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Landscape: The Latest Architecture and News

Nature-based Protection Against Storm Surges

“Superstorm Sandy in 2012 was a wake-up call for NYC and made the city realize it needed to better prepare for climate change,” said Adrian Smith, FASLA, vice president at ASLA and team leader of Staten Island capital projects with NYC Parks. Due to storm surges from Sandy, “several people in Staten Island perished, and millions in property damage were sustained.”

On the 10th anniversary of Sandy, Smith, along with Pippa Brashear, ASLA, principal at SCAPE, and Donna Walcavage, FASLA, principal at Stantec, explained how designing with nature can lead to more resilient shoreline communities. During Climate Week NYC, they walked an online crowd of hundreds through two interconnected projects on the southwestern end of the island: Living Breakwaters and its companion on land — the Tottenville Shoreline Protection Project.

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MVRDV Wins Competition to Design Nature-Inspired Oasis Towers in Nanjing

MVRDV has won a competition to design a mixed-use residential and commercial complex on the edge of Jiangbei New Area’s Financial District in Nanjing, China. Dubbed "Oasis Towers", the two 150-metre-tall towers are surrounded by lush landscapes, and will provide residents a green haven within a dense and rapidly developing part of the city.

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A Guide to the Gardens of Kyoto

Description via Amazon. Designed for the layman as well as the professional, this concise yet comprehensive guide provides both practical information and theoretical insights into the design of the Japanese garden.

15 Contemporary Projects that Emphasize the Sounds of Nature

15 Contemporary Projects that Emphasize the Sounds of Nature - Featured Image
© Julien Lanoo

Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa once said that "architecture is essentially an extension of nature into the man-made realm, providing the ground for perception and the horizon of experiencing and understanding the world."

In the constant hustle and bustle of the modern surroundings, it is more than needed to take a step back and listen to the sounds of something as calmly powerful as nature. Moreover, listening to the beautiful harmonies created by birds chirping and sound waves can make our inner voice louder as well.

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An Architectural Journey Through the Woods

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

There are extraordinary connections between the natural world and the capacity for creativity in human beings. In his book Last Child in the Woods, journalist and author Richard Louv observes: “Nature inspires creativity in a child by demanding visualization and the full use of the senses. Given a chance, a child will bring the confusion of the world to the woods, wash it in a creek, turn it over to see what lives on the unseen side of that confusion.” He concludes that in nature, “a child finds freedom, fantasy, and privacy: a place distant from the adult world, a separate peace.” The architect Frank Harmon likewise wrote touchingly about the outdoors, woods, and water as perfect settings for cultivating a thirst for learning and discovery: “Children raised by creeks are never bored. Creek children don’t know about learning by rote, neither are they conditioned to working nine to five. Berries are their first discoveries, and birds’ nests, and watching the stars come out. Later they discover books. To creek children, learning is discovery, not instruction.”

Josephine Michau Selected as Curator of the Danish Pavilion at the 2023 Venice Biennale

The Danish Architecture Center has announced that Josephine Michau is selected as the curator of the official Danish exhibition in the Danish Pavilion at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia. Under the working title “(Extra)ordinary Landscapes”, the pavilion will explore the theme of climate adaptation and coastal landscapes of the future, exploring the role of architecture with respect to the global climate and biodiversity agenda. The 18th International Architecture Exhibition will be held from May 20th until November 26th, 2023.

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New Digital Guide Honors Pioneer of Landscape Architecture Frederick Law Olmsted

Celebrating the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., known as "the father of landscape architecture", the Cultural Landscape Foundation has created an ever-growing digital guide of Olmsted’s most notable works. The illustrated guide features more than 300 landscapes throughout North America, including Canada and 30 U.S. States, along with stories by practitioners who worked for, with, or were otherwise associated with Olmsted, Sr. and his successor firms.

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San Francisco's Newest National Park Topping a Highway to Open This Summer

Presidio Tunnel Tops is San Francisco’s upcoming national park destination, set to welcome visitors starting July 17th. The project reconnects the park formerly split in two by the Doyle Drive by creating new landscaped land over the highway now moved underground. Designed by James Corner Field Operations, the firm behind New York’s High Line, the project brings 5.6 hectares (14 acres) of new parkland to the Bay Area, featuring trails, picnic areas, and scenic views over the city as well as a nature play area for kids.

