The first edition of Lausanne Jardins Landscape Architecture and Urban Gardening Event took place in 1997. With its contemporary gardens built in urban spaces – squares, roads, staircases or roofs – it immediately attracted international attention (reviews in The New York Times, El Païs, Le Monde, as well as in many international Landscape journals). In that sense, Lausanne Jardins allowed to explore experimental solutions in gardening, which could directly interfere with daily life in the city.

For landscape architects, Lausanne Jardins offered new possibilities to glance over the garden fences and to emphasize the dialog between nature and artifice, between the vegetal and the mineral. So far, three editions were organized in 1997, 2000 and 2004. The next one will take place in 2009. For each edition, a series of about 30 contemporary gardens are built along selected conceptual pathways, between the months of June and October.

As part of the public space, Lausanne Jardins has no entrance fee: it can be seen by day or night, in part or in totality. The progressive growth of flowers and plants offers interesting variations that can be observed over summertime. The interaction between the gardens and the inhabitants – users or visitors of the city – provides occasions to organize many micro-events and facilitates individual initiatives such as exhibitions in galleries or museums, parties, concerts, encounters. Since the first edition, Lausanne Jardins has become a very popular event while remaining a fertile ground of experimental research in contemporary gardening.

To select the garden projects, an international competition is organized the year before each edition and attracts teams of landscape architects from all over Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. On the one hand, well known people have participated to the Lausanne Jardins event (Paolo Burgi, Gilles Clément, Françoise Crémel, Kathryn Gustafson, Setzuko Nagasawa, Frank Neau and Maria Carmen Perlingero to name some of them), while on the other, the festival has revealed young newcomers (Fabian Beyeler, Emmanuelle Bonnemaison, Jean-Jacques Borgeaud, Alvaro de la Rosa, Marie-Hélène Giraud, Christoph Hüsler, Robert Ireland, Olivier Lasserre, Jean-Yves Le Baron, Philippe Rahm, Sandra Ryffel, SPAX, among others).

Each edition of Lausanne Jardins is organized according to a central spatial concept and is dedicated to a particular theme related to urban development in the city.


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