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In the heart of Geneva, a rounded summer garden

ID card
  • Project name: Summer garden

  • Location city/canton: Onex, canton of Geneva

  • Type of project: Private garden

  • Project start date: March 2019

  • Delivery date: 2021

  • AMEX project surface area: 3950m2

  • SIA phases: 31 - 53

  • Architect: Mazzu Architectes EPFL-SIA

  • Partner company: Paysage Dos Santos Sàrl, Tech Jardin, Kettal, Plantideal, Innocenti nursery, Jacquet nursery

The mission

✔️ Support the renovation work of a villa.

✔️ Suggest landscaping, furniture and lighting. 

✔️ Anticipate and integrate the possible expansion of the plot from the initial sketch.

The brief

This summer garden project is located in Onex, in the canton of Geneva. To support the architectural renovation of a villa, we were mandated by the client to propose new developments, in order to take full advantage of the exteriors in summer.

From the beginning of the project, the idea of ​​being able to develop the garden on the neighboring plot was expressed and anticipated. The initial sketch left the door open for a potential second stage where the historic garden could extend over the entire land. During construction, the purchase is finalized. The enclosed suburban garden becomes a generous plot of land, a green setting for a green park.

From a renovation of a suburban garden to the creation of a green park

This two-speed project begins with the renovation of the “historic” plot. In this area, our intervention mainly focused on the insertion of planted beds, the creation of paths and the repair of natural stone terraces. The first sketches also introduce the hammock area and the lighting of the garden.

The integration of the adjoining plot of 2900m2 completely changes the volume of the garden. A curtain of evergreen shrubs surrounds part of the land to create the sensation of a cocoon of greenery. A few strategically positioned openings open up the view of the great landscape and the Salève.

The exuberant garden places particular importance on plants, with rich palettes, adapted according to the exposure and desired atmospheres. For example, for the area we like to call “the Brocéliande forest”, we combined trees with tortuous silhouettes with rocks, lush ferns and moss to recreate the atmosphere of this magical place. We also thought about how beautiful the garden would be in winter. To do this, we used plants with decorative woods. A plant ribbon shaped by gradients of color ranging from deep green to flamboyant red in winter adorns the view from the windows of the villa.

Japanese maple, Persian beech, Beijing lilac... very beautiful subjects have been sourced in the largest and most prestigious European nurseries.

A garden with organic shapes in movement

The approach taken for this project revolved around the idea of ​​a garden populated by oval shapes. Why this choice ? To echo the trees present on the site cut into an oval, and in particular a majestic Arizona cypress. This preeminence of organic ovoid shapes subsequently guided the design of the exterior arrangements. The guiding idea being to start sketching elements in the initial suburban garden, then to continue and repeat them in a harmonious manner on the enlarged plot.

Zoom on: the pergola space

The pergola offers a relaxation and conviviality area. The roof provides shade to an outdoor kitchen, a dining area and a lounge area with armchairs and sofas. The interior is divided into two parts: a storage area for storing outdoor furniture and an area dedicated to parking and repairing bicycles. Cycling being a passion of the owner, we integrated a transparent window allowing you to see the bicycles displayed inside from the garden . Combining cedar wood and powder-coated sheet metal, the orange Kettal structure contrasts with the surrounding greenery, and adds a touch of originality to the garden. The natural stone floor, repeating the theme of organic shapes, was prepared in the factory, numbered and installed according to a precise layout. An integrated LED strip around the edge emphasizes the roundness and creates a floating effect when night falls.

A tailor-made garden where each piece has its own meaning

Plant palette, furniture, lighting, floor coverings… all the elements of this garden are tailor-made. Each plant has been meticulously positioned by us to guarantee a result that meets our expectations and those of the client. Direct involvement of our teams in the implementation on the ground, for all perennial plants as well as for large exceptional trees. A personalized approach to achieve a unique garden. The best example of this philosophy is the selection of a stone for the Brocéliande forest with an atypical silhouette evoking a turtle, the totem animal of the owner of the place...

“A stone with a unique silhouette, a nice nod to the client’s motto “there’s no point in running; you have to leave at the right time.” »