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Parks: The Latest Architecture and News

Landscaping on an Urban Scale: 12 Linear Park Projects

Linear parks exist in many different contexts - along riversides, coastal areas, or inserted in the urban fabric - and represent a very particular type of public space that evokes the idea of a vector and, consequently, the sense of movement. However, they can provide more than just activities and programs associated with mobility, proving to be an appealing solution to the lack of spaces for leisure, contemplation, and relaxation in the most varied urban situations.

Below, we have gathered 12 examples of linear parks built in different parts of the world, illustrated by photographs and floor plans.

White Flowers Boulevard / Project Group 8 + PARK. Courtesy of AquabrandRequalification of the banks of the Avelames River / Luís Rebelo de Andrade. © Fernando Guerra | FG+SGSchelokovsky Hutor Forest Park / OGOROD. © Dima ChetyreWaterfront Park of Aiyi River / BLVD International. © Fang Jian+ 26

Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, Take Time to Reconnect with Nature

If you are in a place impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, spending 20 minutes experiencing nature in a park, street, or even your backyard can significantly reduce your stress levels. Just be sure to follow federal, state, and local guidelines and maintain social distancing of 6 feet or 2 meters. But even if you cannot or are unable to go outside, taking a break by opening a window and looking at a tree or plant can also help de-stress.

'Landslide 2020' Spotlights Women-Designed Landscapes and the Threats That They Face

The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) has released its 2020 edition of Landslide, an annual in-depth report produced by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that profiles—and raises awareness of—a geographically diverse number of at-risk American parks, gardens, horticultural features, working landscapes, and “and other places that collectively embody our shared landscape heritage.”

12 Outdoor Art Spaces, Parks, and Landscapes that Have Reopened or are Reopening Soon in the US

As many Americans tentatively ease back into their museum- and park-going routines, numerous cultural institutions and public spaces are slowly coming back to life on a limited/adjusted basis after months of hibernation to greet them, with coronavirus precautions firmly in place. Meanwhile, large, indoor gallery-centered museums continue to plot their eventual returns. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, for example, plans to reopen in late August while the Getty Center in Los Angeles has still not announced its phased re-opening dates.

In many locales, a trickle of small but positive re-openings has taken place in recent weeks and/or are slated for mid-to-late July. With an eye toward public landscapes, open-air museums, and multifaceted art spaces with room to spread out, here’s a small sampling of places across the country that have reopened or expanded public access or are due to allow visitors in the very near future.

From a Complicated Present, Urban Reuse Parks Look to the Future

Metropolis catches up with the High Line Network, a consortium of North American reuse projects that has been sharing notes and best practices through the pandemic.

Since the pandemic began, the High Line Network—a group of North American infrastructure reuse projects founded in 2017—has been conducting regular teleconference calls among its members, comparing notes on operations and sharing best practices and advice with fellow members. With many open or planning to reopen soon, and as the pandemic continues, many observers expect these projects will become even more popular among the public, since they provide outdoor space where visitors can walk, bicycle, and safely enjoy themselves—usually at an appropriate distance from one another. Especially now, the network believes its constituent projects can deliver tremendous and much-needed social, health, environmental, and economic benefits.

Eastside Trail and Ponce City Market along the Atlanta BeltLine. Courtesy The SintosesArt along the Eastside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine. Courtesy The SintosesDequindre Cut. Courtesy Detroit Riverfront ConservancyMurals along Dequindre Cut. Courtesy Detroit Riverfront Conservancy+ 13

Bird's Eye Gallery: Amusement Parks

Seeing the Earth from a great distance has been proven to stimulate awe, increase the desire to collaborate, and foster long-term thinking. Daily Overview aims to inspire these feelings — commonly referred to as the Overview Effect — through their imagery, products, and collaborations. By embracing the perspective that comes from this vantage point, the team believes they can stimulate a new awareness that will lead to a better future for our one and only home. Check out Daily Overview's Gallery of Amusement Parks and follow the team's work on their Instagram.

A Russian Parks Program Creates Over 350 Public Spaces and Nurtures Local Design Talent

Costing less than glitzier parks in Moscow, the Tatarstan initiative is revivifying the local design and manufacturing bases with a "teach a man to fish" approach.

In places without an established design force, there have historically been two opposing approaches at play: hire experts from abroad or nurture a local design community, a la “give a man a fish or teach him how to fish.” In the Russian republic of Tatarstan, located at the intersection between Europe and Asia, a recent Public Spaces Development Program has created over 350 parks in five years—by choosing the latter approach.

