Soltis 502 Proof membrane on show at the International Garden Festival

Product Soltis 502 Proof

Every year since 1992, the prestigious Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire in the Loir-et-Cher region of France has hosted the world’s leading garden event. Selected through a rigorous competition, landscape specialists and designers of outdoor spaces come together to conceive outstanding, innovative gardens.

The must-attend event for garden enthusiasts

The International Garden Festival, a not-to-be-missed event for garden enthusiasts, transforms more than twenty plots in the grounds of the Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire into ephemeral gardens of between 100 and 250 m2, following a specific theme. Each year, these gardens are reinvented with a new creative perspective. The 30th edition of the festival, which runs from April 26 to November 6, focuses on the theme of the “Ideal Garden”. Nearly 200 anonymous entries were submitted to ensure the impartiality of the jury.
The competition sets precise and rigorous guidelines, including strict rules on visitor entry, plant size, innovation and immersive experience. After a selection process lasting several months and concluding in December, only 24 proposals are selected. The shortlisted teams then have 4 months to complete their design projects in time for the opening of the festival next April. The challenge is open to all interested parties, whether landscape architects, architects, designers or artists, from France or from various international backgrounds. Lyon-based Archigroup was given the opportunity to present an artistic and conceptual proposal, which was shortlisted.

The pomegranate initiative

Inspired by the concept of the “Ideal Garden”, the Archigroup team chose to focus on the fundamental element of the garden: water. They opted for an ancient process known as oya. These are clay jars buried among the plants and filled with water. Thanks to their porosity, they gradually release their contents, providing a continuous supply of water to the plants. This irrigation system, which has been used for centuries, conserves water and avoids wastage.
To raise visitor awareness and make visible a system usually hidden underground, Archigroup decided to develop this concept on a large scale by creating giant oyas that emerge from the ground. Their aim is to provide a form of education for visitors. Despite the fact that the jars are normally fed manually, the agency succeeded in making the oyas totally self-sufficient by incorporating metal structures wrapped in canvas from Groupe Serge Ferrari. The giant petals act as rainwater receptors, giving the oyas total autonomy in their function. The final shape of the garden is clearly inspired by floral nature. The aim was to harmonize the union between the jar, the metal structure and the fabric, so as to evoke the configuration of a pomegranate, a red fruit rich in water, which eventually inspired the garden’s name.

A pomegranate in the colors of Soltis 502 Proof fabric

The key characteristics that guided the design of the project were the waterproofing and resistance of Serge Ferrari’s Soltis 502 Proof fabric. However, the stability and vibrancy of its color were the most important criteria. The choice of a bright red was essential to remind viewers of the fruit, which originated in Asia.
Bâches Matussière, a member of the Expert Serge Ferrari network based in Lempdes (63), was asked to manufacture the canvas and metal structure. The company succeeded in creating a made-to-measure envelope with a zipper, encompassing the metal structure of the petals while minimizing wrinkles. A total of 100 m2 of poppy-colored Soltis 502 Proof fabric was used to manufacture the metal grenades.


Manufacturer & installer Bâches Matussière