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The international magazine for landscape architecture and urbanism 2006 / 1 Hot spots Barcelona: language and significance / European Biennal for landscape architecture / China: higher, bigger, faster / 101 Metropolises / Karres en Brands’ power of invention
’scape 1/2006 Hot spots: Barcelona, Beijing, Shanghai / Karres & Brands / Coastal strips
BOUVIGNE CASTE BREDA
GENIEDIJK STELLING VAN AMSTERDAM
ATTRACTION PARK DE EFTELING
MTD | Zuid-Willemsvaart 142 | Post box 5225 | 5201 GE ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands T 31 (0)73 6125033 | F 31 (0)73 6136665 | E email@example.com
Park Piedra Tosca in Les Preses, Girona, Spain:
winner of the Rosa Barba prize.
Blauwe Kamer aroused international interest through its combination of town planning and urban design and landscape architecture – specialist fields that are increasingly entwined and which also have a growing international orientation. artists and anyone in the public or private sectors and education or research with an interest in landscape and urban design. professional and international view of the design of landscapes and townscapes. ’scape offers a journalistic. Years ago they received the request to publish an English-language edition. and contains news. features. portraits. in collaboration with Birkhäuser – Publishers for Architecture. ’scape informs. book reviews and commentaries. the new international magazine for landscape architecture and urbanism. This is why ’scape is being published. ecologists. geographers. The magazine is produced for landscape architects and garden designers. we hope that we can help you to contribute to the development of the specialist fields and the spatial quality of town. The editors 1 / 2006 ’ S C A P E 3 . Planners. developers. essays. ’scape is produced and edited by the makers of Blauwe Kamer and the triennial Landscape Architecture Europe.and landscapes. designers and architects work together. raises opinions and inspires. architects. This international team is working enthusiastically and with expertise on the publication of two numbers a year. design criticism. with an international interest.’scape The international magazine for landscape architecture and urbanismn This is the first number of ’scape. critical. interviews. By doing so. planners and urban designers. ’scape is an initiative of the editors of the Dutch magazine Blauwe Kamer.
For example. with all the thick smog of Beijing? Building excavation China 42 From all over the world architects and urban planners are going to China to manage the immense building needs. 26 Inspiration from the Biennale More entries. is it possible to have an Olympic marathon in 2008. What is the responsibility of western architects and urban planners in this display of planning power? Atlas of world cities 44 The Metropolitan World Atlas is the first atlas that is based on urban agglomerations. However. the Biennale is in particular a meeting of landscape architects from all over Europe. Editor Arjan van Susteren has made a book with maps with the same scale.’scape 16 Hot spots 1/ 2006 Avant-garde Modernism appeared as a liberating activity to the Catalans. 1 / 2006 ‘ s c a p e 5 . more participants and much industrial heritage: the fourth Biennale for Landscape Architecture in Barcelona. In Barcelona. 34 Record speed in China At a record speed China is replacing its old districts by copies of European urban planning and by often spectacular high-rise buildings. with each other. However. A discussion with China visitor Rem Koolhaas. so that the metropolises can be compared with regard to numerous criteria. and with that special town along the Catalan coast. this also has its drawbacks. landscape architects keep inventing new forms and significations for avant-garde urban landscapes. which are influencing the methods of work and activities of the Northern European professionals.
ground plan 80 In this column we focus on special city maps. the international magazine for Landscape Architecture and Urbanism is produced and edited by Lijn in Landschap Foundation. Denmark.com ’scape is published twice a year in collaboration with Birkhäuser – Publishers for Architecture. Derek Middleton (translation). Foulkesweg 72.in this issue ’scape Volume 1 ’scape. perspectives and examples.uitgeverijblauwdruk. 6703 BW Wageningen. Enough challenges for European landscape designers. Willem Verbaan. Peter Paul Witsen Contributions Kristof Van Assche. richly illustrated examples of present-day projects. Johan Meeus. Secretariat and back office Annemarie Roetgerink info@scapemagazine. The Netherlands T +31 (0) 317 425890. processing. well-organised and beautifully stylised materials. Marinke Steenhuis. empty. Prior permission shall be obtained in writing from the publishers for any use that is not explicitly permissible under the copyright law. and an ability to reinvent themselves anew with every project. Lodewijk Wiegersma. an elongated beach park has been built in front of the island of Amager.com www.nl The invented Land 176 pages full colour.com Design Michel Backus. Noël van Dooren. Hank van Tilborg. F +31 (0) 317 425886 info@scapemagazine. writer and aerial photographer. It is a form of urban design that is undergoing continual development in day-to-day building practice and one that is gaining an ever more unquestioned position within the discipline. review 64 Near Copenhagen. The Dutch resort Egmond aan Zee has given its NorthSea side a facelift according to the current fashion in the public space design: plain. Rob van der Bijl. Concrete constructions create a confusion. Christiaan Krouwels. Bennekom. Marjan Gerritse and Harry Harsema. storing contents to memory and processing in electronic form. villages and landscapes have often arisen out from the ideas of designers. The Invented Land Sustainable Urban Design ISSN 1389-742x © 2006 Stichting Lijn in Landschap Foundation and Birkhäuser – Publishers for Architecture This edition of ’scape magazine. Malene Hauxner. in particular. Editorial board Bert Bukman. true of duplications. Marijke Apeldoorn (illustrations) Printing Modern. Tineke Blok. as do independent thinking. He unveils the special features of each site and exposes their spatial architecture. in a clear and accessible manner. including landscape architects. P. Maris van der Laak (translation). By means of an historical sketch and clear. cities and regions are developing their hinterland and landscapes are made available for consumptive development. The Netherlands Perspectives and examples Sustainable Urban Design. Harry Harsema and Mark Hendriks in cooperation with Maarten Ettema. This is. Blauwdruk publishers www. describes.birkhauser. Metropolitan design skills characterise the office. With its coastal project the Spanish town of Salou is hiding from the intrusive tourism that dominates the coastal areas. The park connects the Mediterranean Sea to its hinterland in a natural way. is protected by international copyright. including all parts and articles in it. Board Fons Asselbergs (chairman). ‘Portrait San Francisco’ is one of the more beautiful copies. Martin Woestenburg A bird’s eye view of Dutch landscape architecture The Netherlands is an ‘invented land’. bilingual ISBN 90-75271-17-4 € 39. Box 133.O.all prices include VAT.Sustainable urban design 176 pages full colour. Gert Middelkoop. this tourist map from the American map publisher Meridian Graphics. Lisa Diedrich. bilangual ISBN 90-75271-19-0 € 37. CH-4010 Basel. Meinoud Hehenkamp. Henri Bava. Gen. Switzerland Part of Springer Science + Business Media www. sustainable urban design as it is practiced at the present time in the Netherlands. but they also give an identity to the beach. landscape architect.ch news 8 Urbanism in Europe Peter Walker’s empty spots in New York Book: the best landscape architecture in Europe Moscow s building a new district Designing for New Orleans after Katrina Lexicon concerning landscape architecture London is condensed with new houses portrait 50 Karres en Brands landschapsarchitecten have created a major landscape architectural oeuvre that is starting to receive international recognition. translations. Peter van Bolhuis. Karen van Vliet e s s ay 6 0 On the tourist-recreational map of Europe hotspots and trendy activities follow each other up at a fast pace. Schip van Blaauw. picks out the highlights from more than fifty years of landscape architecture in the Netherlands. exclude shipment 6 ’ S C A P E 1 / 2006 1 / 2006 ’ S C A P E 7 . the authors show that sustainable urban design is no utopia. Its towns. remarkable sensitivity for context.scapemagazine. according to Johan Meeus. Elisabeth Keller. For example. microfilms.
there will be a discussion of several cases. It allows the visitor to stand eye to eye with Roman architecture and objects whilst at the same time maintaining a distance from these elements. Master plans and regional designs are also conspicuous by their absence. Budapest. nor are there designs for large-scale landscapes. German and Dutch editions besides the English one. and is set among natural forests and scattered urban settlements. is organising a seminar in Vienna on 19 and 20 May. Johan Meeus The Conference for the Eastern Region of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) will be held in Sydney from 25 to 27 May. Visiting it on your own means you have See also page 77. in their invitation for submissions. and the Frenchman Dominic Perrault to draw up a design for this area. With rough Corten steel plates and shiny stainless steel railings. These include a business district. Berlin. www. This prize is organised by the team from Austria’s Private plots & Public spots. will connect the residential zones. Professor and Director of the Chinese firm of Turenscape and the Columbian IFLA President Martha Fajardo.000 mainly detached houses. designers. Forum Romanum has been etched in my memory as a deep hole where you need a guide to help you identify the objects in the various historic layers. In October the annual IFLA World Congress will take place in Minneapolis in the United States. Various smaller urban centres are planned throughout the area. The theme of the event will be the theory and practice of the profession in eastern Asia. who acts as chairman of the foundation. Novoye Kommunarka is a major urban extension to the south-west of the Moscow ring road. It marked the end of a production process of many years. Maxwan is working on the project with H+N+S Landschapsarchitecten (Netherlands).urban-landscape. Nemesi Studio rolls out a veritable route through the Forum of Trajan. schools. In March Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón announced that the Rotterdam firm West 8 was the winner.C.org. the initiator of the book. there is no question of a radical break with the past or a shock of innovation. The keynote speaker will be Maguelonne Déjeant-Pons of the Council of Europe. artists and designers throughout Europe to submit projects that had been carried out. The construction attracts so much attention that it is not clear what is really on show here. innovative design solutions and the use of materials and ecological principles. It seems that stainless steel can rust and Corten steel becomes shiny and slippery when walked on a lot. who will talk about the Landscape Convention signed last year. and also visit the accompanying EXPO open air exhibition where various designs can be seen. lorus van Damascus in 114 B. artists. which closely follows the existing pattern of watercourses and water bodies. Michael van Gessel explained how the selection procedure had taken place. Chairman of the jury Michael van Gessel: ‘Much landscaping and overdesign. Visitors can participate in workshops and excursions. or state farm.at. new villas are being built. A network of parks and urban woodlands. In mid-2004.’ to puzzle to try and discern the significance of the remains of the buildings.news The best landscape architecture of Europe was launched in Rome on 11 February 2006.iflaonline. The area is popular among Muscovites wanting to escape the city: it contains many dachas (traditional Russian country cottages) and Birds-eye view of the new city in Russia designed by Maxwan. According to Van Gessel. which is substantial in size. Almost one hundred people were present at the launch of the book. Regrettably there are few View of the Forum of Trajan from the bridge of Nemesi Studio. The metropolitan functions are located along the main arterial route to Moscow. The intention is that Fieldwork will appear every three years and the next edition is scheduled for 2009. Birmingham and Istanbul. sent in their best plans.privateplots.this was the guarantee given by the Dutch landscape architect Michael van Gessel. Maxwan’s plans are for about 46. Entries will be judged on aesthetic terms. its design includes a park with five streams. Quality and professional expertise in the assessment of the plans and in the production of the book . The best and most high-profile designs were to be published in the book Fieldwork. The location is a former sovkhoz. Most of the projects concern cities and come mainly from Western Europe. The European Urban Landscape Partnership. Only after reading Fieldwork does it appear that the Forum of Trajan was built by Appodolthe Forum Romanum drawn up by the Roman Nemesi Studio. The municipal authorities invited the Swiss firm of Herzog & deMeuron. ‘The Forum was at the centre of the classical world and holds a unique place in Western civilization’. This meeting will act as a platform where anyone involved in European city scapes can exchange information and experiences. See also: www. This is the largest event in the world for landscape architects. plant specialists and garden owners can submit their garden designs for the best garden prize for 2006 until 12 June. Peter Paul Witsen The M-30 through Madrid will be constructed underground in a six-kilometrelong tunnel with four exits.000 people. which is composed of four separate zones. which encloses the vast majority of the city. the foundation for Landscape Architecture Europe invited landscape architects. Both types of steel show no welds. 8 ’SCAPE 1 / 2006 1 / 2006 ’ S C A P E 9 . It is only at the location itself that the fragility of the construction is noticeable. The winner will be announced during an international symposium on garden architecture to be held on 29 and 30 September. Some of those present were overcome by a feeling of vertigo. The masterplan puts great emphasis on the landscape character of the area. The book. On the first day. like that of Barcelona. In Van Gessel’s view.net. a recently set up network of European cities. the European engineering and environmental consultancy URS and the landscape practice Martha Schwartz Partners (United States). with high-rise buildings. This book presents a representative crosssection of contemporary landscape architecture on the continent. On the second day there will be excursions to various locations in Vienna. www. Australia and New Zealand. Kongjiam Fu. In the final round they beat the design teams of John Thompson & Partners (England) and Albert Speer & Partner (Germany). Construction work will transform the nearby river valley from being on the far side of Madrid into being near the entrance to the city. governments and companies. Only 43 designs were eventually selected. and the former professor Meto Vroom of Wageningen University. which will house a university and several leisure facilities. the Dutch firms of OMA and West 8. a promenade and a bridge. As chairman of the jury. Oslo. The launch of the European yearbook of landscape architecture Fieldwork – Landscape Architecture in Europe – took place recently in Rome. and a campus area with independent building complexes set in a green environment. The route is suspended free of the walls and was in short Landscape architects. A number of industrial estates are also located along the route. Speakers include Kathryn Gustafson. built without radical alterations. The underlying idea is that cities can learn from each other on the subject of the development of solution strategies. A consortium of private firms wants to build a new city for about 160. There are French. there was a great deal of ’landscaping’ and ‘over design’ among the entries and some of them could be described quite bluntly as ‘boring’. designs for private gardens. Substantial size More than six hundred professional colleagues accepted the invitation and Fragile Fieldwork contains a plan for a walkway over the classical Roman ruins in Maxwan planning Moscow extension The Rotterdam practice Maxwan architects + urbanists are making the masterplan for the new city of Novoye Kommunarka near Moscow after winning an international design competition.
