Bureau B+B has been around for more than 40 years. In The Netherlands it is righteously considered a cradle of successful landscape architects. Despite the vast portfolio and the inseparable heritage of B+B, the editors of Landezine were convinced and impressed by the latest projects that were designed by a team of young designers.
We recognize the work of Bureau B+B, mainly for their ability of combining innovative engineering approaches with context based design. They master a diverse span of attitudes; from being subtle and quiet, to making radical changes, or being playful. B+B’s recent designs reflect all the needed skills for handling complex tasks; from a busy urban train station to residential landscapes fit for the future, to wetlands.
But it is the work that tackles heritage sites that really separates B+B from an already remarkable crowd of Dutch landscape architects. The precision that is found in Tempel and Nieuw Rhodenrijs Estates or the conceptual clarity of the LILA 2019 winning project Objets Trouvés reflects the ability to untangle time-related complexities, to curate and to offer new, meaningful experiences.
Cycling Through is an ongoing project in Limburg, Belgium, where three stages of the project are realised (Cycling Through Heathland, Cycling Through Trees, and Cycling Through Water) with further ‘Cycling Through the Underground’ still underway. The project deals with the restructuring of the Limburg area, where coal mining was closed throughout the 1980s and 1990s. A new identity and strategy for the province were envisioned, namely cycling tourism, that would take visitors out in the landscape and emphasise both the natural and cultural/industrial heritage. The team at Tourism Limburg was inspired by the Norway Tourist Routes, specifically how they connect scenic places and design.
The project is a good example of an appropriate and well balanced intervention, not needing to resort to the glamor of images to convince around its ability to build a bond between users and built space. The jury appreciated low-cost interventions and formal simplicity that offer a high-quality environment for educational processes on limited roof space.
The ecolodge resort and recreational landscape project on the Poonehzar Farm are about the joy of dwelling outside, in the countryside. The design uses the existing corn fields, with their spatial and experiential maze qualities, as a starting point, inserting structures such as baths, an event platform, a fire pit and a lookout tower for temporary dwellings. These simple gestures establish a viewpoint and more intimate shelters or, better, a series of ‘rooms’ each with its purpose. It is remarkably simple and, at the same time, creative. The cornfield and the metal structure may be seen as a garden/labyrinth and a tower. The fact that the site is in culturally rich Iran adds a mythical dimension to the experience.
Poonehzar is a true garden built of agricultural material. The field of corn makes it ‘another space’ and adds to the enchantment. Or, in the words of the designers, »highlighting the boundaries of private and common, the playful childish sneak peeks, the innocent erotic air, the mania of being lost, the suspense of diving in imagination.« This is, in fact, a beautiful description of the meaning of a garden, be it physical or mental space.
The project well addresses the dialogue between different scales – the well articulated and complex general layout of the park and the ‘touch and feel’ scale, sensitive and rich in detail. It establishes simple and unpretentious spaces with care and sincerity to its visitors.
It presents a courageous and intelligent use of color and proposes an ambience that, managing to constitute an excellent playground for children, escapes the banality of the usual catalogue-based playgrounds It also succeeds in involving a great diversity of uses to all ages of visitors, demonstrating the significant advantages of less determined spaces.
The 129 km long, 900 hectare restoration of Erhai Lake greatly improves the quality of the “iconic yet filthy water” while connecting it to the surrounding towns. The lake has spiritual value for many communities, such as the Shuanglang and Xizhou, and serves as a place of worship for the Bai people, an ethnic minority of over 50% of Dali. The beautiful aquatic, blooming Ottelia acuminata is an indicator species and its significant return demonstrates the new sustainability of the lake.
The developed masterplan uses dynamic measures and methods in diverse scales to limit poor development practices and respond to social challenges, achieving maximal ecological benefit with minimal human intervention. With a multitude of government and local players, the project reinvigorates and monitors the entire watershed with waterscape management. The included slow traffic ways and facilities have created a boom in daily usage of the lake.
The project by Kotsiuba offers a rich experience for the IT community on the campus. It responds to the blend of the post-industrial and corporate character of the site by the subtle play of pavement and establishing garden-like ambiences. There are two main open areas for events that reflect the urban scale of the project. A thick woodland band that includes playgrounds and sports areas buffers the campus space from a busy road. The uncluttered detailing provides an open and flowing space and contrasts with the articulated and diverse facades of the buildings.
This tiny urban backyard was transformed into a rich and dense layering of atmospheres and uses. The design recycles already extracted but discarded granite blocks from a local quarry – a sustainable attitude of working with the land. The charcoal grey, or ‘Graveyard’ granite, as central feature, pays homage to the depths of the local strata. The design explores the conventional concept of extending the interior spaces into the garden, yet done by an interweaving and shifting of wild landscape, threshholds and architectural planes. So, the tiny garden space is experienced as much larger than it is. The sunken garden ‘quarry’ is embedded in a dense thicket of birches and hemlocks, creating a mysterious atmosphere which neither the body, mind nor spirit can tire of.
