Mediating Strata: Connecting Landscape, Building & Artifact

If landscape and human habitation are two dynamic forces that the built environment is able to draw from over time, how can architecture as a constructed entity engage in a more explicitly reciprocal relationship with the different components of a place? More specifically, how might architecture operate as a mediator between the layers of a site such that its manifold relationships to time and place are activated in the present?

The site and program in this project draw from two city blind spots in Ottawa–one a semi-vacated post-industrial landscape on the Ottawa River, the other a compound-like cultural institution–the Library and Archives of Canada, both of which possess different forms of collections. These represent layers of the geological landscape, the built environment and the cultural artifact, which are hidden or inactive to some degree within the fabric of the city and have been treated in this project as found elements to be used as a way of testing the thesis question. What emerged from the iterative visual, factual, and interpretive readings of the area formed the basis for the design of a looped path system and two interventions in the landscape.

A path was chosen as the means through which the various strata uncovered on the site could be negotiated, connected, and framed in a material and perceptual relationship with the individual. The trajectory offers a temporal experience that is based in the present as a body moves through space, while it simultaneously offers the possibility of engaging with static elements found in a landscape marking the past. Essentially the looped path design enables multiple ways of understanding the same objects and structures in space.

canadianarchitect.com – Canadian Architect – 1/10/2008.
Written by Erin Hunt, Dalhousie University, Ottawa for her Student Award of Excellence

Sydney Design Guide

The Sydney Design Guide has just been launched which gives a great insight to all the things a local person would show you. It encompasses architecture, built environment, objects, industrial design, fashion, art, visual culture, eat/sleep/drink
and a section on Design Resources. A great book for any design professional heading to Sydney.

AILA – Summer Newsletter

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects release Summer issue of LA Online.

Download the pdf here

Get soul into the city, landscape chief urges

Perth’s vast potential is being strangled by over-reliance on cars and poor use of public space resulting in bland, soulless suburbs, according to Australian Institute of Landscape Architects new WA president Greg Grabasch.

Mr Grabasch said Perth, with its abundance of natural beauty, had the potential to be a world-class city but years of leaving landscape and streetscape design to planners who had not been trained in creating effective public spaces was killing the city’s character.

Get soul into the city, landscape chief urges : thewest.com.au – TIFFANY LAURIE

Going green with a cycleway above the streets

LIKE the walkways built in the canopies above rainforests, North Sydney Council hopes to lift pedestrians and cyclists above the urban jungle, with an ambitious plan to build an elevated path running from the southern end of the Harbour Bridge to as far north as Falcon Street.

The path, still at the concept stage and estimated to cost up to $30 million, would run 2 kilometres from the deck level of the bridge to St Leonards Park and Falcon Street along the Warringah Freeway. The council hopes that by bypassing North Sydney’s hilly streets, traffic congestion and car pollution, many more people will walk or ride to work.

Going green with a cycleway above the streets – Environment – smh.com.au. Sydney Morning Herald

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