L'Escalier d'Eau

L'Escalier d'Eau

Harttig Architekten GmbH

SPAX Architekten
Lausanne, Switzerland
Project Year
©Sébastien Secchi

L'Escalier d'Eau

100Landschaftsarchitektur as Landscape Architects

The temporary installation at Lausanne Jardins 2004, consists of four containers set onto a slope. The stairway is an urban garden in the working landscape of the site.

The Flon Valley is a site of its own, immersed in the city of Lausanne. The industrial program of the valley has given way to a new, mixed cast of users. In a finely woven network the city is linked to these various, mainly cultural institutions through a multitude of access ramps and stairways. The Escalier d’Eau quotes this theme of the staircase, at the same time offering an alternative approach to the valley and towards the lake. The project is intended as a temporary intervention. Containers conventionally used in construction, are during the course of a garden season transformed into a water-staircase. This materiality is closely connected to the “working-landscape” of the site whose neighbouring lot hosts a plethora of containers. On this challenging construction site of urbanity - we use the ephemeral character of the containers for a brief reanimation of the industrial spirit of the place. The water-staircase consists of four containers, which are set onto the slope as a diagonal stack. They are filled with gravel and water and planted with water lilies. The upper, accessible container is filled with gravel only. The opened container doors and a large steel-plate form the gate to a garden. It is simultaneously a belvedere: From the edge of this first step of the Escalier d’Eau one has a view through the canopy of trees into the valley and onto water-basins below. By positioning this belvedere next to the course of the subterraneously ducted Flon River, and by temporarily opening the ruderal thicket on the steep slope with a stairway of water, we enable a recognition of the valley and an expand city space.

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