Les Jardins d’eau ; quand l’utilitaire rejoint l’agrément BY Jean-Baptiste DUCHENE – Château de Bénouville

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Les Jardins d’eau ; quand l’utilitaire rejoint l’agrément BY Jean-Baptiste DUCHENE – Château de Bénouville

Water gardens: when the useful joins the ornamental

Prior registration is required for both conferences on 19th June

Precious witnesses of a period when the creation and management of estates was largely inspired from a pragmatic and economic viewpoint, Water Gardens comprise an exceptional part of our heritage, often acknowledged for their aesthetic qualities, yet more rarely as witnesses to the economic activities undertaken by their owners over past centuries. T
Today, it can prove a complex task for the simple visitor or garden enthusiast to perceive the genuine economic, or even political programmes that were behind these sophisticated developments. Programmes which had property owners engage in a prodigious demonstration of their capacity to transform this raw material into a blossoming revelation of wild waters, the gushes of which would irrigate their personal reputations, guaranteeing them sustainable renown, and leaving a lasting mark on the land.
Today, imagining the hydraulic networks of water gardens therefore consists in casting a dual gaze, equally considering the ingeniosity of the agricultural and/or industrial tool, and its artistic arrangement, revealed by a plethora of skillful devices. Furthermore, enhancing the vision of these essential garden components on the larger great landscape scale it has sustainably shaped and the mark of which remains visible today, appears more than necessary to fully grasp all their finesse.

Jean-Baptiste Duchêne

Jean-Baptiste Duchêne, a landscape architect graduated from the University of Liège (Gembloux, Agro-Bio Tech) began his career in 2013 in the agency run by Pierre-André Lablaude, chief architect for Historic Monuments and in charge fo the Gardens of the Palace of Versailles. A freelancer since 2015, he works essentially in the field of restoration and preservation of landscaped heritage, along with the creation and development of public or private areas.
In France, in collaboration with heritage architects and chief architects in charge of Historic Monuments, he contributes towards the design and realisation of a number of different projects (Gardens of the Musée Rodin, Wandrille Abbey, Vaux de Cernay Abbey, hydraulic network of the Château de Breteuil, etc?), together with work in Belgium for public authorities or private individuals (Saint-Germain Square in Mons, Château de Haltinne and Château de Hodoumont, etc.).