Paris, France

The project rethinks the emblematic public spaces around Notre-Dame as a sequence of climatic atmospheres. Compressed and imbricated around the Cathedral, these spaces frame new views towards Notre-Dame, establish a new relationship with the Seine and offer multiple activities in the centre of Paris.

Year: 2021 – 2027
Client: Ville de Paris
Design Team: Bureau Bas Smets (mandataire), GRAU, Neufville-Gayet Architectes, Ingérop, Franck Boutté Consultants, Les Eclaireurs, BLD Waterdesign, Cronos Conseil

Images (1, 2, 3, 4, 5): Studio Alma
Image (7): Jeudi Wang



Arles, France

The semi-desert climate of the former industrial railway yard is transformed into a Mediterranean climate by accelerating what nature would have done over time. Planted with more than eighty thousand trees, shrubs and plants the park is made with the species of the three surrounding biotopes and connects all the buildings of the new art centre of the Luma Foundation.

Year: 2009 – 2021
Architect: Gehry Partners LLP, Selldorf Architects
Photographs (1, 5, 7, 10): Rémi Bénali
Photographs (12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19): Iwan Baan

Himara, Albania

The former high seawall blocked both the view and the access towards the Mediterranean Sea in this Albanian beach town. Its replacement with several sloped terraces reconnects the town with the sea. The pine trees provide shade and create a new linear forest in front of the buildings.

Year: 2015 – 2017
Client: Atelier Albania
Team: Son-group
Photographs (1, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15): Michiel De Cleene

London, United Kingdom

The former mineral courtyard of a historical building in central London has been transformed into a lush garden. Measures taken on site revealed a microclimate ideal for the development of large tree ferns. Large stone slabs and a misting system complete this radical transformation, while a Franz West sculpture captures the light.

Year: 2010 – 2011
Client: Private
Photographs (1, 5): François Halard

Courbevoie, France

The public space around a new skyscraper in the Paris La Défense business district is suspended above an urban boulevard. Alder trees are densely planted to create an urban forest. Their roots grow freely beneath a continuous granite hardscape that gives a robust identity to this plaza surrounded by glass towers.

Year: 2011 – 2020
Client: Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield
Architect: Cro&Co Architecture
Photographs (1, 3, 12, 15): Michiel De Cleene

Mouquim, Portugal

Design of the film set of Philippe Parreno’s “Continuously Habitable Zones”. The film depicts the landscape of an imaginary dwarf planet lit by two suns. NASA research imagines the vegetation to turn black due to exposure to a wider range of frequencies. The different interventions are transformed into a continuous landscape in the film.

Year: 2011
Commissioned by: Daimler Art Collection & Fondation Beyeler
Director: Philippe Parreno
Cinematography: Darius Khondji

London, United Kingdom

The hanging gardens occupy the central courtyard of a boutique hotel in the centre of London. More than five hundred climbers grow in the channel beams of the suspended walkways. The plants bring a unique atmosphere to the courtyard while providing privacy towards the hotel rooms.

Year: 2014 – 2017
Client: Newman Assets
Architect: Manolo & White
Photographs: Adrien Fouéré, David Grandorge
Muharraq, Bahrain

Seventeen public plazas mark a pathway that connects many historic buildings enlisted on the UNESCO heritage list. The plazas replace disappeared buildings and introduce a new typology of a shaded public space into the dense maze in the historic city.

Year: 2012 – 2019
Client: Ministry of Culture
Architect: Office KGDVS
Photographs: Michiel De Cleene, Ahmed Al Jishi
Brussels, Belgium

Five continuous lines in blue stone reveal the beautifully curved façades of this plaza. The daily market and the outdoor terraces are organised in the resulting bands made with reused blue stone pavers from the former sidewalks. A collection of trees brings colour, shade and fragrance to the plaza. 

Year: 2013 – 2018
Client: Municipality of Saint-Gilles
Photographs: Michiel De Cleene
Brussels, Belgium

Thirty-two trees have been planted around a stone circle in a natural clearing of the Sonian forest. The trees and stones of the memorial isolate a circular area in the forest as place to commemorate the victims of the terrorist attacks in Brussels of 2016.

Year: 2016 – 2017
Client: Brussels Capital Region
Photographs: Michiel De Cleene