Regreening of the Dardagny cemetery: connecting through plants
Name of the project: Dardagny Cemetery
Location city/canton: Dardagny, canton of Geneva
Type of project: Public space
Project start date: 2021
Delivery date: 2023
Surface area of the AMEX project: 5,150 m2
SIA phases: 31 - 53
Partner company: Setex SA, DGP Immobilier Sàrl
✔️ Reconstruct a large crashed email to find an initial historical state.
✔️ Propose a park connected to the entrance to the cemetery, the road and the surrounding vineyards
✔️ Create a garden of remembrance and a columbarium in response to changes in funeral practices.
✔️ Integrate a logic of regreening mineral surfaces.
This regreening and redevelopment project for a cemetery is located in Dardagny, a wine-growing town in the Geneva countryside. Like many places of contemplation and memory, it is surrounded by four walls and mainly covered with gravel.
We were mandated by the municipality to provide a global reflection on the entire perimeter and thus offer a uniform spatial reading and appropriation. This reflection aims on the one hand to bring plants to a totally mineral space, in particular by replanting a line of trees lost following a felling campaign. On the other hand, to conceptualize a park on the adjacent land, connecting the cemetery to the road. Our thinking was to bring these two plots into dialogue by unifying them through plants and making them both appropriable by visitors and users.
Regreening and upgrading the Dardagny cemetery
The central idea behind a cemetery regreening project is to restore biodiversity to a space previously entirely made of gravel. Our goal here is to allow appropriation of vegetation through trees, shrub masses and low grassy strata. Three structures with distinct ambiances work together to create a harmonious whole.
The park space is located in connection between the road and the entrance to the cemetery. It consists of an open grass area, plantations on mounds, a car park and a management area intended for road workers. A sculpture “Jeanne des Vignes”, signed by a local artist and received as a donation by the municipality, was positioned on a stone monolith at the entrance to the park. She welcomes visitors, looking towards the vineyards in the distance.
Near the entrance to the cemetery, we designed a memorial garden for the burial of ashes as well as a columbarium for placing funeral urns. A large planting area with human-scale trees offers an intimate setting. Commemorative plaques and a bench protected by a vegetated cap complete this area dedicated to meditation.
At the back of the cemetery, a planted promenade punctuated with benches provides an intimate setting for a moment of rest and contemplation. A walkway leads the visitor to the foot of a fountain revealing a panorama of the large landscape. This opening, cut into the surrounding wall, reveals the vineyards, the river and the Allondon plain.