GENEVA / The Lakes Neighbourhood
The project for the future Lakes Neighborhood was developed with the desire to offer the city a new ensemble of public spaces, boulevards, pedestrian areas, squares, parks that will play a central role in the articulation of the metropolitan landscape structure of Geneva. This ensemble of public spaces redefines an urban fabric previously shaped by an automobile-oriented system of roads. The project also proposes grounding the identity of these public spaces by solving long-standing mobility issues, developing public transport strategies and integrating a new slow-transport network. The market square, the lake square and the pine wood will become places for social gathering that contribute to the attractiveness and quality of the new neighborhood.
At the interface between the valley of Nant d’Avancher and the lake of Tritons, the public spaces of the neighborhood become stepping stones within the major ecological corridor between the Rhône and the plateau. In terms of sustainable development, the ambition is to translate and enrich a performative urban ecosystem with site-appropriate techniques. The permeability of the soil and alternative methods for rainwater management allow for a fertile ground layer on the scale of the entire site. On this foundation, layers of planting create a spatial hierarchy from the ground plane to the rooftops, in dialogue with the height of the different buildings. This proactive approach to relating built and planted environment is used at the different scales throughout the project.
GENEVA / “Floor Works” Garden
«Floor Works», a garden open to the public which surrounds a company headquarters in Geneva, is the exterior equivalent of the «Wall Works», a collection of works by contemporary artists including James Turrell, Cindy Sherman and Sol LeWitt which adorn the building.
Floor Works is what is produced by working the ground; that is to say by the manipulation – the gardening – of the available mineral or living materials. The project devises a unique means of support, which frees itself from the constraints linked to the many functional elements that emerge here and there, by covering them.
Only one inert material, Corten steel, has been chosen for manipulation. Laid out in successive strips, this red steel floor is folded or distorted according to the topography and the structures that need to be enclosed. It covers the entire garden. The edges of each panel are cut and folded, creating « shapes »; some of these provide support for climbing plants while others become seats that can be occupied by people. The layout is completed with some tall trees on the edges of the site, so as to consolidate the pre-existing verdant setting.
GENEVA / Louis Jeantet Foundation
The Louis Jeantet Foundation, a medical institution that regularly hosts seminars and conventions for researchers and specialists, wished to renovate its venerable neo-classical villa headquarters, redesign the garden area, and generally apply a new spatial order to its property. The idea was to link the villa, situated at the top of a slope, with an auditorium in the basement of a modern building at the foot of the hill. Instead of planting the slope as a garden, Agence Ter opted for a space with multiple horizons.
The result is a reception area open to the sky, accessible by way of a ramp from the street, and opening out onto the terrace via two staircases slipped between the interstices of the patio’s concrete sides. These take the form of two Us closing in on each other, slightly out of alignment. Their contours are enhanced by pools of water around the edges of the terrace. The terrace is paved in light-colored natural stone, regular and urban in character; the patio, by contrast, offers a reminder of its proximity to the underground through the use of black schist flagstones placed irregularly on a bed of moss. Below these flagstones is the landscape. Coppiced flowering cherries grow here; their canopy forms a light covering over the patio, while at the same time retracing the terrace’s horizon.