The jury recognized the tension and the atmospheric density that was achieved by well-known tools of garden design. The use of historic structures successfully establishes different ambiences and opens views that change the perception of the space, orientation and the scale of this relatively small plot. The garden was designed to catch changing seasons and light and synthesize them into a dramatic display of change. Ellipse garden is also a gardener’s laboratory, and reflects the joy in cultivating, playing and experimenting with plants and their characteristics.
The jury recognized the approach of embracing time to make a comfortable living space. The project successfully combines soil reactivation, food production, water management and recycling of the material found on site. This simplistic, smart and visually interesting landscape reaches beyond what is expected of a residential area.
The jury recognized a very different approach to the typology of residential landscape, where one would usually find very determined structures, designed to the very last square meter. Instead, Juul Frost Architects explored how a surrounding landscape can be brought into the residential area and how the buildings fit into the surrounding landscape. In the ‘inner’ area, small patches of what looks like local vegetation are placed in a very relaxed design language, emphasizing the qualities of the surrounding landscape and translating it excellently to a smaller scale.
From the jury statement: The project text humbly tells of the team’s aim to return the site to its rural integrity and local traditional building ways, away from the usual domination of design techniques. Yet the contemporary intervention succeeds in creating a strong independent design expression which successfully augments and strengthens the beauty of the site itself. The structures and plantings merge in creating densely atmospheric spaces.
Using simple and graceful design language, the project succeeds in creating a new interpretation of local traditional craftsmanship and history. It is in the combination of strong spatial and material uses and detailing with fulfilling sustainable goals that sets the project apart.
From the jury statement: As a part of a larger planning scheme for reducing traffic, Ballerup Boulevard provides a pilot project for transforming our car-oriented, oversized streets into multi-functional transit ways with human scale and character. The charming yet straight-forward design language of path geometries and planting beds allows the user to move through a coherent whole and at the same time differentiates sequence of spaces. Over time the plantings will create a lush, dense green corridor.
From the jury statement: This on-going project was self-initiated by landscape architecture office EMF – Estudi Marti Franch – in the midst of the global financial crisis. The goal was to make it “big and cheap”, so that the model can be repeated and adapted to many sites. It began by using vegetation maintenance to design public spaces in Girona. In this case, the landscape architect is not just the designer, but also a social catalyst who enables positive change. The jury recognized not only the process, but especially the result, which is a system of low-cost, modest, poetic and above all useful spaces that greatly enrich the quality of life for the people of Girona.
From the jury statement: The structure was established as a landmark, social magnet, a site part of, yet distinct from, landscape. Its intervention is a sensitive, precise study of village imagery, social life, as well as the movement through a broader landscape. It enhances village life on multiple levels while creating a gentle, internal world for women in a society where women’s public facilities are almost non-existent. The humbleness with which usual goals of public space are achieved is emphasized through the rawness and simplicity of means, such as reordering stones found on site, choreographed view corridors through a seemingly naive window, a fireplace or a simple swing in the courtyard. Ecologically, within the harsh landscape conditions, small means are used to gather rare sources of soil, water and shade, creating biodiversity, reforestation, and the climatic improvement of shade. The simultaneity of a public space with the intimacy, and almost fragility of such a needed meeting point has created a strong, unique sense of place.
Jury statement: This transformation of an airport into landscape works to balance the extreme climate, the design interlocks three scales: geographical, urban and local. The design meshes precisely formulated climatic and poetic goals in an inextricable way. The reflections of the office are at once complex and simple, of enormous depth, yet with childlike wonder. The design works well on all scales, from the park as a whole to a pedestrian perspective. The jury recognized the relaxed design language of the park that makes it look undetermined, as if it can change at any point. The design shows a powerful mix of a personal design language which doesn’t celebrate itself, but serves the adventures of the visitor through differentiated landscapes, climatic spaces and atmospheres.
The garden successfully builds on the relation between the surrounding landscape and the site. On one side of the house, it uses the approach of borrowed landscapes, establishing a connection between the garden and the pastorality of the adjacent agricultural land. On the other side of the plot it makes a clear differentiation, a contrast between the meadow and the lush woods. The garden also offers a sequence of various interesting ambiences.
From the jury statement: The project Objets Trouvés convinces with outstanding artistic quality and visible historical awareness. Moving the bunker from its ancestral place and letting it re-appear in a new one is both astonishing and effective. This blunt dislocation, which first reacts to infrastructural requirements and finally turns the bunker into a ready-made, creates a whole new quality of visual perception. It is in this aesthetic space of resonance, where contemporary infrastructure development ultimately becomes conceivable as a possible instalment of the European warfare history. Consequently, the actual traces of history are kept visible with a genuine purpose – although this required such an action as moving a bunker. As a bold and even radical gesture, the project inscribes itself in the infusible tension between past, present, and future on the one hand, and between absence and presence on the other. In doing so, it formulates a notable reference point for the contemporary discipline of landscape architecture as an artistically informed cultural practice.
