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Russell Page Archive: Property of Leonidas Goulandris, Jouxtens-Mézery

In this garden close to Lausanne in Switzerland, Russell Page overcame the difficulties of an uneven site, and oversaw the planting of a variety of trees including Beech and Japanese Cedars.

  • Jouxtens, Garden Plan

    RP/1/13/18/1

    February 1971

    75 x 123 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A pencil drawing on tracing paper dated February 1971, marked ‘Proprieté de Mr L. Goulandris, Avant projet du jardin, echelle 1/200, 5mm pour 1 metre’ (reference number 179/20). The plan shows the entire property, including the house, tennis court and different garden areas.

  • Jouxtens, Garden Plan

    RP/1/13/18/2

    February 1971

    76 x 123 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A dyeline drawing with added coloured pencil and pencil sketches dated February 1971, marked ‘Proprieté de Mr L. Goulandris, Avant projet du jardin, echelle 1/200, 5mm pour 1 metre’. The plan appears to be a dyeline copy of RP/1/13/18/1 with alterations, mainly to the garden area to the rear of the house, drawn in coloured pencil.

  • Jouxtens, Garden Sketch Plan

    RP/1/13/18/8

    1971

    76 x 104 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An ink and pencil drawing on tracing paper, marked ‘Avant projet du jardin, Maison de Mr L. Goulandris a Juxtens, echelle 1/200’ (reference number 87/M). The plan shows the entire property with the land levels marked.

  • Jouxtens, Land Excavation

    RP/1/13/18/3

    March 1971

    52 x 76 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A pencil drawing on tracing paper dated 1 March 1971, marked ‘Mr Leonidas Goulandris, Maison à Juxtens, Evacuation des terres de fouille, echelle 1/ 200’ (reference number 87/M).

  • Jouxtens, Indication of Finished Levels

    RP/1/13/18/4

    May 1971

    55 x 76 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An ink and pencil drawing on tracing paper dated 1 May 1971, marked ‘Maison de Mr L. Goulandris à Juxtens, Indications des niveaux finis devant la maison, echelle 1/200’ (reference number 87/M).

  • Jouxtens, Arrival Courtyard, Plans A & B

    RP/1/13/18/5

    July 1971

    76 x 68.5 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An ink and pencil drawing on tracing paper dated 1 May 1971, marked ‘Maison de Mr L. Goulandris à Juxtens, Cour d'arrivée devant la maison, Deux propositions A + B, echelle 1/100’ (reference number 87/M). The drawing shows two different designs for the courtyard area in front of the house. In both, much of the space would be paved but geometrical patterns in the design provide interest.

  • Jouxtens, Gardens Surrounding House

    RP/1/13/18/6

    August 1971

    76 x 86 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A pencil drawing on tracing paper dated August 1971, marked ‘Maison de Mr Leonidas Goulandris a Juxtens, Projet du jardin devant la maison, echelle 1/100’ (reference number 87/M). The plan shows the garden area behind the house, accessed via a terrace, with a rectangular lawn (‘pelouse’) flanked by flowerbeds.

  • Jouxtens, Tree Planting Plan

    RP/1/13/18/7

    November 1971

    76 x 104 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A pencil drawing on tracing paper dated 29 November 1971, marked Mr L. Goulandris, Jardin a Juxtens, Plantation du bois, echelle 1/200’ (reference number 87/M). Like RP/1/13/18/1, the plan shows the entire property but focuses on the planting of the wooded areas; a list of trees is given on the right-hand side of the drawing.

  • Jouxtens, Terrace and Paving

    RP/1/13/18/10

    January 1972

    38 x 98 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An ink and pencil drawing on tracing paper dated 22 January 1972, marked ‘Mr Leonidas Goulandris, Maison à Juxtens, Terrasse et dallage, echelle 1/50’ (reference number 87/M). The drawing shows the terrace to the rear of the house.

  • Jouxtens, Terrace Plan

    RP/1/13/18/9

    January 1972

    63.5 x 76 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An ink and pencil drawing on tracing paper dated 21 January 1972, marked ‘Mr Leonidas Goulandris, Jardin a Juxtens, Terrasse, echelle 1/100’ (reference number 87). Like RP/1/13/18/6, the drawing shows the garden area behind the house, accessed via a terrace.

  • Jouxtens, Terrace and Garden Sketch Plan

    RP/1/13/18/11

    April 1972

    61 x 76 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A pencil drawing on tracing paper dated 10 April 1972, marked ‘Mr Leonidas Goulandris, Jardin a Juxtens, echelle 1/100’ (reference number 87/M). The drawing shows another suggested design for the garden area to the rear of the house.

  • Jouxtens, Terrace and Garden Plan

    RP/1/13/18/12

    April 1972

    67 x 59 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A pencil drawing on tracing paper dated 11 April 1972, marked ‘Mr Leonidas Goulandris, Jardin a Juxtens, echelle 1/100’ (reference number 87/M). The drawing shows another suggested design for the garden area to the rear of the house.

  • Jouxtens, Terrace and Garden Plan

    RP/1/13/18/13

    April 1972

    63.5 x 76 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A pencil drawing on tracing paper dated 14 April 1972, marked ‘Mr Leonidas Goulandris, Jardin à Juxtens, Terrasse etc, echelle 1/100’ (reference number 87/M). The drawing shows another suggested design for the garden area to the rear of the house.

