Selected Projects
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Here’s a nice photo essay based on the projects by H+N+S. Using aerial photography it introduces a kind of a distant view or a critical angle, quietly re-questioning shapes and programmes they had put on the ground.


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From the jury statement: Although the tiny district of Yongqing Fang still contains historical remnants, their small number limits the possibilities for a strong experience. The streetscapes successfully strengthen this quarter with a series of sensitive, highly poetic and well-measured interventions. Throwing away classical categories of old and new and the usual need to contrast these, the design playfully combines new interpretations of building techniques and materials to create a moving and powerful sense of contemporary, historic place.


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The purpose of this strange landscape is to reduce ground vibrations from the highway for the needs of synchrotron radiation laboratory MAX IV in Lund, Sweden. Roughly – the more chaotic the surface in terms of topography, the more vibrations will be absorbed into these tumulus kind of landforms. Further ecological measures were undertaken to provide for sustainable maintenance, like the use of sheep, effective storm-water management etc. It’s interesting how pure engineering sometimes gives birth to new typologies that also offer an interesting experience.


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McGregor Coxall: Set in Glenorchy, Tasmania on the Derwent River – Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park [GASP!] curves Elwick Bay’s east edge and terminates at Wilkinsons Point to bookend the Museum of Old and New Art [MONA] which opened in January 2011. MONA is changing the social and cultural fabric of the region and has […]


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This projects of course needs to be understood through the notion of temporary use. The fun of decomposing parking, as one of the most pre-set programmes gives this place a special, relaxed feel. The site plan is actually hilarious, but precisely because of this graphic deviation from what would be expected, the site now offers convivial grounds for various types of festivities and events.


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This site is soaked with complex memories of WWII and bloody protests in a fight for freedom in the 1970′. The heaviness of the past is contrasted by the lightness of the absolutely marvellous grading of the square. There are traces and signs of those memories still that suggest respect and soberness, but nothing is heavy about this design. So maybe the new ‘feel of the place’ suggests that confronting the past is perhaps behind? It optimistically allows for new uses in the times to come. Another thing worth mentioning is if you read the design statement, the museum was supposed to look more like a house and less like a landscape at first. The architects proposed a square also to give some space to the new Philharmonic (by another architect) across the street which is an act of super-consciousness in the world of architecture and I’m not sure how many architects are capable of that. This attitude makes the Philharmonic look like an Instagram ready teenager and the square it’s grown up neighbour.


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Besides offering the epic view, this pocket social space is in fact also a community garden, plaza, skatepark and a monument. The latter comes from the fact that there was a development that slid down the bluff in 1930′ and some remains are still visible today. It’s interesting that the remains inspired the forms of this project and not the previous state of the architecture before the accident. So there is a great deal of abstraction rather than some naive memorabilia, which is sadly often the case. A Google Maps visit will show that the initial planting scheme did not survive. Maybe it was changed by the members of the community, in any case it’s a pity since it was giving unique character to the place. As if the violet and yellow-ish plants would want to play with the sunset light and blue – pink hues of evening sky. It would be hard to believe that Sedum would not survive the climatic conditions of this site.


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Playscape be-Mine is about translation of industrial landscape to a playful recreational environment. Especially interesting is the concrete linear play element that much like the old mining shafts runs through an array of wooden slabs that were supporting the underworld. Furthermore, climbing on the concrete gets increasingly more difficult towards the top and requires some team work, which, according to the designers, acts “as an immaterial reference to the hard physical work of the old mine-workers, who had to trust one another unconditionally”. Reaching the top immediately pays off the effort of climbing. A poetic and beautifully designed coal circle offers an epic view on the surrounding landscape, industrial remains and of course the coal. The storytelling is intelligently manifested through means of abstraction.


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Visitors come to museums to see works of art, science or remains of the past, in order to get inspired, filled with new knowledge or to reshape the margins of their understanding. Catherine Mosbach seized the opportunity to offer a landscape that engages this mindset and is able to playfully explain the hidden stories this landscape inhabits. This is indeed a museum-park where visitors can observe what landscape has to say about itself and the traces of human activity on the site. One can move about as one would at an exhibition; passing through an array of different objects, each expressing its own statement … Catherine Mosbach revealed the layers of the site’s memory with all its features and debris, and translated them into a language common to the building and its programme. Whether you like its appearance or not, the Louvre Lens project is undoubtedly a strong conceptual landscape that reaches beyond practice by the book.


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The notion of innovation today in our profession is used too lightly. Often the term comes around in PR texts and in the end reveals decades (if not centuries) old knowledge concerning water management, restoration of habitats, other known ecological measures or simply minimalistic solutions that perform well. But every now and then there’s a project that can proudly use this term. The task of Buitenschot park is to reduce ground noise from the airport so that the residents of the nearby housing could enjoy quieter living conditions. The residents reported that there was less noise when the fields around were ploughed which gave clues to the designers. After some interesting experiments involving concert speakers and noises from all kinds of aircraft engines, triangular linear landforms were designed as an effective measure to reduce the noise. The result is this strange park that offers a special kind of experience to visitors.


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The hills are to be celebrated for the experience they offer – new views on Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. Worth mentioning that they consist of the material from the buildings that had to be demolished for the new park to take the place. Especially interesting is the sculpture by Rachel Whiteread. A concrete cabin, that ads to the notion of distance – for a moment there the park seems abandoned and found which boosts the contrast between the concrete buzzing Lower Manhattan in the background and tranquil and softly shaped park, full of trees, grasses and shrubs moving with the wind.


