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Parks: The Latest Architecture and News

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

05:00 - 19 April, 2019
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

05:00 - 25 October, 2018
Sasaki Revitalizes Vacant Rail Yard to Create Florida's New Central Park, Courtesy of Sasaki
Courtesy of Sasaki

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 Sasaki Courtesy of Sasaki Courtesy of Sasaki Courtesy of Sasaki + 8

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

15:42 - 27 September, 2018
2019 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence: Call for Entries Open, 2017 Rudy Bruner Award Medalists (Photo Credits on RBA Website)
2017 Rudy Bruner Award Medalists (Photo Credits on RBA Website)

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

09:30 - 10 August, 2018
How the Parc de la Villette Kickstarted a New Era for Urban Design,  © <a href='https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/50/LaVillette100911.jpg'> Creative Commons User Jean-Marie Hullot</a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en/'>CC BY 3.0</a>
© Creative Commons User Jean-Marie Hullot licensed under CC BY 3.0

 © <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

06:00 - 19 April, 2018

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 mmcité1 Courtesy of mmcité1 Courtesy of mmcité1 Courtesy of mmcité1 + 45

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

08:00 - 20 March, 2018
Landscape Representation: The Role of Architectural Plans in Parks and Public Spaces, Parque Zaryadye Plan / Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image via Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Parque Zaryadye Plan / Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image via Diller Scofidio + Renfro

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

14:00 - 21 May, 2017
DELVA Landscape Architects to Revive The Hague’s Historic Centre With Interconnected Urban Greens , via DELVA Landscape Architects / Urbanism
via DELVA Landscape Architects / Urbanism

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

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

12:00 - 22 April, 2017
Topio7’s Revitalisation of Former Cemetery Merges Urban Park and City in Athens, Courtesy of Topio7 Architects
Courtesy of Topio7 Architects

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

DROR's Parkorman Park in Istanbul Will Let Visitors Trampoline through the Treetops

16:15 - 28 March, 2017
DROR's Parkorman Park in Istanbul Will Let Visitors Trampoline through the Treetops, © DROR
© DROR

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.

© DROR © DROR © DROR © DROR + 11

Utopia Arkitekter Proposes Public Park in Stockholm Shrouded in Glass

09:30 - 19 March, 2017
Utopia Arkitekter Proposes Public Park in Stockholm Shrouded in Glass, Courtesy of Utopia Arkitekter
Courtesy of Utopia Arkitekter

Utopia Arkitekter wants to start a discussion in Stockholm: how do we manage and develop our public spaces? The definition of the word public, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is something “open to or shared by all the people of an area or country.” However, as commercialism continues to rise, Utopia Arkitekter has a problem with our new applications of indoor “public” spaces. As architecture critic Rowan Moore writes in Why We Build, “Identity, desire and stimulation become things you have to buy, as clothes, restaurant meals of calculated diversity, and rides on the ski slope or up the Burj Khalifa.” The problem is that as our inner cities adopt more commercial indoor

The problem is that as our inner cities adopt more commercial indoor public spaces such as shopping malls, cafés or restaurants, the “public” is no longer represented by “all the people of an area,” simply due to economic restrictions. In a city like Stockholm, where darkness and temperatures below 10 degrees celsius prevail for 6 months of the year, the economic boundaries set up around indoor public spaces mean reduced opportunities for people to socialize outside of the home. Utopia Arkitekter’s proposal in response to this conundrum? An indoor park.

Courtesy of Utopia Arkitekter Courtesy of Utopia Arkitekter Courtesy of Utopia Arkitekter Courtesy of Utopia Arkitekter + 14

James Corner Field Operations Selected to Transform Historic Canal Park in DC Neighborhood of Georgetown

16:00 - 15 March, 2017
James Corner Field Operations Selected to Transform Historic Canal Park in DC Neighborhood of Georgetown, Courtesy of James Corner Field Operations
Courtesy of James Corner Field Operations

James Corner Field Operations, the urban design and landscape architecture firm behind the High Line in New York City, has been selected by Georgetown Heritage to complete a similar transformation of a historic canal in the Washington D.C. neighborhood of Georgetown. Working with the National Park Service and the D.C. Office of Planning, the team will design a comprehensive master plan for a one-mile section of the Chesapeake and Ohio National Historical Park (C&O Canal NHP) to update the site from a historic location into a community asset.

