Our concept for the LA+ EXOTIQUE design competition reimagines the Museum of Natural History’s forecourt, inspired by its history and the Jardins des Plantes. The expansive yet overlooked space adjacent to the museum presents an opportunity for a transformative landscape. Our design, blending organic shapes with the Beaux-Arts architectural style, pays homage to the museum’s significance while infusing a contemporary feel that reflects ongoing research on life’s evolution.
Central to the design is a prominent mound housing a sunken reflection pool, embodying the museum’s emphasis on self-reflection and understanding change. This pool invites contemplation and engagement with broader themes, encouraging visitors to ponder colonialism, taxonomy, endemism, and exoticism. Surrounding the mound are meticulously crafted terraces and lush garden beds, providing spaces for relaxation and appreciation of nature’s beauty. These elements not only honour the Jardins des Plantes but also elevate the forecourt’s aesthetics.
The design focuses on user experience, inviting visitors to pause and immerse themselves in the surroundings. Moreover, a raised amphitheatre with a semi-covered green roof adds versatility, transforming the forecourt into a dynamic space suitable for diverse activities, from educational lectures to vibrant outdoor performances.