Sensory landscape experience: Stepping outside the visual landscape of the motorway in the Garden of Birds

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Abstract

Gardens and motorways represent inherently different ways of perceiving the landscape: while the motorway is a purely visual experience, seen through the windshield, distanced from the perceiver in his climatized cocoon, the small, tactile scale of a garden offers a multisensory experience. With motorways getting more and more separated from their landscapes, can a garden be the opportune resource to address the motorway landscape? A place that appears to be doing this is the Garden of Birds, a small circular space as the pivot point of a rest area along the A837 motorway in south-western France. Fifteen years after implementation it now appears more like a garden than might have ever been intended, providing a sensory landscape experience. Drawing and describing this situation_including its intentional and unintentional changes resulting from manmade and natural interventions and processes_as if it were a designed composition, exposes a spatial elaboration that facilitates the multisensory perception of landscape. The garden experience entices the motorist to look at the surrounding landscape with fresh eyes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-31
JournalJournal of Landscape Architecture
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Experience of landscape
  • gardens
  • motorway
  • Bernard Lassus
  • afterlife of gardens

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