Jardins de Métis
International Competition

The Latin word seminarium stands for a place where to preserve seeds out from the ground. A seminar is also the place for confrontation, debate and discussion, a room for gathering and listening, sharing and experiencing nature: an institution for the collective knowledge.
Seminarium is a circular room in the forest, defined by a thick wall made of a rammed earth containing a selection of the many seeds of the Jardin de Metis, recovering Elsie Reford’s horticulturist researching practices. The room would act as a sort of archive for the gardens and the plants of the past as well as for the ones yet to come.
Seeds are contained in 240 sealed glass jars according to classifications. The traditional earth construction technique is cast through a single modular wooden framework, which could be adapted and reused for the different layers of the wall. Rammed earth offers a low-cost, fireproof, thermally massive, and durable structure for the circular room, 9 meters wide and 4 meters high.