Analyse des jardins historiques : vers un renouvellement méthodologique ? Bilan et perspectives by Frédéric SICHET – Château de Bénouville

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Analyse des jardins historiques : vers un renouvellement méthodologique ? Bilan et perspectives by Frédéric SICHET – Château de Bénouville

Analysis of historic gardens: towards methodological renewal? Review and perspectives

Studies conducted prior to restoring historic gardens, inspired by those of listed historic monuments conducted in the 1980s, have offered an opportunity for research on a wide-ranging sample of gardens. Even after having evolved to become genuine “management plans”, it appears that the obligation to conduct historic analyses prior to the design of restoration work has never been correctly controlled, equally from a point of view of methods as that of means or objectives. The exercise of historic studies and analyses has, to date, been conducted with great disparity, leading to results – which can prove to have a major impact on the monument or garden in question – ranging from the worst to the best scenario. In the continuation of the recent enquiry on the sources employed to study the history of parks and gardens, the question of the analysis method used specifically for the conservation and restoration of historic gardens will be detailed via a few pilot examples chosen both among renowned and extensively documented gardens and extremely modest projects, some of which are devoid of archives. These examples demonstrate that a specific branch devoted to the history of gardens remains to be extensively developed.

Frédéric Sichet

Frédéric Sichet is a landscape architect. After studying history of art and archaeology under Daniel Rabreau, followed in 1995 by a postgraduate certificate in “historic gardens, heritage and landscape” at Versailles, he specialised in the restoration of historic gardens. Project manager for Gatier (ACMH – chief architect for historic monuments and IGMH – general inspector for historic monuments) from 1998 to 2007, he contributed towards the restoration of parks in the national estates of Saint-Cloud and Meudon, together with the gardens of the Château de Réveillon (Marnes) and a number of gardens in the Alpes-Maritimes region (Fontana Rosa, Serre de la Madone, Villa Cypris, Abbaye de Roseland, Parc de Valrose, Renoir museum-domaine des Colettes, villa E 1027…). In 2005, he founded the Patrimoine & Paysages agency which invests in reasonable historic garden restoration, then concentrated on essentially private garden group projects, such as the gardens of the Château de Saint Marcel de Félines (Loire), Chamarande (Loire), La Tour (Gard), Vertrieu (Isère), Brouessy (Yvelines), Ragonat (Essonne) and Courances (Essonne). Since 2006, Frédéric Sichet has also been involved in the restoration of the gardens of the Château de Chantilly.

Further reading :
André le Nôtre à Vaux-le-Vicomte : un nouvel art des jardins, Editions Somogy, 2013