Perspectives from Chillida Leku

At the Intersection of Art and Nature: Daniel Valera´s Reflections from the Chillida Leku Museum

Banner image


August 2023



As landscape architects, our work transcends garden design; our job is a constant dialogue between nature and cultural heritage. We recently revisited the Chillida Leku Museum, a sanctuary where the work of sculptor Eduardo Chillida merges with nature, offering us a unique perspective on this interaction.

Walking through the museum's gardens, where monumental sculptures rise among beech and oak trees, we couldn't help but reflect on this relationship between art and nature; between the gardens and their surroundings. Chillida not only transforms the landscape with his work but also recreates a dialogue between the pieces and their environment. This experience reminded us of a text by Horacio Fernández, Mountains and Waters, where the condition of the landscape architect as someone who not only observes but lives the landscape is explored.

Chillida, like the landscape architects mentioned by Fernández, understood that artistic creation is an autobiography of experiences and perceptions. His sculptures are not mere objects placed in a space, but living narratives that integrate and converse with their surroundings.

Inspired by Chillida, we see landscaping not just as a technical discipline but as an artistic and philosophical practice. We seek to design spaces that reflect the complexity, beauty, and depth of the natural but also human landscape, and like sculpture, to transform the void into lived space. The visit to the Chillida Leku Museum has reminded us that landscaping, like art, is a form of communication with the territory and with our culture.