The New Bund in Shanghai

With only 12 days to the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai you have probably seen images of the new Expo site with its amazing pavilions. But there is more going on in Shanghai in the last 2-3 years than the construction of Expo. Last month the main promenade in Shanghai known as the Bund or Waitan was recently reopened after a two years of renovation which involved removing the main elevated expressway onramp and constructing a new traffic tunnel under the fill length of the road and the pedestrian promenade was widened and extended.

The Bund is a historical piece of the city that has dramatically changed from in the last century from a mud flat riverbank with wooden planks for baording boats and ships whilst overlooking the opposite bank of farmland to becoming a thriving pedestrian promenade in front of buildings dating from 1880’s to 1930’s now overlooking a modern metropolis of contemporary architecture; most of which was built in the last decade.

The renovated Bund is 2000 metres long (1.25 miles) with three levels – roadside, promenade and lower level plazas beside the river. The new Bund has done away with the concrete upstand walls replaced with a curved balustrade which is more comfortable to lean against and watch the ships, barges and ferries go by whilst looking across at Lujiazui, the modern financial district.

The new expansive bund is accessed by long ramps that  create dramatic sense of arrival to the promenade which is paved in light coloured large unit granite paving and timber paving replacing the small sized pink ceramic tile (installed in a 1993 renovation). The new design also includes some new wave like glass sculptural roofs that give a different architectural dynamic although they are placed at the south end to ensure an unobstructed view of the historical buildings.

The renovation of  the Bund also includes renovated and new ferry terminal & jetties, a renovated weather station, thematic lighting and water sprays into the river. The lower roadside promenade and plazas are to include commercial shopping and restaurant areas.

The slideshow above can be enlarged to full screen by clicking on the four-arrow button (right side)

If you are coming for Expo or the 2010 IFLA Congress in Suzhou – the Bund is an interesting place to visit and take in the city. We will be featuring other posts about the changes that Shanghai has undergone in the last few years including Expo.

by Damian Holmes (Resident of Shanghai for almost 5 years)

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NZILA Resene Pride of Place Landscape Awards 2010 announced

New Zealand’s prestigious Landscape Architecture Awards ceremony was held on Friday 16th April in Wellington.

‘NZILA Resene Pride of Place Landscape Architecture Awards 2010′ provided a record 127 entrants with tougher competition than ever before. Award-winners, who are chosen by the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects’ judges just once every two years, received Golds, Silvers and Bronzes, while a select few received a Gold or Silver plus additional titles of excellence.

Winner of the event’s most coveted title, the Supreme Award, was Aucklander John Potter of Boffa Miskell Ltd, for his design of St Patrick’s Square by St Patrick’s Cathedral of Wyndham Street, Auckland.

St Patrick's Square by Boffa Miskell Ltd wins the NZILA George Malcolm Supreme Award

For more information and all the winners of NZILA Awards goto the NZILA website

SOURCE: NZILA

IMAGE SOURCE: NZILA

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Harvard changing the profession

Karen Weintraub recently wrote an article for the Boston Globe – At Harvard, landscape architects reinvent roles, link disciplines in which Weintraub interviews Charles Waldheim on how the profession of landscape architecture is changing by winning and managing development projects as the chief consultant.

Waldheim is cited making some great statements about the profession and its future

“There’s an increasing sense that landscape architects are really able to better manage complex urban change over time’’ than people in other professions, he said. Landscape architecture “now ends up being a place where the arts, questions of urbanism, and questions of ecology can connect.’’

Waldhiem also cites work by department member Michael Van Valkenburgh and his role in changing the profession.

Van Valkenburgh’s development of Brooklyn Bridge Park, along the East River waterfront, for instance, reclaims previously industrialized land, knits together development and nature, and provides public space.

The article also cites other staff at Harvard and the role of landscape architecture.

I find the article interesting although stating most of what most in the field know it is great to see and article in the Business section of the major newspaper website discussing the role of landscape architecture in relation to development and climate change.

Read the full article by Karen Weintraub article at the [SOURCE: Boston Globe – At Harvard, landscape architects reinvent roles, link disciplines]

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New York City gains control of Governors Island & releases Master Plan

Mayor Bloomberg announces Governors Island Masterplan

New York City Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Paterson, Assembly Speaker Silver and State Senator Squadron announces an agreement on the long-term development, funding and governance of Governors Island

At a recent press conference Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Governor David A. Paterson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and State Senator Daniel L. Squadron announced an agreement on the long-term development, funding and governance of Governors Island in which New York City will have primary responsibility to develop and operate the island.  The newly-created Governors Island Operating Entity will be responsible for the planning, operation and maintenance of 150 acres of Governors Island.

As a part of the announcement, the City and the State together released the Governors Island Park and Public Space Master Plan, a comprehensive design for 87 acres of open green space, rejuvenating existing landscapes in the National Historic District, transforming the southern half of the island and creating a 2.2 mile Great Promenade along the waterfront. The park and public space plan was designed by a team led by the landscape architecture firm West 8. Governors Island reopens for public use on June 5.  Moving forward with the Park and Public Space Master Plan, schematic design and environmental review will begin later this year and continue through 2011. Following that, community review will commence in 2012, and pending review, the first phase of construction will begin in late 2012.

[SOURCE: New York City]

Below are the renders that were released with the City and State Release Governors Island Park and Public Space Master Plan for 87 Acres of Open Green Space

Visitors stopping at South Battery to enjoy the view

Visitors stopping at South Battery to enjoy the view

The Hammock Grove has shaded lawn and hammocks for relaxing

The Hammock Grove has shaded lawn and hammocks for relaxing

The Lower Level Promenade has spectacular views close to the water

The Lower Level Promenade has spectacular views close to the water

The Shell at Liberty Terrace is integrated into the landscape providing a sculptures seating area

The Shell at Liberty Terrace is integrated into the landscape providing a sculptured seating area

The Hills draw visitors down a pathway into a canyon-like landscape toward the Harbor

The Hills draw visitors down a pathway into a canyon-like landscape toward the Harbor

Ball players and spectators get an amazing view of the Statue of Liberty

Ball players and spectators get an amazing view of the Statue of Liberty

[IMAGE CREDIT: West 8, Rogers Marvel Architects, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, SMWM, Urban Design+]

[IMAGE SOURCE: Governors Island Park & Public Space]

RELATED STORY IN THE PRESS

Also recently published was the architectural review by NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF of the Governors Island Master Plan in the [New York Times – Governors Island Vision Adds Hills and Hammock]

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Plants being used to clean Italy’s polluted canals

Recently published on MIT news is an article about Alan Berger, an associate professor of urban design and landscape architecture at MIT who has determined the best way in which to use plants to clean up the canals of the Pontine Marshes with the help of an interdisciplinary team at MIT.

Read the all about Alan Berger and the project to clean up the Pontine marshes at the
[SOURCE: MIT News - Using plants to purify canal water]

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