The 23rd International Garden Festival of Les Jardins de Métis

Inspired by the theme “Adaptation”, the five new gardens of the International Garden Festival invite visitors to come and reflect on this daily challenge, from June 24 to October 2,  at the Jardins de Métis.

In addition to the 27 contemporary gardens presented at the Jardins de Métis, a satellite installation, made up of 156 recycled glass bottles fanned out in front of the Centre d’art de Kamouraska, captures the wind from the open sea and emits melodies reminiscent of foghorns: Mer du vent by Emmanuelle Loslier and Camille Zaroubi, landscape architects and musicians from Montreal. Their installation, Miroirs acoustiques, created in 2021, is again presented on the site of the International Garden Festival.  

The new gardens of the International Garden Festival include: 

FORTERESSES by Maison029 [Eadeh Attarzadeh, Lorenzo Saroli Palumbo], Montréal (Québec) Canada 

The romantic notion of believing that forests spared from all human contact and interference will thrive has unfortunately been disproven. As long as humanity persists on its present course, it has become unrealistic to expect our forests to defend themselves. 

Forteresses is a symbolic intervention within the forest, proposing an aggressive method to protect our flora from its greatest predator: ourselves. The geometry of each modular defensive system adapts to the size, type and age of each tree. Forteresses is meant to be appreciated for the beauty of its geometries in addition to encouraging visitors to question the impact they have on their environment and reminding them that our flora is often unable to protect itself. 

Photo credit: JC Lemay

Graduates of McGill University, Eadeh Attarzadeh is an urban planner and urban designer at Stantec and Lorenzo Saroli Palumbo is an architect at Atelier d’Architecture Saroli Palumbo inc. 

Together, they form a multidisciplinary and complementary duo, Maison029, with the objective of offering unique characteristics to each project they realize. To do so, they seek to embody and amplify the qualities of a project’s context through the playful exploration of form, materiality, construction technique and light. Whether it’s for architectural projects, urban design, furniture or graphics – it’s all in-house.

LICHEN by Marie-Pier Gauthier-Manes, Chloé Isaac, Victor Roussel, Montréal (Québec) Canada / Paris, France 

The lichen is a perceptive, malleable and mutable organism. It metamorphoses in contact with the topography, humidity and ambient temperature. Like its namesake, Lichen is sensitive to disturbances in its environment and is therefore a valuable indicator of environmental change. Composed of small, delicate elements, it is nonetheless a cohesive and resistant structure that serves to prepare the ground for other plant species. As we wander between its agglomerations, we observe, otherwise invisible, elements reveal themselves in colourful patterns. 

Inspired by terracotta pots, real archetypes in gardens, this installation is composed of 1,200 hand-made earthenware rings that are fired in an outdoor kiln right here at the Jardins de Métis. The drainage and water retention capabilities of this material allow for both a more constant irrigation of the soil and a longer retention of moisture. This environment allows plants that are particularly sensitive to temperature variations and drought to grow peacefully. Its thermochromic treatment changes its appearance according to the temperature to reveal different colours throughout the summer season. 

Photo credit: JC Lemay

Marie-Pier Gauthier-Manes is a product and space designer, Chloé Isaac is a ceramacist and graphic designer and Victor Roussel is a 3D artist. All three studied environmental design at the Université du Québec à Montréal.  

It is during their studies that they developed their friendship and discovered the pleasure of creating together. They are attracted to design proposals that put the properties of materials at the centre as well as artisanal and eco-responsible approaches. 

Despite their similar educational backgrounds, they are now creators with very different profiles. Marie-Pier is the founder of Studio Moodswings. Chloé and Victor are now based in Paris and work on their own.

GRAVITY FIELD by TERRAIN WORK [Theodore Hoerr, Rebecca Shen, Kelly Watters], New York, États-Unis 

Plants are extraordinarily adaptive. They can thrive in some of the harshest environments on earth by responding to a myriad of stimuli – sun, water, temperature, soil, and gravity – to sustain life. Plants are also essential to human existence, providing sustenance, ecosystem services, and carbon sequestration.  