For an American context, the Quarry garden is surprisingly modest, effortlessly disconnecting from the more traditional codes where a garden would often be dominated by an abundance of features, shapes and things.
H+N+S yet again conquered the infrastructure category! N69 is a story on how to make roads more green. It is also about how people driving these roads can experience the essence of the surrounding landscape much better. In large part, it concerns the profile/section of the road where the quantity of the asphalt is reduced to the minimum and where the road is stripped of other elements. The animals are welcome to cross the road through a sequence of underpasses but also on the road, as, due to the fence-free profile, the visibility is much improved.
More or less linear masses of trees try to remain as uninterrupted as possible when crossing the road so birds can be protected while flying back and forth. A part of the road is lifted on the bridge so the animals can move seamlessly on the grounds.
This is how we should do roads.
Jenny Osuldsen is one of the directors at Snøhetta, a multidisciplinary office that works between architecture, landscape and graphic design. The LILA Honour Award 2021 celebrates Snøhetta for its trans-disciplinary approach to the design process and, specifically, the ability to merge thinking about landscape and architecture. The results are often precious urban moments that host […]
No site is ‘tabula rasa’, but sometimes, sites demand more creation than translation. This is the case with The Unbound, an imaginative design for a tourist resort based on being with the landscape, observing nature, and participating in food production. Despite the non-site-specific design language that unnecessarily neglects this area’s history as a characteristic dutch polder, the design for this high-end tourist resort adds to the bigger picture of a new, more natural green recreational wedge in the city of Amsterdam that brings tourists and inhabitants closer to the landscape and nature. Resort guests are invited to take part in the outside world, by which The Unbound gives new meaning to recreation in a city like Amsterdam.
Complex pathways together with strong low vegetation allow for the space to feel mysterious, a space that needs to be explored. Once the trees grow, another layer of complexity will reveal itself and add additional dynamics to the site.
From the jury statement: “With its lush vegetation, Forest Garden approaches the site as hybridization between the ecosystem of plants, animals and humans. It is a delicate way of setting up clearings in the forest to take advantage of resources (productive gardens, natural pools, tree regeneration) without disturbing it. Studio Ome effectively used all topographical facts, existing plants, sunlight, and other natural forces to empower a variety of programmes, needs, and, above all, experiential richness. They obviously appreciate randomness and a more relaxed approach to planting. The decision to leave the paths in the garden as informal compacted earth paths, shows a humble approach to landscaping work, which the members of the jury felt demonstrated a truly sensitive understanding of providing ‘just enough’ to meet the brief. In essence, the project emphasizes how we can leave space for nature, which is an important message going forward. Forest Garden offers a wonderfully dense atmosphere and infinite possibilities for exploration and observation.”
Buro Harro envisioned an entirely artificial little piece of landscape with subtle humour and incredible craftsmanship. The landscape of the dutch dunes, with its vegetation, essentially acts as a small biodiversity generator. Water retention is hidden under the sand on the roof, and all the necessary technicalities are nicely put out of sight. The wooden hut gives it a relaxed, ‘holiday-ish’ mood. It is a ‘fragment’, a pocket landscape that offers more than enough clues that will transport you to a beach. The wind comes as the magic dust that makes this sandy roof garden come to life as one can be drawn into the feeling of being in the dunes … while taking a swim! Witty and smart!
Susana Rojas Saviñón and Hortense Blanchard are the driving forces behind Estudio Ome, a young 5-member landscape architecture practice based out of Mexico City. Their first realized project Forest Garden immediately received LILA in the garden category. Besides that, we could easily say that Ome is LILA’s young-talent discovery of 2021. We really look forward […]
The winner of the LILA 2021 infrastructure category is Area development Ooijen-Wanssum in the Netherlands by H+N+S Landscape Architects. H+N+S already won LILA 2017 Office Award and we frequently feature their works. In the Ooijen-Wanssum project, H+N+S have, in their very own Dutch way, invented a new dike typology – innovative terrain modelling for more […]
João Nunes is the general coordinator of PROAP, an internationally recognized landscape architecture firm with offices in Portugal, Italy and Angola. In the video, Nunes describes the development of PROAP in the past 25 years and then presents their LILA 2021 winning project: Quays of the River Schelde in Antwerp. The project won (ex-aequo) the […]
Arsenal Oasis is a unique project located in Tbilisi Georgia. It was designed for the Tbilisi Architecture Biennale by an urban design and research studio Ruderal. In this video, the designer Sarah Cowles explains the forces and circumstances that shaped the project. The LILA 2021 jury wrote: Arsenal Oasis is an experimental project that deals […]
The Pingtung (Heito) Sugar Factory is located southeast of Pingtung city. An 860,000m2 area isolated in the middle of the city, public entry has been forbidden since 1909 until now causing a huge city development problem. With the buildings destroyed and abandoned for several decades, the sugar factory inside is a mystery to the public. […]
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.
This lecture was recorded at the 4th Landezine LIVE at HafenCity university in Hamburg on 13 October 2018.
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.
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.