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The audacious green vision of landscape architect Jean Claude Forestier contributed to the urban enrichment of the cities.

Jean-Claude-Nicolas Forestier (1861–1930). French landscape-architect. He began his career assisting Alphand on works in Paris, e.g. Bois de Vincennes (from 1887), and subsequently designed part of the Champ de Mars (1908–28) and other open spaces. 

Master plan for Havana

For the Exposition des Arts Décoratifs, Paris (1925), he was director of the exhibition of gardens designed by others, e.g. Mallet-Stevens. He also laid out the park in Barcelona where the International Exhibition was held in 1929–30. He designed part of Buenos Aires, Argentina, the spacious Avenue Costanera by the banks of the Rio de la Plata. 

Under Forestier, who had been heavily influenced by the gardens of Andalusia and Morocco, the Park became a Moorish inspired extravaganza of tiled fountains, ponds, arbors, pavillions and other structures, planted in a lush Mediterranean style with vines, bougainvilleas, roses, palms orange trees and flower beds. 

Streets designed for towns in Morocco 1914 Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier
Streets designed for towns in Morocco 1914 Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier

These gardens lead from fountains to gazebos to arbors to rose gardens to the top of the hill where you discover the sweeping views down the hill with water stairs inspired by the Alhambra leading back down. This element of surprise and wonder is one I have found in all of Forestier’s gardens, whether in Paris at Bagatelle, Morocco at the Jardins d’Essais or here.

Plaça de Joan Fiveller by Jean-Claude-Nicolas Forestier.
Plaça de Joan Fiveller by Jean-Claude-Nicolas Forestier.

This park being such an expansive and complex creation, I am featuring it through several posts.This first one showcases the Garden of the Lions and the Fountain of the Alvarez Quintero Brothers just behind it. Both are stunning in very different ways. The Fountain of the Lions features large fountains surrounded with sculptures and geometrical borders with a clear Moorish influence. The Quintero fountain is a masterpiece of tile work that ties in with the incredibly detailed allover moasaics of the Plaza de Espana at the other end of the park.

This formal French garden in Portugal was built in 1887, the Portuguese palace is nestled in 5Ha of French-style botanical gardens with impressive water features, a pool.

The botanical gardens were designed by architect Jeau Claude Forestier and restored in 2010 by Spanish landscape architect Javier Mariategui.

His book on large cities and park-systems was published in 1908, and was influential.


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