The strip contains spaces for a variety of uses. Dean Michael Lykoudis of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Their brief was to add ‘urbanity’ – the positive qualities of collective life in the city – to urban sites. Nantes. with new sightlines running between them. The platform provides space for a railway station.europan.org. At the Global City Conference organised by Reed Midem in Lyon from 17 to 19 May. But the designs did not meet the jury’s high expectations. The Zwolle platform . The only entrant to successfully achieve this was Rindert Gerritsma. and which plans actually contribute to attractive European cities and regions. Governor of New Mexico. Dagobert Bergmans and the American Thomas van Arman produced the winning entry for Erfurt in Germany. including one by the Dutch botanist Piet Oudolf. Mark Hendriks The future use of the Dordrecht site was made known only when the design process was already underway. They creat- See also www. Speakers like Diane D. During the conference visitors can join lectures. Peter Veenstra and Cees van der Veeken – with the architects Pieter Sprangers and the Irishman Finnbarr McComb were the winners for the Sintra site in Portugal. Professional garden designers and florists will demonstrate ways of making a real garden. These two architects designed an urban ‘barcode’ lying on an imitation deck. The ceremony will be held in Seville. each presenting a specific challenge. urban designers and landscape architects submitted winning entries for sites across Europe. Europan is a European design competition organised in separate national competitions. Zocher’s green structure and the site of the former Phoenix textile factory close to sections of the old fortifications.nl and www. and there will be an exhibition with model gardens. In Alkmaar an old industrial site along the railway line and the NoordHollands canal had to be transformed into a vibrant and visible urban centre where intrusive noise has been banished for good. Freiburg. www. The landscape architects from Lola landscape architects – Eric-Jan Pleijster. The jury found the transition from tall to low buildings to be just right. lies in the way the designers have retained the existing plot layout. Dominique ter Beek. The winners of Europan 8. and the plan by Wouter van Alebeek and Joost van Noort came out as winner in the end. and needs to be treated with respect.fr. More freedom At first sight. The Dutch Europan jury. The power of the design. according to the jury.com. Previous sessions of Europan demonstrated that European cities face similar problems – typical urban issues relating to the quality of urban spaces that the European organisers call ‘urbanity’. In the first journalists will talk about European reviews and publictions.europan-europe. In the eyes of the jury many of the entrants for the site in Haarlem misjudged the brief. The International Freising Garden Fair will be held for the tenth time this year from 12 to 14 May to celebrate this milestone in the history of the gardens of the Freising-Neustift convent in Germany. Haarlem. It was not an easy brief because the ring road runs along the edge of the site and a number of buildings and trees have to be retained. social cohesion and citizen participation in planning processes. See: www. the particular problems that stand in the way of urbanity are decided separately for each site. what the advantages of interactive and regionally oriented planning processes are. city councillors and experts can exchange ideas. Reference In Zwolle the aim was to make use of a forgotten piece of farming landscape on the northern edge of the city for typical central area activities for which there is no room in the city centre itself. There will be papers from the architects Renzo Piano and Jan Gehl. Starting with this eighth Europan. The winning team – consisting of the Germans Fabrice Henninger.news Designing for urbanity in Europan 8 in short The European Council of Town Planners (ECTP) will present the European Urban and Regional Planning Achievement Award 2006 (EURPA Award) in the autumn. The Hague. The event is organised by the French Landscape Federation (FFP) in cooperation with the EFLA and the IFLA. The Conference will be held in the American city of Santa Fe. have been announced. ed an attractive design for the city block in the form of an industrial complex. info@anitafischer-landschaftsarchitektin. www.ceu. He designed a readily accessible housing block whose contours blend into the shape of the site. An Alkmaar live/work warehouse. Waterfront development along the Merwede in Dordrecht. in Alkmaar.com 10 ’SCAPE 1 / 2006 1 / 2006 ’ S C A P E 11 . With Henri Bava. Seattle. Ghent. There will also be talks. concepts and practical experiences on the best way of urban development.ectp. Gilles Vexlard.org. three live/work ‘bazaars’. Sixtyone teams of architects. Leeds. Their design reconciles the desire to live in a green environment with the need to conserve a valuable nature park. Budapest and Stockholm will be present. The site in Tilburg is in the western part of the city centre. Joan Roig and Roberto d’Agostino. Tilburg and Zwolle. One plan stood out from the rest: Triade. with its reference to the openness of the old landscape. This site is to become a secluded residential oasis. was impressed by their design for the public space. Gabriel Kiderlen.f-f-p.D. Dordrecht. In the Netherlands the entrants could turn their skills to one of six sites. Cuttings and slopes provide room for a variety of uses and different house types. Representatives from Triade in Enschede. True Urbanism and Healthy Communities. and a mayors’ panel will be held. the relationship between health and the built environment. The area is located between J. workshops and debates. The ETCP wishes to show with this prize how diverse planning activities in Europe are. the Enschede brief appeared to be the simplest: the redevelopment of a site on the edge of the city centre and a small green residential area. This is the theme of the 44th International Making Cities Livable Conference.livablecities. mayor of Venice. Chris Luth and the Swede Jenny Eklund designed a strip of buildings with a central communal space called Shepherd’s Garden. like a balcony or window sill. and growers from the whole of Europe will be there. Only the green component could have been treated with a little more care. This gave the designers a freer hand. Shepherd’s Garden in Tilburg.globalcityforum. René Berbee and Marc Holvoet from Belgium designed The second European Landscape Conference will be held in Lille from May 31 to June 2 around the theme ‘Protéger la planète: the landscape vision’. by Robert Verrijt and Floris Cornelisse.de. Desire Dutch designers were also successful in the other countries’ competitions. the international competition for young architects. from workshops and studios on the ground floor to penthouses on the second floor. shops and a multistorey car park. Barcelona. Contact: Anita Fischer. Helga Schmid and Rainer Geerdes – devised an elongated platform linking the existing residential neighbourhoods of Stadshagen and Westenholte. Professor at the Italian University of Ferrara and many others will discuss the principles of ‘true’ urban development. Information: www. even in small areas. For the first time there was no overarching competition theme. Gabriele Tagliaventi. Denish. At the second round table politicians and landscape architects discuss their possible collaboration. At the last day two round table discussions will be organized. Contour-shaped housing block in Haarlem. complete with a wall and courtyard. chaired by Anna Vos. Enschede.
