Monaco architect Michel Desvigne’s transformative landscapes


Michel Desvigne, a highly regarded French landscape architect and respected Monaco architect, is known for his garden designs and his approach to urbanism. His gardens bring nature and a sense of calm to urban spaces.

His love of gardens and landscapes were nurtured by his early work, as he and Christine Dalnoky were the first resident landscape architects at the Villa Medici in Rome, from 1986-1988. They were engaged by Renzo Piano – another award-winning Monaco architect — to design a garden at one of his projects on Paris’ rue de Meaux, famously known as “birch tree square.”

Desvigne’s work can also be seen in his urban forests, including one in Paris and one on the roof of a railway station in Tokyo with more than 200 trees, as well as in such projects as the Parc aux Angéliques in Bordeaux, a riverside green space for walking, biking and picnicking, and the transformative Seguin Island Garden, the first public space to open on the island, formerly the site of the Renault factories in Boulogne-Billancourt, France.

Also among the Monaco architect’s notable projects are the Grand Stade de Bordeaux, now known as the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux; the outdoor spaces surrounding UNESCO Building V in Paris; and the public spaces and parkway in the Brazza district of Bordeaux.

In addition to designing sustainable landscapes, Desvigne has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in the United States for over two decades, as well as at other universities and architecture schools around the world. In 2011, Desvigne was awarded France’s Grand Prize for Urbanism, and in 2014 he was awarded the European Prize for Urban Public Space for his restoration of the Old Port of Marseilles.

The Monaco architect’s list of awards is lengthy, and includes, most notably, the Architectural Medal from the French Academy of Culture in 2000. More recently, Desvigne and his firm, along with OBR Paolo Brescia and Tommaso Principi, won first prize in an international competition in 2016 to design the new Central Park in Prato, Italy; and, in collaboration with several other firms, he won the Equerre d’Argent 2020 Prize in the category Public and Landscaped Spaces.

Mareterra Monaco

Now the Monaco architect is part of the design and development team working on the 6-hectare eco-development of Mareterra Monaco, which will feature a pine forest of endemic Mediterranean trees, with more than 1,000 to be planted around the cove that was created by a unique land reclamation project.

Desvigne envisions “the reintroduction of a natural environment in the city,” as his landscaping will establish a flourishing Mediterranean ecosystem in keeping with the principality’s focus on conservation and sustainability.

Desvigne is truly transforming urban landscapes across the globe, and now the Principality of Monaco will be another showcase for his natural gardens. They will enhance the promenade along the project’s seafront setting, bringing the signature serenity of the landscape Monaco architect’s designs to this luxury property.


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BDC 317 : Jun 2024