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Art & Architecture

Topos N. 102

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!

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

in this issue

2 min.

For humanity, the ultimate light has always been the sun. However, astronomically speaking, this star is not much more than a trifle: located in the galactic “provinces”, with a mere temperature of 6000 degrees Celsius and of mediocre luminosity, the sun becomes nothing but an inconspicuous point of light for observers who are a few light-years away. In other words, an unremarkable light source that is largely insignificant in the cosmic context and offers little that would make it stand out, on Earth is the driver of anything that is termed “life”. The light of the sun is magnetic, it exerts an enormous attraction on humans and animals alike. Its opposite, darkness, the topic of our new edition of Topos, has the very converse effect – it repels us, fills…

1 min.
the glow of silence

A string of shining lamps moving quietly from rock to rock – the scenery appears bizarre and yet, through the regularity and calmness of its composition, it also strikes the viewer as quite ordinary. The Norwegian artist Rune Guneriussen creates installations that transfer objects of everyday domestic life outside into the open. For one of his most recent artworks Guneriussen set up desk lamps in a landscape of mountains and lakes. His installation is an invasion of a natural setting, yet his “additions” do not seem like foreign objects. The lamps stick out of the grass like flowers growing out of the soil, as if their heads of light bulbs are scouting the surrounding area. Everyday objects subtly insert themselves into natural sceneries in Guneriussen’s other works as well. The…

3 min.
the battle of bears ears is far from over

For a total of 354 days, Bears Ears was a National Monument of 540 hectares until President Donald Trump abrogated Barack Obama’s Presidential Proclamation and reduced the protected areas by 85 percent. Some see this as a new war for federal control of Utah's land – but not our author, Sean Michael. “Speed,” J.B. Jackson opined, helps us to “ re-establish a responsiveness – almost an intimacy – with a more spacious, less tangible aspect of nature.” Therefore, the pace with which U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke visited the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah’s southeast corner, and within mere weeks later, recommended a reduction of its 547,074 hectares, would suggest his intimacy was short-lived. Operating on directions from President Trump, the outcome was considered a fait accompli. The die,…

2 min.
talent vs. mastermind

TALENT Gerdo Aquino Gerdo Aquino is CEO of SWA, a company that evolved from the landscape architecture firm Sasaki. His work focuses on underutilised or abandoned urban and suburban infill sites that nonetheless have the potential to enhance their existing surroundings through creative programming and natural systems integration. 1 CAREER STARTING POINT? Watching the natural sand dunes of coastal Florida beaches transformed into condo developments. 2 INFLUENCED BY? People willing to take risks; artists whose creativity has no boundaries; responsible politicians who embrace the importance of open space. 3 INSPIRED BY? The complex, multi-cultural, creative city that is Los Angeles. 4 WHY LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE? The profession allows me to implement big ideas at a multitude of scales that benefit the environment and quality of life. 5 DESIGN PRINCIPLES? Consider the extremes: feasible vs. irrational, predictable vs. unexpected. 6 WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL FOCUS? Improving the…

4 min.
tel aviv

Standing surrounded by sand dunes, approximately 100 people begin to make history. The year is 1909 and, after taking part in a lottery, the more than 60 families of European origin divide the sand-covered area amongst themselves using shells they collected beforehand. In the following months they will breathe life into this dry place, which will now be called Tel Aviv – Spring Hill – and where now more than 400,000 people live. The photographer Avraham Soskin was there on that day of Tel Aviv's founding: His 100-year-old photographs are proof of what you still feel today, i.e., that Tel Aviv is built on sand. It's not just that sand creeps through even the smallest of cracks into everyone's flats – this city shakes and crumbles like a sand castle. Everywhere…

9 min.
too big to handle

Gates of Light The Afsluitdijk that connects the Dutch provinces of Noord Holland and Friesland is a major historical infrastructural landmark in the Netherlands. The current art along the dyke consists of three works: “Gates of Light”, “Windvogel’ and “Glowing Nature”. At “Gates of Light” the architectural elements are accentuated by reflections. Windvogel The temporary installation consisted of several smart kites with lines of light that generated up to 100 kilowatt of power. It is a showpiece of the possibilities of producing green energy in rather unconventional ways. The green lines temporarily hovered above the dyke every evening. Touching the Light The floors of Roosegaardes third installation “Glowing Nature” are covered with a setup layer of live bioluminescent algae. When visitors touch the floor, the microorganisms light up. Roosegaarde created this project to remind everyone…