Art & Architecture

Topos City Visions

Topos is a must-have for successful landscape architects, planners, urban designers and architects all over the world.The monothematic issues provide a global overview of innovative projects, new developments and trends in the profession. Be part of the worldwide community of Topos readers!

Georg D.W. Callwey GmbH & Co. KG
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4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
tanja braemer

Data and human beings. This would appear to be a contradiction: An inorganic, replaceable mass of figures on the one hand, and an organic, living, highly individual being on the other. How to bring these two antipodes together? This is something Danish architect and urban planner Jan Gehl excels in. He feels that both of his professions are in fact inseparable when it comes to achieving good cities: In Gehl’s opinion good cities are neither for cars and traffic nor for architects and landscape architects who are trying to fulfil their own goals. Cities are to be seen as places strictly for the people who live in them. Long before Big Data was even on the radar screen, Gehl used data as a vehicle towards realising his vision and optimising…

5 min.

Art and Culture Production Centre, Kleivan, Norway A team of students from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design have built a seaside sauna. The project is located on a quay in Kleivan, Vestvågøy, a former fishing village in Lofoten, Norway. It is part of a building complex that also contains three cottage buildings – a fishermen’s cottage, a cod liver oil production and a cod salting building. The three abandoned structures were constructed in the early 1900s and are considered of historical value. Both the quay and the three buildings are listed in the “Cultural Heritage Plan of Lofoten”. The project was developed by Scarcity and Creativity Studio (SCS), a design and build studio within the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. The studio’s aim is to renovate the old buildings…

7 min.

City of Workshops, Vienna, Austria The “Superscape 2014” competition was launched in November 2013. It asked for a vision of Vienna about 40 years from now, focused on the changing relation between public urban and private living space and its effect on the role of architecture and urban planning. The “City of Workshops” concept by Nikolas Kichler and David Steinwender was awarded a special mention. The City of Workshops starts out from the pressing issues of our time, climate change, a market economy penetrating all sectors of human activity, and ever-increasing social inequity. The concept encourages a culture where intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are no longer the result of individual existential pressures but emerge from the desire of wanting to contribute while being related to, and furthering the needs of, the…

4 min.

The City That Never Was The financial collapse of 2008 has left its mark in urbanism and city planning. In the real-estate sector the crisis led to the stalling and collapse of numerous development projects and in some places left behind half-built cities that had been planned during the housing boom. It also affected infrastructure projects like toll roads that declared bankruptcy due to lack of use or privately developed airports that became “ghost” projects. Christopher Marcinkoski, an assistant professor of landscape architecture and urban design at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the landscape architecture firm Port, analyzes an urbanism that is no longer in sync with financial reality and shows its effects on architecture and city planning. In his book The City That Never Was he illustrates the…

8 min.
open city – open space

High-profile landscape architecture projects are by now obligatory tools for American municipal governments seeking to attract investment dollars and jobs. The narrative of outmoded infrastructure or former industrial land turned park is by now well established and the discipline of landscape architecture has emerged as a leader in their design. Catalyzed by these new public spaces, American downtowns and nearby neighborhoods are experiencing what the popular press and scholars alike herald as a “return to the city” or an “urban renaissance.” But whose renaissance is it? Who is returning? It is urgent to frame these spaces historically and geographically to take stock of the effects recent High-profile landscape architecture projects are by now obligatory tools for American municipal governments seeking to attract investment dollars and jobs. The narrative of outmoded…

7 min.
life between buildings

Situated between a clumsy urban mall and a sleek hotel, sweeping from a highway overpass down to the harbor front, is one of Copenhagen’s latest infrastructural gems, epitomizing an ease and efficiency of everyday urban life. The striking and heavily hyped Copenhagen Cykelslangen, the “Bicycle Snake” delivers cyclists along a 280-meter-long bicycle bridge – or extended ramp – from a first-story-level, heavily-trafficked highway overpass to the ground-level, car-free harbor front. Elevated 5.5 meters above ground level at its highest point, and resting on elegant, evenly spaced white pilotis, the Bicycle Snake has replaced what used to be an uncomfortable bicycle trek down two flights of stairs, followed by a slow, cautious ride through crowded pedestrian plazas. Now, in less than one minute, cyclists glide along the gentle curvature of the…