While they play a key role in mitigating the effects of climate change that threaten our existence as a species, they too are also vulnerable and must adapt quickly to a rapidly changing climate. Gravity Field demonstrates the robust adaptation of plants in even extremely strenuous conditions.  

The sunflowers are grown upside-down but will bend up as they grow towards the sun, defying gravity. Visitors can visit the installation numerous times to experience how adaptable plants are to their circumstances: phototropically, gravitropically, and heliotropically. While the future is uncertain, Gravity Field spotlights the powerful resilience of nature and sees optimism in the ability of plants, and all organisms, to adapt and thrive. 

Photo credit: JC Lemay

Theodore Hoerr is a landscape architect, Founding Principal of Terrain Work, Kelly Watters is a landscape designer, Associate of Terrain Work and Rebecca Shen is a designer intern. Terrain Work is an international landscape architecture, urban design and public art studio in New York City that is known for its creativity and design innovation.  

Terrain Work’s landscapes and urban strategies consider how landscape’s innate ability to change create new emergent forms and experiences that synthesize culture, nature, and the built environment. They approach each project with a curiosity and collaborative spirit born out of the belief that landscapes should perform as both cultural provocateur and ecological system.

LES HUIT COLLINES by ONOMIAU [Noël Picaper], Levallois-Perret, France 

Conceived as evolving structures, those eight hills imagine biological spatialities. Through inanimate and organic materials, they create life effects. A hilly landscape then appears, capable of offering various experiences to humans as well as to non-humans (birds in particular). Serving as a seating area, a micro-garden, a contemplative space and an ecological reservoir, this project offers visitors a multitude of spatial sequences to practice, seating, hiding places and amphitheatre and more. 

The intention, behind this assembly of surfaces, is to reveal the richness of a whole environment, catalyzing other forms of interactions for various living beings. Dreamlike and supporting functions, this work influences the climate by softening the summer heat with its shades and its flora. Les huit collines thus elaborate a landscape charged with meaning that never ceases to evolve both by its composition and by the cycles of life that it shelters. 

Photo credit: JC Lemay

Born in Bonn, Germany, Noël Picaper lives and works in Paris. Since September 2021, he has been teaching at the School of Architecture in Clermont-Ferrand. On the border between architecture, art and biology, Noël Picaper’s creations paint a picture of a world made of playful and dreamlike landscapes, where humans and their natural environment cohabit in new ways. After working for Junya Ishigami in Japan, in 2019 he created Onomiau, an architecture and design collective interested in experimental spaces and architectural fictions. Onomiau stands for “office for nomadic architecture”.

FORÊT FINIE, ESPACE INFINI? by Antonin Boulanger Cartier, Pierre-Olivier Demeule, Melaine Niget, 

Québec (Québec) Canada 

From a distance, Forêt finie, espace infini?, takes on the appearance of a pile of sawn wood that a carpenter might have placed there while waiting for his next project. This defined form covered with a plastic sheeting waits in the summer heat. Rooted in the middle of a path crossing the boreal forest, the installation however obstructs the passage. Without being able to go around it, is it possible to cross it, to face it seems inevitable.   

By approaching, a section of the tarpaulin is unhooked, and you are invited to slip into it. Inside, a structure made of finely assembled wooden slats reveals a path modulated by a play of solids and voids. What are all these cleverly arranged slats and why do they seek to reach the infinite? Aren’t they constrained by this tarpaulin that can be seen from the outside? Looking up at the sky, a brief glance at the tall trees suggests a final thought: if the space we build emanates from a world of finite resources and therefore cannot be infinite, could this skillfully sculpted forest able to be? 

Photo credit: JC Lemay

Antonin Boulanger Cartier is an architectural intern at Bourgeois Lechasseur Architectes. He is also a candidate for the master’s degree in architectural sciences within the Habiter le Nord québécois partnership at Université Laval.   

Melaine Niget is an urban designer and architectural intern at Groupe A / Annexe U. The versatility of his training in architecture and urban design has led him to become involved in several research groups at the École d’architecture of the Université Laval.  

Pierre-Olivier Demeule holds a master’s degree in architecture, a master’s degree in science and is an architectural intern at ABCP architecture. In recent years, his interest in informal and vernacular built heritage has led him to work on various projects in collaboration with indigenous populations. 

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