Now in its 20th year, Berlin-based firm TOPOTEK 1 has been an enterprising player in the field of landscape architecture and public design, with a portfolio of projects that emphasize the social and formal roles that landscape assumes within built work. Largely responsible for the firm’s success this far is the man at the helm, Martin Rein-Cano, who has served as one of the founding partners since 1996.
Danish-based landscape architects SLA have won a competition to develop The New Hedeland Nature Park – a 1,500-hectare cultural landscape near the historical city of Roskilde, Denmark. The winning proposal challenges the common idea of the conventional “culture house” as it is moved out in the open without walls and roofs, making participating accessible for everyone. The winning design also seeks to complement the area's unique nature and 10,000 years of cultural history into one coherent concept, creating new space for co-creation, interaction, and awareness.
The Chinese Culture University, Taiwan, in collaboration with the municipality of Maccagno con Pino e Veddasca, Italy, is offering to a limited number of architecture and landscape architecture students the opportunity to take part in a twelve-day design workshop in Maccagno, organized by the Landscape Architecture Department, College of Environmental Design, the Chinese Culture University as part of the CCU summer 2017 workshops program.
Buffalo and Erie County Public Library of Buffalo, New York, has recently opened a new exhibit at their Central Library titled Building Buffalo: Buildings From Books, Books From Buildings. The exhibit will feature a large selection of rare, illustrated architectural books from the Library’s collection dating from the fifteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. The bonus for those who are geographically distant from Buffalo is that, as part of the exhibit, the Library has also made dozens of historical architecture books available online, completely digitized and free to the public.
The design of OMA and Mia Lehrer+Associates’ park at First and Broadway (FAB) in Los Angeles has received a green update, reports LA Downtown News, following a community feedback session in which residents voiced their desire to add additional plantings to the scheme.
Since our founding in 1995, the Design Trust for Public Space has solicited project proposals from government agencies, nonprofit organizations, community groups, and individuals through an open Request for Proposals (RFP). After three years since our last RFP—"The Energetic City"—and four projects later, we have now unveiled "Public for All: Rethinking Shared Space in NYC," an open call for project ideas to ensure New York City’s public realm remains truly public.
Founded in 1996 by Buenos Aires-born Martin Rein-Cano, TOPOTEK 1 has quickly developed a reputation as a multidisciplinary landscape architecture firm, focussing on the re-contextualization of objects and spaces and the interdisciplinary approaches to design, framed within contemporary cultural and societal discourse.
The award-winning Berlin-based firm has completed a range of public spaces, from sports complexes and gardens to public squares and international installations. Significant projects include the green rooftop Railway Cover in Munich, Zurich’s hybrid Heerenschürli Sports Complex and the German Embassy in Warsaw. The firm has also recently completed the Schöningen Spears Research and Recreation Centre near Hannover, working with contrasting typologies of the open meadow and the dense forest on a historic site.
UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design is now accepting applications from prospective participants in the 2016 Summer [IN]STITUTE in Environmental Design. This six week intensive summer program gives students the opportunity to test their enthusiasm for the material and culture of environmental design.
The Summer [IN]STITUTE consists of [IN]ARCH, [IN]LAND and [IN]CITY, three introductory programs in architecture, landscape architecture and sustainable city planning for post-baccalaureate students and senior-level undergraduates, as well as [IN]ARCH ADV, an advanced studio for post-baccalaureate students who have a degree in architecture or who are senior-level architecture majors.
In Istanbul, a city with few existing green spaces, studio DROR is proposing something radical – a park filled with innovative interventions as a way to encourage collective experience and gathering. Envisioned as “a love story between people and nature,” the Parkorman forest park will give people a chance to swing through the forest, play in giant ball pits, relax by reflecting pools, and even bounce several stories above the ground on canopy-level trampolines.
“Public space is the new backyard,” says Hamish Dounan, Associate Director of CONTEXT Landscape architects. “Great landscape architecture projects can actually get people out of their apartments and going for walks. It can get them engaging in a social way,” adds Shahana Mackenzie, CEO of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA). Trends to activate public spaces are increasing in popularity around the world; urban parks and gardens, vibrant street places, wider pedestrian walkways, cafes with outdoor seating. So during the 2016 International Festival of Landscape Architecture held in Canberra during October 2016, Street Furniture Australia launched a pop-up park in the underused urban space of Garema Place, in collaboration with AILA, the ACT Government and In The City Canberra. The aim of the pop-up park was to create a small social experiment, “to test the theory that the fastest and most cost-effective way to attract people is to provide more places to sit.” In addition to moveable furniture, the design by CONTEXT Landscape architects included bright colors, additional lighting, a lawn, free Wi-Fi and bookshelves as techniques to make Garema Place more inviting.
