Island garden in the castle pond - botanical garden Meise

Competition design (third place) for an island garden in a castle pond of the Botanic Garden Meise, where the focus is on minimal interventions that realize the program and at the same time leave as much wooded island as possible undisturbed. In collaboration with Buro Voor Vrije Ruimte



First there were the castles with their ponds. Only later the botanical garden. The castles with their ponds are still there. In one of the ponds is an island with trees on it, a typical element of the English landscape gardens. The island has been dull and unused for decades. Dead trees fall into the water and geese have free rein. They want to make the island accessible and use it, it is becoming a place for mosses and aquatic plants.

An island is certainly an island. Not a bridge, but a ferry takes you from bank to bank. People moor at a covered red-wood stand. A group of children sit at different levels and listen to a guide. If you keep climbing you will suddenly be on a small balcony between the treetops. Under the stands there is a shelter for bad weather. The path shoots into the forest like a bolt of lightning. The current forest remains where it is, except for the grubbing up of dangerous trees. Thick carpets of moss grow on rock walls in the shade of the forest.

The path continues to shoot. It floats a little from the bottom, through the gratings you see ferns and fallen leaves. The red line of the riser guides and keeps people on the path without reproving. Suddenly the path stops and there is an opening in the forest. A clearing in the sun, the bank a little further. You can see the castle through the trees.

The path starts again and shoots over the water. The path is now a jetty. Now water, plants and frogs under the metal floor. At the end a view, of banks, of trees in the water, aquatic plants and a castle. Returning the same jerky path provides a different view.