Art et Architecture

Topos N. 112

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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3 min.
microbiological landscapes

How do we plan and design greener, healthier, human-centered, sustainable and resilient urban spaces and architecture? Maybe by means of algae? This image shows the PhotoSynthEtica Tower Linz, by ecoLogicStudio (with Innsbruck University and the Bartlett UCL for the Upper Austria Cultural Institute). (p.24) Dear readers, the topic of the new topos issue is green technologies. The term may come across as an oxymoron at times; yet, coming to think about the current global challenges, it may actually prove to be a highly useful and sensible notion. Let’s remind ourselves: we are faced with a nexus of complex issues – climate change, air and water pollution, digitalization, urbanization, depletion of energy and other raw material sources, poverty, migration, pandemics. These issues need to be solved without further impacting our climate, putting…

1 min.
human intervention

“Discover mysterious caves – Mexico’s hidden oases – Absolute Adventure Mexico….” When researching the definition and significance of cenotes online, such tourism-related references are predominant. Munich-based photographer Olaf Otto Becker has approached these places – natural pits or sinkholes that expose groundwater – in a completely different way. He examines the effect the influx of tourists has on the preservation of cultural traditions and landscapes. For the Mayans cenotes were holy places. Where once the sick were brought to be healed, now anyone with enough money can buy such a cave as a tourist enterprise. For an entry fee one can then swim in its pools or discover the cave with diving gear and a hired guide. All-inclusive packages offer bus transfers from and to the hotel, and include a…

4 min.
“black lives matter in landscapes.”

Marc Miller Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at The Pennsylvania State University There are implicit and explicit relationships between landscape, power, and race; and designers need to identify visions that are more inclusive. The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota requires us to reflect on how we can create diverse and equitable spaces, and these are questions with international implications. The impact of the events of 25 May 2020 reached well past the American Midwest and triggered moves to make public spaces more accessible to Black people and those who experience racial inequality globally. Is it possible to imagine Black people in public spaces without derivative stereotypes? Can open spaces be transformed to reflect the needs and visions of Black people? Are there different ways to bring this idea into the…

1 min.
paolo l. bürgi

Paolo L. Bürgi is a landscape architect based in Camorino, Switzerland. He is adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania, visiting professor at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia and at the Politecnico di Milano. He has participated in many international competitions winning several prizes, such as the “CERN-Route de Meyrin” in Switzerland or the “Helsinki Töölönlathi Parks” in Finland and the “The Rosa Barba International Landscape Architecture Prize” for the Cardada project in Switzerland in 2003. 1 INFLUENCED BY All the arts that left their traces within me. 2 INSPIRED BY Ernst Cramer’s courageous gestures and visions. Later my eyes were opened by Luis Barragan. His work has made me understand the intrinsic force and beauty of essentiality in architecture. 3 WHY LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE? It is extraordinarily difficult and, at the same time, tremendously…

1 min.
cornelia hahn oberlander

Born in 1921 in Mülheim-Ruhr, Germany, Cornelia immigrated 1938 to the US. She earned a diploma from Smith College in 1944 and continued her studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. In 1953 she established her own design firm in Vancouver, British Columbia and became known for her collaborative, socially responsible, and environmentally thoughtful work. In 2019 The Cultural Landscape Foundation established the Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize (tclf.org/oberlanderprize). 1 INFLUENCED BY My mother Beate Hahn. She wrote gardening books while living in Berlin, was an avid gardener, educator and a good friend of Karl Foerster. But she was strict and when we immigrated to the US, I had to find my own path to landscape architecture. 2 INSPIRED BY Having been painted, with my sister Charlotte, by Sabine Lepsius, a…

4 min.

One of the globe's largest emerging conurbations stretches along the south-facing coast of West Africa, reaching from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, to Lagos, Nigeria. Accra and its sister city Tema are located roughly in the middle between these two end points and make up a 50-kilometer stretch of urbanized area on the Trans-West African Coastal Highway, which connects the urban nodes of the region. Accra is the political capital, commercial center and largest city of Ghana, one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. As such, it brings together people from multiple backgrounds including the northern regions of the country that border the Sahel. Openness and tolerance for different cultures, value systems and lifestyles can be sensed throughout the city. Virtually all neighborhoods of Accra are diverse as tenants with links…