WLA calls for more landscape architecture at the 2016 Venice Biennale

Recently, the Board of the la Biennale di Venezia has appointed Alejandro Aravena as Director of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition (Venice Biennale). On his appointment Alejandro Aravena stated that

“There are several battles that need to be won and several frontiers that need to be expanded in order to improve the quality of the built environment and consequently people’s quality of life……The 15th International Architecture Exhibition will be about focusing and learning from architectures that through intelligence, intuition or both of them at the same time, are able to escape the status quo. We would like to present cases that, despite the difficulties, instead of resignation or bitterness, propose and do something. We would like to show that in the permanent debate about the quality of the built environment, there is not only need but also room for action”.

The question is will we see more landscape architecture at the 2016 Venice Biennale? I am hoping that Aravena looks to landscape architects to provide some voices on the “debate about the quality of the built environment”. After attending the 2014 Biennale – Fundamentals – that was beautifully curated by Rem Koolhaas, however there were few pavilions or exhibits focusing on landscape.

I understand that the 2016 Venice Biennale and all biennales are architecture exhibitions but often landscape architecture and landscape architects are under represented and whilst walking around the 2014 Biennale I felt that one of the most important fundamentals – the landscape – which is the site and context within in architecture is placed was not acknowledged. I hope that Alejandro Aravena heeds my call for more representation of landscape architecture at the 2016 Venice Biennale and allows landscape architects access to curate part or whole exhibitions to be able to participate in the “permanent debate about the quality of the built environment”.

Landscape Architecture is a key part of the design conversation about the quality of the built environment and how we can improve urban and rural life through positive design outcomes. I look forward to visiting the 15th International Architecture Exhibition that will take place from 28 May to 27 November 2016.

Damian Holmes
Editor – World Landscape Architecture

Estrella Hall at Estrella Mountain Community College | Avondale, USA | Colwell Shelor Landscape Architecture

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The landscape contiguous to Estrella Mountain Community Colleges new Library and Conference Center is designed to reinforce the fabric of the campus by continuing a series of linked garden spaces.  The building design concept was conceived as a pavilion within the landscaped campus core and as a backdrop for the garden spaces around it.  Permeability and visual openness of the ground floor are key elements of the architecture as the gardens become a new campus centerpiece and central core for the campus.

Continue reading Estrella Hall at Estrella Mountain Community College | Avondale, USA | Colwell Shelor Landscape Architecture

VIDEO | See the South Padre Island Nature and Birding Center from an inhabitants perspective

Aerial South Padre Island Nature and Birding Center from Baha Media on Vimeo.

South Padre Island Nature and Birding Center was completed in 2009 by SSP Design, recently Baha Media filmed an aerial perspective taking in the many areas of the center and surrounding wetland areas. The video gives an interesting perspective and allows us to see how the vegetation and project have “grown-in” over the last 5-6 years.

Landscape Master Planning & Design | SSSP Design, LLC
Location | South Padre Island, TX
Architect | Richter Architects
Builder | Terry Ray Construction
Landscape Contractor | Green Thumb Landscape, Southern Landscapes

Video Credit | Baha Media

The Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center Campus Master Plan | Los Angeles, USA | AHBE Landscape Architects

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Using the Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Medical Center Campus as a catalyst to create a “Community of Health and Wellness”, the project’s Planning Team developed a master plan that proposes a broad-based wellness approach with a 20-year implementation plan. The master plan features a series of practical and incremental improvements that foster strong community connections, establishes a new area identity and creatively addresses the social, economic, and environmental quality issues within this community.

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Continue reading The Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center Campus Master Plan | Los Angeles, USA | AHBE Landscape Architects

Park n’ Play | Northern Harbor, Denmark | Active City Transformation

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The parking facility PARK N’ PLAY is ACTs ambitious competition proposal that seeks to reinvent the parking house typology. The project that was developed in January 2014 amplifies the urban qualities and activities by prolonging the range of these up through the elevations and on to the roof. With a breathing and adaptable façade system the four facades are designed specifically for their four very different urban relations. Through an adaptable façade system of steel frames and stretch metal sheets a green strategy is incorporated to give shelter from sun and rain and yet offer an added value to the interior of the building complex.

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Continue reading Park n’ Play | Northern Harbor, Denmark | Active City Transformation

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