Good evening, everyone.
I see many facesfrom outside, so I want to thank you for coming inspite of the heavy rains, which we need.
Yet nevertheless, it'snot easy to get here.
My name is Anita Berrizbeitia.
I will introduceour speaker tonight.
It is often said that his work,the work of the Swiss landscape architect GeorgesDescombes, is memory.
It's about memory,memory of place.
He works through a combinationof historical research, a collaborative practicewith biologists, restoration ecologists, artists, architects,and his own extensive field work.
And through thisprocess, he has built a series of exquisiteprojects that never fail to surprise and,more importantly, to engage our imagination.
For more than adecade, he has been working on the restoration ofthe banks of the River Aire and of the flood plain ofthis river outside of Geneva.
In some ways, themandate for this project is typical of today– toremove the concrete walls that constrain the flow of waterand to restore its banks to a naturalized condition, withall the accompanying benefits that this bringswith it, including flood control, habitatrestoration, and the recovery of the land's rural identity.
But this simple chargein Descbombes's mind is not so straightforward.
In characteristic ways, he takesthe more challenging approach of questioning and reconsideringthe very purpose of the project brief, the dismantlingof the walls.
To offer a more nuancedand complex notion of history, of memory, ofpresence, and of the territory where so muchunfolds, he decides radically to keep the wallsand to redefine the project boundary sites.
I quote here from thedescription of the project.
"A bundle of lines movesfluidly and crosses a straight, clear,horizontal line.
The River Aire freelyrambles across the plain, but the liberationof this Geneva river has not led to theeffacement of its canal.
Between the river andthe fine rectilinear work which retain its whims, ahappy co-habitation was found.
" In other words,this is not simply a work of reconstruction, but away of looking and working that admits manyhistories, techniques, and textures of place.
Given the events ofthis past week here, it is impossible to ignorethe political underpinning of this way of working, forthe restoration of this river is a project not of editingout, but of inclusion.
Of his way ofdrawing– copiously, to use his ownwords– Georges has said that he most appreciatesthat it is quiet work, and I take this tomean thinking time.
I am most fascinatedby the fact that he transfers the quiet to us,the visitor, by inducing reflection.
His work requires immersivethinking, slow looking, deceleration.
Whether through the scalerdistortions of a tunnel footbridge Lancy,the layered mesh screens that refocus our eyes inthe pavilion in the Swiss way, or the recompositionof the fragments that constitute theMemorial at Bijlmer, his work demands and enablesthe free association of ideas and of history as an unfolding,multilayered process.
It would not be a stretchto say that he demands of us to see in the sameway that he draws– quietly, thoughtfully, conscientiously.
And then, when we aredoing with our quiet, we find ourselves jolted outof our habitual ways of seeing.
For the revitalizationof the River Aire, the project that he will betalking about tonight, Georges and his team have been awardedthe prestigious Swiss Landscape Award, the Schulthessdes Jardins in 2012, and it was a finalistfor the Rosa Barba Prize in the Barcelona Bienalde Paisaje this fall.
Please join me inwelcoming the 2016 Kylie Lecture, Georges Descombes.
Thank you, Anita.
Thank you for inviting me.
I'm very honored to give thislecture, the Kiley Lecture.
I should start with a fewwords on Kylie, what importance of Kylie's work for me.
It's not that I'm sofamiliar with his work, but some part of hiswork is a key element if I have understoodanything about gardens.
In the MillerGarden, for example, I find something which is key.
A word for me is what's a kindof intensity or interiority.
You were talkingabout the calm, but it can be also very violent.
But there is somethingvery special, and difficult to define what you feel whenyou– the same with apprentice and pupils maybe.
[INAUDIBLE] is a[INAUDIBLE] for me.
Around the pool,he did something.
The pool was there beforeHogg started to work on it.
And he made some movesthat would change it.
What is, for me, a line totry to understand what I feel or what I try to explainwould be a presence.
These gardens have apresence, and Walter Benjamin said an aura.
An aura, one of thedefinitions– Walter Benjamin's is the collisionof space and time.
In these gardens, Benjaminsaid, in front of these things, inside of these things, they arevery present and sometimes very far away.
They melt past and present.
So this is for me–Mr.
I am indebted to this.
