Nature Individuelle « Relief »


Patrick Nadeau – Individual Nature

by Alexandre Cocco, translation Molly Lou Freeman // from D’architectures 177, November 2008


Trained as an architect, Patrick Nadeau has explored and articulated the possibilities of vegetation in design for the past ten years. In a show of late 2008, his work was presented at Sabz, Paris distributors of lighting, exterior furnishings and movable objects. Tables, planters, shelving and walls of vegetation reveal his vision of landscape and landscaped living space. 

These designed spaces, interior or urban gardens, furniture and objects feature Nadeau’s collaborations with Vertilignes, a company founded in 2005 by biologist Mathieu Jacobs, a specialist in the cultivation of groundless plants. A furniture and object series, the work proposes innovative concepts for the integration of vegetation in domestic habitat.


Entitled « Individual Nature » the Sabz show presents two types of objects. The series entitled Planters and Groundwork (pot, rocaille or tontine in French) are containers. Revised and modified plant receptacles invoke the concept of the transformed, enlarged, re-devised flower pot. The Relief and Horizon series are surfaces that extend into space like topographical reliefs overgrown with a carpet of ground cover. 

Nadeau’s designs exploit two techniques invented by Vertilignes. The first, called earthen mat  (Vertisol) consists of enmeshing planted material in 3-dimensional textile. Thus contained, the nourishing substrate can be placed or inclined in different positions. Another technique called tubes and specimens employs the principle of Plug-and-Play: each plant is inserted into a cavity created in the substrate (of earth, clay pebbles, or gravel layering). The ensemble of plant and substrate are conceived to be easily replaced with a change of season or of mind. 



Invading the under-surface of shelving, a desk’s edge, or climbing a screen wall, nature as proposed by Nadeau, is not to be circumscribed or contained by a common vision of flower pots or little gardens. His distinct conceptions dramatize nature: seeking to establish an intrinsic dialogue, they infer the possibility of organic extension; vegetation is lightly, delicately set forth by its architectural support.

Quite simple in the formal sense, these « supports » characterize Nadeau’s attentive aesthetics and careful designs: light undulations or subtle curves of noble materials (Corain®, Dacryl®, ceramic or leather…) where elegant natural compositions punctuate the surface. The true design always emerges from the living plant material: vegetation, set forth in an array of perspectives, flourishes in all of its inherent diversity.




Relief 225

Contreplaqué de bouleau, fil inox

2030 x 3227 x 2227 mm
Tapis de terreau

Sedumacre ‘Aureum’, Sedumacre, Carex comans ‘


Bronco, Carex buchananii,

Stipa tenuissima Pony Tails, Festuca glauca


Relief 25

Contreplaqué de bouleau, Corian®

1860 x 680 x 290/1880 mm

Billes d’argile


Miscanthus sinensis Kleine fontëne’, Panicum virgatum Heiliger Hain’, Carex testacea, Molinia arundinacea Windspiel’, Pennisetum setaceum Rubrum’, Elymus Glauca,

Acorus gramineus ‘Minimus Aureus

Relief 45

Contreplaqué de bouleau, Dacryl®

1237 x 1080 x 470 mm

Tapis de terreau


Cyperus alternifolia, Chlorophytum comosum

relief.45-(3) relief.45-(4)

Relief 75

Contreplaqué de bouleau, Dacryl®

1764 x 700 x 75 mm

Tapis de terreau

Plectranthus purpurea

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Design : Patrick Nadeau