INTERVIEW | Matthew Strange | Curbed Young Guns Semi-finalist

Matthew-Strange-Headshot Recently, we heard about Matthew Strange, a landscape architect who has made the Curbed Young Guns semi-finals. Curbed Young Guns is in its first year, aims to identify promising up-and-coming talent (35 and under) in the fields of architecture, interior design, and urban development. We interviewed Matthew via email about making the Curbed Young Guns semi-finals.

WLA: How does it feel to be nominated a Curbed young gun “in the fields of architecture, interior design, and urban development”?
I’m still sort of shocked, actually. The principal of my current firm, Tom Balsley, nominated me a few weeks ago – which was obviously a huge honor, but also very unexpected. He has been a great influence on me as a designer, so I’m truly grateful to him for the opportunity. It makes my upcoming move back to Hoerr Schaudt in Chicago even more bittersweet.

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Bellamy Park | Vlissingen Netherlands | OKRA

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The location of Bellamy Park in Vlissingen is unique, certainly in the Netherlands and because of its relation to the Western Scheldt and the sea. The Bellamy Park, the de Ruyterplein and the Beursplein in Vlissingen form an ensemble of spaces in the context of a changing maritime town. The image of the big ships in town has disappeared. The maritime character presents itself much more refined. The town centre has enlarged itself psychologically, with the developments around the Arsenaal and the fishing harbour, and recently with redeveloped squares and streets.

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Kunshan West High School Master Plan | Kunshan China | Integrated Planning and Design

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Contemporary China has seen swift and dramatic change in recent history.  As a modern nation it struggles to redefine its culture, balancing ancient history with contemporary global values.  In 2011, The City of Kunshan decided to form an education and outreach hub in the west end of the city.  This involved relocating the historic Kunshan West High School, a premier high school in the city, in conjunction with the establishment of a satellite campus for Duke University.

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Rooftop oasis – perennial jungle | Rotterdam Netherlands | Astrid Hölzer

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The scale of the project is quite small, located on a rooftop on a typical Dutch city house built in 1909. Not only small by size, also old in terms of structure. Our ambition was to create a luscious garden space in between the ground and the clouds. In 2005 the roof decking was renewed. A wooden terrace (18 sqm, hardwood FSC), green roof part (approximately 30 sqm), sunroom, indoor stairs, and fence were added.

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Hyllie Plaza | Malmo Sweden | Thorbjörn Andersson with Sweco Architects

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Beech is a character tree for the Swedish southernmost province Scania. The beech also has a few specifics which makes it differ from other trees. The canopy owns a horizontal structure, and together with the equally horizontal position of the single leave this renders an architectural quality to the tree. The smooth, light grey bark makes the trunk resemble a leg of an elephant. The competition entry for the new plaza at Hyllie district in Malmoe was sent in by motto Fagus, which is the scientific name for beech. The idea was to establish a beech forest on the plaza, contributing with a regional identity to a site that lacked most landscape features.

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