titled Reflecting Absence includes two gigantic voids on the spot where the Twin Towers once stood. UN Studio and Morphosis of Los Angeles produced a design for a multimedia centre in downtown New Orleans. ‘We are very fortunate to be able to work on this project.’ IFLA for this great honour. ‘When I graduated. who will also plant two million young trees. the impressions of the towers remain empty. he set up the bureau of Sasaki. as these people return to their homes in the city.com. It is a teaching office. Walker has always been pleased with the attention.’ Pat on the back In the almost fifty years that Walker has been a landscape architect. recovery.wtcsitememorial. you have a lot to gain. is one of the most respected landscape architects in the world. In time. contains two voids which refer to the spots where the Twin Towers once stood. West 8 took on the former City Park. Their design is built up in three stages. the field of study in the USA has expanded enormously. We employed more than 250 people at that time. Besides this rather abstract discussion. And Katrina has not been forgotten: on the Track of Katrina. books and lectures. where I worked with various people. Dutch consultancies for rebuilding New Orleans were also on display. because it may backfire. This medal is the highest possible honour that the IFLA can give a landscape architect. Walker left the SWA group because he had been asked to succeed Sasaki as Head of the Department of Landscape Architecture at Harvard. the NAi also hosted the exhibition ‘Newer Orleans’. whilst the space around them has been designed as a park. Was the city poorly protected? Did the relief effort start too late? And could a similar calamity strike the Netherlands? The discussion focused on the gap between policy and practice. I want to know what is happening in the Netherlands.’ We have predominantly young people working for us. the American Society of Landscape Architects. The landscape is usually taken for granted. look at Adriaan Geuze.pwpla. I Walker and Arad’s winning design. After graduating in 1957. Stanley White and Lawrence Halprin.org. The American speakers complained that their government made one mistake after another during and after Katrina. McHarg. In the course of his long career. there is no awareness of disaster in the Dutch collective consciousness. Gehry was one of his fellow students. The plan for Ground Zero can be found at www. This was highlighted last year when Walker. For France. like Ian Peter Walker: ‘The Twin Towers Project is the culmination of my work.’ And yet Walker is aware of his privileged position. It is a fantastic project and I think it is a very good plan. I had no idea at that time that it was such a unique situation. If. Walker and Arad’s winning design. 12 ’SCAPE 1 / 2006 1 / 2006 ’ S C A P E 13 . they are the best students from universities in America. The risk is enormous. this would no longer be possible. West 8 and Hargreaves Associates were both asked to design a distinctive landscape for the broken city. The jury chose Peter Walker from the landscape architects nominated because of the major significance of his many projects.’ The bureau is now called Peter Walker & Partners and is situated in Berkeley. And they continue their studies with us. ‘I would like to thank won the design competition for the World Trade Center Memorial in New York. and completed his master’s degree at Harvard School of Design where Frank O. First. ‘During the twenty years I was in charge of the department. this is the project he will be remembered by. Huff + Gooden Architects of Charlston and MVRDV of Rotterdam designed a primary school. Unfortunately the circumstances are not easy. Four main elements in the park will define it as a miniature Mississippi delta. The American participants were somewhat surprised to receive Dutch compliments on the way they deal with threats and disasters. But we have another four years to go. he says but he immediately puts this into perspective:‘or the opposite of course. he has received many distinctions and won numerous design competitions. Europe and Asia. I send a short note to the designer. We are working on it every day. there is the Promenade of Music and the Path of Freedom jogging circuit. but even more to lose. The improved infrastructure has been designed as a medium for restoring the relation between the city’s people and the water. It is not easy and you don’t get many pats on the back in this profession. and talk of risks is generally written off as fearmongering. Besides the Jordan. New York is a difficult place to build. This was in response to the flooding of the American city of New Orleans in the wake of hurricane Katrina. Despite all his other projects and successes. Peter Walker says in his first reaction. According to disaster expert Eelco Dijkstra of George Washington University. titled Reflecting Absence. I look at Michel Desvigne.’ The way the bureau has been set up is a reflection of Walker’s conviction that developments in landscape architecture are determined by the design practice. ‘If you have ever made a design. Whenever I see a design that I really like. In the plan. West 8 have designed a system of lagoons called the Jordan. Walker & Associates together with his mentor Hideo Sasaki. to be built by volunteers. Eighteen months ago the 73-year-old designer received a similar award from ASLA. In the third stage. with an eye to the urban design and social problems left behind by Katrina. I started a small experimental bureau.’ After several years. the park will function as a temporary relief centre for the many homeless residents. ‘This project is the culmination of my work’. people will be able to wander past large lily ponds in remembrance of those who died. I knew the majority of my most important fellow colleagues personally. The Medal was awarded for the first time at the end of last year during the IFLA Congress in Edinburgh. The American landscape architect Peter Walker has been awarded the Geoffrey Jellicoe Gold Medal by the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA). ‘The commissions flowed in and after a few years we opened a second office in San Francisco which I was in charge of. water will be given a more prominent place in the park. Newer Orleans will never forget Katrina On 16 February American and Dutch planning and water management experts met in the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi) to discuss flood disasters. Nowadays with roughly thirty thousand landscape architects in America. but were full of praise over the way the Dutch have managed to keep their country dry for many centuries. From this infrastructure network the city will be reoccupied by its characteristically rich mixture of cultures and communities.’ Walker. the area will be restored as a city park. there were about two thousand landscape architects in the United States. including Martha Schwartz and William Johnson. In addition to the inevitable shocking pictures of the disaster. together with architect Michael Arad.news The gigantic voids of Peter Walker The Geoffrey Jellicoe Medal will be presented once every four years to ‘a landscape architect whose achievements have had a lasting impact on the welfare of society and the environment’. use. They are the ones that confront the real problems in the real world. The competition was probably the most discussed and emotionally charged competition ever held for an exterior space in America. I am really interested in what is happening in Europe. If many people know about it. For this. certainly because everyone is so emotionally involved. ‘Being a landscape architect means everything to me’.’ The Jellicoe Medal this year and the ASLA award last year are not the first prizes notched up by Walker. who is relatively unknown in Europe. But first it will have to be cleaned up. for instance. The design by Hargreaves places New Orleans in a new network of engineering works. ‘The leading professionals prepare the way. says Walker.’ Meinoud Hehenkamp Elizabeth Keller More information on Peter Walker and his bureau can be found at www. six plans by American and Impression of final stage of the design by West 8. Their voluntary efforts will symbolise the hope for a better future. Conviction Walker studied landscape architecture at the Universities of California and Illinois. The partners are the faculty as it were. Mark Hendriks The three development stages for City Park in New Orleans: relief. you will know how difficult it is to make a good plan. where they can pitch their tents or park their mobile homes. Walker knows.
A recently published report has predicted that by 2016 the British capital will have 800. The necessary maturation engenders a desire for conquest that transforms graduates in both disciplines into ‘knights’ passionately ready to engage body and soul to change the world and to prove how fully justified their apprenticeship washas been. art. Second. In fact. ‘It was a wonderful idea. but the schools have such an appetite for change and such application that at first glance it seems as though the balance of power was has been in their favour. Price € 39. the plethora of European schools suddenly fades away: few teach landscape continuously from the Bachelor’s to the Master’s degree and the doctorate.’ reminisces Vroom in his study in Wageningen. flexible and short.000 houses for them. As the literature continues to expand. Have I covered everything. If someone else had written it. language or branch of knowledge’. the contents would undoubtedly have been different.’ Vroom decided to continue on his own and focus his efforts on compiling a workable lexicon for his beloved discipline. Charles Dickens According to the New Oxford Dictionary of English. But as is the case with so many great ideas.000 guilder subsidy was soon exhausted and the participants pulled out one by one because of other commitments.’ recounts Vroom. there must be a merging of functions to maintain the socio-economic level of an urban district. but this is followed by an extensive explanation and a personal essay. Meto Vroom was professor of landscape architecture at the Department of Spatial Planning. And then the book was ready. Just like as you do not become an architect in two years. a task which was later taken over by an editorial board.000 more inhabitants than at present. the Netherlands. I believe that the essential difference is basically about ideas of duration and motivation. impressions and references. districts with high-quality public transport hubs must be used as intensively as possible. From the philosophical term Arcadia the reader wanders. who reviewed and commented on his drafts. and the city will need an extra 345. You cannot write about material that is beyond you. art galleries and restaurants. And I collected many books Leonardo da Vinci’s bicycle. Chaos theory Sometimes Vroom had to draw the line. an institution that does not have some landscape in its curriculum is becoming a rarity. Schools and faculties of architecture have almost all without exception added this word to their study programmes.’ Never finished Despite the pleasure he obtained from his work. I came across a bicycle in Berlin that was designed by Leonardo da Vinci. and yet they do not train landscape architects. ‘It was a joy to read works from this wonderful and expanding literature. The The busy Crouch End district in London. People are falling over themselves for it. Working alone suited him fine. and from there became embroiled in chaos theory. now it has become imperative. PhD) cutting education up into small modules. Urhahn Urban Design advises London The city authorities of London have commissioned the Dutch firm of urban designers Urhahn Urban Design to examine ways of increasing the building density of ten districts in North London. A number of enthusiasts wanted to make a CD-ROM of inspirational landscape projects from the twentieth century. you do not become a landscape designer in this short period of time either. but it does indicate the opportunities where a city can incorporate such numbers. The retired professor found support from his ex students and professional colleagues.‘As I said. this is my lexicon. Urhahn Urban Design presented a catalogue full of design ideas for the ten neighbourhoods.’ Mark Hendriks Between Barcelona and Venice The word landscape is on everyone’s lips: attractive. But have they supplanted the ‘landscape’ schools? It is hard to compare the content of what the institutions teach. with the European educational reform known as the Bologna Reform (Bachelor. Vroom explains:‘When I talk about something I think in terms of perceptions.’ Neither did he always follow tips given by his regular reviewers. although it is almost long enough to be one. Vroom speaks from experience. Each entry includes a short definition. Whatever I read. Mark Hendriks Crouch End. The 43. You can say that this project more or less took over my life during the last ten years. Nevertheless. The book describes the terms in a context: where do they come from and how are they used? So I did not just read the specialist literature. Or else you can do what the landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted did. the other is already in preparation. Henri Bava is landscape architect. Town centre enhancement with new public gardens. London. a book like this is never finished. The idea for a book containing a classification of terms used in garden and landscape architecture stems from an original initiative by the University of Wageningen in 1996. though. Always indispensable. The designers wanted to show with these proposals that intensification does not necessarily mean overfull neighbourhoods with no green areas and no open spaces. Because the plan was to allow users to compare projects. that they would scrap certain terms or describe them differently. They have combined it with different disciplines such as urban design. considerable attention and detailed information. principal of Agence Ter and professor at the University of Karlsruhe. gesturing to the bulging bookcases that line his attic room. past design terms such as ‘perspective’ and ‘sightline’ to the ideas encapsulated by ‘modernism’ and ‘casco’. For some years now it has even had its own Biennale in Barcelona. I was a regular visitor to the university library. Technical aspects are hardly touched on. First. This bicycle illustrated precisely what I had written about the term ‘system’.’The book is not a dictionary. a lexicon is ‘the vocabulary of a person. Is intensifcation still possible? report does not designate actual locations for the houses. In fact they have set up the encounter – often decisive – between the student and the landscape. By clicking on a project the user would be able to access descriptive texts. Basel: Birkhauser. illustrations and background material. One has just finished. greater densification means that there must be more traffic modalities than the car alone to prevent roads becoming clogged. Third. and of course architecture. Well thought-out additions to existing developments can in fact create more vitality and jobs. Vroom also went through periods of uncertainty during his quest.’The old professor smiled. With this criterion used as a yardstick. Agricultural University of Wageningen. am I missing something? He experienced all these doubts. but also Charles Dickens and the works of Margaret Atwood. ‘There came a time when I simply had to call it a day. Master. via the practical word ‘foun- I hastily took a photograph. But for anysomeone attracted by these events and debates and wanting to make landscape their profession the question arises: where is it best taught? The answer is not easy because. the lexicon was always in the back of my mind. from 1966 to 1995. it is ‘trendy’. Meto Vroom was asked to work on the formulation of a clear and unambiguous terminology. there was not enough money.‘The book’s title is Lexicon of Garden and Landscape Architecture. Lexicon of Garden and Landscape Architecture. just like architecture has its own in Venice. This makes the Lexicon not only a reference work but a doorway to a much richer experience. I quite understand that other people may think differently about certain topics. wherever I looked. His voluminous book explains more than 300 landscape terms. Conversely. the lexicon should really continually be updated. which was included in the book. Vroom drew inspiration from seven hundred books and the same number of journal articles. where I was given a free hand. 14 ’SCAPE 1 / 2006 1 / 2006 ’ S C A P E 15 . According to the study there are three. tain’ and the policy construct ‘nature conservation’. The lexicon is a good starting point for a debate about the terminology used in the profession of garden and landscape architecture.‘I sincerely hope that my book stirs up controversy. See also page 77.news Meto Vroom and the language of landscape architecture at home. and what it means to people.’ Henri Bava The publication of Meto Vroom’s Lexicon of Garden and Landscape Architecture marks the end of ten years trawling through a vast and varied body of literature for the retired professor. do I know enough.‘Even when the book was almost ready to be sent to the printer. When preparing his discussion of the term ‘geometry’ he was led into an exploration of fractals. but it is in fact my own language. Vroom.90. or the architects Peter Zumthor and Tadao Ando: start by doing something completely different. and have most often substantiated it with high standards. Meto J. ‘A database that would allow you to browse through a whole range of projects. and the preconditions which are important for actually achieving this.
