The Garden of Epicurus – Finalist of the International Moscow Flower Jam Competition edition 2020 – Category: Large Exhibition Garden – In collaboration with Architect Andrea Russo
Epicurus (341-270 BC) is said to have spent his entire life studying and teaching in a garden. Only among plants and flowers, he was able to rediscover the tranquillity of the mind and the well-being of the body which he believed was the purpose of life. In Moscow, the visitor could find the “Epicurus’ Garden”, a garden in the city, an oasis of well-being and tranquillity where she/he can relax and rediscover the balance lost in the frenzy of everyday life.
The structure of the garden takes its shape from a 1.5 m x 1.5 grid. The dynamism of the paths, the green areas and the stepped seats are the representation of the flows of the modern metropolis which is Moscow: vehicles, people and information cross, overlap and move along dynamic lines in tension with each other.
The garden was born among them (those dynamic lines), and growing it softens them, smooths them, enhances their rhythm.
The project is structured along a main axis that invites the visitor to enter for a cooling walk or a relaxing pause.
To the right and lee of the main axis, the garden is divided into two parts: on a side, a large green area where a visitor you can have sit, play a musical instrument or take a selfie immersed among plants; on the other side, structured as a “theatre of greenery”, a visitor can sit among flowery borders to chat quietly with friends, read a book or find inner peace contemplating the beauty of the garden.
It will be a joy for children to explore the garden, running up and down the steps and in the paths, hidden among plants, while parents talk with each other. Prunus serrula multistem trees have been proposed for their shiny copper-coloured bark. It tends to brown and flakes (especially in winter) creating dramatic decorative effects. Besides, the chosen trees give a sense of unity, a visual rhythmicity and mass and height to the garden.
Planting of herbaceous takes place around an imaginary line to connects the Prunus trees together. The colours of blooms have been chosen with warm shades and, associated with each other, to try to help body and mind to regain their natural balance and positively influence the state of health.
Entering the “Epicurus’ garden”, the visitor immerses himself or herself in a natural dimension where, surrounded by the beauty of the flowers, the sweetness of the scents and protected by the shade of the trees, forgetting the time, he or she finds mental tranquillity and rest of the body.
All steps, the planting beds and the relaxing areas will be made of painted and treated wood for outdoor use.
In order to extend the enjoyment of the Epicurus Garden, there will be an illumination according to functional and aesthetic purposes. By Functional lighting it will allow people to stand, go around or work in the garden even in the dark hours and it will consist of low diffusion lamps to form areas of light near steps and the edge of paths. By aesthetic lighting it will create particular effects highlighting the soft lines of wooden flower bed structures through strips of led lights. In addition, to enhance the drama of the architectural structure of Prunus serrula trees they will be illuminated from below by specific lights.