Children's play structure in Gorkinsko-Ometevsky forest, near Kazan. Image Courtesy of Foundation Institute for Urban Development of the Republic of TatarstanKaban Lake embankment. Image Courtesy of Foundation Institute for Urban Development of the Republic of TatarstanAn embankment on Kaban Lake in Kazan, Tatarstan’s capital city. Kaban consists of three lakes stretching north to south, with connected ducts. These are the largest in area in Tatarstan. The concept of this project was based on the creation of a single Kaban Lakes Water Park, uniting the three lakes’ embankments.. Image Courtesy of Foundation Institute for Urban Development of the Republic of TatarstanCity Lake beach in Almetyevsk, a city of 156,000 about four hours southeast of Kazan. The city had lacked a comfortable outdoor area, prompting its inner-city lake to be cleaned and its shoreline redeveloped. A wooden path lines the water and strings together facilities like a fitness pavilion, open-air pool, sauna, playground, boat house, and more.. Image Courtesy of Foundation Institute for Urban Development of the Republic of Tatarstan+ 12

SURGE Combines High Aesthetics with Environmentally Oriented Technology

Chinese architect Mingfei Sun has designed an environmentally oriented urban hub for Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. Titled SURGE, its natural aesthetics and technological forwardness are intended to communicate a J.M.W. Turner-esque awe for the power of nature, making it an oasis of high aesthetic and ecological value.

By the People, For the People: What is Public Architecture, According to our Readers

Aarhus Harbor Bath / BIG. Image: © Rasmus Hjortshøj
Aarhus Harbor Bath / BIG. Image: © Rasmus Hjortshøj

Last week, we asked our social media followers, "What does public architecture mean to you?" These thoughts are intrinsic to the architectural debate and come into play in various types of projects, especially in those related to the planning of common-use spaces in cities.

Sasaki Revitalizes Vacant Rail Yard to Create Florida's New Central Park

With the aim to create the self-proclaimed “Central Park of Lakeland,” global design firm Sasaki is converting Bonnet Springs Park in Central Florida from a former CSX railyards property to an ecological hub. Initially, a vacant brownfield, the site is currently undergoing environmental remediation to tackle the years of industrial damage, with plans to be open to the public by 2020.

Courtesy of SasakiCourtesy of SasakiCourtesy of SasakiCourtesy of Sasaki+ 8

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. 

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.

Meditate In This Mobile Nature-Inspired Pinecone Gazebo

Designed by Czech designers Atelier SAD and distributed by mmcité1, this mobile, nature-inspired gazebo is a playground must-have for children and adults alike. 109 waterproof, plywood scales are treated with resistant glaze and connected by galvanized joints to create a self-supporting, sustainable structure.

Courtesy of mmcité1Courtesy of mmcité1Courtesy of mmcité1Courtesy of mmcité1+ 45

Landscape Representation: The Role of Architectural Plans in Parks and Public Spaces

Frequently imperceptible to the inhabitant, the architectural plans of landscape designs are unquestionably the best tool for understanding certain relationships between elements and the strategic organization of the work. They are therefore an essential part of any good architecture project.

The distribution and type of vegetation, topography levels, the relationships between the preexisting urban or natural context, the possible routes and incorporated activities, and the materiality and the dimensional precision required for its construction are some of the considerations that are usually reiterated in this type of representation.

The result permits the communication of intentions in an organized way, while clearly exposing the concerns of the authors; for this reason, we invite you to review a series of different examples of architectural plans of public spaces that enables a comprehensive approach to the role of each project.

DELVA Landscape Architects to Revive The Hague’s Historic Centre With Interconnected Urban Greens

Serving as a new gateway to the city through the connection of various green spaces and public programs, The Green Entrance is DELVA Landscape Architects’ masterplan for a historic district of The Hague. Given The Hague’s future inner-city densification, which involves the creation of 50,000 new houses, the Dutch firm’s aim is to aid these developments through sustainable and green urban strategies, manifested “through an integral approach between landscape design, cultural heritage, mobility, programming and technology.”

Commenting on the project’s primary function, the architects state: “’The Green Entrance’ connects areas that have been isolated over the years. It starts in the spacious and open ‘City Hall' that connects to the train station and continues to the ‘Koningin Julianaplein’. No narrow doors or gates, but a wide view over the green and lively surrounding public space.”

via DELVA Landscape Architects / Urbanismvia DELVA Landscape Architects / Urbanismvia DELVA Landscape Architects / Urbanismvia DELVA Landscape Architects / Urbanism+ 18

Topio7’s Revitalisation of Former Cemetery Merges Urban Park and City in Athens

A competition for the transformation of a former cemetery in Nikea, just west of central Athens, has been won by Greek firm Topio7, with a proposal that creates a revitalized public park as a result of “a mutual osmosis between the park and the city”. A number of green buffer zones – “the elastic limit” – are utilized to frame a procession-like journey from the bustle of the city to the calm of the park’s landscape.

Highlighting the importance of the site’s previous use, the architects explain that the “main objective of the project is the creation of an open, accessible public space, a contemporary urban park with ecological-bioclimatic character, with special emphasis on the social dimension and the site’s memory.”

Courtesy of Topio7 ArchitectsCourtesy of Topio7 ArchitectsCourtesy of Topio7 ArchitectsCourtesy of Topio7 Architects+ 14