lan: en
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sub: og-page_tit: Villa Bleuler Garden og-page_des: The city was able to save the villa, which was slated for demolition, in the 1980s. In the enchanted garden, we have reproduced various elements that had been lost. The “eye” in the reconstructed lawn-covered circular bed integrates the underground library within the site as a whole. og-page_kwd: Landscape Architecture, Topic, og-page_url: [open] og-page_img: [open]
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Villa Bleuler Garden, Zürich

Many old villa gardens have today been subdivided and built over, and only a few have been preserved. Otto Fröbel and Evariste Merten’s garden from the late-historical period for the neo-Tuscan villa erected by the architect Alfred Bluntschli in 1887 was supposed to be built over in the 1970s. Fortunately, the city of Zurich was able to provide protection for the villa and garden in 1973 and purchase them in 1983. The Schweizerische Institut für Kunstwissenschaften (SIK, Swiss Institute for Art Research) constructed an underground library in front of the main entrance. A lenticular skylight in the reconstructed grass-covered circular bed provides natural lighting in the underground reading room, which can thus be experienced as a central component of the site as a whole from both inside and outside. We restored other structural elements in the open space like the fences, or reconstructed them, like the weathered pergola structures. The atmosphere in the garden is defined by the patina of age—with the moss on the thick tree trunks, the forest-like undergrowth under the large trees, or the thick layer of white gravel. With the rehabilitation, we deliberately preserved the traces of the past, a special characteristic of old gardens. The newly planted herbaceous border underscores the lavish opulence of historical villa gardens. The sensitive gardeners of “Grün Stadt Zürich” keep the garden in a state that makes us believe that nature does all of this on its own. What thus becomes perceptible is the yearning for pure nature that a garden can awaken in us.

Grün Stadt Zürich
Project Data
Park maintenance plan 1986
Realisation 1992-1993
Area 6'800 m²
Project Team
Nicole Newmark

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