Wagon-Landscaping is a landscape agency founded by two landscape-architects, François Vadepied and Mathieu Gontier joined by Estelle Ollivier, Camille Bourgeois, Pierre David, Gilles Garreau, Margaux Girerd. Since 2010, they work mainly in France, Europe and Russia.
The Wagon-Landscaping philosophy
Wagon-Landscaping philosophy keeps a gardener attitude in practicing and designing landscape to “keep right for experiment, observe and adapt”, to share between people and nature, to imagine places easy to use and maintain, pleasant to live in everyday life. They find out and develop its projects concepts in practicing and gardening landscape, observing plants and natures dynamics. They impose restrictions on the movement of materials, limit the energy consumption, emphasizing ecological dynamics in way of planting and maintaining.
They share this way of “doing landscape” teaching in Landscape Architectural schools in France (in Versailles and Marseille) but also abroad, in Italy and Russia.
Here is the lecture organized and recorded by Landezine in April, 2019.
The Wagon-Landscaping project approach
In Wagon Landscaping approach, building and gardening is an integral part of the project conception. Fabrication process is posed at once as foundation for every landscape project. Jackhammer is on site as the pencil on paper… Their approach relies on the incessant way and back between office and site, and –as gardener- in considering temporality in project.
Wagon-Landscaping works in all fields related to contemporary landscape thematics : housing, public spaces, parks and gardens, rural areas. Their way of doing is based from site to design and from design back to site, always finding the best way to evolve and adapt project to local and ecological context. They develop some building method which may share experience, knowledge opening project to others : technical services, inhabitants, gardeners, schools, associations, reinsertion programs, etc. Sharing and opening project process is a way to evolve and adapt project in an appropriated way for users.
Owing to its scope and to the multiplicity of landscape situations, this project in fact offers an opportunity to invent new operational tools that provide structure and that adapted to the scale of the large area but also sufficiently flexible, adjustable and based on the reality of the situation on the ground. The necessity of managing to successfully place planned guiding principles into a dialog with the complexity and unpredictability found on the scale of 1 is one of today’s key challenges.
Archstoyanie park is located in Nikola Lenivets village, 350 km from Moscow, in the Ugra valley natural national park. After 90’s, at perestroika time, village declined while agricultural economy fall. Since 2000, Russian artists and architects develop an outdoor museum of contemporary art, with inhabitants. Lead by Nikolai Polissky (Russian famous land artist) and Archstoyanie (contemporary art and architecture festival), a new experimental landscape is coming, where immense wooden structures are growing.
On 2008, Wagon Landscaping (in partnership with festival) began to develop a park as an open air museum, organising sculptures and objects for festival and artist residence on this abandoned agricultural zone. Project takes place on a 150 ha agricultural wasteland where the existing pioneer vegetation dynamics are guided and developed as a forestial park, based on “maintaining and gardening nature”.
Nikola Lenivets, Russia, 2008 – 2018
The temporary garden “Jardin des Joyeux” (happy garden) took place in 2016, on a car park area located in the heart of Maladrerie garden-city, in Aubervilliers (Paris surroundings). This abandoned parking has been destoyed in 2015 and was considered by inhabitants as a none interest wasteland, kind of backyard and noisy place, just next to social buildings. In a context of urban renovation, this place progressively changed around. Social landlord decided, with “extra low” budget to transform this car park in a garden, in accordance to the garden-city, offering new way of living and looking to the people around. The garden concept emphasizes site and its arid context :
– creating a place inspired by the XIXth century Alpine gardens, where rich and ornamental plants grow on poor soils.
– developing a rock garden inspired by XIXth century english gardens, using asphalt and concrete as a basement for planting, without any exportation
Aubervilliers, France, 2016
The Long Lock House remind the village story that has been strategically located, through its crossing of the river Somme. Today, its bike road uses the old towpath and its developing river tourism, the lock house has become a strategic gateway to the national natural site “Baie de Somme 3 vallées”. The Destock Garden aim is to evoke the history of river trade and to express “nature at work” richness. Covered in gravel, garden mixes plants composed of essences from wasteland, which evokes the pionners reconquest on abandoned land, but also from the alpine environment, which expresses the richness and diversity that can grow on poor and draining soil. These plants produce floristic events spread over the seasons, promoting the development of biodiversity to be observed during workshops that could be organised by the lock house, future gateway Somme Picardie Maritime natural park. This “nature at work” is protected by a wooden structure that holds a series of wooden deckchairs. This benches line shows up boat passing through lock, and amazing village heritage, marker of past wealth, which deserves a “break” for cyclists and walkers who use the old towpath.
Long, France, 2018
The new museum Texture needs a new temporary square pending a total remake of the environment. Studio Basta and Wagon-landscaping introduced a garden based on the QR-code of the Texture-museum. The result is a labyrinthine sea of grasses which remembers the flax-fields along the “Golden River” Leie. The garden makes a strong landmark in coherence with the new museum and the river Leie. On the other hand, it makes a new playful area for the neighborhood of Overleie.
Kortrijk, Belgium, 2014
The City of Paris wishes to open the “Petite Ceinture”, a railway wasteland, into a public space in 2019. Wagon Landscaping takes part in the Ceinturama group which is in charge of activating this opening. The actions are oriented around the realisation of workshops, worksites open to the residents and the design of stations, frugal developments in the spirit of the place. In addition, Wagon has developed a landscape diagnosis of the entire eastern section, oriented towards the recognition of the specific plant dynamics of the railway wasteland. The objective is to propose a landscape project mainly based on knowledge of living things and garden maintenance methods in collaboration with social integration structures.
Paris, France, 2019
The CRDP (Centre Régional de Documentation Pédagogique) is located in the former abbey of St. Hilaire of Celle, in Poitiers. Its gardens are both free cloister reinterpretations, resuming their major principles : an enclosed garden, regular central space underlined by circulation galleries around. These two gardens play with their own opposite : shade/light, dryness/moisture, tallness/smallness. The contemporary abbey function is a pedagogical information centre where child and student come to develop their knowledge with schools or by their own. The garden emphasize as well this pedagogical function showing traditional plants from the cloister time and from abroad, as a botanical garden.
Poitiers, France, 2014