such as the Forum 2004 and the Parc Litoral along the coast just north of the city. get beautiful. also because of the continuing flow of innovative projects. where the industry with its shining metal proves to be an attractive background for recreation. Barcelona remains the centre of international interest. In addition. supported by landscape architects of the architecture course of the ETSAB. At that time landscape architecture hardly existed as a word in Barcelona. in the meanwhile. At the end of the 80s many international architects flowed into Barcelona to admire the multitude of new streets. mayor Maragall’s chief architect. The pace and scale of Chinese urbanisation has reached stag- OMA’s striking design for the new China Central Television headquarters in Beijing. was the motto of Oriol Bohigas. For a long time the Catalans were paralysed as such – Franco’s dictatorship didn’t want Catalonia and its capital to be pretty or powerful. totally new forms. Barcelona was just one of these Mediterranean harbour cities whose streets smelled of fish and oil and cars. Much energy was oppressed – and almost exploded after Franco’s death. and these "dibujadores de oro". Beijing. the European Award for Urban Public space will also be awarded for the fourth time this summer. a totally new comprehensive approach for renovating a city. creating a movement of activity and ingenious renewal. squares and parks. Source: OMA/Rem Koolhaas. This is the international conference where landscape architects from all over Europe come to meet each other in order to learn about each other’s work and developments in the field. golden designers. Ole Scheeren 16 ‘scape 1 / 2006 1 / 2006 ’ S C A P E 17 . He managed to attract a group of very young and very talented architects from the Barcelona architecture school ETSAB to work with him at the city’s architecture service. However. Since China has permitted commercial house building in 1979. the "Biennal de paisatge". "Posa’t guapa". will be organised for the fourth time this spring.Hot spots Barcelona. set to encourage commitment in renovation projects in order to prepare the city for the Olympic Games of 1992. created a totally new kind of public space. more than 350 million people have moved from the countryside into the cities. Shanghai: hotspots of landscape architecture and urbanism Not so long ago.
Alvaro Siza’s beach pools at Porto. If they have owed anything to the Scandinavian modern direction. China is eager to present itself to the outside world as a new economic superpower. Leca de Palmeira (1961) and Carlo Scarpa’s Palazzo Querini Stampalia in Venice (1961) possess some of the same qualities as Alvar Aalto’s Muuratsalo summer house (1953).000). fascination. Whole new districts are being built in German. What leads to this observation is that in these two regions there are examples of architecture and landscape architecture where the buildings and the landscape are the prerequisites for each other. The Igualada cemetery (Enric Miralles & Carme Pinos. the destruction of historic districts and disregard for their own culture. perhaps the marginal geographical position. They are asked to base their designs on European architectural and artistic traditions. Rob van der Bijl and Bert Bukman have met him: ‘The most beautiful place in the world is not in one of these cities. 2004). to be honest. cultural movement. Malene Hauxner looks back on the eventful period in Barcelona. aversion. transitions and architectural promenades have a particular significance. quite the reverse. Malene Hauxner 18 ’SCAPE 1 / 2006 1 / 2006 ’ S C A P E 19 . In his view it would be the ‘utmost arrogance’ to tell China now how it should behave. A third of all building in the world currently takes place in China.’ Speaking about hotspots. In Barcelona. but will cities such as Bejing and Sjanhai also become a place of pilgrimage for urban planning and landscape architecture? Although the most fantastic buildings. Wilhelm Wohlert and Agnete Petersens’ Louisiana (1958). where the tension in the field between architecture and nature development was explicitly present. In the following pages Hank van Tilborg gives an impression of this breathtaking urbanism in China and its drawbacks. in which the avant-garde of landscape architecture. who designed the spectacular new building for the Chinese state broadcasting service. the result was a spectacular atlas in which the most important metropolises of the world can be compared with regard to numerous features. violation of human rights through forced evictions. town and country planning and architecture sought and found an expression. Jørgen Bo. where passages. while in China the explosive growth is strictly managed by the government. Jørn Utzon’s Roman houses China is certainly the one of the hotspots. landscape architects keep inventing new forms and significations for avant-garde urban landscapes. the Chinese are paying a price in the form of unprecedented environmental pollution. The Mediterranean and Scandinavia appear to have something in common. And then there is also the beautiful atlas of Arjan van Susteren. In Barcelona the architectonic revolution was supported by a broad. they have repaid with interest in the meantime. Harry Harsema reports about the inspiring fourth biennale of landscape architecture. Parc Litoral. Perhaps it is due to the wind and the water. Peter Paul Witsen reports on a debate with Rem Koolhaas. Which role can architecture play in this case? Do Western architects. Many European architects and urban designers are working in China. By printing the maps on the same scale (1:750. Admiration. who put 101 metropolises on the map. Its absolute emptiness and its absolute silence – no metropolis can come near this. The 2008 Olympic Games are being organised by Beijing and two years later Shanghai will host the World Expo. Modernism appeared as a liberating activity to the Catalan. planners and urban designers wanting to work in China have to have a weakness for totalitarian systems? Famous Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas states: Western civilisation has two hundred years of destruction on its conscience. English and Dutch styles. districts and cities are being built. gering proportions. which are influencing the approaches and activities of the Northern European professionals.Language and significance in Barcelona’s urban landscape Parc Litoral (Abalos & Herreros. Whole new cities are being built at a phenomenal rate and one record after another is being broken. Photo: Hisao Suzuki Photos: Harery Harsema Reflections on the avant-garde Because of the architecturally quiet period under the Franco regime. The most beautiful part of the world is the Sahara. 1985).
The Spaniards were free of the idea that Modernism was guilty of tearing the city apart and of the descent of architecture into stereotypical repetition. The materials bear witness to the passing of time. harbours and beaches towards the south. In Gracia. Villages and Roman ruins are spun into the regular street network in Ildefonso Cerdà’s Ensanche quarter from 1859 and the whole is intersected by boulevards and avenues. factories. As the architect Rafael Moneo expressed it in connection with the exhibition ‘Architecture for Barcelona’ in 1978. The city park in Vejle (Preben Skaarup. A white. with associations. broken by small passages that lead up into the light to a first floor.1 If the Catalans have owed anything to the Scandinavian modern direction that they call el organismo. 20 ’SCAPE 1 / 2006 1 / 2006 ’ S C A P E 21 .’2 The cemetery is highly textural. The architraves and lintels are large concrete beams. and movement is the fulcrum. Often there were harbour areas whose function had changed and contaminated land left by industry after it Sporadic impact In the first years of the war many young architects went to the Mediterranean countries anonymously to study building and the cultivated landscape..a series of scratches on paper which by drawing assume increasingly concrete forms and are gradually filled with memories. the Catalonian national romanticism as it appeared in Antoni Gaudì’s exotic Parc Güell could be used. forming a background for artificial flowers and photographs of the deceased. The squares were furnished with groves and rows of trees. the Artificial flowers The Igualada cemetery (Enric Miralles & Carme Pinos. Gabriel Mora and Jaume Bach had the task of refurbishing the squares Rius y Taulet. the patterned tiles and exposed wood had a material expression that entered the language of the protests. Miralles has taken the inspiration for the path that marks a movement from the Norwegian architect Sverre Fehn. Diamant. Photos: Malene Hauxner Photo: Frank Meyer Plaça del Sol (Gabriel Mora and Jaume Bach. Greece and Andalusia. Servei de Projectes Urbans. the coloured glass. The wall is built up in layers as if there were sediments in the earth. This is a structure. 1980). The planning can be seen as the result of a board game.5 The eyes and mind of Europe were open when Barcelona’s new City Council with mayor Pasqual Maragall in the lead and ETSAB’s head. Harbour Park on Islands Brygge in Copenhagen (Annelise Bramsnæs. First American. 1985) lies in an industrial area with abandoned quarries and gravel pits. apolitical hippies. they give the landscape contours. workshops. ‘A path comes into being out of the resolution to proceed from one place to another and this act determines its form…. Nord unificaciò. not a building in a landscape built up around a flow of movement. Mausolea are built into the walls with shutters of rusty cast iron. trees fade. sea. Virreina. Steel rusts.4 An early example of the new orientation in this direction in Denmark is Ayala Green Belt Park in Manila in the Philippines by architect Hans Peder Pedersen and landscape architect Peter Holst from the practice Box 25. In the south. Quintana et al. Barcelona has powerful landscape characteristics: mountain chains and rivers towards north. Miralles has learnt about this in the written lectures of the Danish architect Carl Petersen: ‘Textural effects’ and ‘Contrasts’. Everything is irregular or according to an Photo: Harry Harsema Parc de Joan Mirò (Arriola. 1991) and the Harbour Park on Islands Brygge in Copenhagen (Annelise Bramsnæs. The whole cemetery would apparently disappear under the ground and form a kind of communal grave covered by a green grave-stone. or like the trees in Chinese cemeteries that must not be removed The same applies to vertical. The city and the urbane can be seen as nature. west and east. Some travelled as far as Morocco. 