El Roble Park

Project Name: El Roble Park

Garden Surface: 3.5 ha

Construction year: 1998

Location: Coelemu, Biobío Region, Chile

Architect of Main House: Jorge Ramírez and Ana María Amadori

Architect of Montes House: 57 Studio

Architect of Chapel: 57 Studio

 

The worksite was surrounded by many hectares of pine forest plantations that are still preserved today. Some abandoned houses in ruins remained, as well as various elements that had once belonged to a now defunct vineyard. The owners refurbished the existing buildings and built others, forming a sort of small village.

The design of the garden basically consisted of implementing a network of lanes, paths, observation points and resting places; their function being to connect the spaces through a variety of routes, like in a park.

This project is a good example of integrating a large number of built elements, aged trees, pine forests and some pockets of native flora.

Around the worksite there were pockets of vine that remained intact. Many large Carolina poplars and an araucaria angustifolia stood near a marshy spot. I thought this was the right environment to be the center of the whole project. The image that inspired my first visit was one of the landscapes of southern Chile, of large araucarias under which the ground is clothed in Antarctic beeches. I designated the most humid spot as a small lake, and around it I planted myrtles, honeysuckle, prickly heath, ferns, new araucarias and Japanese maples. Although exotic species were included, I had achieved my vision.

Each of the spaces I designed—the garden of the main house, the garden of the lake, the garden of the chapel and the garden of the Montes house—has its own characteristics, related to its individual topography and use.

The access to the main house is the most formal part of the complex. The oldest building, formerly the wine cellar, is also there. In front of the house, the space of the garden is organized in a symmetrical square.

The Montes house has the features of a lookout, since it is located at the highest point of the terrain and dominates the surroundings visually. A horse chestnut stands out, one of the oldest in the area.

The chapel garden is the most intimate space. It is located in an existing forest of Australian blackwood, where I created a humid undergrowth of mosses and ferns. There, one senses a monastic feeling of silence and calm.

Then there are the gardens belonging to the various old and secluded structures, small constructions now refurbished as apartments and bedrooms for visitors. Each one has a small observation point from which gardens extend in scale with the place. Thus, in addition to enjoying the main garden, visitors can see the park from these viewpoints, consisting of little corners filled with shrubs that give them independence and privacy (the house of the vine, the cottage of the lagoon, etcetera).

The owners then made an excellent decision: due to the success of the first plantings made in the garden, they decided to continue reforesting outside its limits, so that large tracts of native flora replaced the pine forests surrounding the houses.

The owner’s supervision has been vital in the project. She has been interested and has made proposals to ensure that each new place is in harmony with the whole. In this way, the spaces added with the passage of time came to comprise a garden of great wealth that is in permanent transformation. Moreover, she has become convinced that the propagation of the native forest is fundamental to recovering the native landscape.

8 al cubo Garden

Agua Dulce Urbanization

Name of project: Agua Dulce Urbanization

Garden surface: 10 ha

Construction year: 2017

Location: Huentelauquen, Región de Coquimbo, Chile

 

This project sought to enhance and protect the existing Norte Chico ecosystem, a special area of the Chilean coast, in a magnificent geographic location: a large beach with dunes and a wonderful view of the green stretches of the coastal Andes. Temperatures are moderate throughout the year while rainfall is scarce.

On my first visit, I identified with the undulating language of the dunes and the shore, the jagged nature of the rocks and the presence of indigenous vegetation. Using these elements, I conceived a plan that respected the existing vegetation and introduced new native plants along with an irrigation system to encourage their growth.

 

The project includes an extensive residential project with 10 landscaped hectares in a location where the existing vegetation is practically untouched –especially in the gullies– and almost every species that grows in the region can be found.

It includes a central park, the ‘Encounters Park’, whose plan, paths and furniture are inspired by the geometry of an existing estuary that was channelled to protect the residential areas and control storm surges in winter. The natural footprint of the rainwater was converted into pedestrian paths and walkways, respecting and reinforcing the contours of the existing vegetation and creating rest areas, a play area and other recreational spaces.

Another park, the ‘Linear Park’, is located on a plain that happened to be flooded the previous winter, when the rainwater flowed freely over its surface. This inspired me to work in the same language, creating curves that follow the path of the water and an artificial ridge that leads to the sea.

Both parks include walls and furniture made from local stone and elements that evoke the gullies and streams, as well as benches that simulate the branches and tree trunks swept along by the water after heavy rainfall.

Another area, the ‘Plaza of the rocks’, is a promenade inspired by the angular language of the rocky coast with a wooden walkway that runs along the shore and over the outcrops to provide a pedestrian path from the cove across the beach and up to the hotel, cabins and viewpoint.

Fray León Garden

Name of project: Fray León Garden

Garden surface: 1.600 m2

Construction year: 2016

Location: Las Condes, Región Metropolitana, Chile

Architect of house: Maurizio Angelini

 

From the start, this small garden in Santiago was conceived and implemented in partnership with the architect of the house: Maurizio Angelini. Our fruitful collaboration produced what we see today: the architecture and the garden as a single unit where one experiences –from the moment they enter– the transparency of architecture of the house as being closely connected to the garden. It’s not obvious where the landscaping begins and the architecture ends.

Budnik Garden

Galmez Garden

Alberto del Pedregal Garden

Mingo Garden

Montemar Garden

Navarro Garden