Piet Oudolf has created ‘The Oudolf Garden’ at the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein in Germany, a winding path of naturalistic style gardens complementing the site’s architecture.
The landscaped garden is comprised of 4,000 square metres, intertwining with the existing architecture at the furniture company’s HQ, where their production is centered. Visitors can roam the grounds basking in the glow of the circular gardens and visit museums, production buildings, and a showroom to get a better understanding of the location’s rich history.
Vitra’s ‘Architecture Park’ began crafting the buildings and structures on campus in the 1980s, and up until now had not considered landscape design as part of the initial plan for the site, said former chairman Rolf Fehlbaum.
Oudolf specializes in a naturalistic approach to landscape design, and notably wishes to shift focus from the structures to instead focus their attention to the plants. Despite the notion that the organisation of plants seems scattered and complex, extreme precision and intent have gone into the work. Naturalism is approached by including plant species that work against the traditional values of formality, and are chosen for their skewed structures and bold flower colour.
The plant varieties were also selected on the basis that the plants will retain their shape and quality throughout the year. With much planning going into the landscape, members of the public can visit the garden in any season and still be able to revel in its beauty.
With the garden concluding the planting process in 2020, the fast-maturing species have already matured swiftly meaning the site can welcome visitors now. The circular exhibits are surrounded by grasses, shrubs, ferns and various herbaceous perennials that aim to askew the naturally occurring lines and form of the existing architecture.
After a stretched period of lockdowns being indoors, the installation has come at no better time for those needing to get outdoors and experience nature’s majesty.
Images via Vitra