Last month the International Horticultural Expo opened in Xi’an. This international exhibition is not just about gardening, but also covers the technology of cultivating nature and land use in the broadest sense. For China this is the next major international event after the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
At the International Horticultural Expo, the focus is on relationship between man and nature. Thus there is a strong emphasis on sustainability. Because of the substantial and rapid urbanization in China, there is emphasis on sustainable urban transformation. Therefore, Xi’An is an interesting choice of location for the International Horticultural Expo. Xi’An is the ancient capital of China. It is known from the Terracotta Army and for centuries a major cultural center. Today, it is an important knowledge city with some 100 universities and research institutes in the vicinity. It aims to be the greenest city in China to be. Xi’An wants to set an example for other cities, and the Expo is a showcase for others cities to study.
Continue reading Xian Horticultural Expo 2011 | Holland Garden | Alliance NL
North Lanarkshire Council commissioned Bigg Design and Zero-Waste Design to deliver an exciting project that saw the regeneration of an underpass in Cumbernauld with stunning lighting and mural designs.
Working with local school pupils and engaging with members of the community, we developed a design that transforms the experience of using the underpass (previously a dark, intimidating area subject to vandalism) into an inspiring, unique journey that feels bright, airy and welcoming.
Murals on the underpass walls celebrate scenes from the local landscape of Cumbernauld and include a mixture of people, parks, wildlife, and architecture, whilst the LED lighting slowly changes hue over the course of the night to symbolise the colourful lighting transitions from day to night to day. A large group of pupils were involved in the creation of the mural, which has enabled them to have a sense of ownership of the space that they pass on their daily journey to school.
Continue reading Craiglinn Underpass | Cumbernauld Scotland | Bigg Design
The West 8 exhibition titled ‘Il Paradiso Nascosto’ (The Stolen Paradise) for the series ‘NATURE’ was recently opened to the public at the MAXXI Museum in Rome, Italy. The exhibition features an installation of transparent biopolymer tree silhouettes, whose light diffusion, subtle shadows, layered stratification and delicate movement creates a fantastical atmosphere. It is a light, sensuous installation whose counterpart, in the form of 21 cor-ten steel tree stump silhouettes, is found in the museum courtyard. The installation is accompanied by seven of West 8’s projects which share the same spirit of poetic narrative as a dialogue between the artificial and the natural: Leidsche Rijn park, the Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge Barrier, the Bridges in Borneo-Sporenburg, the Botanic Bridge in Gwangju, as well as the more recent Governors Island Park in New York, Miami Beach SoundScape / Lincoln Park, and the Madrid RIO urban plan.
Continue reading ‘Il Paradiso Nascosto’ (The Stolen Paradise) | MAXXI Museum Rome | West 8
©Bob Train LRPS
Within the context of a larger historic estate, 17th Century manor house, and landscaped gardens that are often open to the public, the 5 Hectare meadow garden used an area where silt from the adjacent dredged lake had been dumped and spread. Outbuildings were demolished and sight lines adjusted so that the new vistas from the centre of the meadow segments aligned on other key landscape features, either distant or near. The spiral mound at the centre allows visitors to get an overview. Rings of cherry trees help reinforce the circular pathways around the meadows. A new lake edge path runs up to a giant igloo shaped steel arbour where willows are being trained to enclose the outer form.
Continue reading The Meadow Garden | Glouchester UK | Brodie McAllister
A multi level urban landscape realm wrapped around two buildings drove the design towards a highly architectural outcome. ASPECT Studios was engaged to design and document the streetscape, pocket park, podium forecourt and courtyards for this mixed use development in the Docklands.
ASPECT Studios was responsible for the design to 717 Bourke Street public realm areas on ground floor, level 4 podium and connection to ground floor areas and bridge connection to Southern Cross Station, level 5 podium areas and connections to level 4 and private courtyards on level 4.
Continue reading 717 Bourke Street | Melbourne | Aspect Studios
Canal corridor and urban park space © Cadence
Louisiana’s Jefferson Parish awarded Cadence first place and a $30,000.00 prize for its proposed design for the West Esplanade Drainage Canal. Cadence, a full-service planning and landscape architecture firm, used their solution to convert the functional, but blighted canal into a usable green space for the community. The project site is located in Metairie, Louisiana and sits on the western border of New Orleans. The canal runs through both residential and commercial zones, spans 2.4 miles in length, is surrounded by two lanes of traffic on either side and includes vehicular bridges that traverse over the canal. The challenge was to make for a more visual appealing landscape, while maintaining flood protection and canal functionality, ensuring financially feasibility and abiding by regulatory parameters.
Continue reading Cadence Wins Jefferson Parish Canal Design Competition
© Gen Wang
Martha Schwartz Partners was one of nine international landscape design firms to be invited to design a small garden installation on the theme of “the harmonious co-existence of nature and the city” at the 2011 International Horticulture Exhibition in Xi’An, China. The garden will be seen by up to 12 million people between April and October 2011 and may by left permanently as part of the legacy strategy for long-term development of the site. This project is commissioned by Xi’An International Horticultural Exposition Organizing Committee.
Continue reading Xian Horticultural Expo 2011 Master Gardens | Martha Schwartz Partners