Rotunda is an elemental garden, based on an atmospheric and poetic perception of materials, light, plants and the passing of time.
The design was inspired by historical garden pools and water bowls, circular architectures as the Pantheon, land art interventions in forests as well as natural elements like rock pools or plants with leafs that collect water as the Umbilicus Rupestres.
Conceived as a device capturing the beauty of nature, the intention is to transform the surrounding landscape into the garden itself by capturing what is outside its boundaries.
Water is used as a raw material to create a reflecting surface. The container is simply a frame that suspends water above the ground: a homogenous black object, assembled in a direct way, minimizing the expression of assembly joints and the contact with the ground.
The garden is to be filled with water at the beginning of its life and to be left to evolve over time, becoming a climate register device. The garden will over time accumulate leaves, dust and pollen, be inhabited by birds and insects, leading to the cultivation and growth of new life within the garden.
It will be sensible to changing light conditions, fluctuations in temperature and humidity, rainfall and evaporation, allowing visitors to reflect on the passing of time and the experiential qualities of place.
International Design Competition: First prize
Project title: Rotunda
Location: Grand-Métis, Quebec, Canada
Client: Reford Gardens – Les Jardins de Métis
Architect: Estar, Aurora Armental Ruiz & Stefano Ciurlo Walker
Competition images: Carlos Comendador
Fabrication: Patrique Côté, Reford Gardens
Design and construction: 2014