There are not so manygardens like this, and it's not really themost trendy tracks today, I would say, thiskind of intensity.
But we can discuss this.
And I would like to call thislecture tonight– it's rather a conversation, I would say.
I would not dare to call it alecture in terms of academia.
I said, "Designinga River Garden," so I will come back on thisa while– a river garden.
Maybe it's not evenEnglish, river garden, but it sounds well,at least in French.
And I will call it "TheRiver and Its Double," so it's a river on a canal.
This was the situation,a canal built this part in the 20th century.
But there isupstream that started after a flood I show you inthe end of the 19th century.
You see here the formerriver, the original river short-circuitedby the new canal.
This was a landscape,or it's a drawing.
You imagine what could havebeen this traditional landscape at that point.
It's not difficult.
And they did that.
I mean, they justchanged radically.
They cleared thesite with carbon.
And they changed in theprocess of another kind of agricultural system.
For that, they have done400 kilometers of drainage.
I've no time to talkabout the drainage.
But Geneva, as aparticularity, you know, it was irreparablyProtestant in a very Catholic country, around France.
And that, in the19th century, they were absolutely fascinatingby the British industrial revolution.
And they bring backto Geneva– so they had a geographic magazine.
So as they were takingeverything from England in terms of innovation,the British or, rather, the Scots, have alreadyreformed the Romanish way of making drainage, andGeneva, the first drainage on the continent was done here.
These drawings also show[INAUDIBLE], I guess.
There are tools of the project.
Those are my drawings.
But just imagine something.
So it's the activatedpossibilities.
It could be– so is therealready a selection, they are not realistic, butthey are more than realistic.
They are more useful for me.
This is a region,the first image was a photographwith the mountains, the agricultural plane, andthe canal, which is here with a row of Italian poplar.
And this is a park in Lancy.
So it's really alifelong project if you add that I wasborn somewhere here, and that I play all my childhoodhere, around this spot here.
So the garden in Lancy, Iwould rather now term it garden than park in Lancybecause it's a very small park.
And I don't likeparks, in a way, talking about theconcentration– and well, we cancome back to this.
But let's say garden in Lancy.
And I show this because it'salready a double situation like the river andthe canal here.
We had to makeunderground foot passage.
But we were– this canalizationof the little rivulet, one meter wide.
When indeed thedrainage systems, they block the valleyhere with a new road.
And they put thecanal in a culvert.
So the client, thestate of Geneva, let's say, asked us to makea passage for the children, mainly, which wascrossing the talud, which is a tunnel situation.
If you cross amountain, it's a tunnel.
But to come from oneside of the river to the other side, whichis a bridge situation.
And we kept the bridgeand the tunnel together.
So we call it tunnelbridge– which maybe could be emblematicof our a way of doing.
We find the solution,but, in this solution, you can have the ideaof the problem which was existing before.
So the solution does noterase the combination– the problematicsituation [INAUDIBLE].
This is a Mt.
Saleve, thewatershed of the air.
And this river, which isa torrent– torrential– can be very drymost of time very, very little amount of water.
But quite often, orseveral times a year, it can be furious, like this.
And this is the onlyreturn of 30 years.
So you can imagine when,the Sentinel flood, it could be very disastrous.
So the state of Genevamade a competition.
But not so much–well, it's for what they called re-naturalization.
It's rather withecological purposes.
You know, this canal of the19th century, or 20th century, was perfectly working toget the flood downstream.
So you send theproblem to others.
But it's perfect, ina way, to preserve the situation of thefields, agriculture, it was a perfect device.
And we must not make toomany are not anachronisms– 80 years ago, therewas no fertilizer, so they had to producemore and to protect the field for agriculture.
So let's say that,for one century, this canal didits job very well.
But now, with thechange in the situation, in the way we see theseproblems, it had to be changed.
So there was acompetition that we won.
And we designed this.
So this is the canal.
And here, you seealready something which is predominantin our design problem.
You don't know howto draw a river.
Well, when the riverdoes not exist yet.
And in the competition,we did this.
And it was a veryhelpful drawing because when I presented thatin the early stage at Berkeley, Matt Kondolf, with afluvial geomorphology– its very clever– which isalso working with us, say, oh, I like your dancing river.
And this was important.
