Les Jardins de Métis
By : Vlan Paysages et In Situ
GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN – 15e édition
Discipline : Landscape & Territories
Categories : Concept / concept in landscape and/or urban development : Silver Certification
Categories : Landscape Architecture / Landscape Architecture - Cultural & Institutional Project : Gold Certification
The result of a collaboration spanning over 25 years, the development of the Jardins de Métis is a unique project in terms of its duration. Our team has had the opportunity to work closely with the institution for over two decades to develop a master plan and oversee its various implementation phases, including gardens, buildings, infrastructure, furniture, interpretation, lighting, and signage.
Located at the confluence of the Mitis River and the St. Lawrence River, the project highlights the natural, built, and horticultural elements of the site. The development concept revolves around the speed at which the visitor moves, promoting a transition of perception ranging from the regional landscape to the interior of the site, suitable for contemplation. The master plan thus proposes landscape interventions that can be experienced at 100 km/h, from the regional road that serves the site, to ornamental plantings encouraging a pause, at the heart of the property.
As a recognized heritage site under the Cultural Heritage Act, the Jardins de Métis began a new phase of development with our firm in 1999 through the development of a master plan and the creation of the International Festival of gardens, a contemporary counterpart to historic gardens. Today, through their physical expansion and their international influence, the Jardins de Métis are called upon to integrate a research center on issues related to landscape and planning, an open-air museum and a summer campus linked to creation. The Gardens also form a park accessible to local populations. With this in mind, the master plan was updated by our team in 2014, incorporating a site on the west bank of the river as part of Lord Stephen's original estate. The Gardens have also become part of the new Mitis River Regional Park.
Water and mobility networks structure the domain and its distinct landscape units: forest, mountain, riparian, agricultural and horticultural landscapes. Along the old access road to the Gardens, which serves as the main link between its different sectors, a series of infrastructures essential to the organization of the site are located. The water network, with river and stream, is the very reason for the Gardens site. Villa Estevan was built as a fishing lodge on the banks of the river for salmon fishing. Additionally, the site offers breathtaking views from the cliff towards the river and the gardens have been planted on the banks of the Page stream, whose meanders in turn feed the flowerbeds. A second stream runs along the Garden Festival site. All visual and physical contact with this exceptional water network is used: belvedere, observation platform, bridges; the routes on the site are also organized in relation to it.
Designed as a landscape park, the project includes a structure in the reception area with a linear vegetable garden, historical and sculpture gardens, an international festival of contemporary gardens, the development of the banks of the river as well as a nature park. The site is served by a road as well as a multipurpose trail connected to the green route for cycling. The development project aims to preserve the historic center linked to the horticultural tradition that has made the reputation of the place, by adjoining it to sectors dedicated to innovation, interpretation and education.