Floating Delights at the 2013 Hortillonnages Art, Ville et Paysage Garden Festival

Floating Delights at the 2013 Hortillonnages Art, Ville et Paysage Garden Festival

It  the 2013 Hortillonnages Art, Ville et Paysage Garden Festival in Amiens, France. Through this festival, the Maison de la Culture de Amiens (MCA) aims to re-define the Hortillonnages – a series of man-made islands situated within the flooding area of the Somme. These islands were originally created for the production of food, but due to the evolution of agriculture in the last century they have fallen into disrepair. Through the Art, Ville et Paysage (Art, Cities and Landscape) project the MCA aims to engage young artists and designers to come up with new sustainable uses for these islands and assist in their conservation.  My submission, Floating Delights, responded to the brief on three levels. 

The design aimed to protect the island against erosion by using native planting. The native planting areas will reinforce the banks of the island with their roots and provide a habitat for the local wildlife.

Active local community engagement was encouraged through the process of building the garden in order to help progress the conservation of the Hortillonnages: the key building material, plastic bottles, has been collected from the local community. It also facilitated the promotion of the Hortillonnages, as collection points were dotted around Amiens.

Lastly, this project devised a new type of agriculture more attuned to its environment and made use of waste as a building material. The garden consists of a pond with floating planters within it: these planters gain their buoyancy from the plastic bottles collected from the local community. They are planted with edible aquatic and marshland plants that draw their nutrients from the water, simultaneously providing food while also purifying the water. The planters can be reeled in through a pulley system so the plants can be harvested. The garden festival runs from the 15th of June till the 13th of October.

Les Hortillonnages D’Amiens:

Art, Ville et Paysage project:

View more project photos here:

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