1994) are some of the successful examples. From the gateway made of three steel supports one is led past the chapel and the sacristy down into a burial chamber through a passage whose walls consist of stacked columbaria built into the slopes that lean alternately inward and outwards. Sloping concrete slabs cover graves grouped in three quadrants. By using diggers he was able to hollow out the landscape faster than by natural erosion. others to Italy. open book with a sketch of a cat signed MIS (Puss) bears witness that the creator. In the north the world is less clear. when occupied they are closed with a concrete slab. 1991). A bridge over a lake divides the park into a formal and informal part with a waterfall of natural rock. On the way one is met by apparently self-seeded poplar trees that cling to the earth to resist the current.e. triangular stones and lamps of rusty steel cut off slant-wise at the top. The association can be Eqyptian temples or Jørgen Utzon’s Roman houses. The bizarre. Enric Miralles is buried here. two-sided benches with perforated backs were admired. that signals a haphazard natural order. free life and wanted to return to nature. surfaced with a smattering of small stones. From the period when there had been a garden centre on the site there were some large groups of trees and a curved avenue. they have repaid with interest. The walls that support the slopes of the gravel pit are of ashlar-stone held in place by rusty reinforcement netting bent over at the top. In 1968 the students demanded power to the imagination. Rosemary and fir grow between the stones. Then the stream quietened for a time. Jugend and Art Nouveau styles. from the basic idea of placing a cut like the trace of a path without disturbing the landscape. Unused. The cars were removed or moved to underground car parks. if we stay with the river metaphor. magnolia and plane trees planted in rows. one of the villages Ensanche had swallowed up. with back-references. 1981). The Danish architecture theoretician Nils-Ole Lund suggests that it was possible to build on these modernist ideas in Barcelona because the architecturally quiet period under the Franco regime made Modernism seem like a liberating activity rather than a straight-jacket. Postwar Modernism did not enter their imagination – on the contrary. Trilla. Raspall. Many years were to pass before this concept broke through and when it did it was in Barcelona. apparently natural order. Tree crowns were to fill the gash and recreate the original level of the landscape. and edges and spheres of white-painted concrete.3 carved natural stone. when park planning was seen as a result of sporadic impact instead of being characterised by Modernism’s green bands and wedges. turgid forms. which Kenneth Frampton emphasises as a part of the architectural direction ‘critical regionalism’. Miralles’ first instinct when he looked at the task of creating a cemetery in this wasteland was to shape the landscape so that it resembled an erosion cleft cutting through the agricultural landscape. The aim was to give the urban landscape its dignity back and the strategy was to identify and articulate some special places. railway sidings and gravel pits made space available so that parks and squares could be created with a special character.. and in detail in the form of sloping slabs and tilted surfaces. 1994). Rovira and Sol. El Modernismo . depending on one’s background. re-establish and recover the natural life in all its purity and authenticity. lighting and benches. The closure of harbours. But the dialogue with nature and the past is the same. architect Oriol Bohigas as leader of the newly established practice. place your bets’. ‘place your bets. the light mountings on high masts. Mexico and China.. An illustration that cultivation of the landscape can lead to architecture and landscape architecture. The floor of the burial chamber is concrete. glass roofs and perforated steel. started a strong planning initiative which had far-reaching effects. the graves lie open.6 At the end of the 1980’s and the beginning of the 1990’s the concept was given visual expression from Lyon to Copenhagen. The new horizontal floor adjusted to the original sloping terrain with three steps. to shape the landscape so that it resembled an erosion cleft cutting through the agricultural landscape (1958) and Sverre Fehn’s Norwegian Pavilion at the Venice Biennial (1962). the mosaics. the intricate wrought-ironwork. then Neo-Marxists and Anarchists in France. that building art can be enriched by an element of cultivation. Holland and Germany had a deep-rooted belief in the spontaneous. Something that looks like driftwood in a river is pressed into the concrete. City park in Vejle (Preben Skaarup. and the characteristic long. They were given new surfacing. They followed a language that like that of the poster-artist Aubrey Beardsley was informed by the psychedelic. divided by bands with rougher surfaces. meat markets. coast. The architects emphasised the tension between the two languages. i. shadows are sharp. but also by studying Gunnar Asplunds and Sigurd Lewerentz’ Woodland Cemetery in Enskede. concrete crumbles and plants wither. Plaça del Sol (1980) particularly attracted the attention of a Danish public. the rectangular granite paving stones in different sizes and nuances of grey.
The geometry was angled and curved. foot-bridges. wellknowing that the coast has no well-defined length. The coast is almost a flat. At the end of the 1980’s it was thought that the source had dried up after an over-consumption that was close to abuse – but a new. had studied with Charles Moore. pergolas and glass half-roofs. 1989) at the motorway junction between Trinitat Vella and Sant Andreu. straight and slanting lines. fir and palm groves planted systematically and hedges and tress in rows in decreasing lengths. Oregon. Art and nature In these parks a special language could be studied that spoke of contrasts between the Parc del Clot (Freixes & Miranda. 1982) and to Parc de la Creueta del Coll in an old quarry on the wooded Tibidabo mountain (Bohigas et al. Mandelsbrot’s idea was that objects such as coasts did not conform to ordinary geometry. The change from the mixed style. sculptures and bollards. sidings and rail tracks (Freixes & Miranda. where there had been a station. a metal espalier. broken terrain curves. Plaça dels Països Catalans. column-shaped cypresses. They can be in-between. 1981) to Parc del Clot. Elias Torres Tur. the directions diagonal and right-angled.The aim was to give the urban landscape its dignity back and the strategy was to identify and articulate some special places moved to the suburbs in the 1960’s. for example a bend in a bend in a bend. grassy slopes with jogging tracks. According to the board game method the many regeneration projects need not necessarily hang together. Photo: Harry Harsema Plaça dels Països Catalans (Helio Piñón and Albert Viaplana 1982 with Enric Miralles as co-worker). or surfaces which are two-dimensional. whole surface and therefore has a dimension closer to two. Folded surfaces In an article in the journal ‘Science’ (1967). The correspondence between art and nature manifested itself in hedges with bold sweeping contours. stylised. shorter poles. gently sloping perforated steel roof supported by 16 tall thin poles each resting on a small ‘pillow’. Council politicians. In Villa Cecilia’s garden (Torres Tur & Lapeña. officers. seven benches that resemble steps with a riser and two bases. railway and electric pylons from France are merged with the aid of olive groves and fruit plantations. the informative and the inspirational. pure Modernism and a gardening and production aesthetic broke through in the 1990’s as in Parc de la Trinitat (Battle & Roig. a slanting box with spotlights and round metal tubes with water spouts. steel spheres. old-fashioned slatted park benches and modern long benches. so one can lie down and sit up. the urban and the rural. the worked and unworked. 1981). paper baskets. the clear and the opaque. role-play between the artificial and the natural was introduced. amphitheatrical steps. round. the tone often humorous. New components that both activated and provided for rest. a short and a long.. that contained grid and meandering lines to ‘barcodes’ and sweeping curves have entered the field and a re-discovery of a modern language that values human production. the longer it gets. straight and the curved. which are one-dimensional. 1987). benches with wheels like skateboards and lamps that resembled flower petals blowing in the wind. Whilst squares in the inner city followed a contextual language. on the difference between culture and nature. He expressed this condition mathematically by introducing the concept of fractal dimensions.. the Polish-born mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot asked ‘How long is the British Coast?’. slanting metal bollards with lights. The more small bays and inlets one includes. white concrete spheres and light towers. Photo: Harry Harsema 22 ’SCAPE 1 / 2006 1 / 2006 ’ S C A P E 23 . In the plan its outline is drawn as a triangle with a horizontal base line and convex and concave sides. The syntax is s-shaped curves. one of the architects. a 25 meter long black-polished s-shaped basalt granite bench. The floor of pink rectangular granite slabs forms a convex curve. The components are a quadratic. The square is furnished with an s-shaped metal roof with thin. A line that meanders whether Photos: Malene Hauxner Villa Cecilia’s garden (Torres Tur & Lapeña.plane. decorated and told stories had arrived. The compositions were asymmetrical and layered. 1982). pots with twining plants. highest in the centre. architects and landscape-architects flocked to Parc de Joan Mirò on a site which had been a slaughterhouse (Arriola. swimming and paddling pools with fountains and waterfalls. the station square at Barcelona Sants. but could be contrasted. All steel elements are painted steel grey. created precisely in this dramatic language that plays with art and nature. Quintana et al. who in his turn had worked on landscape architect Lawrence Halprins Lovejoy’s fountain in Portland. where the motorway. screens of cypresses and poplar that continue out into the landscape independent of the geometry of the roads. was different (Helio Piñón and Albert Viaplana 1982 with Enric Miralles as co-worker). They are neither lines. involving organisation into systems consisting of small patterns that repeat themselves. 1981). Lakes with rowing boats.
