What Projects Do Our Landscape Architects Admire?
The following article, with data collected by Chris Bridle, is part of an ongoing series that focuses on a select topic of inspiration for the month. The focus for November was “Admiration”.
In an effort to distill our common goal as an office of landscape architects, the team was asked to select a project they admire and explain why it is inspiring to them. Below are some of the results of the survey:
1. BILTMORE ESTATE | ASHEVILLE, NC
Bill Bruce – George W. Vanderbilt was responsible for the construction of the largest privately owned residence in the country in 1895 named Biltmore. The 135,000 sq. ft., 250 room, French Renaissance style estate was originally sited on 125,000 acres just outside of Asheville, NC. The design team was highlighted by renowned architect, Richard Morris Hunt and father of landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. Olmsted was responsible for transforming the vast property into a show place for Vanderbilt. His planning and designs included a variety of incredible gardens, many sustainable practices, a self-sustaining farm and sweeping natural landscapes. Biltmore is truly an American icon.
2. 911 MEMORIAL | NEW YORK, NY
John Amodeo – With its vast granite plaza, and forest of hundreds of white oak trees, within which sits the two massive square water features on the footprints of the felled World Trade Center Towers, the 9/11 Memorial in NYC commands respect, and fosters contemplation, aided by the skilled use of minimalism within the design of the space. The use of few, but extremely high quality materials is a mark of durability that also provides comfort and strength to those seeking inspiration in the space.
3. GARDENS BY THE BAY | SINGAPORE
Dustin Powell – What inspires me about the project is the composition of the landscape and building components. Both parts supplement each other and create one amazing, organic experience for the users.
4. LANDSCHAFTSPARK | DUISBURG-MEIDERICH, GERMANY
Tom Sutter – The project provides a unique and almost ‘post-apocalyptic’ spatial experience filled with contrasts that make it feel both imposing and inviting at the same time. By introducing soft, subtle and naturalistic landscape interventions that appear to be slowly colonizing the colossal and now abandoned industrial architecture, the space feels both frozen in time and constantly evolving; one of the many dichotomies that give the project its character.
5. COPACABANA BEACH PROMENADE | RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
Uma Sankar – The Copacabana Beach Promenade is a landscape designed as an equal. It is not a backdrop, or a setting, or mere surface decoration. It is equal: equal to the architecture/ urban fabric on its one side, and equal to the sand and the ocean on the other side.
6.DISNEY WORLD RESORT | ORLANDO, FL
Shane Lougee – I believe most people don’t notice these things while enjoying their time at Walt Disney World, but I believe that’s good thing. Because everything feels just right to them, therefore the design details of the parks are not a distraction and they can enjoy the experience. This consistent attention to detail is prevalent in every environment, from the resort hotel bus stops to the park entries, plazas, signage, landscapes, and architecture. Carefully thought out vistas can be found in many locations as you travel through the resort, which can capture the essence of each park in one view. These well-orchestrated design concepts and details, implemented so seamlessly together is very inspiring to me. Disney is always thinking about the future and keeps doing new things that have never been done before. As designers, I think we shouldn’t be afraid to do the same.
7. PICCADILLY CIRCUS PLAZA REDESIGN | LONDON, UK
8. SCHOUWBURGPLEIN | ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Chris Bridle – Schouwburgplein, Rotterdam was the project that inspired me to become a landscape architect. I loved the simplicity – a new city space that was also an immediate landmark. The minimalist composition forms unique relationships between volume and void, sculpture and lighting. The plaza is lit from large sculptural booms (inspired by the cranes from the adjacent working docks) that can be operated by the user to manipulate light – creating a stage-like space next to the city’s theatre complex.