On Friday the 22nd of June, the long-awaited 19th edition of the Metis International Garden Festival was launched, featuring ephemeral architectural gardens created by architects and designers from all over the world.
This year, the theme “Playsage 2—go play outside!” was a follow-up to its first edition of 2017, where 7 new gardens came to complete a promenade conducive to playing in nature: the festival wanted to continue this exploration as a response to our isolation from the outside, which deprives us of wonder in front of the beauty, the sounds and the colours that only nature can give us.
Humà design + architecture, in collaboration with Vincent Lemay, landscape architect of the city of Montreal, had the incredible opportunity to come and finalize his own garden during an unforgettable week. It is a priceless privilege to be among the 7 gardens selected out of 149 proposals this year and putting our mark on the gardens with other architects and designers coming from all over the world was a humbling honour.
This project called “le rocher très percé”, gently places an icon of the Gaspésie in the heart of the gardens for a summer.
Decontextualized, hollowed out, the pierced rock finds itself displaced and transformed into a game for children, exactly 40 times smaller than the original rock.
Often seen from a distance, stately as a monument, visitors can now touch it, climb on it, take ownership of the reinterpretation of this natural landmark.
“le rocher très percé” 20 metres long, ocean blue structure, lands on a sea of grass, and reinforces its presence with its 4-metre height at the entrance of the gardens. It also recalls the aquatic reality of the Gaspésie in a green and mineral environment to finally anchor the Percé Rock as a cultural heritage in the pool of contemporary creations that make the gardens of Métis.
Finishing the construction of this huge metal spider web was an enterprise in itself: In a week, the designers, including the president of Humà, Stephanie Cardinal, turned into blacksmiths, welders, sander, metal twisters, and painters, to finally complete at the last day, under a sunset, a structure that would immediately be conquered by adventurous children.
This has been a week rich of unique and incredible emotions. It was a very good glimpse of what Alexander Reford, Reford Garden’s director, wants to create this summer with “playsage”.
The conceptors, released in an external environment, lived an intense experience they wish to all the garden’s future visitors:
Feeling like a child again, they were happy to be working under the sun with birds and singing trees;
Happy to be able to climb their rock to paint it;
Happy to be part of this timeless cultural hub;
Happy to play in nature.
Humà design + architecture is a multitalented, multigenerational, multidisciplinary firm that prescribe a human, innovative and upgraded approach. Consisting of a team of creators, designers, branding specialists, graphic designers and urban designers, Humà advocates its president’s, Stéphanie Cardinal, vision to be immersed, before any interventions, in the dimension of the project’s space and in the socio-cultural and economic environment in order to be able to develop a position, an identity and uniqueness.
The “rocher très percé” team includes Stephanie Cardinal, President, Olivier Laplante-Goulet, Multidisciplinary conceptor, Lorelei L’Affeter, Art director, and Sarah Pradel, Intern architect.
Vincent Lemay, a native of Sainte-Flavie, neighbouring municipality of Grand Métis, is the first landscape architect from the region to participate in the festival. A graduate of the “l’école professionnelle de Sainte-Hyacinthe” in landscaping, he also has a bachelor in landscaping architecture from the University of Montreal. For more than 7 years, he has worked in the municipal sector for the city of Montreal, where he works on original & sustainable urban projects.