How many gardens for a house?
We did, sometime ago, a project for a Villa in Argentina, in San Louis, half way between Buenos Aires and Santiago del Chile. It was in the middle of a vast estate of 200 square kilometres.
As such, green spaces were not the issue, but we wanted to confront the notion of “garden” and see how far we could take that notion. We came up with 4 gardens:
1. the natural, unspoiled landscape far away, the mountains and the untouched rivers
2. the manmade landscape, manicured to serve agriculture or farming, within the limit of the property
3. the “paradise” garden, a Parsi word, meaning a garden within four walls
4. the artificial, minimalistic, abstract yet full of meanings of the Japanese dry garden.
Combining the 4 types of garden was about putting people in contact, either visual or physical, with each of them. The solution was simple yet clever…a sort of squared building, with the paradise garden inside, leaning against the hill, framing the outer landscapes through the large glazed windows and the Japanese garden as a threshold between the house and the hill.
Eventually we did not build it, but that investigation helped us in many other projects like this one for a modern Dacia near Saint Petersburg in Russia.