Two new publications from the “Earth & Landscape” business chair

19 November 2021

In 2021, two new publications enrich the thinking of the business chair “Terres et Paysage” (Earth & Landscape) about excavated soil and landscape.

“Soil and Relief as Heritage”, a conversation with Alain Freytet: 

Following the 2019 exhibition “Terres en Mouvement” (Earth Moving) and for her thesis “Rethinking the Cycle of Inert Soil, from Excavation Site to Landscaping Project”, the landscaping doctoral student Marie-Laure Garnier met the landscape architect Alain Freytet, who explained his convictions about ‘made ground’ and the landscape.

The work of Alain Freytet is inspired by the science of earth and ground so as to produce work that is nearer to the landscape: a project that you don’t see. In this conversation, he talks of his relationship with the ground and its relief in his work as a landscape architect.

Click her for the full version of this highly-motivated discussion.

“A Park in the City”, perspectives on workshop no. 5 

Students in their second year at ENSP, the national landscape gardening school at Versailles, were invited to work from September to November 2020 on one of the most typical landscaping situations: The city park.

A leaflet sums up the work of a group of students who looked specifically at the site of Mortemets in Versailles so as to answer the question: “How can you relocate a surplus of soil within a park?

In their work, which was done entirely in English, and coordinated and directed by the landscape architect and teacher Lauri Mikkola, the students developed a narrative going from landscaping diagnosis to spatial project.

And they presented their visions of the park of tomorrow. Supervised by two landscape designers, Helen Stokes and Marie-Laure Garnier, the work of the students specifically incorporated, in each of their projects, the inclusion of surplus soil so as to look more deeply at the relationship between earthmoving spoil and made ground.

Through topographic work, the students created various ambiances in their projects, with a nod to the work of André Le Nôtre, and proposed innovative solutions for a 21st-century park. This leaflet brings together the responses of the students to a major current challenge, by making earthmoving a significant project resource.

Click here to read the workshop summary in full, in French or English

The four research directions of the “Earth & Landscape” business chair

  • The use of inert soil in landscape design, or how to make a “waste product” from the process of construction into a resource to be re-used in development projects;
  • The fertility of soil, or how a landscaping project can contribute to enhancing the resilience of soil, and how to ensure and reinforce the protection of fertile soil in the physical implementation of a project;
  • Landscape as a means of guiding projects for the rehabilitation of polluted soil
  • A study of the Potager du Roi as a historic terrain for observation and experimentation on the relationship between soil and the make-up of a productive garden
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