Kaeser, le carré de soie – Lyon, 2012-2013

The idea of the garden as a place of biodiversity, a secret space both rich and simple that acts as a strong link between different habitats and societies.
Rainwater harvesting and shimmering waters intersect at the centre of the block. Organised chaos and order of nature mingle intimately forming enclosed gardens, front gardens, gardens running through the block without disturbing the residents.

Plants set to work taking over the South and North facades and, in the spirit of the garden cities, form a micro garden at the foot of the housing blocks where they are reinforced by various moderate-sized varieties that fit with the scale of the site and light on the buildings. We will find albizia, rowan and willow whose branches spread to form sun umbrellas, thus providing shade and protection while emphasising seasonality.
Decking and paving planted with meadow grasses, shrubs and hedges will wind along the main axis creating a screen and mashrabiya effect that will give families privacy in relation to the passages linking activities and a series of ponds (highly concentrated in biodiversity) and reed beds.

These very shallow ponds will expand and contract in keeping with the flow of water. They lie on gravel beds and are interconnected. The open block will maintain transparency and fluidity thanks to its gates and the paths running through it. The vegetation outside the block will be seen on the facades covered with climbers, the outward sign of this inner biodiversity.

In order to be fully appreciated, the gardens must be discovered, breathed in, savoured and shared. Indeed there will be room for vegetable plots and square kitchen gardens near the children’s play areas; first and foremost these will encourage social interaction but they will also produce vegetables in the manner of garden cities or communal neighbourhood gardens.

Simple and abundant, rich and diverse, they will accompany the architecture, serving as the base on which buildings are inserted. Kiosks, planted bicycle parking areas, technical rooms with green roofs, and playgrounds on the theme of water management round off the scheme.


Landscaping of central areas of urban blocks on former silk manufacturing sites in Lyon




Jean de Gastines - Architect (Mandataire)
INTERSCENE - Thierry Huau - Landscape architect & Urbanist


5 000 m²

Global Budget

290 000 €


Current Project