6 Cities That Have Transformed Their Highways Into Urban Parks

08:00 - 1 December, 2016
6 Cities That Have Transformed Their Highways Into Urban Parks, Courtesy of Unknown
Courtesy of Unknown

Building a highway in a city is often thought of as a solution to traffic congestion. However, the induced demand theory has shown that when drivers have more routes, they choose to continue using this medium instead of using public transport or a bicycle, and as a result, congestion doesn’t decrease.

As a result, some cities have chosen to remove spaces designated for cars and turn what was once a highway into urban parks and less congested streets. 

Here we have six examples, some have already been completed, while a few are still under construction. To the surprise of some, most of the projects are in the US, which reflects that American designers are looking into further studying European transport policies. 

2017 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence: Call for Entries

15:07 - 27 September, 2016
2017 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence: Call for Entries, 2015 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Gold Medalist - Miller's Court - Baltimore, MD
2015 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Gold Medalist - Miller's Court - Baltimore, MD

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. 

Call for Entries: 2017 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence

04:25 - 19 September, 2016
Call for Entries: 2017 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence

The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence celebrates urban places that are distinguished by quality design and their social and economic 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. Projects must be a real place, not just a plan or a program, and be located in the 48 contiguous United States.

Student Survey: The Future of Parks

03:35 - 29 April, 2016
Student Survey: The Future of Parks

Husqvarna invites you to take their survey, The Future of Parks, and share your insights into how parks will look and function in the year 2030. The UN has set a goal to make cities more sustainable in the coming decades, and parks will play an integral role in making that happen. Together with students from around the world, you will help to co-create a vision of what is to come! 

Esrawe + Cadena's Toy-Inspired "Los Trompos" Installation

06:00 - 1 April, 2016
Esrawe + Cadena's Toy-Inspired "Los Trompos" Installation, Courtesy of Discovery Green Conservancy
Courtesy of Discovery Green Conservancy

Colorful, woven spinning tops decorated the lawn at Houston’s Discovery Green park from November 14, 2015-March 22, 2016 as part of an interactive art installation by Mexico City designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena. Dubbed Los Trompos, the installation featured twenty, 3D structures that also doubled as seating. Only two or more people working together could make the tops spin, “fostering an engaging connection.”

Courtesy of Discovery Green Conservancy Courtesy of Discovery Green Conservancy Courtesy of Discovery Green Conservancy Courtesy of Discovery Green Conservancy + 47

Vancouver to Buy Old Rail Corridor for Future Public Greenway

12:00 - 9 March, 2016
Vancouver to Buy Old Rail Corridor for Future Public Greenway, © City of Vancouver
© City of Vancouver

The City of Vancouver has agreed to purchase the Arbutus Corridor from Canadian Pacific Railway for $55 million to make way for a future public greenway. According to a report by CBC, this ends a long-standing dispute between the city and CP Rail over the worth of the nine kilometer stretch of land, which hasn't been used for nearly 15 years.

How Schønherr is Transforming Aarhus with Experimental Urban Interventions

09:00 - 30 January, 2016
How Schønherr is Transforming Aarhus with Experimental Urban Interventions, The City Park / Schønherr. Image © Martin Dam Kristensen for Aarhus Festival
The City Park / Schønherr. Image © Martin Dam Kristensen for Aarhus Festival

Since 2010, the Danish architects from Schønherr have been developing a series of large-scale urban interventions for the Aarhus Festival, the largest cultural festival in Denmark. These temporary projects have transformed the streets and parks into extraordinary public spaces, changing the natural topography of the city to attract citizens and bring them together.

We present their last four projects: "The Forest" (2010), "The City Park" (2012), "The Plaza" (2014) and "Bishops Square" (to be completed this 2016).

The City Park / Schønherr. Image © Martin Dam Kristensen for Aarhus Festival The Plaza / Schønherr. Image © Martin Schubert The City Park / Schønherr. Image © Martin Dam Kristensen for Aarhus Festival The Plaza / Schønherr. Image © Martin Schubert + 49