Art & Architecture

Topos Light

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

Thinking and researching about light and archi- tecture leaves you with the feeling that it is nearly impossible to add any new, intelligent thought to the broad discourse on light. All that can be said seems to have been said already. Le Corbusier, for example, stated that “The history of architecture is the history of the struggle for light”. This was followed by Renzo Piano, who found that “Light has not just intensity, but also vibration, which is capable of roughening a smooth material, of giving a three-dimensional quality to a flat surface”. Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta emphasised that: “Light belongs to the heart and spirit. Light attracts people, it shows the way, and when we see it in the distance, we follow it.” To me, Legoretta focuses on what is…

11 min.

It’s all about connections In 2015 the German architecture magazines Baumeister and Topos launched the Cities Initiative, the aim of which is to address important questions about future cities. After a successful first year, we were able to convince lighting specialist Schréder to actively support the initiative, which in 2016 is all about connectivity: Nowadays people are well-linked via their smartphones and social media. In a similar sense, the connection between cities is a key to the success of urban space. Districts, suburbs and cities will not only have to interconnect with one another, but also with energy, know-ledge and food suppliers. In doing so, they can satisfy the needs of their inhabitants in the long term. During the Berlin-based trade fair Metropolitan Solutions, we discussed the crucial question of how…

8 min.
fields of light

Täby is a classic modernist suburb, 15 kilometres north of Stockholm, and one in the process of transforming its identity through urban densification. Historically, Täby was a rural community, but in the 1950s and ’60s, it became part of a massive national building program that aimed to build one million dwellings within 10 years. A city centre emerged with large-scale modernist architecture and a modern, glassed mall, the largest in Europe. The mall came to dominate, in large part, the identity of central Täby, which formed around the mall and added community services, education, public transport, and generous parking facilities. Unfortunately, the centre had poor connection to the surrounding housing areas and little or no public space or natural meeting places outside the mall. The central area was also very…

9 min.
streams of light

Arnhem, a city in the Netherlands of a little over 150,000 inhabitants and the capital of the eastern province of Gelderland, has recently been graced with a brand-new station. The ultramodern complex is the result of a national planning effort, initiated in the 1990s, to increase the capacity, function and aura of a certain number of stations that were believed to play a key role in a then forthcoming network of high-speed railway connections. For Arnhem, the vision and plans foresaw not only a much-needed expansion of the station building itself, but also a transformation and adaptation of the area around the station. A large number of Dutch railway stations were designed and built in an era with very different demands and expectations concerning the use and role of public…

7 min.
moving shadows

Located directly in the centre of Cologne, close to a pedestrian zone and the busy North-South Drive, L. Fritz Gruber Plaza surprises visitors with its aesthetic tranquillity and homogeneity. Framed by mighty historic buildings from a variety of eras, the redesign of the plaza is deliberately unpretentious. In a space long used as a parking area, the focus of attention has been shifted to people, who have become co-designers of the new plaza. An Urban Pictorial Space. At first glance the plaza looks like leftover space, where a building had once stood that was not rebuilt after the Second World War. This is not the case, however. Cologne’s reconstruction plans explicitly called for this small space to be used as an urban plaza. But, as so often happens in car-friendly cities, the…

7 min.
designing for darkness

Somewhere in South London on a bright and almost absolutely clear spring day, the evening begins to slowly fade in. As the sun dips beneath the horizon and the once-intense blue sky fades darker and darker towards black, something is missing; something is not quite right. What’s not there is hard to gauge: For as long as most of we urban or semi-urban dwellers can recall, the sky is and always has been just the way it is on this particular night. Sure, there are a few white dots here and there, some of them a bit brighter than others. Perhaps even, depending on the time of the year or the weather conditions, a few more are seen on this particular night than are usually visible. But where is the…