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Lille Mosaic community garden

This project was created on the occasion of Lille being the European Culture Capital in 2004.  The Parc de la Deule was designed to connect the city of Lille with the old mining industry areas along the Deule River, its masterplan having been designed by French landscape designer Jacques Simon.  It hosts several gardens dedicated to immigration communities of the metropolitan area.  We won the competition to carry out the one dedicated to the Iberic community. Our challenge was to adapt another culture’s spatial values to the northern French landscape. The garden is a contemporary transcription of traditional north Portuguese and Spanish structures, as well as embodying the southern Europe social values of a outdoor space :  intimate, welcoming and dreamlike. Our inspiration was taken from the great estates of Northern Portugal (Quintas or Pazos) and of the enclosed gardens, paradeisos. These gardens are the perfect example of combining practical and aesthetic considerations, making the most of modest possibilities. For us, the garden we realized is nevertheless an architectural concept, an outdoor room.
Ce jardin est une citation en hommage à la forme privilégiée d’harmonie entre le bâti et le paysage jardiné des fermes (Quinta) de la péninsule ibérique sur son versant atlantique. Jardin habitable et maison extérieure, ce projet est une invitation sensuelle à recréer cette expérience originale dans des formes simples, supports d’une recréation fine et ludique. Les délices qui y sont disposés appellent les sens, comme des ponts jetés par delà les distances, pour délivrer un territoire connecté à celui du nord, comme une absence inspirée… La beauté des Quinta est le résultat d’une économie de moyen, qui produit une évidence : l’inscription graphique dans un paysage guidé par les nécessités de la topographie et de la maîtrise de l’eau. Ce jardin dit dans des formes modernes le désir d’une situation à la fois accueillante, et hors du monde : on peut y entrer par un couloir, comme dans un sas qui nous replonge dans les références d’un autre univers.