Garden climates, from the paradise garden to the bioclimatic habitat
Within this Anthropocenic epoch, we all have a role to play by altering the way we occupy our little corner of the planet, with a house and a garden that we need to rethink together – and as a whole: as a habitat. Hence, the invention and realisation of qanats to withstand the climatic changes to which the Middle East was subjected from 1200 to 99 BC. These hydraulic systems enabled oases to be created in the heart of which Iranian paradise gardens, then Islamic gardens, intelligently combined usefulness and pleasure. Hydraulic engineers, gardeners, architects… all the arts were reunited within the same project to create an inhabitable micro-climate propitious to well-being and to artialise the nourishing garden. With the prospect of ‘preserving the common home’ in mind, a reasoned design of the future habitat needs to be developed to cultivate temperate micro-climates, based on what scientists refer to as the ‘oasis effect’. Let us now rethink the garden, not as an object in its own right, but – in light of landscaping history – as a dimension totally integrated within our habitat. A few pertinent projects and realisations.
Michel Racine is an architect and urban planner who has gained an increasing interest in landscape and gardens. After working for ten years within a pluridisciplinary team on territorial and residential development in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, he has, since 1975, devoted his career to the rehabilitation of the very concept of the garden. He initiated the first regional inventory on gardens (Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur, 1980), the first national campaign to open gardens to the public, entitled ‘Visitez un jardin en France’ (Visit a garden in France) in 1987, to open the King’s Kitchen Garden in Versailles in 1993, but also the ‘Designer and creator of gardens within landscapes’ diploma at the ENSP in Versailles. The author of a number of works on gardens and their creators, Michel Racine has been working since 2006 in association with the artist and landscaper Béatrice Saurel on the creation of fleeting gardens (Chaumont-sur-Loire and Sao Paulo Festivals) and of care gardens (initiator of the ‘Jardin et Santé’ (Garden and Health) association). Also a lecturer at the ENSP (National Graduate School of Landscape), he is an honorary member of the ICOMO-IFLA International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes and the Association des Journalistes du Jardin et de l’Horticulture (Association of Garden and Horticulture Journalists).
Further reading :
Guide des jardins de France, Tome sud, Ulmer, 2007
Guide des jardins de France, Tome nord, Ulmer, 2007
Allain Provost, paysagiste/Paysages inventés, Sitchting Kunstbooek, 2004
Créateurs de jardins et de paysages en France du XIXe au XXIe siècle, Tome II, Actes Sud, 2002
Créateurs de jardins et de paysages en France du XVIe au XXIe siècle, Tome I, Actes Sud. 2001
Jardins de Provence, Edisud, 1987