Highly sought-after since time immemorial, the colour blue symbolises the rare: a heavenly essence for the pharoahs, the transcending way to immortality for the Chinese and symbol of power for the Christian church, represented by the blue robes of the Virgin Mary.
Plants yielding the colour blue were long the subject of exploration, and two - Isatis tinctoria or woad, and Indigofera tinctoria or true indigo - have been cultivated for thousands of years. Just like all colours, blue can vary in lots of ways, from its tonality and depth to its intensity. But nature contains more derivatives of blue than absolute blue.
The garden sets the scene for a terraced microcosm (similar to the earth and the organic approach) through the repetition and superposition of one and the same thing: terracotta pots. Several hundred pots have been placed one on top of the other to create an architectured landscape, planted with all sorts of blue flowers (perennials and ornamental grasses) of diverse tonalities that gradually rolls out before us in a beautifully poetic, topographic scene.
REKA is a young architectural agency set up in Paris by Nicolas Jomain and Boriana Tchonkova, the logical conclusion of a collaboration that began in 2007 and included a series of competitions and projects they both worked on. In 2007, they were awarded fourth prize in the “Habiter Paris” design contest organised by the Paris CAUE and the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, coming in second in the EUROPAN 10 competition on the Zagreb site and numbering among the finalists in the international EVOLO competition in 2011. They work with Paris-based agencies while developing their own initial projects on behalf of their clients.
Nicolas Jomain graduated from Marne la Vallée School of Architecture. After taking a course in architecture and urban planning, he gained practical experience of architectural form at the RFR agency, where he began his professional career. He has acquired the ability to represent non-standard projects through rigorous geometrical practice and attention to architectural detail. Among other projects, he worked with the team designing the envelopes for the Frank Gehry’s Louis Vuitton Foundation, following which, the XTU agency involved him in a range of projects of varying scales and in different phases of development, including project management for completion of Îlot 11, a building comprising 164 housing units in Nanterre. He is currently collaborating with the FUKSAS agency while developing independent activities at REKA.
Boriana Tchonkova graduated from the Sorbonne with a degree in Visual Arts and Art History, going on to obtain her diploma as a State-registered (DPLG) architect at the Ecole de Paris la Villette. After completing this dual study path, she set about developing crosscutting artistic and architectural projects, first of all on her own account, and then with the REKA agency. She has collaborated with a number of Paris agencies, including Renzo Piano, Chaix et Morel & Associés and LAN, while developing independent activities at REKA.
“We love creating shapes and balancing masses, endowing them with sculptural qualities and seeing them integrate into their surroundings. Building envelopes should be homogenous so as not to detract from their unity, and their surfaces enlivened by geometrical patterns to create a sense of texture. Work carried out on empty space, public space and nature provides an opportunity for creating clearly defined plans for division and organisation of constructed masses. Nature is a source of inspiration for every project – organising the plan, developing volumes through mimicry and generating ornamentation principles".