This summer the designers of the Union Street Urban Orchard will return to 100 Union Street, Southwark in London to transform a derelict site into the Urban Physic Garden, a pop-up community built garden celebrating medicinal plants, which will host an on-site cafe and summer festival of events. The Urban Physic Garden will be shaped by the hospital and the pharmacy, with a focus on medicinal plants and herbs. From wild seeds in vacant lots to domestic herbs found in back gardens to exotic species gathered around the world, plants have been used to cure all kinds of ills -from traditional remedies in teas and tonics to the latest cutting-edge pharmaceutical treatments.
The Urban Physic Garden was designed and produced by Wayward Plants, a collective of designers, artists and urban growers under the creative direction of landscape architect Heather Ring. The garden will be host to a range of invited artists projects, including the return of Oliver Bishop-Young’s ping-pong skip and a UK premier of the play-structures designed by the Serbian collective Skart, previously shown at the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale.
From 11 June until 15 August the Urban Physic Garden will open to the public. The opening weekend on 11/12 June will saw a free programme of events, talks and workshops exploring medicinal plants and the health and well being of urban environments. IMAGES Courtesy of Urban Physic Garden
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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
Highline Stage 2 from West 30th Street, looking South ©Iwan Baan 2011
The Stage 2 section of the Highline designed by James Corner Field Operations with Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Piet Oudolf, and Buro Happold has opened to the public. The opening of the new section doubles the length of the public park. After years of planning, design and construction, the High Line is now one mile long, running from Gansevoort Street to West 30th Street, connecting the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea, and Hell’s Kitchen.
For a full web gallery and summary of each area
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