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Landscape Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News

What New York's Central Park Could Have Looked Like

New York’s iconic Central Park was designed in 1858 by F.L Olmsted and C. Vaux, having been chosen in a competition against 32 other entries. The competition called for the design of a park including a parade ground, fountain, watchtower, skating arena, four cross streets, and room for an exhibition hall.

Of the 32 alternative entries, only one survives to this day. The sole survivor was drawn up park engineer John J. Rink. To give an indication as to how Rink’s plan would have aged in the Big Apple, NeoMam Studios and Budget Direct have published a set of visualizations derived from the design. Find out below what one of the world’s most iconic green spaces could have looked like if a 160-year-old decision had been different.

Courtesy of NeoMam Studios for Budget DirectCourtesy of NeoMam Studios for Budget DirectCourtesy of NeoMam Studios for Budget DirectCourtesy of NeoMam Studios for Budget Direct+ 6

2019 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence: Call for Entries Open

The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) celebrates transformative urban places distinguished by their economic and social contributions to our nation’s cities. Winners offer creative placemaking solutions that transcend the boundaries between architecture, urban design and planning and showcase innovative thinking about American cities. One Gold Medal of $50,000 and four Silver Medals of $10,000 will be awarded. 

Open Call: LA+ ICONOCLAST Design Ideas Competition

LA+ ICONOCLAST challenges designers to reimagine and redesign New York's Central Park for the 21st century following a fictional eco-terrorist attack that devastates the park. LA+ invites submissions from architects, landscape architects, planners, artists, and designers from anywhere in the world. This is an ideas competition - no professional qualifications are required to enter.

Five winners will share US $20,000 and feature publication in a special issue of LA+ Journal entitled LA+ ICONOCLAST. Ten honorable mentions receive a certificate and publication.

Lola Sheppard - architect and co-founder, Lateral Office
Geoff Manaugh - author, BLDGBLOG and “A Burglar’s Guide to the

How the Parc de la Villette Kickstarted a New Era for Urban Design

 © <a href='https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6f/Do_pedalar_e_da_ciência.jpg'> Creative Commons User Alix Ferreira</a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/'>CC BY-SA 4.0</a> © <a href='https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f6/Parc_de_La_Villette_%40_Paris_%2828926264776%29.jpg'> Creative Commons User Guilhem Vellut</a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>  © <a href='https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d2/Folie_N8_%40_La_Villette_%40_Paris_%2833893431256%29.jpg'> Creative Commons User Guilhem Vellut</a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>  © <a href='https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/Canal_%40_La_Villette_%40_Paris_%2833091237904%29.jpg'> Creative Commons User Guilhem Vellut</a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>+ 11

What does the Parisian park look like? For many, the answer to that question comes in the form of a painting: Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, in which the well-dressed bourgeoisie leisurely enjoy a natural oasis on a verdant island within their industrializing city.

MAD Revitalizes Abandoned Japanese Mountain Tunnel with Elemental Art Trail

MAD Architects have completed their restoration work on the Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel in Japan’s Niigata prefecture, transforming the historic lookout tunnel into a trail of artistic spaces. The “Tunnel of Light” was opened as part of the 2018 Echigo-Tsumari Triennale, cutting through 750 meters of rock formations to offer a panoramic view across one of Japan’s great landscapes.

MAD’s scheme seeks to “transform points along the historic tunnel through the realization of several architectural spaces and artistic atmospheres." Inspired by the five elements of wood, earth, metal, fire, and water, the scheme explores the relationship between humans and nature, and "re-connects locals and visitors alike with the majestic beauty of the land."

Periscope (Wood). Image Courtesy of Nacasa & Partners IncThe Drop (Fire). Image Courtesy of Nacasa & Partners IncThe Drop (Fire). Image Courtesy of Nacasa & Partners IncExpression of Color (Earth). Image Courtesy of Nacasa & Partners Inc+ 22

LOLA, L+CC, and Taller Architects Design "Romantic" Forest Trail for Forgotten Sports in Shenzhen

LOLA Landscape Architects, Taller Architects, and L+CC have released images of their competition-winning design for a 600-hectare forest and sports park in Guang Ming, Shenzhen, China. Commissioned in response to the exploding technology industry in the Shenzhen metropolitan area, the park will place an emphasis on health, sports, and nature to offer an ecological counterpoint to dense urban surroundings.

