R. Garden, Küsnacht

The Culture of the Wilderness

Meili Peter Architekten
1998 – 2001
Surface area 
3 700m2

Designing a garden means fencing in a piece of land, cultivating it and marking it out from the surrounding wilderness. However, if there is no original wilderness surrounding it but, at the most, suburban gardens running wild, the question is what to mark off and to decide on the new contents of the area. Reflection and apparent contradiction thus generate the syntax of the garden. Classical elements of bourgeois gardens in the immediate vicinity of the villa have been subjected to a new interpretation. A densely planted and precisely trimmed cube of linden trees highlights the theme of the architectuoralvegetative relationship. The collection of special, cultivated species staged in seemingly natural surroundings results in subtle irritation; the garden as a choreography of a cultivated wilderness takes on the aspect of an aesthetic picture puzzle. Settings generating spaces and continuous sequences of spaces create varying densities and transparencies. The concentration on the familiar, the inner space, is promoted. The degree of aesthetic perception is a question of our ability to recognize an order in this apparent wilderness. Botanical knowledge adds weight to the order and makes it legible.