  • Jouxtens, Terrace Plan

    RP/1/13/18/14

    April 1972

    67.5 x 58 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A pencil drawing on tracing paper dated April 1972, marked ‘Mr Leonidas Goulandris, Maison a Juxtens, Terrasse, echelle 1/100’. The drawing shows another suggested design for the garden area to the rear of the house.

  • Photograph, Creux de Genthod, Switzerland

    RP/4/3/34 (1 of 3)

    A black-and-white photograph of the garden at Creux de Genthod, Switzerland.

  • Photograph, Creux de Genthod, Switzerland

    RP/4/3/34 (2 of 3)

    A black-and-white photograph of the garden at Creux de Genthod, Switzerland.

  • Photograph, Creux de Genthod, Switzerland

    RP/4/3/34 (3 of 3)

    A black-and-white photograph of the garden at Creux de Genthod, Switzerland.

  • Photograph, Schloss Freudenberg, Switzerland

    RP/4/3/31

    A colour photograph of the garden at Schloss Freudenberg, Switzerland.

  • Photograph, Schloss Freudenberg, Switzerland[?]

    RP/4/3/44 (1 of 2)

    A colour photograph likely to be of the garden at Schloss Freudenberg, Switzerland.

  • Photograph, Schloss Freudenberg, Switzerland[?]

    RP/4/3/44 (2 of 2)

    A colour photograph likely to be of the garden at Schloss Freudenberg, Switzerland.

Property of Leonidas Goulandris, Chemin de Champvent, 1008, Jouxtens-Mézery, Lausanne, Switzerland

1971 to 1972

Archive of Garden Design Ref: RP/1/13/18

In the early 1970s, Russell Page designed gardens for twin brothers Leonidas and Alexandros Goulandris at their homes in Jouxtens-Mézery, a district of Lausanne. In unpublished notes, Page summed up the gardens succinctly and somewhat dismissively:

Two gardens at Lausanne. Impossible sites involving unnecessary gymnastics. Basic tree planting. An afternoon drinking white wine to persuade an old gardener to fell 1 tulip tree.

The plans for Leonidas Goulandris’ property, however, suggest that the design work went beyond mere tree planting. At the centre of the property was a U-shaped house, with a courtyard area to the front. A terrace sat at the rear, with a lawn leading away from it, towards a wilder ‘prairie’ garden beyond (see RP/1/13/18/8).

The contour lines marked on some of the drawings do suggest, as Page implied, that the uneven terrain was tricky to work with. This may have been the reason behind planting so much of the property with trees. Wooded areas, many of them filled with Beech (‘bois de hêtre’ on the plans), enclosed the house, and the gardens close to it. Other trees suggested included Pinus nigra, Pinus sylvestris, Japanese cedars and Tsuga heterophylla (see RP/1/13/18/7).

Several of the drawings relate to the garden area behind the house, where a wide terrace led down to a rectangular lawn flanked by flowerbeds. At first, Page suggested a formal structure but this evolved into a more relaxed, fluid planting arrangement (see RP/1/13/18/6; RP/1/13/18/9; RP/1/13/18/11; RP/1/13/18/12; RP/1/13/18/13; and RP/1/13/18/14).

There is nothing in the Russell Page archive to suggest how the commission came about. Leonidas and Alexandros, with their brother, ran the family business, one of the largest shipping companies in the world: N. J. Goulandris. The eminent Goulandris family had strong ties with Switzerland; the renowned art collector Basil Goulandris (cousin of Leonidas and Alexandros) had had a house at Jouxtens-Mézery in the 1960s (he subsequently moved to Gstaad).

As Page recounted in The Education of a Gardener, he first went to Switzerland after the Second World War, designing a garden overlooking the lake near Geneva. It was a place where he greatly enjoyed working:

I learned on this trial run in Switzerland with what care the Swiss construct and maintain their gardens. After the war years of doing without, it was an eye opener to see work so meticulously executed. The cost was and still is tremendously high, but you can count on first-class workmanship. Holes for plants are dug well and deep enough, there is no stinting of peat or manure, and you can choose all the large specimen shrubs you need from nurseries that are well stocked and well cultivated. Stone masons make a fine, exact job of paving and steps, paths are properly laid (274).

Over the years, Page created several gardens in Switzerland, many of which presented quite particular challenges. For Prince Aly Khan, the need to create privacy from news reporters was paramount. At Creux de Genthod, probably his most significant commission in Switzerland, he needed to link two levels which had hitherto been separated by a grassy mound (the staircase devised as the solution is possibly the most elegant which Page designed). Page faced similar problems at Schloss Freudenberg, a 1930s château on the Lake of Zug, south of Zurich; here, a lower terrace was added to soften the descent from the main terrace to an apple orchard below. There are no plans for these projects in the Russell Page archive but photographs of Creux de Genthod and Schloss Freudenberg do provide a hint of Page’s designs for these gardens.

Literature

Page, Russell. Unpublished notes, undated [1970s?] (Archive of Garden Design RP/3/1/5(3 of 11)).

The Education of a Gardener. Harvill, 1994.

van Zuylen, Gabrielle and Marina Schinz. The Gardens of Russell Page. Frances Lincoln Ltd, 2008.

 

Related material in the Archive of Garden Design

RP/1/13/17: Alexandre Goulandris, Jouxtens-Mézery, Lausanne, 1970-1973

RP/4/3/34: Three black-and-white photographs, Creux de Genthod, Switzerland

RP/4/3/31: Colour photograph, Schloss Freudenberg, Switzerland

RP/4/3/44: Two colour photographs, Schloss Freudenberg, Switzerland[?]