Zürich, Switzerland: Briza media in the Grassland Vegetation, Chair of Being Alive, 2023

Prof. Teresa Galí-Izard | Chair of Being Alive

Garden of the XXI Century in Zürich, Switzerland

The garden of the XXI century in Zurich is located at the north-facing edge of Campus Hönggerberg, directly next to HIT building. It is enclosed by roads on three sides and a daycare center on the fourth side. With a size of roughly 1000 m2 and a rectancular shape of 30 x 40 meters, it is the smallest of the Gardens of the XXI Century. ETH Immobilien has granted the use of the piece of land to the Chair of Being Alive for several years. The land has always been grassland, but has characteristics of an urban typology: The land has been heavily disturbed in recent decades by construction activity on the Hönggerberg campus. As a result, the soil is very heterogeneous and shows wet to dry to compacted situations within a few meters. The most visible sign in the garden is a topsoil deposit that was created there in 2019.

The garden of the XXI century in Zürich plays a key role in the education of students of landscape architecture. It is a proposal for a garden that is based on the activity of fieldwork and the study of living systems such as soils and vegetation. Based on the learnings from this, the gardeners are encouraged to intervene in the existing setting based on the experimentation of regenerative landscape practices. The garden is guided by the concept of adaptive management, since students will make changes to the site that creates a new condition, which in turn will be the starting point for the next generation of students. Over time, the garden will slowly transform into an intelligent system of human and non-human actors. The outdoor learning environment is financially supported by Innovedum.