You said, Anita,but you also said that it must not be too long.
So I go like this.
We are not doing aproject without taking into consideration thedata who are there.
I mean, it's a routine.
It's necessary toselect in the path.
I will come back toevery kind of idea.
And this drawing, whichthree meters long, and not exactly the original, but–was in the archives of Geneva.
And I was, I think, thefirst to open the drawing after it was drawn in 1819.
So it's a very useful tool.
So these are presentedbecause the territory is full of projects.
But it's also full ofproject never executed.
So the people have soughtalready to shortcut the river.
It's the same– wego with the water.
We send the water down.
But the interesting thing,for us, was this section.
So they did one thing.
What is surprising,what is extraordinary, is the simplicity,the efficiency of the engineer at that moment.
Not so many drawings.
Not so many blah, blah, blah.
But a very, very beautiful[FRENCH], length profile, and 135 transactions.
And did on two years.
So you can move.
If see that theriver, in certain– if you take thissection, we could see that the river movefrom 40 meters, for example, one year after.
So extremely interestingand beautiful drawings.
Once I talked with Aldovan Eyck, the architect.
He said, architects are verygood to organize professionally the intellectual meager.
The less you know, themore you draw, in a way.
You understand what I mean? You can hide your incompetencethrough tons of nice images.
And when you see thiscanal as it was existing, that's a preservation.
The only one problemis it [INAUDIBLE] was not drawn byLeonardo da Vinci.
Otherwise, we'd havekept it, not because it is so perfect, in a way.
It's a disaster interms of biology.
No exchanges with theunderground water.
You know that better than I.
But nevertheless, what to do? So these drawings weremade 20 years before we start to work on the canal.
It was for the park inLancy, the garden in Lancy.
Because, in a way,it's a straight line.
I don't want to come back tothe park in Lancy drawings.
But you know, this extension ofthe bridge, foot bridge, tunnel bridge, which is 100 meters longto cross a river of one meter rivulet, it's a kind ofextravagant dimension.
Certainly, it's thiskind of accentuation, intensificationcomes from this line.
There is a kind of adialogue between what is going on one kilometersahead and what we take.
But I will come back later.
But maybe it's betterto say that now.
One way of doingis to introduce, into a well known situation, ashock to renew the attention.
We are not soft.
We are maybe quiet, but softin a way that we are shy.
No, we are ambitious, not shy.
But we have alsoa good, I hope– we know the limit ofsituation, of capability.
But we try our best to introduceinto a too well known context something whichis shocking, which makes things strange, to renewthe attention, not everywhere, but some you will see that, allalong, it's always the same.
Actually, art is just like this.
And for mearchitecture, is an art, no discussion– or otherwiseit's bad architect.
And art is just to make visiblethe invisible, the ordinary.
I will come back.
A fantastic canal, eh? So this is a diagram.
You know, it's acompetition drawing.
And it's [INAUDIBLE].
So Gilles Deleuze,what is a diagram? I don't talk aboutdiagram in terms of semiology and [INAUDIBLE].
That's another chapter.
It's primarily a metaphoricuse of the world jack diagram introduced by Deleuzetalking about Francis Bacon painting.
And he said, adiagram is something which shows the place of theforces at work on a site, or on a painting.
There are forces, we callforces a lot of things.
But something isinvolved in the problem.
And you know, the drawings, thisdiagram, according to Deleuze, is a way of impeaching theforms to arrive too fast.
Not, I think too fast.
Because he said, there's nomystery of the white page.
Because the whitepage is never white.
It's full of cliches.
So as soon as youstart to work, you have all the automaticpilot of the cliche.
And you start to drawlike Adriaan Geuze or like– I don'tgive other names.
I said Adriaan Geuzebecause I like him.
So if I start to saysomething– you understand.
So diagram is a precautionto keep for a moment but indicating whereyou have to look for.
And it's very clear.
Our project had to workwith a canal and a new space for the river.
So this was reallyfirst sketch, not mine.
And when you start to drawto enter in the detail into complex data and so,this diagram is saying, hey, hey don't go awayof this combination.
And this was– so in thebrief, in the implicit brief of the competitionwas very clear.
You destroy the canal,which is a straight line, and, in nature, thereare no straight lines.
