had the tree not fallen,

Coache Lacaille Paysagistes was created in 2013 by Maxime Coache and Victor Lacaille. Luc Dallanora joined this duo in 2015. They are all graduates of the École nationale supérieure de la nature et du paysage de Blois in France. The primary interest of this trio of landscape architects is the landscape. If their knowledge requires creativity, they are also artists. Their role is somewhere between the gardener, the designer, the architect and the urban planner. Each new project is inspired by the context and by those for whom the project is intended to be used; it is also the pretext for new experiments.

Cyclops by Craig Chapple, architect, Phoenix, Arizona, United States

Cyclops is a singular object on the landscape as well as a singular frame of the landscape. Made up of 258 8-meter long timber and 1 x 6 boards, they are held in a concentric ring by 2 steel rings suspended from the surrounding trees by stainless steel cables.

Cyclops is held in a tenuous balance with the environment that provides for it. The central 1.5 m opening at the bottom of the cone is a highly-charged occupiable space for the viewer to both view the canopy in a new way but also truly feel the focus of the suspended weight as the physical latent force in the trees themselves. The viewer finds himself playing the central role of the work in rediscovering their relationship to the energy in their environment.

Formally trained as an architect at Yale University but with a deep commitment to creating art, Craig Chapple has pursued both architecture and the visual arts simultaneously throughout his career. Craig’s work is born from the synergy of these two disciplines, producing work that focuses on the overlap of line, pattern, texture, and process. He works in analog and digital practices in drawing, painting, and sculpture.

La maison de Jacques by Romy Brosseau, Rosemarie Faille-Faubert, Émilie Gagné-Loranger, intern architects, Quebec City (Québec) Canada

La maison de Jacques (or Jack’s House from the children’s fable Jack and the Beanstalk) is different from the one we know. You might think you have just stepped out of a children’s story. The house is a green grove that is enveloped in bloom. You enter by walking on stepping stones that traverse a ground-cover made of small. Once inside, you wander between the rows of beans of tightly winding their way up a light wooden structure. The walls divide the space into a series of small hidden gardens, singular in their proportions. These cocoons are ideal hiding places for a game of hide-and-seek. One remains a secret, inaccessible…

La maison de Jacques is magical. It will be built over several weeks, starting with the seedlings in May that will grow to be more than 3 metres in height in a short time. Their clumps of red flowers will be in bloom by the end of July and then the beans will form to bring a taste of goodness to everyone.

Graduates in the master’s program in architecture at the Université Laval in Quebec City, the designers are working together for the first time on this project to bring their personal interests to life. Émilie Gagné-Loranger seeks to reveal some new poetry from her research on interior spaces. Her projects explore the limits, feelings and aspects of intimate spaces. Romy Brosseau is interested in the relation between the natural and the artificial environment and the interaction between the two. With her various projects, she tries to remove the barriers between architecture and landscape and think of the limit as a space. Rosemarie Faille-Faubert is passionate about the discovery of landscape. She explores the different scales, the tactile, the visual, sounds and smells. With her projects she strives to redefine the relationship between humans and their environment through architecture.

TiiLT by SRCW [Sean Radford, architect, Chris Wiebe, designer], Winnipeg (Manitoba) Canada

Finding roots in the formal geometries of the labyrinth and the many informal camping traditions in the Canadian landscape, TiiLT is a transformable and inhabitable place for visitors to act, or to idle, however they may be inclined.

Each structure may be flipped between two orientations, responding to the position of the sun, offering alternating views and shifting pathways through the site. The toggling movement conjures a school of fish, or a flock of birds, flitting in opposite directions yet connected as a whole. The straw-like lightness of the structures and brilliant yellow skin recall a field of floral blooms, contrasting the surrounding green landscape and blue sky.

TiiLT challenges the notion of the garden in creating an interactive environment that is part sculpture and part landscape – to evoke a sense of place and beauty from modest elements. TiiLT provides simple, intimate, shaded spaces in congregation, retrieving memories of long days in short seasons, time spent alone and among neighbours, embracing the feeling of shared disconnection, together.

Sean Radford and Chris Wiebe (SRCW) are designers active in the Winnipeg architecture community. SRCW regards the built form as an instigator of ideas, a generator for reinterpretation of the phenomena of everyday experience. SRCW is interested in challenging conventional engagement of form and space, with the goal of inducing pause, inspiring reaction, and inciting response. SRCW’s unconventional use of everyday objects as sculptural materials seeks to create accessibility through familiarity, drawing upon shared experience in the user to evoke delight and excitement. SRCW regards the art of the garden as the creation of an interactive sensory environment, to be fully inhabited in moments of discovery and revelation.

One project received a special mention from the jury and will be presented as a special garden installation in 2016:

Dress Up! by Ran Hwang, artist, Sangmok Kim, architect, Sungwoo Kim, architect, Shin Hee Park, fashion artist, Seoul, South Korea / Beijing, China / New York, United States.

The jury was composed of Samuel Bernier-Lavigne, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, École d’Architecture, Université Laval, professor in charge of FabLab-eaul and curator of the exhibition Les Chambres blanches by Pierre Thibault (2015); Caroline Magar, Coordinator of the Champ des Possibles in Montréal and designer of the Méristème garden for the 2014 and 2015 editions of the Festival; Yvan Maltais, foreman in horticulture for the Plateau Mont-Royal, Ville de Montréal, and technical coordinator of the International Garden Festival from 2001 to 2007; Julie St-Arnault, AAPQ, OALA, Senior Partner, VLAN Paysages and Alexander Reford, director of Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens and the International Garden Festival.