Woven Landscapes

Romy Hecht Marchant For Lofscapes


(1) Cover Juan Grimm © Ediciones Puro Chile

Chilean landscape architect Juan Grimm released his new book in April. The book, published by Ediciones Puro Chile, showcases his 30-year career in designing gardens and parks. Through drawings and photographs, the publication shows the sources of inspiration and the stories behind each of the projects as they evolved over time.

Eighteen years after the publication of the first monograph by the Chilean architect and landscape painter Juan Grimm (1952), the book edited by Claudia Pertuzé and published by Ediciones Puro Chile in conjunction with LarrainVial presents Grimm and his work in a detailed and expansive way. In 1999, Grimm described the principle behind the development of his work, “I believe that the conditions that define the unique characteristics of a landscape are associated with its topography, its vegetation, the water and the reading of the movement that is revealed through the nuances of its shapes, colors and textures … what we should be able to incorporate into our work is the sequence of the landscape that we are dealing with and to order it inspired by that little piece of the world “(1).

(1) Jardines Juan Grimm, 1984–1999 (Gardens Juan Grimm) Santiago: Ediciones ARQ, 1999, p.37.

Presenting as referents the Galapagos Islands, the coast around Los Molles, the desert area of the Norte Chico and the araucaria forests of southern Chile, Grimm shows (in words and results) his keys to confronting a project: “value the natural landscape and its environment; enhance the preexisting riches; repair the wounds of the earth caused by constructions alien to the natural conditions of the place by indiscriminate cutting and by other changes”(2). In over 1,000 hectares, Grimm has excelled in his ability to create atmospheres with vegetation and interweavings of the place, imprinting in his work, of unexpected patterns of movement, exuberance and mystery. As architect Mathias Klotz described: “His work … creates intimacy … melts, mixes and amalgamates pre-existing natural elements and/or those particular to the place with new, sometimes exotic elements that added together build a new landscape characterized by balance, by the fusion of planes, and essentially by the diffusion of borders.” In the landscapes constructed by Juan, it is not known with certainty where the intervention ends and what is foreign begins … ” (3).

(2) Grimm, “Cuadernos de Viaje,” (Travel diaries) p.73.
(3) Klotz, “Acerca de Juan, un Arquitecto que Hace Paisaje,” (All about Juan, an Architect who Makes Landscapes) p.16.

In this book, those who have ventured into the construction of our landscape, either persistently or spontaneously, can discover possibilities to experiment with endemic vegetation, to approach unknown territories through suggestive images, and to finally discover the beauty within the projects and the vision that delicately contributes to the conservation and recovery of Chile’s landscapes.

Juan Grimm was published by Ediciones Puro Chile and Hatje Cantz with texts by Aniket Bhagwat, Juan Grimm, Mathias Klotz, Claudia Pertuzé and Mitzi Rojas. It can be found in Antarctica bookstores throughout Chile.

(2) Juan Grimm, Jardín Chiloé (Chiloé Garden), Ahui, Chiloé, Chile (2001) © Diego Figueroa
(3) Juan Grimm, Parque El Roble, Coelemu, Región del Bío-Bío, Chile (1998) © Renzo Delpino

(4) Juan Grimm, Jardín Morita (Morita Garden), San Martín de los Andes, Argentina (2007–2008) © Renzo Delpino


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