And you put the riverin the form of meanders.
That was clear.
And we said no.
We will keep thecanal, transform it, and we will shiftthe river parallel with the same wavelengthand amplitude, and the formermeander, but parallel.
I think, to have an historicalinterest in the constitution of a site does not mean thatan historical project is the one who goes back.
It's a bit simple.
And we have an extraordinaryhistorian, French historian, now, College de France,Patrick Boucheron.
He said, antiquitas, youhave to select in the past the active part of thepast that's useful for you.
Not all the past because youare buried under all this.
A lot of the pasthas just to be– maybe another partof the past will be useful for another project.
But in a project, you must find,it's a courage of a hypothesis.
I don't say we were right,but this canal, and the river, is better and toput back the river.
By the way, theyalways say there are no straight lines in nature.
But I tried a very, verylong to find an example.
But now I've seen,when I was driving, the sun behindthe clouds, I have seen that the rays of lightare pretty much straight.
And I think theyare natural, no? We said we will dothis combination of the form of canal transform.
We'll come back.
And a new– whatMatt Kondolf called a space of liberty, acorridor of [INAUDIBLE], when, you know, something–this is a double, or the river, and its double.
This is a ghost of the canal.
You feel for the river.
This is a project, it'sabout five, six kilometers.
Depends if you measure itlike this or like this.
We don't know howto measure a river.
It's impossible Now we are faced withdesigning this dancing river.
How do you do that? I'll come back now andtalk a bit on the river, for clarification,and then on the canal.
Well, the best thing todo is to get rid of humus.
It's 67, 70 centimeters.
And you let the water gointo– you don't do anything.
You help the river buterasing the humus layer.
And then the riverwill design itself.
And it goes quitefast, the river.
Because, otherwise, youhave two ways of designing a river– the engineer, let'ssay hydraulic engineers, there's a slope,a volume of water.
They will give you asinusoid, or depends.
They know how to draw it.
And we have thelandscape architects, who have another culture.
Let's say this is a scientific,so-called scientific, technique, rather.
And then you havethe cultural model, who we have all had a charming,meandering river, which is very beautiful indeed.
But how to do it? So the engineer usuallyuses very concrete blocks, or very solidthings, because they are sure that it doesn't move.
And we have a tendency touse green concrete– that means plants or things.
But the idea is the same.
The river must not move.
And as Matt Kondolf said, atthe first big flood, engineers and landscapearchitects, all the same, the river doesexactly what it does.
The problem is it takes time.
You know, a riverloves to design.
But they design whenthere is a flood.
Otherwise, they have not enoughvolume of water, and not enough strength to carry the sediment.
So we were questioned bythe environmentalists.
They said, well, it'svery nice, your trick.
But it's too long.
So they come back with amachine and make holes, put trunks, rocks, and startto make what we were avoiding.
So it's a kind of impatience.
So we were lookingfor something else.
So we were asked,could you find a way of accelerating the processof building the new riverbed.
And by chance, more or less, youknow, my knowledge of science is a bit– you read,and you say well, it may be quantique physique.
It's a bit like this.
It is impossible tounderstand exactly what is, for me, physique quantique.
And I think Niels Bohr said, ifsomeone tells you that is easy, that means that he doesnot understood anything.
So one Nobel prize,Pierre-Gilles de Gennes was working onpercolation systems, which is going through a porousmaterial of a liquid, which is exactly what is a river.
Gravel and water.
And the matrix ofindetermination.
It's a bit like that.
So they don't knowhow to– they don't know where the water will go.
But they prepare anhexagonal diagram, and the water issurprisingly– so it's a way to design without design.
And we try, on a Swiss device,with chocolate and milk.
Really, I thought,maybe it works if we do something like this.
So I was in my atelier, andwe took a block of chocolate.
And we tried to– andsaid maybe we could work.
And then we try on site.
So the surprise was that thefederal experts have accepted this, that was [INAUDIBLE].
I will come back.
So we had– the firstway of doing was here.
This was when we justtook the humus away.
And now we have onekilometers, more or less, here, of a new phase of building.
So we did that.
So it's the same.
So it's more than humus here.
But let's say the superficiallayer is taken away.
And gives a kind of plateau.
And then we startto draw and to dig.
So we made this [FRENCH].
