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

Forumtorget | Uppsala Sweden | White arkitekter

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Image Credit | Bo Gyllander

In 2011 White arkitekter was winner of the competition for the Forumtorget project in Uppsala. The proposal, with its subdued paving, expressive sofa and generous plateau, is powerful, substantive and empathetic. Here, the people of Uppsala have a natural meeting place and an open breathing space within the built-up business district. The project will be realized in 2016 after the reconstruction of the adjacent building is finished.

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St. Tropez Estate | St. Tropez, France | DR+A and SGI

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Perched on a serene hilltop overlooking the Mediterranean Ocean, the St. Tropez property is being revisioned into a cohesive development that reflects both its unique setting and modern vision of a country estate. The consolidated property dates from the 1970’s and is split into two separate properties by title on a single undivided plot of land that is approximately seven hectares. The property is primarily a wooded parkland with commanding views of the surrounding region and is located minutes away from the well-known Mediterranean resort town.
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St Vincent Plaza in Glasgow launches public realm

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LDA Design were the Landscape Architects for the public realm scheme which forms part of the St Vincent Plaza development in Glasgow. The completion of this significant public space within the heart of the city marks LDA Design’s first constructed public realm project in Scotland. The space will be formally opened to the public when practical completion of the building is fully completed in September.

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A Pool perfect for summer in Tuscany by Giuseppe Lunardini

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When an entrepreneur who works in the marble business gave me the chance to design the garden for his brand new house up on the hills of Ortonovo, close to the Mediterranean coast, I suddenly knew I would reflect his personality in a carved landscape.

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I applied all the design principles I have learned from Porcinai’s School of Florence and did my best to design a garden in perfect harmony with this territory, as if it was the missing piece of a bigger puzzle.

The whole property is 6.200 square metres, including an olive grove. I created a series of green rooms such as the swimming pool area, the outdoor kitchen, the entrance garden and the parking area which are designed and planned close to the building but get more natural and more nuanced as you move away from the house.

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