La maison close

2018 Edition – Garden 2

The garden is a highly sensitive place that stimulates all the senses. Throughout history, gardens have provided intimate spaces that promote pleasure and enjoyment. During the Romantic era, the aristocracy would enjoy moments of courtship in gardens. They’re places that reflect sensuality, continuity and the effects of habitat. This natural, living architecture is a place where each plant randomly and sensually marks out spaces. Every sense is awoken: smell, touch and sound. Beauty surrounded by different sounds and perfumes is part of each garden’s power.


With this garden project, I wanted to produce a habitat made up of intimate spaces where everyone can find refuge. This refuge (the maison or house) is a metaphor for the sexual fantasy of being in places where rules and norms don’t apply. The garden is a sensitive space, which encourages visitors to meditate, surrounded by landscaped, passionate plant life.


This garden is built on an octagonal foundation created using water, to symbolise life and fertilisation. A lineal structure and area creates the spaces. The plants form a more vertical and freer architecture. The thujas and taxus baccata are irregular plants that define the spaces. We associate each of the flowers (lilies, roses and agapanthus africanus) with love and passion because of their colour or what they symbolise. Each flower blooms in a different area, to create several environments. The wooden walkway that forms the hallways projects slightly into the different areas, to allow visitors the pleasure of breaking the rules and walking on the grass.


This garden is an invitation to the visitor to get lost in its intimate spaces, where everyone has the opportunity to imagine, dream, seek intimacy and play in the voluptuousness and sensuality of nature, in the open air.

Marie Astrid de Malet

Sponsored by

TEAM: Mademalet

Marie Astrid de Malet


As an interior architecture student (ENSAD, Paris), Marie is passionate about architecture and its different facets. She enjoys experimenting with different architectural materials. Nature and botany are her favourite themes because they involve a living and free type of architecture that needs no limits.