And then we arrived to thiskind of, and this, and this.
And now, we were afraid.
Now, if the water comes,and she selects one, we will be fooled, really.
All this work for nothing.
It's making [INAUDIBLE].
Then well, theplanes above Geneva were backing us, in a way.
John– where is he? I think they callit templum, which is, in Greece, the place whereyou could predict things.
So the water arrived andwas very gently [INAUDIBLE].
And the erosion starts.
And there we found thatbecause, of course, its chocolate block was square.
And now this is a lozenge.
It's much betterfor the [INAUDIBLE].
And then we start to seethat the erosion is never at that peak, butalways on the side.
I don't enter in detail.
And then we found, in anotherscientist, Ilya Prigogine and Isabelle Stengers, theycall it structural dissipative.
And you find that also inLeonardo da Vinci, Tourbillon, the white pools,where it's always the head of thelozenge diverts water.
And the water turns onthe side and erodes.
You can see the evolution.
It is in one year.
And you see.
Now, we had very big problems–not with the federal experts, who accept– becausethey were not satisfied with the two precedentways of doing landscape architect– and scientists.
And they were looking forsome other way of doing.
But our own experts were saying,it's a delirium– le delire chocolatier.
The big fear of these guyswas, all the gravel goes down.
But it's not the case.
Matt Kondolf said a riverdoesn't go straight.
It takes the materialand puts it here.
They erode on[INAUDIBLE] and deposit.
So erosion deposits.
And now, we didn't have thatin mind at the beginning.
But it was veryinteresting in terms that we economizeda lot of excavation and taking away the earthon the site cost a lot.
And also, because if you takeall this away, which was there, I think, 60,000 cubic meters,could mean 6,000 trucks.
And the river needs thesematerials, these sediments.
So you make a double mistake.
It costs a lot,and you don't know what to do with thesediments you export.
And the river is askingfor this sediment.
So we were lucky enough.
And you see, very soon–so we made a graphic for the evolution.
But going into theriver information, it's extraordinary.
I mean, I could show youimages for– immediately, when you have water comingback here, life is coming back.
As you realize that wateris the source of life, you see flowers,insects, birds, fish.
And this process is muchbetter than the first solution because it's reallyaccelerating, and it's going.
You have pools andriffles immediately, after six months, which was notthe case in the first attempt.
So it's really an intriguingdevice, as you said, Mr.
Intriguing and working.
So when we pretend tohave a kind of laboratory touch in this project,so the monitoring is extremely important.
So we have survey with adraw and [INAUDIBLE] photo, and geometric on the site.
So we measure, andwe take an account of all the movementsof gravels, et cetera, to see if our machineis really working.
So here you seevery well the river with a new space of freedom,and the canal transformed.
The canal is transformed.
It was three metersdeep, the trapeze.
So we kept one meter–I'll show you that– deep.
And so we put earth on the twothirds of the canal's depth.
It's still a footprint.
A footprint is apermanent trace.
Animals make trace.
But footprint is a permanent,something which stays.
So we made, here, akind of footprint, which is a launching device.
So it's destinationis to disappear.
It's entropy [INAUDIBLE].
We were really anticipatingthe destruction.
So we are not really–you understood that.
And you see how theriver already built.
And when you have a flood,it's coming here, of course.
Now you see thesection of the canal.
And this canal becamea public space.
We say, this machines,the river and its double, we are faced now with asituation of environment, with water qualityshortage and so on.
So if the gardenhas always been, it's why we insist tosay it's not a park.
It's a garden.
Because, in the garden–I hope John is not going to correct me– thereis always leisure, pleasure, knowledge, and risk.
So we wanted thatpeople, in a way, would be here and look at whatis going on in this open air laboratory.
Why does it do that? Confrontation with theagricultural fields, still there with the[INAUDIBLE] coming with the pollution of water.
So this linear series ofgardens are really moments– I'll show you then– — whereyou can look at, realize, what is going on like apossibility to understand this experimentation.
So this is the canal which isstill taking all the surface water of the left side becausewe can't go to the river directly.
So we kept that.
And we introduced in the canalall traditional vocabulary of pergola and so on to have amoment where the people can sit in shadow, when it will bea bit more, with benches, and all the tra-la-la ofthe ordinary, decent garden.
