Geneva welcomes a new venue for leisure, culture and exchange in the heart of international Geneva: the Jardin des Nations. This space, extending over some four hectares, is set to open to the public on 28 August. Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing drink, discover the delights of the urban farm, listen to music and experience, as a world first, 360° of complete cultural immersion in a giant chamber called the Syllepse, where the general public will be able engage with the painter Vermeer, as well as other renowned artists.
For more than three years, until 2024, the Jardin des Nations will provide both Genevans and visitors with a new space for gatherings, a new cultural venue complete with its very own urban farm and 'Potager des Nations' vegetable garden. At the heart of international Geneva, just behind the ILO and the IHEID student campus, this transitional urban site will be open to the public at the initiative of the Steiner Investment Foundation, which own the land, and Steiner SA, developer of the project.
In partnership with Antigel and Genève Cultive, the Steiner Investment Foundation and Steiner SA wanted to devote this four-hectare space, at the corner of route des Morillons and rue Michelle Nicod, into an unprecedented transitional urban zoning experience in Geneva, before further re-developments take place. So what’s the big idea?
"After acquiring the plot, and before deciding on any further development, we wanted to give ourselves some time to share it with the people of Geneva, and to create something special together", explains Roman Pechlaner, Senior Manager at Steiner Investment Foundation. “Since Geneva's urban development raises so many questions and reactions, today, it's probably a good idea that we take some time to think, to reflect and act together, considering and properly valuing the expectations and needs of the public and future users. This means commencing a genuine dialogue, through a period of loyal and respectful co-creation that reflects the spirit of negotiation and multilateralism of Geneva, and its international outlook. This permanent form of dialogue, based on the ambitious values that we promote, will be a common thread informing the entire transitory urban zoning venue.”
Zero constraints, only fun!
Alongside this co-creative approach, which will take the form of workshops open to the public, the Jardin des Nations, set to be open for three years, will be a space devoted to the Geneva population and visitors from further afield; they will be able to relax, have a drink, learn to garden, listen to music, buy local produce and experience a world preview of a unique new ‘fully immersive’ cultural experience in a giant chamber, almost twenty meters in diameter, that has been entitled the Syllepse. “Genevans don't really visit this part of international Geneva, as it hasn’t really had that much to offer them. Indeed, there aren’t many venues representatives of the International organisations and ‘local’ Genevans have the chance to chat, or even meet up with family or friends to enjoy a good time. The Jardin des Nations hopes to change this, bringing these two worlds together through an association with culture, relaxation, gardening and consuming local produce, with short supply chains, music and zero constraints”, Magali Vionnet, head of the transitional urban zoning project for Steiner, explains. “People can come whenever they want to this free and open space, and spend some leisure time, with the opportunity to act responsibly too.”
In Geneva, the "La Barje" association, created in 2004, is now well known, with a reputation as being of real public benefit: at the Jardin des Nations, "La Barje" has been chosen to manage the refreshments bar area. The installation will take place gradually with the full opening scheduled for Spring 2022. The offer will include yoga classes, a pétanque court, live gigs, local beers, the famous homemade lemonade, artisan and local produce, and a cultural program as well as some internship positions for young people.
Urban agriculture takes centre-stage too at Jardin des Nations thanks to Genève Cultive. Very busy bees since 2015, this association supports the development of urban agriculture and biodiversity in Canton Geneva. "We promote the development of urban vegetable gardens across Greater Geneva, and to date we have been carried out a long list of successful projects", says Juliette Perreard, president of Genève Cultive. “The 'Potager des Nations' vegetable garden represents a significant new step in raising public awareness for local and seasonal food production that respects the environment, thanks to a new approach to agriculture and the establishment of a 3,500 m2 ‘agroecological’ urban vegetable garden.”
This urban farm will work as a real gathering point for exchanges and meetings between representatives from the international organisations and Genevans, a place that’s full of life, offering training, discovery and sharing possibilities through participatory projects, classes and workshops. Anyone can drop in and buy their fresh, seasonal vegetables, but perhaps also take some time to learn the basics of gardening and a little more about the benefits of a healthy and local diet.
Full immersion with the Girl with a Pearl Earring
Syllepse will provide the Jardin des Nations and the general public with a new form of cultural spectacle, an easier route into the worlds of renowned artists such as Johannes Vermeer, the famous Dutch painter, who will be the first among many other great artists to feature in this exceptional atypical space. His works will be staged within a stunning, 360° immersive visual universe. The show opens to the public from 15 September, Tuesday to Sunday, with 6 to 12 screenings per day. On 28 August, a Vermeer teaser will be presented to the public as well as a short performance of a just a few minutes, taking the audience on a real journey to the heart of international Geneva.
Concerts offered to local residents
Antigel Festival will move to the Jardin des Nations for its grand opening on 28 August, from 2.30 pm, offering free DJ sets and live gigs featuring the excellent Geneva bands 'l'Eclair' and 'The Two'. A market of some ten Geneva producers will also be set up on site, to encourage local and seasonal consumption and even attendance at one of the gardening workshops. With the Jardin des Nations, the 'rive droite' finally has the chance to enjoy a totally open gathering space with a combination of culture, agriculture, local consumption, relaxation, dialogue and amusements, for a transitory urban event aimed at improving the future city, co-built together with its future users and other stakeholders.
With the Jardin des Nations, the 'rive droite' finally has the chance to enjoy a totally open gathering space with a combination of culture, agriculture, local consumption, relaxation, dialogue and amusements, for a transitory urban event aimed at improving the future city, co-built together with its future users and other stakeholders.
About Steiner Investment Foundation, Developer
Independent and autonomous, the Steiner Investment Foundation's corporate purpose is the management of assets based on innovative and sustainable investment solutions in the field of new real estate, intended exclusively for Swiss occupational pension institutions. Steiner Investment Foundation has its headquarters in Zurich-Oerlikon on Hagenholzstrasse.
About Steiner SA, project developer
Steiner AG is a leader in project development and one of the main companies in the field, offering both independent and general contractor services (ET/EG) in Switzerland. The company delivers a comprehensive range of services across new construction, renovation and real estate development. Established in 1915, it has completed more than 1,500 housing projects, 540 commercial buildings, 45 hotels and 200 other infrastructure developments including universities, schools, hospitals, care homes and detention centres. Steiner AG has its headquarters in Zurich with branch offices in Basel, Bern, Geneva, Tolochenaz and Lucerne.
Information for the media
Jardin des Nations
Stephan Post – spo@dynamicsgroup .ch
Mobile: 079 702 55 55
Steiner AG, Corporate Communications,
Telephone: +41 58 445 20 00, corpcom @steiner .ch
Steiner Investment Foundation
Investor Relations & Marketing Manager / Executive Assistant
Telephone: +41 58 445 22 68
viviane.gschwindt @steinerinvest .com
MEDIA RELEASE AS PDF
Syllepse will provide the Jardin des Nations and the general public with a new form of cultural spectacle, an easier route into the worlds of renowned artists such as Johannes Vermeer, the famous Dutch painter, who will be the first among many other great artists to feature in this exceptional atypical space.