Glorup Gods

Glorup Gods is a manor on the island of Funen in Denmark. Originally a Renaissance building, it was converted to a baroque estate around 1740. The gardens were designed by NH Jardin around 1780 according to baroque ideals, with long lime avenues connecting the manor house, the parterre garden and the reflecting pools. Jardin’s 700 m-long lime avenues still exist, leading past the manor house, along the reflecting pool and through the gardens.

The new garden is a supplement to Jardin’s original plan. The intention was to strengthen public access to the gardens and at the same time create a preserve for the landowner and his family. In order to achieve this, another axis is laid out, which in a modern form connects new and old – the baroque and the romantic.

The new design takes as its point of departure a historic garden where the baroque and the romantic coexist. The existing gardens’ topography and places of interest are therefore an important starting point for the new initiatives. The new access area, the new path (approximately 1 km) and the wooden stairs to the south are the result of extensive research, methodical criticism, historical analysis and on-site measuring. 

The first great step of the project was the preparation of a masterplan which could paint a general picture of Glorup in the year 2009. Through analyses of present and past circumstances, this work produced a better understanding of Glorup’s complexity, potential and particular challenges. 

The masterplan, which will be implemented in stages, is based on an equal weighting of the gardens’ historical layers. The project is not rooted in a particular stylistic period but focuses on the multiplicity of the different epochs and the intervening periods’ unlimited growth and decay. The new path project has improved accessibility. Future projects will include a reconstruction of the garden’s water surfaces, both the baroque reflecting pool and the romantic lakes, which are essential to the overall experience of the garden. A phased renewal of the distinctive vegetation will also take place.

The new entrance area is north of the home farm. The project has converted a functional back into an inviting front. New beech hedges organize the parking with green pens, which direct the line of sight towards the church in Svinninge. The paving materials emphasize the meeting of past and present.

The new main path is a modern axis, adapted to the topography and vegetation. The axis starts at the entrance area with the new gravel path which guides the visitor down through the gardens, parallel to the avenues. The location of the path is inspired by Jardin’s plan from 1776, which already then indicated a ‘third axis’ at the western boundaries of the gardens. Based on the baroque line, the new ‘axis’ was sketched out, first with a string on a scale model of the garden and then marked out with sticks on site. The axis creates a line which alternates between long straight stretches – where permitted by the terrain and the existing vegetation – and winding courses where the line adapts to the topography of the landscape, the existing trees and special places of interest.

The geometry of the path is developed in collaboration with sculptor Karin Lorentzen who has added three round ground sculptures – ‘Gratia’ – close to the path. At the southern end of the new axis is a stairway that leads through the ravine. The stairs adapt to and exploit the existing topography of the landscape. With an alternating sequence of linear stretches and curves, the visitor is easily and delightfully guided down through the terrain – in a peristyle of beech trees.

Website: Project website

Other designers involved in the design of the landscape: Karin Lorentzen (ground sculptures)

Design years: 2014 and 2017

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