But for a moment, for thisquestion of observation, a lot of people were,we want Belvedere, which is also a very classical–well you look at Belvedere.
You have an observatory.
So you can see that,maybe, here, you know, I have not so good slide.
But you see thesemountains are here.
If we use a depositpart of the digging here to make thisborrowed landscape.
So these hillswere also playing.
These people climb and seethe river, see the experiment.
But also, when they aredeeper in the canal, the profile of thenew dunes, or hills, are mimicking, doing the same,than the far away mountains.
So this problem of exportingyour borrowed landscape.
We already did it.
The use of footprint is really,in the metamorphosis evolution, the footprint isreally something.
The figure inside the moule,the footprint can move.
But the footprint gives you,always, an idea of the origin.
This is a permanenceof the transformation.
Something more that you canguess through this print that it was a bitlike this before.
We had to make aproject in Amsterdam.
An airplane crashedinto a building.
And so the footprintof the building was the evocation ofwhat happened here.
One of these blocks was here.
So going back, goingdown in the ground and then– I have notime to enter in detail how you would design all this.
But the fundamental things,the diagram, in that case, is a footprint.
Now you see what we havedone with– this image is a bit late.
Now the canal is here andthe you have this play with the Alps and the Saleve.
We had to also tocontrol the flood.
So we have some certaindike, this one here.
It's a dike here.
Topography is going down here,so if we have a big flood here, in this hole, 100 cubicmeters per second can go.
If there is more, therewill be a lake here.
Kind of a control of the floodto protect the city of Geneva down.
And this also wasn'tan occasion to have this interiority of a garden.
Suddenly, here, you are framed.
You don't see the agriculture.
You don't see the organization.
You are inside something.
And it's case where we makethis shock or strange situation, where we wanted to have acantilevered slab of concrete going up to the water, sokind of like an attraction that you can touch the water,smell that water, touch the water, listen to the water.
So these are very classicalthings you find in the garden.
Kind of an invitation,organization of the view of the [INAUDIBLE].
These thresholds arenot perpendicular.
They are oblique infront of this platform.
It's coming from aNoguchi in UNESCO garden.
Instead of having this parallelthreshold with a cascade, there is a walk forthe pedestrians.
So incline the cascadetowards the viewer.
It's a kind of signthat the river is not indifferent to the viewer.
And Noguchi is really,for me, also a reference that I like to consult.
And to make this very thinthing, it needs a lot of work.
And also Noguchi said, withlandscape architecture, when you draw, it's50% of the work.
The rest of the50% are on the site because you never knowexactly what you are going to find in the ground.
You know exactly the levels.
And the surprises are alsointeresting moment you know.
The building, themaking of the site takes you in a more interestingsituation than you imagined.
So you have to alsoto be attentive, to know what the site proposes.
And, for example, here,but I have nothing to say.
It's just a control ofwater, the theater of water, the play with it.
All this isnecessary to control, and it's not necessary tomake exactly this shape.
We have a kind of latitudeof interpretation of what we have to do and how we do it.
And sometimes it's surprising.
Depends in whichdirection you look at.
Reminds me Chatsworth,straight line, 17th century.
Now otherconsiderations are, you said we are quite–I hope you understood that we transformed things,taking and destroy something.
You already guessedthat, when I start to talk about theborrowed landscape, it's not exactlythe same vocabulary.
Or we enter in anotherconsideration of prospect vista which may be– Elissa Rosenbergwrote about Lancy, saying, it's about as the layeringof things and how the historicallayers of the site are expressed by the project.
It's not exactly picturesque.
It's rather– it's another,maybe, way of doing.
But here, it'ssomething special.
It's part of the project here.
We have a road comingfrom a little village.
And we have aspecial, here, place where, here, we'll seethat better after– there was a bridge here.
The river was doing like this–a former meander, coming here.
So this is the ruin or abridge, with just one side of the bridge remaining.
And this is going to– andMr.
Rousseau was there.
In the Confession, hesaid, when he was 17, he flew from his home,and his real life started.
He was in Confignon.
And Confignon is here.
And the bridge is here.
And the road I show you is here.
Now, as an architect, we said,are we ignoring completely Mr.