The winning collaboration saw off competition from JCFO, SWA, and TCL, with the competition jury praising the scheme for its “fresh approach and [for] being highly attentive to local ecology [while] meanwhile incorporating romantic techniques and realistic urban visions.”

Birdseye view from central lake towards Guang Ming. Image Courtesy of LOLA, TALLER, and L+CCRed path and canopy, crossing a big road. Image Courtesy of LOLA, TALLER, and L+CCForest cabin that can be rented for a night. Image Courtesy of LOLA, TALLER, and L+CCCooling Down Pavilion in the middle of the lake. Image Courtesy of LOLA, TALLER, and L+CC+ 21

Iconic Vlooyberg Tower in Belgium Heavily Damaged by Arson

Courtesy of Close to bone
Courtesy of Close to bone

The iconic Vlooybergtoren in Tielt-Winge, Belgium, designed by Close to bone, has been heavily damaged by an explosion. The striking piece of landscape architecture, opened in May 2015, was badly damaged on Saturday night/Sunday morning, as reported by national news outlet VRT.

VRT is reporting that an arson attack was responsible, with Mayor Rudi Beeken stating “there are clear signs that this was not an accident”.

Courtesy of Close to bone© Kris Van den BoschCourtesy of Close to boneCourtesy of Close to bone+ 8

Call for Submission: Associated Projects of the Lisbon Triennale 2019

The Lisbon Triennale is looking for national and international independently funded proposals that can be articulated and also complement the central program of its 5th edition, that will take place between October 3rd and December 2nd 2019.

Call for Lisbon Triennale Millennium bcp Début Award

For the third time, the Lisbon Architecture Triennale presents the Début award to an architect or a practice in order to celebrate their achievements and encourage their career. With this new edition of the award, we hope to support new voices and forms of architectural practice. The call is open to architects under the age of 35 (thirty-five), or any architecture office with an average age under or of 35 (thirty-five) till March 26th, 2019.

Call for Submissions: Six Sites Another Landscape, Design Workshop on Contemporary Landscape 2018

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 seven-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 2018 workshops program. This workshop is the third and last installment of the collaboration between CCU and the municipality of Maccagno con Pino e Veddasca, that began with the August 2016 workshop and repeated with the August 2017 workshop, involving more than 50 students.

Mecanoo Designs Mile-Long Green Corridor Along Former Railway Line in Taiwan

Mecanoo has released images of their proposed Taichung Green Corridor in Taiwan, set along a mile-long (1.7-kilometer) former railway line cutting through the city center. Once a valuable means of connection, the railway currently acts as a barrier due to its awkward position along a dyke, impeding circulation across the railway lines.

The Mecanoo scheme seeks to reuse the railway line to connect different parts of the city through a green corridor centered on biodiversity, cycling, and walking. Throughout the design process, Mecanoo addressed factors including urban regeneration, public participation, historic preservation, and green and water resources along the Green River waterfront.

Courtesy of Mecanoo ArchitectenCourtesy of Mecanoo ArchitectenCourtesy of Mecanoo ArchitectenCourtesy of Mecanoo Architecten+ 11

LA's Pershing Square Is Preparing for a Redesign—And Some Worry They Are Losing a Valuable Civic Space

Surrounded on all sides by "business blocks of architectural beauty and metropolitan dimensions," the intersecting planes of Pershing Square in Los Angeles provide a modernist retreat for many Angelinos in the downtown area. While to some, the square's large stucco tower and aqueduct-like water feature serve as a cultural landmark, the park has drawn negative press due to its lack of green space and abundance of drug-related activity. John Moody purposefully concentrates on the perception, memory, and identity of the space in his documentary Redemption Square—winner of the Best Urban Design Film 2017 at the New Urbanism Film Festival. Using the voice of strangers, residents and those who used to call it home, Moody guides you from the park’s formation in 1866 to its impending renewal: a “radically flat” redesign courtesy of Agence Ter and Gruen Associates.

