Lansdowne Park Design Competition entries revealed

*UPDATE*
Seems who ever wins of June 4 when the winner of the Lansdowne Park Competition will have to deal with a large amount of consultation with stakeholders and be ready to compromise on parts of there design as Parks Canada and Ontario Heritage Trust raise concerns about some of the design – Read more at the
Ottawa Citizen – Lansdowne makeover hits new snags

Recently the City of Ottawa revealed the five designs submitted by design firms for the redevelopment of the Lansdowne Park area. The designs where labeled as anonymous entrants (although if you have seen prior work of the entrants you can guess who’s design is who’s). The entrants included the following design firms:

  • Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
  • Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
  • SWA Group
  • West 8
  • Williams, Asselin, Ackaoui & Associates

What is encouraging is that 5 firms developed differing designs and approaches to the space, often competitions can fall flat as the designs can mimic each other. This also shows that the competition brief was not too restrictive in its design constraints on entrants. The entries all offer different approaches but it is great to see entrants have given thought to the integration of  storm water, heritage, planting, public art with some being more resolved and effective than others.

The design presentations are all of good quality and show that as landscape architects we can produce amazingly presented design work. However, some of the presentation graphics where more polished than others; this may have to do with the size of the firm or there international resources and will be seen if this made a difference when the design firms for each entry are revealed.

The design entries are interesting with many different approaches to spatial arrangement, program & function, circulation, aesthetics, seasons, public art, water, budgets. However, I feel that the all the designs have the same issues which is true of much of current landscape architecture. These issues are compartmentalization, under programming (lack of cross programming) and international design style.

Compartmentalization and under programming are interlinked in that when designing we draw a bubble around an area and state this shall be X and this is Y. Programming should be cross programmed and programs should be allowed to extend beyond the boundaries of an area to create a more dynamic design. Some of the greatest cities and designs in the world are when two uses and/or programs intermingle to create an interesting and energetic place.

International design style which has in recent years grown more pronounced as the globalisation of landscape architecture services takes place. In some ways international design can be beneficial as firms can offer a unique perspective on the area and use their experience of other cultures and designs. However, often the culture of the place can be lost or represented with the token piece of public art or a local sport placed in the design. The design entries presentations sometimes fell into this ‘international design style’ in which the design could have been anywhere in the world or northern hemisphere. How we improve on this is yet to be determined and will be one of the many issues that as landscape architects we face as we design landscapes across the globe.

I also found it interesting that only one of the design entries featured French text for a design competition held for a site in the capital of an officially bilingual country. Maybe it wasn’t a request of the brief; however I find it interesting to see what language was used when presenting a design in a different country and culture from the design firms.

Overall to decide on a winner will be hard and will require deliberation, resident feedback and evaluation of budgets. I hope that the winning design is implemented in its entirety over a well staged implementation. Congratulations to all the teams for producing amazing presentations that shows that landscape architects can produce high-quality world class designs.

Below are the plans and one image from each design. If you would like to see all the designs and presentations go to the City of Ottawa – Lansdowne Park.

IMAGE SOURCE: City of Ottawa

IMAGE CREDITS: All images are copyright of the entrants – currently anonymous

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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UK Landscape Award call for entries

Recently a website was launched for the UK Landscape Award which was created by the European Landscape Convention and helps to implement it in the UK. The winner will become the UK’s entry to the Landscape Award of the Council of Europe (COE) which will be decided by the COE in March 2011. The Award has only been run once before; this is the first time that it has taken place in the UK.

The Award is a great opportunity for organisations (local or regional authority; or a grouping of local or regional authorities; or non-governmental organisation) to showcase their best landscape projects, highlighting their role in making good places and establishing community involvement in the process.

In the UK, the European Landscape Convention is championed by DEFRA, the Welsh Assembly Government, the Scottish Government and the Department of the Environment Northern Ireland. The Landscape Institute has been appointed to manage the UK Award.

Entries close on 27 August 2010. To find our more go to the UK Landscape Award website.

WORLD LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT is not involved with organising or promotion of this Award please address all queries to the contact details at UK Landscape Award.

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Gulf Landscaping opens in Abu Dhabi

Gulf Landscaping 2010 starts in Abu Dhabi, UAE today with His Excellency H.E. Rashid Mubarak Al Hajeri, Chairman of the Department of Municipal Affairs inaugurating the event which will showcase both the theory and shared best practice for those involved in the Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 vision.  Speakers involved include Masdar architects Foster+Partners and SWA Group, landscape architects for the 11-hectare green oasis including plazas, pools and promenades that surround the Burj Khalifa. Gulf Landscaping is held in the centre of a cash rich market with an estimated US$1000 billion of projects planned or underway in the Gulf, with the UAE alone accounting for a third of this. Gulf Landscaping takes place at ADNEC, Abu Dhabi on 29, 30 and 31 March 2010.

World Landscape Architect is a supporter of Gulf Landscaping 2010.

Gateway Arch International Design Competition *UPDATE*

With the January 26 deadline looming for firms to register their interest in the international design competition and 90 firms already registering interest, the CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation announced the members of  the competition jury. The jury consisting of landscape architects, architects, urban designers, critics, curators and a former Deputy Director of the National Park Service coming from across the USA.

The jury members are:
· Robert Campbell, architecture critic at The Boston Globe and contributing editor for Architectural Record

· Gerald Early, Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters and Director of the African and Afro-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis

· Denis P. Galvin, former Deputy Director of the National Park Service

· Alex Krieger, founding principal of Chan Krieger Sieniewicz, architecture and urban design firm and professor at the Harvard School of Design, Cambridge, Mass.

· David C. Leland, an urban strategist and managing director of the Leland Consulting Group, Portland, Ore.

· Cara McCarty, curator of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York City

· Laurie D. Olin, partner and landscape architect of the OLIN Studio, Philadelphia

· Carol Ross Barney, founder and Principal of Ross Barney Architects, Chicago

The winning design will be announced in October 2010, with the resulting work completed by October 28, 2015 – the 50th anniversary of the completion of the Arch.

Firms have until Jan. 26, 2010 to register for the competition and submit for Stage I of the competition. The jury will then select those firms with the most outstanding portfolios to continue in the competition.

Additional information can be found at www.cityarchrivercompetition.org.

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