Garden Historian and Landscape Designer Jean-Luc Maeso is going to integrate the architecture and ecological agriculture projects in K2 Urla Breathing Room with the design he is going to make specifically for the land.



About Landscape and Framework of Activities of PORTIZMIR4

The European Landscape Convention, Florence, 2000, defines landscape as “a part of the territory as perceived by the people, whose character is the result of the action of natural and/ or human factors and their interrelations”. In its first definition, as given by Paul Robert’s dictionary, a landscape is the “part of a country that nature presents to the eye that looks at it.” Beautiful or ugly, a landscape is the framework of our daily existence. As such, it may be the object of an artistic vision as claimed by PORTIZMIR4. Returning to the dictionary definition, we will remember the relation of three elements in the word “landscape”. The first is the country of which it is a part; this word “country” refers to a geographical space more or less clearly limited and considered mainly in its physical aspect (here Mediterranean). The second is nature, which itself can be analyzed in two sets governed independently of man by laws which are the conditions proposed to human societies by the environment. Naturalists call this the ecosystem. It brings together a set of physical elements and living organisms. The physical elements are relief, climate, soil, water and air. The living organisms - which make up the biotic community - are the animals that live there and the plants that grow there. The third element is the man's view that makes it exist as such.

The history of the landscape presents two complementary aspects. It involves the collaboration of different disciplines for sharing documentary material (here the old collection of plant seeds, a true conservatory of old plants) likely to interest the reconstruction of living environments. It is important because today what is proposed comes from genetic manipulations. The second aspect involves techniques – within the framework of PORTIZMIR4, taken up for example from old techniques of planting, conservation...

The disciplines that can be used in the history of a landscape are divided into three groups: archeology (let us not forget that the landscape of Urla is very old), earth sciences, natural sciences. For example, K2 Urla Breathing Room, probably originates from shoreline movements partly linked to long-term climatic changes.

The animals (wildboars, sheep, birds…) that live there are also a part of the landscapes.

Thus, the history of the landscape is that of the relationship between ecosystems and social systems. It records the history of the economic and social activities and informs us about the natural constraints that limit societies. It teaches us that human societies have maintained different relationships with their environment, generating changes in the environment and landscapes. Slow or brutal, these mutations resulted in different balances according to the techniques and modes of production of each period.

Let us hope that with the project carried by PORTIZMIR4, other relations will be established without destroying the natural balance and another perspective regarding this landscape will be formed.

Jean-Luc Maeso


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