Nestled within the historic Reford Gardens in Grand-Métis, Quebec, the 18th annual International Garden Festival is currently open for all to enjoy. In response to the all-too-familiar “nature-deficit disorder” that plagues much of society these days, participants in this year’s competition had to create inventive “Playsages” that would inspire, if not remind, today’s tech-savvy kids and adults to spend more time outdoors.
From tree stumps to climb on to a soothing soundscape garden, here’s a look at the fully built winning schemes that were announced this past January.
La Chrysalide by landscape architects Gabriel Lacombe & Virginie Roy-Mazoyer, Vancouver (British Columbia) & Montreal (Quebec) Canada: “An invitation to take a break in time, between childhood and adulthood, to climb into the tree, make a nest and lay there to dream.”
L’Escale by Collectif Escargo [Pierre-Yves Diehl, designer, Karyna St-Pierre, landscape architect & Julie Parenteau, art teacher], Montréal (Québec) Canada: This on-site installation features small plots of land on wheels and kid-friendly wagons
HAIKU by architects Francisco A. Garcia Pérez & Alessandra Vignotto, Granada (Spain): “A lonely swing in the forest, a flooded path, a motionless stone. Everything is in place to appreciate the cycle of forest life.”
Soundcloud by Johanna Ballhaus, landscape architect & Helen Wyss, architect, Montreal (Quebec) Canada & Fribourg (Switzerland): “Bells attached to the ends of metal rods create the illusion of mist and clouds where a dialogue with nature begins and where stories can be told.”
The Woodstock by Atelier YokYok [Steven Fuhrman, Samson Lacoste & Luc Pinsard, architects, Laure K, teacher & Pauline Lazareff, architect engineer], Paris (France): “An unusual playground grows in the shade of trees and forms a play space where the children become giants, perched at the top of the wooden causeway”
Paysage euphonique by MANI [Claudia Campeau, architect & Maud Benech, designer m. arch.], Montreal (Quebec) Canada: “A set of giant play facilities creates a tension in our rapport with the landscape and forces us to see and hear nature differently.”