In the contemporary metropolis, the landscape is gradually being absorbed in the realm of urbanity, and the longing for landscape becomes a collective urgency as a natural reaction to that which is disappearing.
There is a need for new outside spaces, for temporary escapes ; public gardens can provide for this need. Public gardens are spaces outside the network of movement and main urban structures, places of refuge, at a distance from the public domain, ‘marginal spaces’, cutting across theories and practices of contemporary urbanism involving the social and ecological functionality of ‘green spaces’ and ‘natural’ leisure resorts. Their threshold and enclosure allow them to be representations of landscape and nature as catalysts of contemplation, memory and melancholy.
In their reference to landscape, examples such as the Brion Cemetery Garden (Carlo Scarpa & Pietro Porcinai 1969-78, IT), the garden of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Dominique Perrault & Erik Jacobsen 1988-96, F) and the Observatorium Nieuw-Terbregge (Observatorium 2001, NL) have the agency to evoke memories and feelings of a past that no longer exists, a landscape filled with associations, ghosts, relics of that which is no longer there, as well as of an unknown future.
in Histoire culturelle de l'Europe Jardin et melancholie en Europe entre le XVIe sicle et l'epoque contemporaine 3-2018. In samenwerking met Joost Emmerik.