Updates Released of Renzo Piano's First Residential Project in the United States

New details have been released of Renzo Piano Building Workshop’s first residential building in the United States; a landmark luxury condominium scheme on Miami’s North Beach. Designed in collaboration with interior architects Rena Dumas Architecture Intérieure (RDAI) and landscape firm West 8, the 66-unit scheme seeks to embrace both the ocean and adjacent 35-acre park, with a fluid design to “blur the line between imagination and craftsmanship.”

The architectural concept behind the scheme, titled “Eighty Seven Park,” was to create a “coastal sanctuary” floating above the lush landscape of North Shore Park. Though simple in form and motif, Piano’s design prioritizes an intricate attention to detail; “the belief in perfecting every element of its design and construction.”

Courtesy of TerraCourtesy of TerraCourtesy of TerraCourtesy of Terra+ 16

MVRDV's Dutch SeaSaw Rocks Back and Forth in Response to the Changing Tide

MVRDV has won a competition for the design of an art installation in the Dutch coastal city of Den Helder, seeking to strengthen the connection between land and sea through a new public landmark. The “SeaSaw” consists of a viewing platform balanced in equilibrium atop the city’s flood defenses, a distinguishable structure praised by the jury for capturing “the energetic spirit of the city represented as an infinite form.”

Courtesy of MVRDVCourtesy of MVRDVCourtesy of MVRDVCourtesy of MVRDV+ 9

Call for Papers: Society of Architectural Historians 72nd Annual International Conference

The Society of Architectural Historians is now accepting abstracts for its 72nd Annual International Conference in Providence, Rhode Island, April 24–28. Please submit an abstract no later than 11:59 p.m. CDT on June 5, 2018, to one of the 34 thematic sessions, the Graduate Student Lightning Talks or the Open Sessions. SAH encourages submissions from architectural, landscape, and urban historians; museum curators; preservationists; independent scholars; architects; scholars in related fields; and members of SAH chapters and partner organizations.

Thematic sessions and Graduate Student Lightning Talks are listed below. The thematic sessions have been selected to cover topics across all time periods

Coldefy & Associates Design World's Largest Single-Domed Tropical Greenhouse

French firm Coldefy & Associates has unveiled images of their design proposal for the world’s largest tropical greenhouse under one roof. Situated in Pas-de-Calais, France, “Tropicalia” will cover an area of 215,000 square feet (20,000 square meters) featuring a tropical forest, turtle beach, a pool for Amazonian fish, and a one-kilometer-long walking trail. The biome aims to offer a “harmonious haven” where visitors are immediately immersed in a seemingly natural environment under a single domed roof.

Courtesy of Coldefy & AssociatesCourtesy of Coldefy & AssociatesCourtesy of Coldefy & AssociatesCourtesy of Coldefy & Associates+ 8

B Garden / 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio

B Garden becomes alive with padding pool and provides a place for summer children's games.. Image © Weiqi JinThe arcade of entrance to Teahouse. Image © Weiqi JinThe entrance of the Teahouse. Image © Weiqi JinThe entrance of the Teahouse. Image © Weiqi Jin+ 73

Xinyang, China

Landscape and Building Merge in New Czech Forestry Commission Centre

A design team under the direction of Chybik + Kristof has won the international competition to design a new administrative center for the Czech Forestry Commission in Hradec Králové. The project focuses on a symbiotic relationship between the building and the adjacent forest, where the natural landscape outside begins to mingle with the office spaces within.

Exterior Visualisation. Image Courtesy of Chybik + KristofExterior Visualisation. Image Courtesy of Chybik + KristofNature Trail. Image Courtesy of Chybik + KristofOffice Spaces. Image Courtesy of Chybik + Kristof+ 12