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Mr. Barrett's Garden / Daniel Zamarbide

Mr. Barrett's Garden / Daniel Zamarbide
© Dylan Perrenoud
© Dylan Perrenoud

© Dylan Perrenoud © Dylan Perrenoud © Dylan Perrenoud © Dylan Perrenoud + 45

  • Lead Architect: Daniel Zamarbide

  • Design Team: Carine Pimenta, Francisco Castelo Branco, João Paixão, Vanessa Pointet, Robinson Mangematin
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© Dylan Perrenoud
© Dylan Perrenoud

Text description provided by the architects. There is a vast private and beautiful site, a plot on the Leman Lake, looking towards the majestic Alps. The fictional character that we have called to invest our site is Mr. Barrett, the particular caretaker of the 1963 Joseph Losey’s film The Servant.  The primary purpose of this private commission was to design a garden that, during its realization, started to dialogue with a second intervention on the same plot, the renovation of a chalet, Mr. Barrett’s house. The garden presents some sort of spatial contrast with the house; as much as the interior of the chalet is vertical, “sectional” and quite modest in its dimensions, the garden offers an experience of diverse open horizontal areas delicately enclosed by plants.

© Dylan Perrenoud
© Dylan Perrenoud
Garden masterplan
Garden masterplan
© Dylan Perrenoud
© Dylan Perrenoud

The garden, a place where to live outside with very different atmospheres, is thought of as gradient flow towards the horizontality of the lake waters. 

Terrace lake elevation
Terrace lake elevation
© Dylan Perrenoud
© Dylan Perrenoud
Terrace lake elevation
Terrace lake elevation

The chalet opens the sequence, with its vernacular and introverted character. In front of it, orientated to the west, the prairie is an intimate and rather enclosed space that evolves around an important and impressive existing walnut tree. This part of the garden very simply leaves space for the tree. With some border planting, it aims to create with time a feeling of green interiority. The main house articulates the two parts and turns to the east garden, which develops a rather low planting strategy and generously opens to the magnificent view towards the shore and the final moment, the platform on the lake. A certain heaviness of the existing architecture (chalet and main house) is lightened by the experience of the garden. 

© Dylan Perrenoud
© Dylan Perrenoud

The whole garden is punctuated by architectural moments: platforms, benches, lighting, a cover, a slightly elevated vegetable garden, and a sauna. All of these elements have been treated with delicacy and structural care to establish a special relation to the ground and to the planted garden, some of them floating over the plants in order to always offer a long-distance view to the mountains. 

© Dylan Perrenoud
© Dylan Perrenoud
© Dylan Perrenoud
© Dylan Perrenoud

The general design strategy is formally inspired by the Cavanelas garden of Roberto Burle Marx, concentrating plant groups, colors, and atmospheres within rounded surfaces. This approach creates different scales and scenes of colors, flowers, wild planting, and a meandering experience as well as general comprehension of the garden. As in the relations between Burle Marx’s and Niemeyer’s architecture in the Cavanelas’ example, the architectural elements’ geometry contrasts with the floral rounded shape ensembles.

© Dylan Perrenoud
© Dylan Perrenoud

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Project location

Address: Geneva, Switzerland

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
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Cite: "Mr. Barrett's Garden / Daniel Zamarbide" 22 May 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/939842/mr-barretts-garden-daniel-zamarbide/> ISSN 0719-8884

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