Rousseau afterhis importance in terms of a change ofthe appreciation of nature, the sublime, the 18th century.
So how to work with Rousseauwithout putting the a plaque with "Rousseau was here," whichwas not what we were looking.
So here is a bridge.
Now I had an idea.
Maybe it's a bad idea.
But I read again, evensometimes, for the first time, it depends on thebooks– Le Confession, Les Reveries du PromeneurSolitaire– all the books where Rousseau.
And I was underliningand taking away every time he was expressinghis sentiment towards nature.
So he likes rivers.
We have a river.
He likes ruins.
We have a ruin.
He likes trees, and, undertrees, a bench, and a fountain.
We make a fountain.
We have a bench.
He likes cherry trees.
We'll make a cherrytree orchard.
He likes blue flowers becauseit's a bit like Proust, when you see blue flowers,it's wow, when I was young, I ate blue flowers.
So our client was Rousseau.
And we also look at Laurent.
And you know, this is a river.
Well this is a sea,but we can say, well, it's more or lessthe same situation.
It's going down,and we have ruins.
So we made that.
And this is a fountain.
This is a bench.
These are trees, and so on.
You know, this is a Rousseau-istsituation with, here, even more– this isa form of bridge.
We change it with thevegetation, herb green, like in Stourhead, oreven in [INAUDIBLE].
So all this is abit– now, the people are not going tounderstand, maybe, if I don't explain you this.
So we had a discussion with Mr.
Hunt, John Hunt– John Dixon Hunt.
Are all these peoplegoing to Stourhead, knowing all the [INAUDIBLE],a Virgilian touch? Mr.
Tribe would say, no, today'signorant people, they have no idea why they did all this.
May be true, but, as Johnsaid, nevertheless, there are other thingsthat the monument.
There are topography,trees, flowers, sky, and, after all, Virgil wastalking about something.
Why we like Virgil? That's maybe a hypothesisyou can discuss.
But I have a tendency tothink that all Rousseau or Virgil were talkingabout things we like.
So if Rousseau said I likea tree, and you like a tree, you are near to him, evenif you don't read Rousseau.
What is the mostimportant, in a way? It's also to have a kindof [FRENCH] because today, we need, maybe, to slowdown and to take back to the very simple facts thatbe under a tree, on a bench, near a fountain, is important–more than having an abracadabra project, which is competingwith TV reality show.
And talking about takingtime, it's about a walk.
We have a lot of walk.
And you know, I wasin London, at the AA.
And in East London, I hadtaken this in '73, I think.
I loved these things.
The guy who designedthat– you know, it's absolutely notparallel to the canal.
It's a rambling.
So it's like, I don'twant metro, boulot, dodo.
No, no, you are not goingto make me directly go.
I want to ramble, totake my time, slow down.
And we make this[INAUDIBLE] Pierre LeGrain in Dorothee Imbert'sModernist Garden in France.
You have the zig-zag,the bench, and the trees.
And we found the situationourself, the same situation.
So it was a mixtureof London souvenir– I loved this surprisingdesign– and also Legrain.
Because usually,too often, you have these boring parallel tubesthat you have to follow, both sides the same.
Here, and we had exactlythe existing orchard hedge and zig-zag.
And my father was a bookseller.
And I remember becausePierre Legrain was also making beautiful [FRENCH].
And this is nearly my project.
Immoralist, Andre Gide.
And it's immoral.
So I've still, how much? Five minutes.
We'll finish on the walk.
This is a project, theSwiss Path, made in '91.
It was to commemorate the700th birth of the Swiss Confederation.
Around a lake, which is[FRENCH], 36 kilometers, a walk made by each canton.
We have 26 cantons.
And each canton had acertain segment length according to the number ofinhabitants, five millimeters by each inhabitant.
It included the foreigners.
And we had to dotwo kilometers here.
Now, we said, it's a bitlike the renaturalization.
There was an offer,a competition, and all the others, exceptPaulo Borghi and me, we projected on thisterritory all the grandeur of the countryside, the canton.
The import, and wesaid no, we would like to avoid the common[INAUDIBLE], blah, blah, blah, [FRENCH], and to say, weare going to understand your own territory.
So we are going to make a kindof archeology of the site.
We are going to goaway with bad things.
And we had a motto.