At Archstoyanie Park Wagon Landscaping masterfully took advantage of natural processes. The key to establishing this sculpture park, was patient curation of the emerging pioneer vegetation. The play between the ‘empty’ surfaces and forest produce dramatic effects and offers experiential richness – various ambiences carefully populated with sculptures. Under certain circumstances, this project poses the question whether it makes more sense to design a park, spend money to build it and to maintain it. With Archstoyanie Park, building is maintaining over the course of 10 years. Definitely a remarkable example of hard core landscape architecture.
Beglinger + Bryan lays grounds for a rich ecosystem to emerge on its own in this in this pond merely by shaping the embankments. “Shallow water areas guarantee the survival of aquatic fauna. Embankments caused by terrain modelling at different angles and exposures will produce a high biodiversity.”
This poetic intervention by Thilo Folkerts marks a former train station. The elements are placed partly on a green park structure and partly on paved, more urban area which suggests a departure/arrival from/to somewhere else. The sign marking the station name is redundant.
A 50cm barrier along any beach can radically change natural dynamics, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. In the case of Hvidovre beach, the grassy area is a former landfill so this simple element is solving a number of problems whilst opening new uses. VEGA collaborated with Karin Lorentzen, a super-interesting Danish artist that designed the concrete wall. The result is an interesting and playful landscape element and I’m reminded of the Catherine Mosbach’s approach to form-finding – a little bit. Smuk!
In terms of social responsibility Charlottenlund is landscape architecture at its best. It’s not often to see a project doing so little whilst giving so much to a community. Smart programming makes this all-season park a success. No unnecessary fancy details or decor, simply making a beautiful and sober environment for a wide range of sport activities and above all socialising.
From the jury statement: Folds works above all as sculpture-play-scape. While the design tools are simple, they offer a layered complexity within this simplicity, so as to cater for various uses. The play of shapes, levels and morphology makes it interesting to the various age groups of the nearby kindergarten as well as children from the area. The project is about the play between two materials which reflects geological processes that formed the Jura Mountains. In this way it establishes a unique and strong visual language and an engaging playground. On a larger scale it enriches the well-known modernist design approach of the surrounding residential area; the contrast between the orthogonal housing and more nature-inspired landscape forms.
Post Industrial parks such as Zollverein, Duisburg Nord and many others always carry a sense of post-apocalyptic, dystopian landscape. Planergruppe Oberhausen managed to embrace this atmosphere in their design by the successful introduction of human-scale layer. The contrast between monumental industrial remains and evolving pioneer vegetation are masterfully composed in a Piranesi like impressions.
A handful of simple but well thought gestures compose this interesting ‘harbour-campus-waterfront’. The soft willow trees contrast the rough harbour milieu and accompanying wind conditions. A comfortable wooden sun-deck catches much needed warmth. The suprematistic composition of wooden slabs give impression as if they were unloaded from a ship and then reorganised spontaneously for seating.
Landscapes around busy transit hubs in general are usually designed as paved areas for the passengers buzzing through these noisy, dirty and smelly areas. In this sense, the introduction of an urban meadow is to be celebrated since it offers quite a complementary experience. Also to animals but above all to humans.
The people of Cologne got themselves a nice urban couch in a form of a waterfront by the river Rhine. Neatly designed stairs with dark stone wall, absorbing warmth from the afternoon sun (I’m guessing) offers an interesting space for hanging out, watching sun go down behind the historic centre. With its simple contrasty design, the waterfront gives a beautiful frame to some archeological findings on site and also a boring brave-man-on-a-horse statue suddenly looks more appealing, when seen from the waterfront. It appears that the Rhine Boulevard by Planorama landscape architects gives new harmony to the site and celebrates urban life, by offering access to water and a beautiful view to many from both sides of the channel.
This effortlessly beautiful and utterly relaxing courtyard pays respects to all existing qualities of the site. The big ash tree, the building, the textures, the proportions of the space, the history, the programme … It also introduces recycled objects, the courtyard looks a bit like an exhibition of found beauties.
Gridgrounds exceptionally introduces humorous attitude in all the seriousness of a modernistic neighbourhood, precisely by playing around with the ‘old’ elements all neighbourhoods of this era were full of; grid manifestations, concrete, steal based play equipment etc. This intervention makes a statement that not much effort is needed to effectively correct mistakes of the past, for example like breathing some play in the tiresome grid of trees.
Judging by other media, doubling the amount of pedestrian space on Times Sq. is the crown achievement with this hyper-urban site. But Snøhetta went much deeper than merely mastering engineering pirouettes. The design (selection of the material, it’s shape and colour) is full of references to past and contemporary culture connected to the Bowtie. The dark pavement complements the artificial light from above, giving it contrast like as found in black and white noir films. The benches were inspired by old cars from those noir times and from times of the establishment of Broadway’s theatre culture. Furthermore the coin-sized metal discs inserted in the pavement reflect the light from above and emphasize a kind of a ‘metropolis’ or ‘Blade Runner’ like experience. Snøhetta’s homage to artificial light also comes from the fact that the street was the first in US lit with electric lights. The lack of presence and recognition of this project in professional media and over-promoted doubling of the amount of pedestrian space are in my personal opinion problematic. It’s about heritage, culture, artistry, experience and yes, also the quality and quantity of pedestrian space.