Passage Vegetal

1st prize, Lausanne Jardin Festival, Switzerland, 2019

in collaboration with
After Apricots
  Our installation at the heart of the city chose to transform a pedestrian underpass from the 1980s into a garden pavilion. While this undesirable urban space appears to be the antithesis of a garden, we created an unusual and captivating space. We see the city as a kind of hybrid garden, in which Nature and culture are already indistinguishable, so instead of building a garden, we wanted to create a pavilion for the city of Lausanne.  

Drawing on garden structures (pavilions, kiosks, gazebos) from various cultural traditions, we isolated individual elements such as the porous screen or Mashrabiya and floral ornament to augment the underpass’s already cool and quiet environment. The entire underpass is lined with a floral motif wallpaper along one wall. The motif stylizes horehound, a medicinal plant which once grew on site and now once again fills the planting beds on the square through a collaboration with the city’s botanical garden and park service. TThrough abstraction, the project draws attention to the delicate beauty that can be found in urban vegetation.  

The dappled light flooding the tunnel mimics the sun’s rays through a lattice window or the branches of a tree. The result is a moving shadow projection which interacts with the floral motif adorning the wall. Passerbys pause and watch their enlarged shadows blend into the flowering field, they sit on the mirrored stools for a cup of hot horehound tea.