We will not add anythingwhich is not already there.
Because imagination,according to Baudelaire, is not a fantasy.
It's just to makevisible the things here, or another poet, Swiss-French,rather German-Swiss, Ludwig Hohl, he said, imaginationis not fantasy.
It's just a way to raise thetemperature of the existing things.
Or your William Carlos Williamssaid no ideas but in things.
So the things are here.
And it's up to you todo something with it.
This is what we callform imagination.
So to look at the paths it'slike the parallel lines, both sides of the paths.
Or you imagine that the pathsare always at the same thing.
So we had the people whoshow that, on the contrary, the path is alwayschanging its position.
Once it's yellowhere, and then red.
And so we work on this,showing, making visible, that the path washere and now here.
And when the stones onthe side were lacking, we put concrete stones.
So this was more or lesswhat we have done here, just underlying.
And we were alsoworking with artists.
This is Richard Long.
You know, for me,it's always a lesson that this work ofLong in the '70s is called brushing the path.
So he just took a brushand took off the leaves.
So I think it's agood way of designing.
He came here, and hemade a walk around.
I have no time to explain you.
It's another workof Richard Long.
You know, I am stilljealous of this work.
Because to be so, you know,where you said, we are not shy, we are not soft, becausethis is very rough to say, a cross in the flowers.
But it's done just tocutting the flowers away.
So it's just a deliberateclearing and a sign.
Richard Long is part, atleast at the beginning, in the '70, '69, of themovement Arte Povera.
And this is a lesson for usbecause Arte Povera attracted the attention ofmaterials without glory, situation without glory,everything ordinary.
That we can make sculpturewithout extravagant– and this attentionto what is not seen, usually, it's really, forme– I have to be brave, but you understand theconnection between what we are doing on the site, andthese movements, or [INAUDIBLE] saying everything isgood to make a project.
We don't have to say, ohno, this is disgusting because it's galvanized.
And so in this, always, thesame project, in Swiss Path, there devices to getrid of the water.
There were in wood, bythe army, by the way.
That must be the artistic themeof army, makes these very soft wooden things.
And we change itin steel, having in mind RichardSerra in Netherlands, where he made, usingthese kinds of materials, we could say, atthat moment also, it was part of–who are the artists? They are never the artists whodeclare that I'm a land artist, or I'm an Arte Povera artist.
But there is some [INAUDIBLE]in that case who said, they are workingwith the same mind.
That is, they takeordinary materials.
But when you seethis, I remember.
So this is the verysame with Mr.
When you arrive inthis wooden [FRENCH], the atmosphere isrough steel, rusted.
And it's so soft.
Now the colors.
Last, we had to get through withprotecting against the debris, the wooden tram ofarriving with the flood.
We have to put this grid into avoid that [INAUDIBLE] into the dike and thenmake a catastrophe.
Now, it's a wooded trunk.
And we were faced withone thing, very simple.
It's impossible tomake– the engineer said you make a straight line.
Impossible with a machine.
The ground is not perfect.
So everything wasgoing– one certainty, it will be nevera straight line.
So I start to think howto avoid a straight line.
It's the lastimage, don't worry.
So I put a [FRENCH] of aline, one meter of distance, which is thedistance in between.
And I asked to the office,do something not to straight.
And they started tomake a very soft curve.
And I said, thatdoes not matter.
We have not hadenough constraints.
So we have to have arule to make exception.
If you have no rules,you can't make exception.
You have a kind of veryimprecise and uninteresting form.
So I made this lineand put my [INAUDIBLE].
So my wife, she's an artist.
She came and said, no,Georges, you write music.
It was true.
It was like this at the end.
And I said, no, no.
But this reflectionof this artist.
I should go to see SteveReich or Philip Glass because they makerepetitive music.
Maybe they willrepetitive score.
And as usual, it's a caseof when you find something without knowing it.
It's [INAUDIBLE], no? It's [INAUDIBLE].
You are looking for something,and you find something else.
There's a name.
And looking for this,I found this partition, which is exactly the 36 pillarshere with one meter here.
And it's by John Cage.
And the title of thepartitions is In a Landscape.
Now we really made this.
So this is a partition, a score.
And then you have this [FRENCH].
And you look.
They were playing the partition.