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Archeology of the Present

The degree to which a building engages with the culture or the landscape of a place is primarily controlled by the design intent i.e. the architectural concept and the success of its implementation. Photography reveals relations but it does not build them in the first place. Even in the extreme case where a structure is consciously designed to differentiate and separate itself from any sort of environment, cultural or natural, it is still inevitably situated into a context and perceived as part of it.

New Louisiana Museum Exhibition Showcases Drawings by Peter Cook

New Louisiana Museum Exhibition Showcases Drawings by Peter Cook - Featured Image
Courtesy of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

In its new exhibition Peter Cook: City Landscapes, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art showcases drawings by the influential architect, best known for his architectural theories and visionary concepts. Curated by Kjeld Kjeldsen and Mette Marie Kallehauge, the event is part of the exhibition series Louisiana on Paper, which presented the work of various artists over the years and is now debuting its first show featuring drawings by an architect.

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Julie Bargmann Awarded with the World's First International Landscape Architecture Prize

The Cultural Landscape Foundation - TCLF has awarded Julie Bargmann, founder of landscape architecture firm D.I.R.T. Studio, with the first ever Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize, a distinguished award bestowed on designers who are “exceptionally talented, creative, courageous, and visionary, with a significant body of built work that exemplifies the art of landscape architecture.”

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Home Gardens: Residential Projects That Embrace Agriculture

Since before the first industrial revolution, sociologists, historians, and urban planners have been addressing the relationship between the city and the countryside, but this debate has become more pressing nowadays with the spread of megacities, typically with a population of more than 10 million people. With more and more people living in urban areas, it is imperative to think of solutions for food production within cities, thereby making cities more independent from rural areas, which have historically been responsible for the supply of food to the entire planet.

The idea that cities will become self-sufficient in food production in the near future is both unrealistic and naive. Nevertheless, small initiatives such as urban gardens, either at home or public gardens run by the community, might be a good starting point for a much bigger change in the future. Or perhaps they simply represent a desire to return to one's roots and achieve a slightly slower lifestyle.

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Álvaro Siza's New Steel Frame Watchtower for Ecotourism in Portugal

Álvaro Siza's latest project in Portugal is a 16-meter high watchtower built with a lightweight steel structure featuring photovoltaic panels on the roof. This project is very different from most of Siza's works, both in terms of scale and materials. The watchtower is located in Serra das Talhadas, in the municipality of Proença-a-Nova, and is part of a larger project comprising several structures dedicated to ecotourism in the area, including the still unbuilt Miradouro do Zebro.

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Natural Tapestry: Indoor Vertical Gardens in Different Project Types

Humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature, regardless of the physical or geographical conditions in which we find ourselves. As we become increasingly detached from the wilderness, we develop means and strategies to bring nature back into our daily lives, even if only for a few moments.

There are many ways of domesticating nature, as seen throughout the history of mankind, through fascinating structures that challenge technical limitations, such as vertical indoor gardens.

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Enough with Copenhagen! It is Time for U.S. Cities to Learn From Models Closer to Home

Juan Miró, co-founder of Miró Rivera Architects reflects in an opinion piece on the value of American cities. Stating that "when we idealize cities like Copenhagen, we risk losing focus of the fundamental historical differences between the urban trajectories of European and American cities", the architect and educator draws a timeline of events and urban transformations, in order to explain why it would be more relevant to look on the inside when planning U.S cities, rather than taking examples from the outside.

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Heatherwick Studio's Little Island Creates an Artificial Landscape above the Hudson River

Designed by Heatherwick Studio, together with landscape architecture firm MNLA, the long-awaited Little Island project is New York’s newest major public space, showcasing a richly-planted piece of topography above the Hudson River. The design featuring a public park and performance venues reinvents the pier typology into an undulating artificial landscape. After surpassing many hurdles, the eight years in the making project is now open to the public, and the bold design is set to become an icon in New York.

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