Cubist garden at Villa Noailles
The modern gardens of Guevrekian and his contemporaries represented a shift from relating the garden to nature to a relation of the garden to human. As Dorothee Imbert says "Designers of these gardens did not attempt to represent a slice of the natural world – neither seeking a Cartesian or Virgillian ideal – but instead displayed a plastic composition of lines and surfaces built with living and inert materials, and framed like a picture." (Imbert 1997 p. 170) The garden became an extension of the house, an architectonic form.
Gabriel Guevrekian's garden for Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles at Villa Noailles had an imposed space whose triangular shape the clients and Mallet-Stevens viewed as suited to Guevrekian's new design style. Noailles had consulted both Mies van der Rohe and le Corbusier before employing Mallet-Stevens. He wanted artifice in his landscape. The Villa commanded great views of the Côte d’Azur and Noailles wished to contrast this strongly with an enclosed and architectonic ensemble that framed the natural whilst delineating ownership. (Imbert 1997 p. 130-132)
The disregard for the needs of the plants in the Noailles garden and the differing growth rates soon disrupted the balance of the design and prompted Charles de Noailles, himself a famous amateur gardener, to replant the design entirely, not long after its instigation. It was, however, a progression on the Paris garden by its regard for physical occupation.