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“If the music is true, the form takes care of itself.” said Cecil Taylor. River Aire Renaturation is an artistic and poetic project that comprises a series of appropriate interventions. The power of this project is in it’s honesty. Renaturation projects are often exposed to a great deal of faking, which is definitely not the case with the river Aire. The task of renaturation itself is fake although it depends greatly on the ambiguous definition of nature. It’s first success is that the river is not pretending to be there since always without any human intervention. The second crown achievement is the grid of sand that tells us exactly that and with the help of the water puts many natural processes in motion. The third is the former straight stream that is still in use as a park area.


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A bit surprised that Schønherr calls its beautiful design an ‘artistic decoration’. It boldly uses the space, puts the visitors directly in the centre and offers dynamic composition featuring interesting play of bright concrete surfaces and grass, pinned with trees. The design would appear even stronger if the pavement ‘frame’ by the building had been left out, so the grass would come closer to the facade. The facade would already act as the frame and the grass as a passe-partout. Probably this was not possible due to safety issues and emergency intervention access. By using simple tools, Schønherr designed an interesting space that offers a number of different possible experiences (hard / soft surfaces, edges, sun / shade …).


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Arkitekt Kristine Jensens Tegnestue: In the middle of Jelling, two mounds covered in grass, rises majestically towards the sky. Between the mounds stand two giant rune stones and a whitewashed medieval church. The monuments tell off a time, where Jelling was a monumental area of centralized royal power and holds one of the most essential periods in […]


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The project by REDscape beautifully embraces the industrial milieu by using rough and recycled material. The harmony it contributes is seen on the photos, it melts with the surroundings in one whole. It also features a joyful colouring of the parking marks, establishing a kind of meta moment by actually putting an AutoCAD block for car on the ground. The project asks entirely appropriate question; how can the harbour with all its characteristics become a cultural/art zone, making grounds for various events and festivals.


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A temple on a pilgrimage route. The terrain offers a shelter-like entrance, the opening in the ring reassures the invitation. The trees provide a cathedral like experience and the white ring looking up emphasises the feeling of connection to the Absolute. The contrast between ‘the built’ and ‘the grown’ produces a juxtaposition that suggest harmony and reflection. Both the characteristics and the placement of the ring boost the feeling of finding spiritual comfort on a demanding journey. Void temple is a work of a sober, intelligent and receptive creative force. Epic!


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There is something incomparably more honest about how this roof garden came to be than majority of other green roof gardens with the usual green roof systems. By using wooden boxes that will eventually decompose, this design wonderfully embraces the infinite beauty of decay. In a way similar to Descombes River l’Aire, this roof garden by Studio Vulkan is a platform for further natural processes that occur effortlessly on their own. Looking forward to see further eruptions!


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Very minimal but at the same time precise, fitting and effective interventions make this cemetery renovation an interesting project. Each added feature makes sense and contributes to the experience. The distinction between the ‘restored’ and ‘added’ is readable. Also the contrast between subtle approach to heritage and quiet radicalism remind of the works by Michael van Gessel and his work at Twickel estate. relais has definitely proven that they can operate in delicate ambiences with excellence and grace.


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The promenade is a generous social public space, offering a lot of room for catching sun and warmth, which are both very precious at this altitude. A funky pavement pattern gives a lively touch to the site. Vestre’s Block sun-benches are exhibited as a cherry on top, proudly placed in their natural environment. It’s like parking a Volvo in Gothenburg, almost a cultural act : ) . Aker Brygge features smart organization and playful visual effects that contribute to the popularity of the site.


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Parks are often referred to as ‘lungs of the city’ since they improve micro climatic conditions. We can probably say the same for squares and the experience of a city. This is the case for Plainpalais square in Geneva. It’s a multifunctional open space that hosts various activities from fairs, flee market to festivals. It means a vibrant and dynamic space of opportunities and change of use. It’s especially beautiful when it’s empty, offering a kind of catharsis by freeing the beautiful red surface crossed by asphalt paths and surrounded by trees of various heights. The square also offers skate park, seating and a small park like structure. Round benches and open design suggest the multifunctional nature of the square.


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The power of this project is based on an intelligent answer to describe something which is not. The monastery, to which the project is dedicated, didn’t survive to the present day, so Topotek 1 had to figure out how to translate it’s invisible characteristics to the language of landscape. A modest and beautifully measured height difference suggests a volume had been there. Furthermore, the consequent contrast between scenic panorama and minimalistic shaping add to the aesthetic tension. As if this contrast would reflect the one between Arcadian representation of nature and modesty of the life in a monastery. Perhaps. It definitely activates the imagination of the visitor, boosting the experience of the site hence making it more memorable and interesting.


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The traces of a Roman villa are exposed and the site becomes a viewpoint. The interesting part is the use of steel that is usually a part of welded wire reinforcement for concrete. The material that is supposed to be hidden acts as a key container suggesting the movement of shapes and forms. Like a puppeteers in a puppet theatre. We see them, but we ‘think-them-off’ as they are a part of the illusion. In this same way the steel is drawing lines of a former building. The shape is suggested, it is there but at the same time it is not.


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A small industrial site but quite a remarkable plan. Especially how the landscape communicates with the street; an area of Prickly Pear cactuses humorously reflects the electricity inside the power station, as something you should be careful about, otherwise you might get hurt …


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Rozana Montiel | Estudio de Arquitectura: Common-Unity is a public space rehabilitation project for San Pablo Xalpa Housing Unit in Azcapotzalco, Mexico City. The unit used to be divided in sectors by walls, fences and barriers built by its inhabitants over time, which did not allow the community to benefit from available public spaces. The goal […]


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