as a zig-zag or in s-curves covers a corresponding surface. 1997). Photo: Malene Hauxner Photo: Duccio Malagamba This ‘supernature’ will presumably characterise the next decade – and Barcelona is still the avant-garde Parc Plana Lledo (Enric Miralles. personnel locker. 1989). main entrance. most recently with the changes to the harbour front in connection with the Forum 2004 exhibition.8 km long. this time towards the north: Parc Central de Nou Barris (Arriola & Fiol. A conversation with Enric Mirailles at Thomas Wiesner SKALA 1985-1994.. 1989). convex or concave. Architecten and Pedersen. Mirailles. The folding of Plaça de General Moragues (Tarrasò.Enrik. whose floor is lifted up in one corner and supported by steps. This ‘supernature’ will presumably characterise the next decade – and Barcelona is still the avant-garde in choice of language and significance. where he masked the sight of grazing sheep to get closer to the sky. 2 3 4 Sestoft. Mies van de Rohe’s German pavilion was rebuilt in 1986 at the foot of the mountain on a shelf cut out by a strong horizontal and vertical cut. bars and sports clubs leading to a dirty beach and a polluted sea. Carl. a botanical garden with Mediterranean plants. The same applies on a smaller scale. terraces and waterfalls cultivate the slopes. The folds can face in or out. Arkitekten 7/1990.Jardin Botànic (Bet Figueras. Pedersen. exhibition room. In this new millennium the language and significance has changed again. Laboratoriums of urban development. French and Italian. service room. In: Manuel Ruisanchez Capelastegui.1990. Drainage pipes under the slabs take the water into a reservoir at the bottom of the garden. steps. Walls. office. Philippines. Plaça del Mar (Olga Tarrasò. 1990. 1987) in the suburban town Badalona east of the river Besós. just sufficient for one to walk up a few steps and be protected at the back. 1920. Around the turn of the century Montjuic mountain in Barcelona was turned into an exhibition space and a number of beautiful gardens survive from that time which in spirit are Italian Renaissance. but a view to the water from Barcelona’s side-streets was created.1978. In some places the path is cut into the slope. Bet Figueras has folded the sloping site so slanting cuts appear where there is a need for a shelf for cultivation and traffic. library. Box 25 Architects. there were once fish restaurants with sand on the floors. 1919. In brief. are in the vanguard. Water from the walls and floor runs into a gutter. The difference in level between Barcelona’s first promenade and a new one has become a sloping square in the same way. Arjkitekten 7/1990. In the Parc Plana Lledo (Enric Miralles. Carlos Ferrater & Jose Luis Canosa. Ayala Green Belt Park. with the effect that first you see the primary lines – the sea’s horizon – and last the life on the beach and other details. hagen juego. Parc Carrer del Madrid on the other side of the road (Arriola & Fiol. Where Plaça del Mar (Tarrasò & Henrich. Modsætninger. Carl. When the huts were demolished and the water quality improved a charming milieu disappeared. architectural and social space between three city quarters. light and water in daring colours like the graffiti of the quarters ‘A place where it rains every morning – early’. Rafael. Here the tile floor is laid in a herringbone pattern surrounded by pergolas and a slightly lowerlying gravel square with trees planted in a grid. Architekten have been translated into English. Moneo. shop. It was incidentally also an effect le Corbusier used at Chandigar. Hagen juego. On the other climactically considered ‘good’ southwestern side of the mountain is Jardin Botànic (Bet Figueras.1978. Since then another mountain slope has been folded into a landscape for play and movement. 1989) consists of a sloping grass lawn that is folded and flipped over a triangular pattern. With the folded floor of red tile a special language was introduced that was later developed in the Parc del Mollinet (Arriola & Fiol. ticket office and notice-boards. A mountain chain has a fractal dimension that lies between two and three because it is a surface that manifests itself in space.Jørgen. 5 6 24 ’SCAPE 1 / 2006 1 / 2006 ’ S C A P E 25 . 1995) now lies. 1992) Architectural intervention It probably began with Fossar de les Moreres (Arriola & Fiol 1988). if you fold surfaces you can make an infinite number of volumes – a method that is used in Barcelona in countless variations. Here is a small rhomboid square. The paths of 18 cm thick concrete poured in situ are assembled with triangular. The solution has become an ideal landscape put together with biomorphic figures in a network of artificial flowers. Two buildings were intended to be a herbarium. Kataloniens hovedstad. And once again Enric Miralles and his practice. 1987) in one of Cerdà’s quadrants that has been amputated by a railway has the effect of making you look towards the sky first – an architectural intervention that has been brought to perfection along the coast.1994. Nils Ole. and sealed them with sheets of Corten steel. along with a bathing beach and a promenade that finally became 1. fruits. The pattern of movement between the 72 Mediterranean plant groups from forest to wetland areas is indicated by three meter wide main paths with a steep lateral gradient and paths half as wide march off to the sides and now and then lead to small squares. The walls are supplemented with roofing plates and gateways and buildings have appeared. 1 Lund. Topos 1/1992. The benches are folded steel plates with four surfaces and three folds. 1992) a marginalized site has been programmed to fill both an urban. A surface that is bent and folded becomes a volume. now continued by Benedetta Tagliabue. Den nordiske inspiration. Carlos Ferrater & Jose Luis Canosa. Stoflige virkninger. Architectura. Manila. From what time is this place? Topos 8/1994. overlapping boards. in other places it is built on the outside. 1995). The gutters zig-zag down the slopes as in vineyards. Landskab 8/1978.
Landscape Architecture Europe. Girona. the freedom after Franco. reported about developments at this European platform for educational organisations. On this sunny Sunday morning in March you can see dozens of young and old people enjoying being outside on a simple terrace at the renowned Placa del Països Catalans. Inspiration of Barcelona More entries. It is more or less the end of the fourth Biennale for Landscape Architecture. a temple made of heavy gabions. Day chairman Catherine Mosbach in conversation with Julian Raxworthy (right) from Australia and Marcel van der Meijs of Dutch architects Juurlink + Geluk. there was a building that was designed for a Roman cooking place along the Spanish Mediterranean Sea coast. reading. Impressive and poetic. the climate is a stimulating factor that much of social life takes place in the public space. Harry Harsema ’SCAPE 1 / 2006 1 / 2006 ’ S C A P E 27 . a four-day meeting in Barcelona where landscape architects from all over Europe will meet each other. After this. the Biennale is in particular a meeting of landscape architects from all over Europe. with mirroring access doors. For example. They are playing. In a packed lecture room of one of the university buildings about four hundred participants and students followed the presentation of the ten finalists on Thursday morning. walking and resting in this sometimes exuberant outside space. the pride in the city and the southern social life and temperament also contributed to the revival of the design. The abundant use of architectonic forms and materials here. you came to the conclusion that this Biennale mainly focused on transformation and the influence of heritage. Harry Harsema In Barcelona the public space is opening up. Besides. organised by the French Catherine Mosbach. It is it not for nothing that Barcelona is still regarded as the icon of contemporary public space design. However. talking. more participants. in the city of Gaudi and Miro. drinking. Or in Winterthur. with a beautiful walking route and a reception room dramatised in Corten steel. and with that special town along the Catalan coast. Of course. light shafts and a terrace. cowinner of the last Biennale. Carme Pigem of RCR Arquitectes presents the winning design for Park Piedra Tosca in Les Preses. much industrial heritage and two winners again. These are the first initial findings of the fourth Biennale for Landscape Architecture in Barcelona. is striking and obvious. However. where an old steel industry complex was transformed into a residential area. Rails were left intact and concrete surfaces processed with metal grindings. This also applied to the redesign of an isolated geological park in Catalunya. a representative of the European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools. The exhibition area in the COAC Building where entries for the Rosa Barbra Award were on display. whereby the designers limited themselves to using industrial materials and form elements. and the German publicist Lisa Diedrich focused on the book Fieldwork. We came with a surprising result for the Rosa Barba prize (see box). which has been designed with care and love. When watching the ten presentations. and a presentation of the International Bau Austellung in former East-Germany.Fourth European Biennale for Landscape Architecture Dancing Spaniards in one of Barcelona's beautiful squares. Richard Styles. An inspiring meeting. in which I could participate as a jury member. there was a varied symposium. which already dates back to a few decades. with each other. so that beautiful pools are 26 Foto’s. Steel and split The theme of the first day of the Biennale was the Rosa Barba prize. You can see that the landscape architecture and urban development is largely experienced and determined according to the architecture.
partly realised under the denominator of the Bundesgartenschau in 2005. The preselection had been done by the organisation itself and therefore the jury itself as not responsible. Earlier the jury had selected the ten finalists from only fifty of the submitted 450 projects.5 hectares of a former mining area was redesigned through nature development and water purification. completely individual. You would think it is easier for designers of concrete projects. The fact that they finished in the finale at the Biennale had to do with the special solutions that nevertheless were found. Whether it involves an expansion or redesign of cemeteries in Amsterdam and Weiach. France. The water is clean enough for swimming and nature offers many opportunities to walk. The park. Girona. creates a daring. where vast tree strips recall the disappeared runways. at the former airport of Riem on the eastern border of Munich. too much use of fashionable materials such as Corten steel and too many tricks with outside lightning. was praised for the extraordinary way in which the designers had opened up the volcano landscape literally and figuratively. a covering of a big motorway along the coast of Barcelona. However.created after rain. by only removing some things or by doing nothing at all. Here a nature park has been developed in a lagoon through a combination of water purification and nature development. This decision can be regarded as a statement. On the one hand detached. a big swimming pool. placebound and well-considered solutions with an international power of expression. 28 ’SCAPE 1 / 2006 1 / 2006 ’ S C A P E 29 . And there is also that large city park on the southern border of Munich. which has been carried out with a great sense for aesthetics. David Verport. with a view on the Alps. that it perhaps was land art. and we had great difficulties finding the winner. the ten finalists came up with fine entries. Vilassar de Dalt. including a natural swimming pool. A consistent application of materials and forms. How do you make such an area accessible which at first was not accessible because of its function? Which new function. was awarded the German landscape architecture prize. applicable atmosphere. The one winning project. 210 hectares. which new programme can be realised in an abandoned area? How much recreation and nature can Europe have? And how imperative is the design in this case? Formwill Area for three Roman ovens. not a landscape where a family would eat tapas in a hot summer. Too much formwill. Like that project with those Roman ovens. But is that project part of landscape architecture? Lagoon of Harnes. the jury was beginning to sense that many things in the European landscape architecture have become very similar. Steel and split are dominant in the public space. Built up of gabions. Design: Paysages.. Perhaps the winner should be a small-scale and one-dimensional project that possesses this exceptional quality in perfection. a few trees shoot from an underground of metal. Design: Toni Gironès. Design: Latitude Nord (Gilles Vexlard and Laurence Vacherot). fitted with monumental. meadows and a path structure based on the pattern of former fields. Design: Vetsch Nipkow Partner AG. The fact that the discussion on the relation between architecture and landscape architecture is an extra sensitive issue in Barcelona is clear: the study of landscape architect is not an independent study. a design of a school site in Slovenia or a new residential area in Stuttgart – it are unambiguous assignments. Spain. A redesign of an industry complex in a contemporary district. based on features of the old steel industry. on the other hand by giving meaning and power of expression to the landscape through a powerful intervention. The motive to make this structure was the site of a Roman settlement near the coast with three ovens was. A few old bunkers have been saved. With the final decision to nominate two projects as a winner the jury wanted to initiate this discussion. the design looks like a temple. But most found it Katharina Schulzer Square in Winthertur. It includes: a large terrace. Light shafts and materials provide an authentic atmosphere. Spain. The result is a regional water park with a large biodiversity. Respect Landscape Park Riem in München. We discussed the question whether we should give a signal against the tendency that there is an insufficient distinction in European landscape architecture in finding unique. The transformation of an old mining area in the north of France still goes one step further. a few wood strips. mirroring doors and a terrace.. As a matter of fact. In total 17. but a postgraduate course at the architecture college. Switzerland. A large and impressive park. this task to judge fifty projects in one day was already difficult enough: how can you judge such a serious plan in such a short period? Nevertheless. Some jury members thought it was asocial and aristocratic. Park Piedra Tosca in Les Preses. Germany.
or in other words. Passeig de Garcia Fària. Only in the course of Friday morning the final judgment was given. that temple for the Roman ovens could not be considered as landscape architecture. with a remarkable semi-transparent fencing of larch that fits in well with the old walls around the church and recalls the use of fences around orchards. derived from a bar code. Design: Ana Kucan. Spain.5 hectares) conforms with the undulating. Although the park had a remarkable size and the approach was impressive. A current addition of 1. which also had an emphatic ‘green’ solution through the combination of nature development and water management. mosses 30 ’SCAPE 1 / 2006 1 / 2006 ’ S C A P E 31 . partly on an old encampment. This partial roofing of the busy coastal road offers a real solution to a real problem. the contribution of the botanist Claude Figureau who investigated the prevalence and development of all kinds of fungi. memory and hospitality.Site around the primary school Ob Rinzi in Kocevje. so good and so loving in revealing the beauty of a landscape. It was hardly embedded in the environment: the inaccessible location along the sea was clouded by the maladjusted environment of new housing.7 hectare. Bronze elements The expansion of De Nieuwe Ooster cemetery in Amsterdam also raised doubts. Striking elements in this rich design are a large pond and a special urn wall. Big trees There was much more to experience at this Biennale. where similar problems exist . But what else is there to choose than one of the strips. And with this fine expansion in Weiach the jury wondered whether it was not too much a stylised translation of history and the environment. with a view across the sea. The 33-hectare large expansion forms a contrast with the old cemetery of the famous Dutch garden architect Leonard Springer. and third place for De Nieuwe Ooster. the content of architecture is not very present. borders and stairs? Is this a park that will make you feel at ease? The majority of the jury kept their doubts. Design: Kuhn Truninger Landschaftsarchitekten. Barcelona. And we had really intended to choose one winner. Slovenia. Underground parking facilities are being built. with a prominent role for a kind of avenue. which is built up of terraces. Scharnhauser Park at Stuttgart. This despite the fact that the was remarkably similar to the public result: the winner there was the Lagoon of Harnes. Expansion of the cemetery De Nieuwe Ooster in Amsterdam. the ex aequo. Design: Wolfrum+Janson Architektur+Stadtplanung. These imposing stairs form a characteristic and supporting public space. Why not make nature development and the redesign of a mining area visible as a cultural act? On the other hand some state that it should be respected when this is not done. the Harnes Lagune in the north of France. With graphical lines on gravestones a relation with the old cemetery is established. and fully takes advantage of this environment. ˘ wood-like environment in a beneficent informal way. Yes. and too little an intimate place where you could take your loved ones. arquitectes. The tight strips. The other winning project. as well as space for parading and jogging at this alternative boulevard. offer a large range of options for contemporary burying. On Friday evening the public therefore started to shout in protest after the result had been announced in two languages by jury chairman Paolo Bürgi. second place for the Park Piedra Tosca. Belgium and the Netherlands was convincing. Design: Karres en Brands landschapsarchitecten. There is a great strong relationship between inside and outside. despite the surprising completeness of the design? It could be that differences in the culture of burying in Europe play a role here. without disturbing the atmosphere of the wood. For example. And these doubts continued to last a whole evening and a whole night. Like the sometimes confusing but also fascinating conference organised by Catherine Mosbach for Friday – which made it clear that the Biennale can gain character and substance by establishing a kind of curatorship. The landscape design (3. The stairs of the Scharnhauserpark remained too much a means of design of urban development. A fountain and a few trees complete this subtle and serene work.nature development as the future. In the end the implementation and temptation of the perspective for larger parts of France. At the same time the cultural component. Switzerland. Design: Ravetllat/Ribas. The designers suggest that their design would create a freedom when burying a person. with a view on the Schwabian hills. which in terms of the design represent one of the lines of the bar code from which the expansion was built up? Was the rigid application of this device incompatible with the desired freedom. The French approach to the design for the Riempark was also regarded to be a bit technocratic and arrogant in the end. A few open playing places have been added. Expansion of the cemetery of Weiach. although it was not supported by the entire jury. Construction of part of the town of 140 hectares on a hill that is orientated to the south. the rigid design of the Kathrarine Schulzer Platz was not sufficiently convincing in the combination of freedom. Germany. was the only project with a more regional significance. why was it necessary to indicate the coordinates of the site in bronze elements on the world map? Why so many concrete lines.
shortly after the first edition. Landscape architects should be more open to contributions from other disciplines. which is expressed even more explicitly in the idea that. when you fell a tree. There is still much to learn. This is proved by the submissions and the results. www. France. Betsky refers to the Public Space Prize as something especially for southern countries. The variation in the programme was great. A central part is the European Prize in Landscape Architecture Rosa Barba. Girona. and at the same time totally opening up to the European professional world. the stone floor has a powerful expression. Looking back.coac. Hereby the story of Juurlink and Geluk about their designs for the Dutch city landscape was rather lighthearted. The Rosa Barba Prize and the European Prize for Urban Public Space In 1998. Design: RCR Aranda. Landscape architecture is participating now – nevertheless the words of Bohigas – even male landscpae architects. And with questions from the public such as ‘why aren’t there any women in the panel’. It is a statement of which the significance only becomes clear after a while.Lagoon of Harnes. This square in its current form is also the result of the revival that placed Barcelona on the map as an international focus of (landscape) architecture. sight. It and other microbiological species was intriguing – but what was the significance for landscape architecture? The abundance of forms? The finding that much biological life has disappeared from our cities and villages? What can we do with the finding that species from Asia and Africa carried under a person’s shoes may end up in Lyon? Mosbach states that she herself could never have made the prize winning project of the Botanic Garden in Bordaux without the intellectual interference of Figureau. The fact that the discussion on the relationship between architecture and landscape architecture is extra sensitive in Barcelona is obvious. Mosbach wants to make things more profound and broaden them. We are discussing the difference with the Netherlands. Spain. or ‘why can’t landscape architects work in Spain without the title of architect’ the discussion did not make much progress. but a postgraduate course at the architecture college. The Biennal proved to be a vivid and serious laboratory of European landscape architecture. For with 45 percent (of which 75 percent from Catalonia). The prize is awarded to designers and clients. plain. Special and almost artistic impulse for a geological park of volcanic stone.together with the Catalan architects’ chambernamed ‘Biennal the paisatge’. the Netherlands and Germany are also strongly represented. on the one hand because of proposals for smallscale agricultural recycling.org Park Piedra Tosca in Les Preses. For example. And what should we think about the video in which mankind shows its destructive force: burning landscapes. destruction. designed by the Catalan architects Battle @ Roig. In addition. many people. bodies. music. attracted more than three hundred participants from all over Europe. The Public Space Prize and the Biennale are still two separate entities. Rosa Barba was a prominent landscape architect in Barcelona. The trees at the Placa Real are placed in squares which have been cut away in the natural stone floor. The fourth edition. like those in Vienna. This is evident from the results of the last edition in 2004: the (shared) first prize was awarded for a landscape development plan for a refuse dump. which is probably easy for the water supply. Switzerland. and the discipline of architecture therefore has other roots and perspectives than in Spain. and environments. where other ambitions and motives dominate as a result of other conditions and the traditionally strong input of architecture. which is further edited every two years. director of the Rotterdam Architecture Institute NAi and co-organiser of the Public Space Prize. Chairman of the jury for the Rosa Barba prize was Paolo Bürgi from Switzerland.net/landscape/ www. The Australian landscape architect Julian Lexworthy showed his interest in building with nature. example. Aron Betsky. city architect Oriol Bohigas qualified landscape architecture as ‘being a decorative profession for women’. including the edition of a Public Space Award and. parallel with the ETSAB architecture school. Minor interventions that reveal the beauty of the area. while Pico won the public prize last time. including sound effects of thunder and water and including light effects. They lie deeply. without superfluous details. Pigem Vilalta.cccb. although a few people grumbled that the quality of the public space was declining. Paris and Rotterdam. more pliable conditions. With recent projects from the last four years more than 450 entrants from all over Europe competed for the first place and a sum of 15. strategically very important for the Catalan and Spanish landscape architects in their struggle for the recognition of the title. Squares It is Saturday late in the evening when we are sitting at the Placa Real and drinking wine and grappa – a summer spring evening. and Sara Bartumeus. the Danish landscape architect Stig Andersson showed a few of his projects. Park Piedra Tosca. also for the fourth time. She died in 2000. without the two being aware of each other: the important cultural centre CCCB prepared a show named ‘The reconquest of public space in Europe’. And on the other hand: during the Biennale the Public Space Prize was no topic at all. two initiatives were started parallel with the other in the Catalan capital.urban. and as if the Biennal opened the era of Catalan landscape architecture as a new issue for creating public spaces. That she used the denominator ‘landscape as product. as done by a number of Dutch architects and landschape architects. named after one of the founders of the biennale. editor of the magazine Pages Paysages. Ramón Pico and Joan Roig from Spain. France. palms. one of the two winners of the previous edition. landscape as production’ seems a little noncommittal in hind- shows a compassion. using old concrete as well as straight 'artificial' lines in the design. In the meanwhile this initiative is organised in cooperation with several architecture centres in Europe. In addition. Portugal. it was as if an epoch ended and another one started this very year in Barcelona. This number of entries was almost fifty percent more than with the last edition. For example. The main supplier is Spain The European Prize for Urban Public Space will also be awarded this year. with playful and creative and high-tech solutions for nature in the current city. while DS Landschapsarchitecten from the Netherlands received a honourable mention for the design for the Tilla-Durieux park in Berlin. exhibitions. Marc Claramunt from France. chairman of the European Federation of Landscape Architects (EFLA). whereby shadows suggested the presence of large trees. The jury included Theresa Andresen from Portugal. At the launch of the CCCB-powered Prize for Urban Public Space. arquitectes. producer of the magazines Blauwe Kamer and ’scape. many landscape architects disagree that the study of landscape architect is not an independent study. fountains. Bartumeus was part of the organisation. Harry Harsema. Maintenance and vulnerability: perhaps that would be a good subject for the next Biennale. does not know about the Biennale. you also destroy the soil ‘in’ the tree. where there is a much greater interest in the public space. At the first Biennal many landscape architects from all over Europe shared the feeling of attending the birth of a new Catalan movement full of spirit and the serious wish to exchange experiences with professionals all over Europe. between 23 and 26 March of this year. Like at this square. It was as if the show closed the heroic period of new public spaces created by Catalan architects. surely smelling the emerging competition of others. 32 ’SCAPE 1 / 2006 1 / 2006 ’ S C A P E 33 . During the final debate on Saturday morning Rosa Barba was quoted: ‘Beyond architecture there is landscape’. territories.000 Euro. They could feed upon symposia. The award for 2006 will be announced in June. excursions and presentations. London. on the other hand by designing a route through the area with a few special ‘reception rooms’ made of Corten steel. created a professional congress on European landscape architecture . the fact that almost everything there is made of landscape as a result of the topographical.
