Art & Architecture

Topos Squares and Promenades

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

in this issue

2 min.

At the age of eight George Thomas walked everywhere. At least within a radius of six miles. That was in 1926. In 2007 his great-grandson Thomas generally only managed to walk a bit more than 300 yards from home. In four generations we have become incredibly mobile with regard to long-distance travel or our commute to work. And yet we have lost our radius of movement in daily life with regard to walking, which has been documented in a study carried out by William Bird, a health advisor at Natural England. Of course, the times have changed, because in 1926 we didn’t have any helicopter parents. The world has become more urban and car traffic has increased immensely. And car friendly cities make it more difficult to move great distances…

6 min.

Building Clouds: Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens, Austria Using the slogan “Building architecture as light and variable as clouds”, the Vienna architecture office Coop Himmelb(l)au began to change the world of architecture in the 1960s. Gravity, however, often brought their cloud-like, airy designs back down to earth. Effectively fighting gravity is not something that Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot’s Crystal Cloud at the Swarovski Cyrstal Worlds in the Tyrolean town of Wattens can claim to do either. The forest of columns holding up the crystal-laden, cloud-like wire structure is proof of this. When sunshine makes the crystals begin to sparkle, however, the garden artists’ installation does appear to become impressively light. In addition, the entire spectrum of colours found in a rainbow is reflected in the dark surface of the Mirror…

3 min.

The Pier Park design concept by Rogers and Partners/ASD/Ken Smith Landscape Architect is the winning entry in the design competition for the new St. Petersburg Pier in Florida. The current pier structure dates from the 1970s and the new pier will mark its sixth transformation since the late 19th century. The competition brief called for creating a new iconic pier as a focal point on the St. Petersburg waterfront. The design for Pier Park proposes to make the entire pier iconic as a public park It extends the urban and recreational features of St. Petersburg into the bay itself through a multitude of flexible programs and experiences for both tourists and the local community. The proposal is tied into the city’s transportation and recreation systems (bike paths, jogging trails, parking,…

1 min.

Reading the Landscape How much longer will it be possible to visit rainforests? When will we only find monotonous plantations and dreary areas instead of the original paradisiacal landscapes? “Till It’s Gone” is the title of William Ewing’s introduction to the book Reading the Landscape by photographer Olaf Otto Becker. Ewing gets to the heart of what worries Becker: “You might not always know what you’ve got till it’s gone, but Becker won’t let you forget what’s going”. With beautiful photographs Becker documents, among other things, the rainforests of Malaysia. The beauty of his images in the Habitat I series completely removes the horrors this terra incognita once exuded. The photographs that Becker made for the Habitat II series, however, reveal a new kind of horror, i.e. the trail of destruction that…

4 min.

International Carlo Scarpa Prize for Gardens Awarded to Maredolce-La Favara Gardens, Palermo, Italy Maredolce-La Favara in Palermo, Italy, has been awarded the International Carlo Scarpa Prize for Gardens 2015. It is the 26th in the series of annual awards made by the Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche. Maredolce-La Favara lies at the heart of the Brancaccio District of Palermo, in an area that has come to be known as the Conca d’Oro, and which stands as a tangible reminder of landscape in the Arab and Norman civilisations in Sicily. Today the area is a vast depression, but in the past it was a huge reservoir with an irregularly shaped island at its centre and a magnificent palace standing on its edge. It now has ranks of recently-built houses on two sides. Within…

2 min.

MARIO SCHJETNAN has been selected as the winner of the IFLA – Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award 2015, the premier award for landscape architecture. He was born in Mexico City, Mexico, and studied architecture at the National University of Mexico, graduating in 1968. From 1968 to 1970, he studied landscape architecture with an emphasis in Urban Design at the University of California, Berkeley. His mentors during this period were well-known figures such as Garret Eckbo, Donald Appleyard and Robert Twiss. In 1984, he received the Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. In 1995, the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Léon awarded him an Honorary PhD in Architecture. As Chief of Urban Design and Housing at the National Institute of Housing for Workers (INFONAVIT) in…