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Composition of the 2015 jury

Under the presidency of Patrick Blanc

published at 12/06/2018

The botanist, CNRS researcher, Doctor of Science and French Academy of Sciences prize-winner Patrick Blanc has been exploring rainforests since he was 19 years old. He has written a range of scientific publications and participated in a great many radio and television programmes. 

Patrick Blanc is the inventor of vertical gardens, or green walls, which make it possible to introduce biodiversity onto the concrete walls of our cities. This ingenious concept does away with the traditional belief that urban areas and nature cannot go hand in hand. The idea of the vertical garden blossomed from the observation of plants in their natural habitat, drawing on extensive botanical knowledge. The resulting display can cover as much surface area and height as you like and, as well as providing a beautiful view, green walls also help to clean up the air. 

A pilot garden was thus planted on the façade of the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris in 1988. This was followed by a presentation of this invention at the Chaumont-sur-Loire International Garden Festival in 1994 - the first long-standing garden of this type. These walls can still be admired on-site, in the experimental garden. 

Another wall was unveiled at the Fondation Cartier in Paris in 1998, and more of Patrick's designs can be seen on the façade of musée du quai Branly in Paris, in India, Japan, the US, Thailand and many other countries. 

In 2007, Patrick Blanc developed his concept of vertical garden further by designing an astonishing green ceiling for exhibition at the Espace Electra in Paris. 

He takes his cue from examples observed in nature, particularly at the entrance of caves and along the horizontal branches of tall trees in rainforests, and offers up an archway in which plants grow downwards, their roots anchored in the crevices. 
Spurred on by his love of plants, Patrick marries nature with art and beauty with scientific knowledge. 
He receives requests for commissions from all over the world, and as such has designed an array of extraordinary projects in the past few years in Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beirut, Bahrain, Berlin, New York, Ibiza,  Miami, Paris (including rue d'Aboukir and the Grand Palais), Geneva, Dubai and Sydney for example.
He is currently busy with projects in Singapore, Bali and Bangkok, and just recently discovered a new species, Begonia blancii, in Palawan in the Philippines.

THe 2015 jury

  1. Patrick BLANC, Biologist, botanist, researcher at the CNRS where he specialises in plants growing in the tropical undergrowth, and inventor of the vertical wall concept
  2. Chantal COLLEU-DUMOND, Director of the Domaine and International Garden Festival of Chaumont-sur-Loire 
  3. Bénédicte BOUDASSOU, Journalist-landscape architect
  4. Soazig DEFAULT, Journalist-landscape architect 
  5. Ariane DELILEZ, Secretary-General of the French Landscape Federation
  6. Jean-Marc DIMANCHE, Artistic consultant
  7. Hélène FUSTIER, Founder of the Journées des Plantes de Courson  
  8. Pascal GARBE, Landscape architect, Project Manager for the Gardens policy of Moselle County Council
  9. Michèle GUILLOT, President of UNEP, Centre Limousin Region (UNEP, National Office – landscape businesses)
  10. Guillaume HENRION, President of the Centre Region Association of Parks and Gardens 
  11. Pascal LAFORGE, Partnerships Events Manager - Truffaut
  12. Jean-Pierre LE DANTEC, Historian, writer, engineer and former director of the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris - La Villette
  13. Dominique MASSON, Consultant for gardens and landscape at the Centre Region Directorate for Cultural Affairs 
  14. Frédéric PAUTZ, Head of the Lyon Botanical Garden
  15. Didier WILLERY, Author, editorial manager, journalist and botanical consultant
  16. Bernard CHAPUIS, Landscape architect and Gérard DOSBA, Head gardener at Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire