Miami Beach SoundScape West 8 2011 © Robin Hill for West 8
It could be argued that the pinnacle of urban landscape architecture was reached in seventeenth century France and the French formal gardens of Jacques Boyceau and André Le Nôtre, or in Britain in the nineteenth century, when Joseph Paxton and John Nash were transforming former Royal Hunting grounds into places for Victorian gentry to promenade. Contemporary urban architects and designers are rarely afforded the same amount of space, money and time as their antecedents and are more often tasked with transforming abandoned plots, redundant structures or characterless inner city areas into suitable places for public recreation. Here, Architonic looks at some recent successes that add value to their surroundings by pushing the boundaries of park design. (by Alyn Griffiths)
read the ‘Park life: the evolving approach to designing urban public space’ article in full on Architonic
Here’s some information from our friends at D&AD about their 2011 awards scheme. If you want to get your hands on one of their covetable yellow pencils, then you’d better read on…
“D&AD exists to inform, educate and inspire those who work in and around the creative industries, Spatial Design included.
“The annual D&AD Awards are recognised throughout the world. They set the absolute reference standard for creative excellence. A yellow pencil on your desk will get gasps of admiration. And a black pencil? Well, they’ll probably erect a statue of you in the town square. Diller Scofidio + Renfro took home one of these coveted trophies last year in Spatial Design for the High Line (although no sign of a celebratory statue yet!).
The disused High Line before the architectural intervention
The New York High Line was constructed in the 1930s and is a 1.5-mile-long historic elevated rail structure on the West Side of Manhattan, passing the famous Meatpacking District. The today disused High Line was the object of an international competition, which was organised by the City of New York and the Friends of the High Line (FHL), a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and reuse of the High Line.
Landscape architecture by Field Operations
The team of Field Operations (landscape architecture) and Diller Scofidio + Renfro (architecture) were finally selected to begin design work on the High Line. In June the first section of the green promenade will be opened.
Architecture by Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Diller Scofidio + Renfro:
“Inspired by the melancholic, unruly beauty of this postindustrial ruin, where nature has reclaimed a once vital piece of urban infrastructure, the new park interprets its inheritance. It translates the biodiversity that took root after it fell into ruin in a string of site-specific urban microclimates along the scratch of railway that include sunny, shady, wet, dry, windy, and sheltered spaces.Through a strategy of agri-tecture – part agriculture, part architecture – the High Line surface is digitised into discrete units of paving and planting which are assembled along the 1.5 miles into a variety of gradients from 100% paving to 100% soft, richly vegetated biotopes. The paving system consists of individual pre-cast concrete planks with open joints to encourage emergent growth like wild grass through cracks in the sidewalk. The long paving units have tapered ends that comb into planting beds creating a textured, “pathless” landscape where the public can meander in unscripted ways. The park accomodates the wild, the cultivated, the intimate and the social. Access points are durational experiences designed to prolong the transition from the frenetic pace of city streets to the slow otherworldly landscape above.”
"1.5 miles variety of gradients from 100% paving to 100% soft, richly vegetated biotopes"
to the Diller Scofidio + Renfro website
to the Field Operations website
to the Friends of the High Line website