The process and results of the pop-up park were documented in a report by Street Furniture Australia, with some impressive results: before the #BackyardExperiment, 97% of people were observed to just pass through Garema Place without stopping, and 98% of the people who did stop in the space were adults. During the 8 days of the experiment, the number of passersby increased by 190% as people chose to walk through Garema Place instead of taking other routes. In addition to this, 247% more people stayed at the place to sit and enjoy the pop-up park and surrounding area. There was an incredible 631% increase in children at the park, double the number of groups of friends, close to a 400% increase in the number of couples and almost 5 times the amount of families. With the numbers as evidence for the success of the #BackyardExperiment, here is a summary of the elements used to evoke such a positive response. Simple, cost-effective and relatively easy to implement, these interventions are an attractive “cocktail” for any underused urban space.
The Villa Croce Museum of Contemporary Art presents the first monographic exhibition on the work of Cesare Leonardi (Italian, b. 1935). In the course of a career spanning more than four decades Leonardi, an architect and photographer, has continuously challenged the boundary between design and artistic practice. In spite of the recognition gained by his early furniture design, most of Leonardi’s oeuvre has remained little known, even within Italy. Cesare Leonardi: Strutture, organised in close cooperation with Leonardi’s archive, sheds light on an intimate yet multifaceted body of work.
Call for Entry: Ground Water Research Project - International School Khalifa Heritage and Environment Park
The International School seeks interdisciplinary-minded students and young professionals to work collaboratively to develop innovative design solutions for a proposed Heritage and Environment Park. The park will occupy a critically important site at the southern gateway to Khalifa neighborhood and overlooking the 13th-century al-Ashraf Khalil and Fatima Khatun Domes, monuments of great heritage significance.
Design proposals will address goals of enhancing public open space, empowering community, fostering environmental awareness, celebrating heritage, stimulating economic activity, and improving accessibility and climate. Teams will examine techniques for converting groundwater present on the site from a liability to an asset that will provide functional and aesthetic benefits to the park and neighborhood.
Paradisiacal, utopian, dystopian, heterotopian – islands hold an especially enigmatic and beguiling place in our geographical imagination. Existing in juxtaposition to what’s around them, islands are figures of otherness and difference. Differentiated from their contexts and as much myth as reality, islands have their own rules, their own stories, their own characters, their own ecologies, their own functions, and their own forms.
The LA+ IMAGINATION design ideas competition asks you to design a new island. You can locate it anywhere in the world, program it any way you want, and give it any form and purpose you can imagine.
Gustafson Porter + Bowman has unveiled plans for Taikoo Place, a new public space for Hong Kong that will include lush native vegetation and sculptural water features. Encompassing 69,000 square feet, the landscape project will feature a variety of spaces, from small, intimate areas for conversation, to larger open areas suitable for special events like concerts and outdoor markets.
Los Angeles-based practice Brooks + Scarpa has revealed their proposed design for the FAB Park competition, which sought schemes for a new $12 million public park situated at First and Broadway in Downtown LA.
The FAB (First and Broadway) Civic Center Park aims to capitalize on the city’s diverse character and encourages strong communal activity among members of the public, through the inclusion of unique spaces for food, art and socializing.
Time is ticking. That’s what it does. Or at least that’s how we represent what we don’t understand. For physics, time is a byproduct of so called space-time, elastic goo created at the very moment that something came from nothing; the moment eternity stopped and the universe began. For geology, time is 4.5 billion years of compression and catastrophe. For biology time is 3.5 billion years of diversification and now the urgency of the sixth extinction. For anthropology time is 150 thousand years since mitochondrial Eve walked out of the rift valley in Ethiopia.
Mecanoo has unveiled its design to transform The Soestdijk Estate into Eden Soestdijk, “an experimental garden for a sustainable society and a paradise destination for all” in The Netherlands. In an effort to become an educational tool for environmental awareness, the project aims to make a significant contribution to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“The world is facing pressure from increasingly larger and more complex problems when it comes to water, food, climate and energy,” said Anton Valk, chairman of the Eden Soestdijk foundation. “Eden Soestdijk wants to tackle these problems and contribute to a more sustainable society by stimulating and inspiring visitors to change their behaviour in a positive way.”
An architectural greenhouse behind the palace gardens will be the centerpiece of the project, and will house an interactive exhibition focusing on topics like circularity, ecological balance, and social aspects of sustainability.