In his new book Landscape as Urbanism, Charles Waldheim, the John E. Irving Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, argues that in order to understand the twenty-first century metropolis, “a traditional understanding of the city as an extrapolation of architectural models and metaphors is no longer viable given the prevalence of larger forces or flows. These include ruptures or breaks in architectonic logic of traditional urban form as compelled by ecological, infrastructural, or economic change.”
In other words, spatial constructions in urban environments should no longer be attached to intractable functions or intent on isolation, but should instead integrate into the fabric of the city. These types of projects must be flexible to the inevitable changes in functionality and purpose that are byproducts of economic change and evolutions in land-use intentions. The dozen projects featured here are exemplary of such practices, both in how they adapt to past interventions and in how they move beyond the notion of a static future for urban conditions that are perpetually in flux.
As part of an international competition, 1982-83, to revitalize the abandoned and undeveloped land from the French national wholesale meat market and slaughterhouse in Paris, France, Bernard Tschumi was chosen from over 470 entries including that of OMA/Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, and Jean Nouvel.