China has opted to adopt a Western model of urban development. followed shortly by General Motors. once known as the Paris of the East. Western architects and planners are being hired to replace its old districts with copies of European urbanism. faster in 34 ’SCAPE China Next to the People’s Park in the heart of Shanghai stands the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall. bigger. the city gradually reawakened during the 1980s. It was designed to relieve pressure on the existing river crossings in the city. China is eager to present itself to the outside world as a new economic superpower. In preparation for the World Expo 2010 work began recently on the Xizang tunnel under the river Huangpu. Pudong. was just a farming village seven years ago. Shanghai is a good illustration of China’s precipitous growth. new problems loom large on the horizon. Formula One Grand Prix races have been held there for two years on a race track built in just nine months. and in a short time the town has become the Detroit of Asia. particularly the Nanpu and Lupu bridges. China is hot. On its route to the top it looks specifically to Europe for inspiration rather than the United States. Five years ago Volkswagen established a presence there. New face Shanghai’s business district. the model reveals a bizarre reality that outstrips the logic of West European city planning. With its thousands of high-rise buildings seemingly dotted at random throughout the city. In 1843 Shanghai had 250. is now its economic heart.000 inhabitants. a rather insignificant five-story building in this city of skyscrapers. The 2008 Olympic Games are being organised by Beijing and two years later Shanghai will host the World Expo. The attention devoted to China by the European media might seem somewhat exaggerated. Five of the ten biggest ports in the world are in China. Development picked up rapidly in the early 1990s and has really taken off over the last few years. Europe is now a more important trading partner for China than America. Shanghai is the fastest growing city in China’s fastest growing region. The Olympic Games and the World Expo are the motors behind many new construction projects. a satellite city of Shanghai. about the same as Beijing. Its port. rising to about three million in 1930.Environment and tradition pay the price for change The political and economic transformation of China is fuelling an unprecedented growth of its cities. Two years ago Shanghai took Rotterdam’s crown as the largest port in the world. but now the city is home to more than twenty million people. Will it be possible to run an Olympic marathon through the smog-filled streets of Beijing in 2008? Hank van Tilborg The giant scale model of Shanghai. After a period of hibernation during the Communist regime. But despite breaking all records. Once inside the building the real spectacle unfolds: a large 1:500 scale model of the city covering dozens of square metres. The only eye-catching feature are the four steel structures on the roof that represent magnolias in bloom – the city flower. often including spectacular high-rise buildings. Anting new town. was still farmland in 1992. Higher. but in fact it receives too little coverage for a country that is rapidly becoming a global economic powerhouse. China wants impressive and striking new archi- Photos: Alex Sievers en Hank van Tilborg 1 / 2006 1 / 2006 ’ S C A P E 35 .
the 420 metre high Jin Mao tower. currently being built to a design by the French firm AREP. with more than three hundred companies in Shanghai alone. and in new public green space. prac- tice t’ai chi or play a game all within a stone’s throw of the hurtling traffic. but whether they dare to invest in China and establish a presence there in a bid not to miss the boat. Left. The new Two Bay City district in Shanghai. This magnetic levitation train takes just seven minutes to cover the thirty kilometres from the city centre to Shanghai International Airport. hold a quiet conversation. Tiny homes The explosive rate of growth in China depends largely on its enormous labour pool. Philips has thirty-six factories in China. is currently under construction right next to the Jin Mao tower. will be a major new landmark in the city. The train hardly has time to reach top speed before it arrives at its destination. designed by Rem Koolhaas. right. which incorporates Tianshan park. The 53rd to 87th storeys of the Jin Mao tower house a hotel with a lobby atrium that runs right up to the top of the building. Several new parks nestle in and around an interchange on the inner ring road. the new business district of Beijing. The 800 million or so Chinese peasants still in the countryside are a vast source of cheap Traditional alleyway district. to the west of the city centre. the Netherlands is the second biggest European investor in China. Every month the number of cars in Shanghai rises by 2500 to 5000. aggravating the already huge problems of congestion. Labourers at work on the outdoor areas of the Two Bay City project. at 539 metres. The new office building for Chinese state television in Beijing. The Siemens ‘floating’ train that links the city with the international airport – and later the Expo site – carries its passengers at a speed of 430 kilometres per hour. Shanghai is breaking one record after another. rows of planters have been hung on kilometres-long stretches of vehicle safety fences along the urban motorways. In Shanghai the tallest building in the world. These are no longer just manufacturing companies. has the largest clear span glass canopy in the world. Planters View of Pudong. This creative example of intensive land use gives rise to an almost surrealistic image of people looking for a place to relax.Jian Wai Soho. A dying tradition: tai chi in the open air. tecture to present a new face to the world and is hiring Western designers to work with local architects to achieve this aim. which at 420 metres is currently the tallest building in Shanghai. and this will rise to more than seventy in a few years time. After Germany. To green the city. The new South Station. making it the highest hotel with the largest lobby in the world. The city is avidly investing in new infrastructure. the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV tower. One of the recently created parks is Yanan Green Space. 36 ’SCAPE 1 / 2006 1 / 2006 ’ S C A P E 37 . surrounded by flyovers and linked together by an elevated pedestrian route. For West European companies the question is no longer how to compete with China from their home base in Europe. The number of parks in Shanghai has also increased from about 50 to more than 250 in recent years: according to official figures 35 per cent of the city now consists of green space. but also businesses active in more knowledgeintensive sectors. including public transport.
The censors do not allow open criticism of these projects for ‘progress and improvement’. the hutongs in Beijing and the lilongs in Shanghai. entrepreneurial and independently-minded people. The old districts in the big cities. Besides their own families and friends. The building projects completed in Beijing and Shanghai a few years ago are still marred by numerous flaws. Architects are flown in from Europe to design whole new districts on the Western model. Paradoxically enough. Chinese toys It is remarkable how quickly the Chinese have put their own stamp on the building boom. labour. studios. is well below standard. Building is a continuous process: in Beijing and Shanghai the sound of construction can be heard ringing out from the brightly lit sites throughout the night.to make way for them. However. Besides excursions to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square (Gate of Heavenly Peace). are being swept away and replaced by new developments. Yanan Green Space. as evidenced by the NEW 798 area in Beijing. Faceless cities The West is the model for progress. are up to the same standard as new buildings in Europe. a visit to Beijing is not complete without a tour of one of the alleyway districts. There is also increasing interest in the more recent heritage. or Cambridge Watertown. At first sight they seem to be quite impressive reproductions. In taking this route China is not doing justice to its own rich architectural tradition. The projects now under construction. The buildings in Sa Na Wei La Villa Park are also aging quickly. even the billboards are dominated by white Western models. They can easily be tempted to move to the cities where wages and living standards are higher. The development is rather like a Chinese toy: it looks attractive at first sight. but does not stand up well to heavy use. in 2002 the area was taken over by a group of artists and is now a lively neighbourhood of galleries. The rapid changes taking place in China are going hand in hand with a major social upheaval. Beijing and Shanghai are already being called ‘faceless cities’. For many of the inhabitants these close social networks make the primitive conditions in these crowded districts – with their tiny living quarters which often lack private toilet facilities – far more preferable to the comforts of the anonymous high-rise flats. 38 ’SCAPE 1 / 2006 1 / 2006 ’ S C A P E 39 . In the Shanghai Daily you will find only gushing praise for the new developments being built for the 2010 World Expo. But this is not reflected in the government-controlled media. Chinese granite setts) Sa Na Wei La Villa Park. Much of the social life in these districts takes places outdoors. restaurants and cafes. and move on to the next site when the work is finished. with their tightly-knit social and economic networks. and the building designs are particularly well suited to their environment. customs and traditions hardly seem to matter anymore. the houses are grouped around patios and courtyards linked together by narrow alleys. was on the list for clearance. in barracks. This disregard for China’s own values and customs – its people’s very identity – is threatening to disrupt the social fabric. This industrial complex. though. In the new China. It is quiet normal for these workers to live literally on the building site. as if it was decided to add the drainpipes at the last minute when construction was already well underway – a defect that also plagues the previously mentioned Anting district. Fashion is Western. Even traditional Chinese architecture and town planning seem to have been marginalised. The detailing in a project like Sa Na Wei La Villa Park. in the area surrounding the new South Station and in the new Zhu Jia Jiao district (Cambridge Water Town) near Shanghai no expense has been spared on the public spaces. built in the 1950s by the Russians and designed by East German architects in the Bauhaus style. but closer inspection reveals the failings of the builders. The phase of minor but nevertheless obtrusive flaws is over. but are of little interest to the younger generation. In these alleyway districts. The old ways. and the first calls have been made to preserve a few alleyway districts for posterity. while more than ten thousand families are being evicted from their homes Zhu Jia Jiao. The drainage is poorly designed throughout. are still followed by the older generations. where new tourist bars are springing up all the time. In the German theme town of Anting. money is high on most people’s list of priorities. Neither does China have a shortage of hard working. The communist slogans of the period – ‘Long Live Chairman Mao’ – which cover the walls throughout the complex are a tangible reminder of China’s history and form a striking backdrop to the contemporary works of art. transforming a traditional alley into a street full of bars may just be the way to save the hutong. The outdoor areas have been carefully designed using high quality materials (brick pavers. In this respect the growing tourist industry in China’s main cities may be their salvation. a gated community designed by the Chinese firm Turenscape. such as practising t’ai chi on the street or in the park before work.
issues like sustainable water management and ecological values are much less important. do present some opportunities in this regard. therefore. this new town will be home to fifty thousand people. the more residential areas to the east and the west are four and three storeys. and with a nod toward the characteristic use of colour by. among others. When completed. entertainment. This presents an enormous challenge. Instead of importing chocolate-box urban compositions from Europe. then. In the centre the building blocks are five storeys. a Formula 1 racetrack and dwellings for 50. The residential area was designed on the German model by Albert Speer and Partners and the Stuttgart landscape architect David Elsworth. impressions and image dominate the Chinese way of thinking. such as Dutch canal towns and German Siedlungen. That is the challenge facing China. that China hardly needs Europeans any more to build an attractive residential district. Appearance. One in four Chinese has to make do with drinking water polluted by China’s dirty industries. Inspired by the Weimar Republic. Albert Speer and Partners tried to put in environmental and sustainable technologies. not building the highest tower or the biggest hotel lobby. Individualism in Chinese society still stands in the way of an energetic approach to solving such collective problems.000 residents. the low labour costs free up resources to pay for all this – and growing on nursery stock is cheaper in China – but it is also a question of setting priorities. Floods It seems. the architect Taut in the well-known Berlin Siedlung Uncle Tom’s Hütte. along with serious air pollution and water supply problems. public open spaces and pedestrian-friendly streets for the masterplan. station or station area. is whether the Western architectural firms active on the Chinese market would not do better to concentrate on the really pressing issues. 40 ’SCAPE 1 / 2006 . Speer’s firm have given this new Chinese housing development a Scale model of the design for Anting. In China Anting is one of the first new towns where quality standards and resource efficiency Anting New Town. The satellite development Anting is a fifty square kilometres area used for production. The designers used typically Western principles as multifunctional block structures. German Anting Anting is not just a car manufacturing city but a residential centre as well. Each year people are killed by floods. The question. by the German architect Albert Speer Junior. There are even rumours that the grass was cleaned and painted to make the best possible impression on the delegates. The heavy hand of the state and the ban on private ownership of land. played a role. German ambience. management. and Western European architects and engineers have a reputation in this area. But it will not be long before the environmental problems can no longer be brushed aside and will start to impede further growth. education. however. exhibition.and large numbers of very big trees. One such problem is the rapidly rising mobility. Air pollution is a serious problem – so important that it is questionable whether it would be responsible to hold a marathon in Beijing in 2008. trade. tourism. When the city received the Olympic Committee the factories were shut down for four days. Western consultants could help solve China’s burgeoning environmental problems – the dark side to its riotous growth. The fact that the first residents only move in once all the homes and the outdoor areas are ready is proof that a well designed public realm is a valued attribute. Of course.
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