The house was finished and so the clients invited the architect (James Davidson Architect
) to test out the spa.. The landscape architect had to present his concept design, done on the iPad.. He hadn’t met the client before and so was reluctant about the spa idea.. He asked “Shall we do the presentation before or after the spa?”. One of the clients was a sound recordist and so he said “I’ve got an aqua pack so lets do the presentation IN the spa”. And so it was, with Black Sabbath playing in the background.. They liked the design..
Did I mention the project, and the spa, was in Queensland?
View Barcelona Landscape Projects (DRAFT) in a larger map
OK Sue-Anne, here it is..
For different reasons, all of these are interesting.. even the ones that are falling to pieces. The more I visit them, the less I think any are really GREAT. For me, the worst is definitely Nouvel’s park. But its public space, and they are used like crazy.
Barcelona took the risks so the rest of the world could learn what to do..
I have taken a number of groups of local and international students around projects in Sydney, which I beehive are world class – there has been something happening in Sydney’s landscape architecture since the Olympics that is establishing a new paradigm about Australian landscape, particularly the postindustrial harbor landscape. Below are maps of projects and walking routes to take to visit them. Some are long.
Visiting sites for gardens in Brisbane, we saw Stewie Vokes from Owen and Vokes through site fencing, pointing at one of their characteristic towers.
We popped in to have a look at one of their promontory rooms, which extends off one side of the Queenslander, stepping up from a brick base to edge a garden court. It has a great old Gehry house feel with its tower and reverse pitch roof. Inside it had a library at the point w raked seating to the view, which maybe was a tiny bit cluttered on the window wall. While the tower and it’s wall provide a dramatic structure and a sensible landscape logic I can still imagine it will just be lawn, and I am encouraged to ask them to treat plants more seriously. Stewie mentioned some ruined steps, part of their ongoing reverse archeology project.
For me, as it often is, it’s the serious treatment of the interior in a conceptual sense that impresses me w some architecture. OV work with the Queenslander in what would once have been described as an “uncanny” way: like a Russian doll or a Japanese tea house, the program space wraps around a dark empty centre, kitchen in the built in Varanda or sleep out. With its Scandinavian black painted timber (not liked by all) and the expressed vernacular structure external, now internal, there is a nice inside outside quality to the existing building. There is something odd to the Quuenslander house and Owen and Vokes are arguably the best at articulating it.
Every so often I get asked what to visit in Paris, and of course the answer is EVERYTHING! But its actually hard to get a sense of what to see beyond the PoMo projects in the 1990′s, so here is a Google map of some of the places I recommend. One of the great things about French landscape is that the projects are like the curates egg: “excellent in parts”.
View Paris Landscape Architecture Projects in a larger map
It’s obvious to say, but nonetheless true, Sea Ranch is an exercise in streamlining.
The Olympic Sculpture park is not interesting for the reasons I thought it would be and was interesting for a whole range of other reasons, not least of which is that it, like many other sites, is a dogs breakfast. For non Australians, a “dogs breakfast” is a total mess. The mess is infrastructure and the fact that there is no site, per se.
Drive from Columbus, Indiana to Louisville (more on the Hargreaves park there later, maybe) and then to St Louis, ostensibly to have dinner w Dorothee Imbert. But of course there was the arch. More Kiley, more Saarinen – a masterwork of scale, trees and topography. The infrastructure is a bit tired, the rivers edge terrible (the project is being revived by van Valkenberg w Beth Meyer helping) but St Louis was nice. I got helped by random people as I packed six months of sh*t into bags and had to cart them around.
I went to Columbus to see Kiley at the Miller Garden but I couldn’t take any photos. Was probably better that way.
Speaking about a municipal language of landscape design in America is difficult because the idea of the public, public authorities or even the civic seems antithetical to American versions of democracy and capitalism. Because freedom is liberation, it is also isolation. The idea of the public constrains those who don’t need it, and therefore don’t want to feel compelled to pay for it.
While community is deeply valued, it is voluntary, created and maintained by sub-groups of people with similar values who, while generous to each other, do not necessarily feel like they should have to support people outside their group.