Courtyard Meadow

Landscape architecture of an estate in France. We design in dialogue with natures, with the ecosystem, using ecological principles. It is a process focussed mode of design linking abstract forms and figurative elements of an animistic nature. 

These processes are an improvisation with meadows and grassland through performative gestures. The performance is as important as the visual result.

Courtyard Meadow

2009 - ongoing  |  media: landscape & performance  |  location: Vendée, France  |  scale: 1 hectare

 Courtyard meadow in 2016

Courtyard meadow in 2016

 

Our Landscape Gestures started when we bought an abandoned piece of rural land in 2009. Inspired by the concept of Garden in Movement of Gilles Clement, ecological conservation practices and Landscape Art, we started a process of experimentation in designing landscapes with the ecological dynamics already present form of improvisation with these processes. Our aim is foster an increase of resilience and biodiversity whilst creating a cultural artefact that is perceived as beautiful.

Through these acts, the landscape is gradually shaped, it constantly evolves, following the reactions of the rest of the ecosystem. Almost nothing is planted, although we do seed some new species that we believe may enjoy this biotope, both native and exotic. 

This economical technique combines aesthetic, with various ecosystem services such as biodiversity, carbon sequestration, water preservation. It can be seen as a way of gardening a landscape.

 
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This approach establishes a new relationship to nature, one where our human nature and that of the other beings in the ecosystem are in dialogue. The plant and animal communities design as much as we do. Around the performance of the Landscape Rituals that shape the land, a community is growing.

Courtyard Meadow is one of our longest lasting area of landscape gestures; each year, a new design is developed, which is performed, generally mown, through its growth. The meadow can be seen as a nature reserve for the plant and animal species of traditional meadow ecosystems as well as a succession of ephemeral works of art.

 
 
 
 
 The  Courtyard Meadow  2017 design:  The Stripes ; bottom left is the tartan pattern of the orchard 

The Courtyard Meadow 2017 design: The Stripes; bottom left is the tartan pattern of the orchard 

 
 
 The farm in April 2017: the courtyard meadow stripes in the middle, tartan orchard to the left, the oak rooms of the new woods are to the right but barely visible

The farm in April 2017: the courtyard meadow stripes in the middle, tartan orchard to the left, the oak rooms of the new woods are to the right but barely visible

 Courtyard meadow is the red triangular shape

Courtyard meadow is the red triangular shape

 
 
 Robin and Mark

Robin and Mark

 Sarah

Sarah

 

Project team

 

Photographers: Eric Guibert 

 

Drawings: Eric Guibert

 

 

Volunteers

 

Robin Pembrooke

 

Stephen Field

 

Lucy Goode (for her amazing food)

 

Jean Martin Lapointe (for his striking chainsaw action)

 

Sarah Nuttall (for stepping in when Eric's shoulder gave up)

 

Louis Wustemann (for stepping in when Eric's shoulder gave up)

 

 

 

 

Volunteers

 

Iain Field

 

Mark Forsyth

 

Paul Macey

 

Stephen Froggatt

 

Pas Paschali

 

Andrew Pembrooke

 

Carole Pembrooke

 

Brian Robinson

 

Oliver Salway

 

Ivan Tennant

 

Ed Watson

 
 
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