Alpine Botanical Garden of Meyrin
© Patrimoine suisse

Henry Correvon (1854-1939) and the alpine garden

January 2021 to December 2021

Leading institution: Association Kepos
Applicant and project manager: Michael Jakob
Project team: Michael Jakob
Financing: Fondation
Dissemination: Publication illustrating Correvon's works and his didactic activity

Henry Correvon was a Genevan personality who has been unjustly forgotten to this day. The research and cultural project will give rise to a publication that aims to right this wrong and to shed light on the personality and work of this exceptional landscape architect and botanist. As early as 1877, Correvon exhibited a collection of alpine plants, the first of its kind in Europe, for which the Geneva Horticultural Society awarded him a prize. In 1879, he settled in Petite-Boissière where he set up a horticultural establishment. The Geneva Alpine Club and the Botanical Society provided him with his first clients.

Henry Correvon was a pioneer of what is called an "alpine garden". The alpine garden is an interdisciplinary phenomenon that concerns botany and soil science, the circulation and trade of plants, aesthetics and collecting. The starting point of the project follows the traces of a double cultural heritage: the existing set of Alpine gardens on the one hand, and the intellectual and conceptual background on the other hand (consisting of the Correvon collection at the Archives de la construction moderne of the EPFL and of unpublished documents kept at the Jardin Botanique de Genève).

Michael Jakob dealt with the alpine gardens and landscape projects of Henry Correvon in the context of the international exhibition the swiss touch in landscape architecture (Pro Helvetia, 2012-2018). He is convinced of the importance of an in-depth and specific study that will lead to the concrete presentation of Correvon's figure and work in a publication.

View all of the school's projects