The project A Chaque Château son Jardin was created and awarded the first prize in the context of the urban garden festival Lausanne Jardins 2009, an event that takes place about every 4 years. Through an open international competition around 30 proposals are selected to be built within Lausanne’s urban fabric. For every edition a new route is given to the designers who are then free to choose a location for their intervention along the walk. This offers the possibility to work in a very contextual manner.
A Chaque Château son Jardin is a comment on the use of the Place du Château, the castle square in the heart of Lausanne’s medieval centre. The castle itself was built in the new castle typology, which means that instead of being a building surrounding a courtyard, it was built as a massive block with a public square in front of it. The castle is not accessible to the public and is in use by the authorities of Lausanne.
Since years the city of Lausanne is enduring a polemic about the use of the castle square as a car park. A Chaque Château son Jardin transforms the existing parking into a poetic and ephemeral public space, thereby re-qualifying its context. Inspired by a medieval floral motif, the installation cleverly challenges the codes and traditions of parterre work by being exhibited on a public space. The space created by this minimal intervention, with its astutely designed polyethylene containers, presents a floral choreography that invites locals and tourists to take a stroll. The castle staircase in that way becomes both a viewing point and a waiting point from which the square reveals itself. The change of use and experience was designed for the duration of a festival, but inspired a wish to develop it further.