International Garden Festival opens in Grand-Métis, Canada. Five new gardens feature among the 26 on view this summer at the 17th International Garden Festival at Reford Gardens in Quebec, the leading contemporary garden festival in North America.
The five new creations are by designers from Canada, the United States, France and Switzerland, selected by the jury from 203 projects submitted from 31 countries for the annual competition.
Le Caveau is a complex construction made of stone gabions that support a levitating green platform. The growing plane is shrouded in the intimacy of a simple room of stone and earth. It is a room for reflection and dreams – a shelter for meditation and a canvas for nature.
Christian Poules is an architect and landscape architect, concerned with the development of the common ground between human sensory experience and natural phenomena. Nature is his muse and in her realm his work manifests care and understanding of the ephemeral and temporal qualities of space.
Cyclops is a gargantuan cone 8 metres in diameter suspended over the forest floor. It is a singular object on the landscape as well as a singular frame of the landscape. It is made up of 100 8-metre long tapering timber planks held in the shape of an inverted cone around a central opening for the user to occupy.
By entering the central 1.5 m opening at the bottom of the cone, visitors enter into a different relationship with the object and the landscape. By experiencing it from the inside-out, the object acts to frame the surrounding landscape and sky.
Formally trained as an architect at Yale University but with a deep commitment to creating art, Craig Chapple’s work is born from the synergy of disciplines, producing work that focuses on the overlap of line, pattern, texture, and process.
The Maison de Jacques provides a happy home to a forest of beans where children can play hide-and-seek in one of many secret gardens. La Maison de Jacques (Jack’s House from the children’s fable Jack and the Beanstalk) is different from the one we know. The house is a green grove that is enveloped in bloom. Inside, wander between the rows of beans of tightly winding their way up with walls that divide the space into a series of small hidden gardens. These cocoons are ideal hiding places. One remains a secret, inaccessible.
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.
In TiiLT, 24 tents populate a space like a school of fish or a flock of birds. 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 – whatever their inclination.
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 the white 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.
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.
Carbone offers a charred tree trunk, capturing carbon during its entire life and contributing to the renaissance of the forest. The garden is an artifice and leaves many traces. The Earth is a garden. This installation evokes the cycle of production as a parallel to the carbon cycle. The garden landscaped or the landscape gardened.
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 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.
The three landscape architects that form Coache Lacaille Paysagistes are graduates of the École nationale supérieure de la nature et du paysage de Blois in France. The primary interest of this trio is the landscape; their role somewhere between the gardener, the designer, the architect and the urban planner.
Dress Up! is a sixth new garden on view as a participatory event where visitors become the garden by donning one of the colourful capes. A special mention was made by the jury to ‘Dress Up!’ by Ran Hwang, Sangmok Kim, Sungwoo Kim, and Shin Hee Park. The garden will be presented at special events throughout the summer.
The Gardens are open every day until 2 October 2016.
Click HERE for further information about Jardin des Metis at Reford Gardens.