A New Look for the Globe Gardens

Designs to develop the grounds of the Globe of Science and Innovation have recently been unveiled. The plan is to extend the visitor activities on offer, transforming the area into a public arena for scientific exploration.


Design for the new Globe Gardens. © Jencks Squared and Groupe H.

After months of conceptual development, plans to develop the site around the Globe are taking shape. The innovative designs were drawn up for CERN by a unique collaboration consisting of landscape architects Charles and Lily Jencks, and "Groupe H", a group of architects headed by Globe designer Hervé Dessimoz. They comprise new venues, covered walkways, a café and gift shop, a separate VIP entrance and a physics-inspired garden for visitors. The landscape itself becomes a feature – dramatically altered to create a cosmic garden formed by shaped mounds, ponds, and a natural amphitheatre for public events.

“The new exhibition in the Globe is spectacular, and the proposed garden would make it even more so, adding much to our visitors’ experience of CERN,” explains James Gillies, head of the Communication Group. “The new design extends the experience into the Globe’s surroundings and provides a unique recreational area for the region.”

A 3D computer model of the Globe Gardens. © Jencks Squared and Groupe H.

The design creates a new public space for CERN’s regional neighbours, and has already attracted the attention of local authorities. “Representatives of the Projet d’Agglomération franco-valdo-genevois have expressed their support for the project”, says Friedemann Eder, head of CERN’s Relations with the Host States Service. “The plans provide a public area where local people will want to come and spend time, and while they are there, they will learn about CERN.”

Charles Jencks is famous for reflecting science in the landscape. He has lent his creative flair to the CERN landscape plans, creating a highly conceptual garden that complements the existing and proposed buildings. “The current plans develop the area surrounding the Globe; however, a broader vision for the whole area between Entrance A and B is being considered,”explains Gillies.

The design sketches are now being converted into architectural drawings, which will be presented by the end of March. These plans will detail the scale and cost of the project, and will allow CERN to begin the fundraising from external sources that will turn the plans into reality.

by Katarina Anthony