“Well, I feel that we should always put a little art into what we do. It’s better that way.” Jules Verne
This design is inspired by the Amiens environmental and cultural heritage. The project not only addresses the bank erosion but also celebrates the Amiens identity. Hortillonnages have been a part of the Amiens landscape for centuries and they contributed to the local life in a number of ways, from productive grounds providing food and ornamental gardens offering joy, to touristic destination attracting visitors from all over the world. The textile industry has also played an important role to the regional development. Local textiles, often featuring floral and plant motifs, have made the region prosperous and famous. As a part of the project goal to contribute to the preservation of the local identity is the addressing the eroding banks issue.
The approach is to place live willow cuttings on the bank and keep them in place with twine attached to stakes inserted into the ground. While the roots of the growing willows help with the bank stabilization, the emerging plants contribute to the area natural look and offer habitat to different species. In addition to this environmental function of the landscape interventions, and with reference to Jules Verne’s words, incorporated into the project are also abstract plant motifs inspired by the local agriculture, textile industry, and gardens. The abstract plant shapes are delineated with an additional, second layer of white twine attached to the stakes. The three pairs of landscape interventions are on three different sites.
Inspired by the local agriculture, the first intervention features willow cuttings organized in a pattern mimicking agricultural fields as seen from above. The regional agricultural crops delineated with white twine are the wheat and the artichoke. The second intervention is related to the textile industry and has perpendicularly crossing willow branches representing textile structure. Depicted with white twine is Isatis tinctoria, a plant often used in the textile industry for dyeing fabrics. Abstractly portrayed also is a floral motif referencing plant shapes found on textile embossing rollers. The last intervention is inspired by the Amiens ornamental gardens and features linearly placed willow cuttings, referring to planting beds, and abstractions of tulips.
THRACE Design Studio