LILA 2019 Winners
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19 June 2019: It is our great pleasure to announce the winners of the fourth edition of LILA – Landezine International Landscape Award. We thank all offices that submitted their entries this year! We thank LILA 2019 jury members who selected recognitions in all project categories. They are Catherine Mosbach, Georges Descombes, Jenny Osuldsen, Martin Rein-Cano and Shane Coen!

The award ceremony with presentations will take place in Sicli Pavillion in Geneva, Switzerland on Friday, September 20th, starting at 14:00 and concluding with a small party in the evening. We are happy to announce that our programme will be a part of an urbanism festival called ‘Quinzaine de l’Urbanisme’. More info and details will be available in the next week or two on this website.

We congratulate all recognized teams!

LILA 2019 Honour Award Winner is Michael van Gessel

The work of Michael van Gessel (b. 1948) spans over several decades and is comprised of landscape architecture, urban planning, and supervision of large scale developments. After his studies at Wageningen University in 1978, he was employed in Bureau B+B for 18 years, the last seven as its director. He presided over many juries, among others for the Rosa Barba Prize and Landscape Architecture Europe editions. He retired in 2015 and lives in Amsterdam.

His landscape projects are all about silent change. In his book Invisible Work, van Gessel states his objective is to design spaces in a way that they feel as if they’ve been there since always. While his approach is about mastering restraint and subtle creativity, he was never afraid to chop down some trees in order to make the view. His works are precise, subtle, minimal, timeless, but at the same time bold, playful and always interesting!

His approach is the perfect antidote to formalism and to projects wanting too much. His body of work is a library many can learn from now and in the times to come.

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LILA 2019 Office of the Year Winner is Studio Vulkan

Studio Vulkan is a Zürich based landscape architecture practice. They are not bound to finding a formula for their projects, but rather seem to be more interested in re-questioning everything a project might bring: context, ambience and all available tools for solving problems and making an experience. They are not committed to finding a style, although there is a notion of ‘relaxed aesthetics’ present in most of their projects that is well-anchored in the project narrative.

Toni Areal, for example, is a roof garden, an urban oasis that uses only time to make itself more defined by natural forces, and one in particular – decay. Exposing the beauty of decay, or decay itself, is still a taboo across our profession; oddly enough, in an age when nature is in focus. Similarly, Park Naturmuseum St. Gallen is dealing with ‘artificial naturalness’. It aims to question the occurrence of nature in an entirely artificial/urban context. Studio Vulkan seem to enjoy introducing intentional imperfections, knowing that in this way, their works are far more interesting. For Park Naturmuseum they wrote in the project narrative: “In addition to the predominantly native plants, exotic hydrangeas stand for the paradox of the place.”

In times, when our profession still produces a monoculture of ideas resulting in sameness, Studio Vulkan is showing the way to keep landscape architecture interesting. Their work provokes an endless curiosity while also featuring a catalogue of solutions to a range of relevant issues.

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Winning Projects

LILA 2019 Ex-Aequo Winner in Public Landscapes is Objets Trouvés by with

The project Objets Trouvés convinces with outstanding artistic quality and visible historical awareness. Moving the bunker from its ancestral place and letting it re-appear in a new one is both astonishing and effective. This blunt dislocation, which first reacts to infrastructural requirements and finally turns the bunker into a ready-made, creates a whole new quality of visual perception. It is in this aesthetic space of resonance, where contemporary infrastructure development ultimately becomes conceivable as a possible instalment of the European warfare history. Consequently, the actual traces of history are kept visible with a genuine purpose – although this required such an action as moving a bunker. As a bold and even radical gesture, the project inscribes itself in the infusible tension between past, present, and future on the one hand, and between absence and presence on the other. In doing so, it formulates a notable reference point for the contemporary discipline of landscape architecture as an artistically informed cultural practice.

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LILA 2019 Ex-Aequo Winner in Public Landscapes is Scenic Path Along Igualada’s Old Gypsum Mines by

A beautiful and extremely subtle design, Scenic Path is a gesture drawn so as to offer a discovery of ‘what is already there’ and ‘what has been there’ a long time ago. A clever, precise design of a path, with a sophisticated geometrical set of shifting positions, where platforms, seats or walls organize the views far away, and with the same movements build a very strong sense of place. The materiality of the realization continues and reinforces the design with a great coherence, forming this precise architectonic play with a restrained number of materials. A presence arises – a collision of space and time – and you experience a landscape at the same time very old and very new.

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LILA 2019 Winner in Infrastructure Projects is Noordwaard by with

The Noordwaard project is a new 4450-hectare flow area that will prepare The Netherlands for the rising waters in the ‘Room for The River’ project. With its 12 pumping stations, hydraulic structures, and a large number of bridges, it is a bold but also humble design that respects the water landscape. The bridges have many different functions such as dikes, resting areas for birds, and introduces water in a spectacular way. They also facilitate public access and provide new opportunities for recreation in the de-poldered area. This is a clear statement that design matters because it adds value for people, birds, and water landscape.

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LILA 2019 Winner in Residential Landscapes is Coteau Saint Barbe by

Coteau Saint Barbe is a smart and beautiful ‘stitch’ of the urban and the natural. It offers the link between the two and also effectively uses water dynamics from higher up the slope. With a simple gesture it adds an immense value to the living outdoors at Coteau Saint Barbe.

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LILA 2019 Winner in Hospitality is Clouds – Vanke Art & Aesthetic Center by

Often landscape designs for hotels and resorts are too full of everything and enclosed, gated, disconnected from the outside world. There is a pressure that landscape needs to be perfect all the time. The Hospitality award was introduced to promote a project that can welcome visitors, tourists, and temporary residents differently. ‘Clouds’ establish the experience not by looking into its own created pocket arcadia, but by absorbing and framing the surroundings. It creates a space of confrontation between visitors and landscape.

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LILA 2019 Winner in Private Gardens is ROOTED IN CLAY _ WY Garden Winnipeg by

If we can say that a private garden is an experimental place for domestic life, Rooted in Clay is just that. As the name suggests, the project is about taming a very dynamic topological context and at the same time keeping the feeling of the place wild. Considering the ordinary Canadian suburb, this garden is a surprise. Furthermore, the project reuses city’s leftovers, mainly wooden slabs. Rooted in Clay is about engineering, recycling, and, above all, experience. It accomplishes its goals effectively and gracefully through a sequence of shifting situations. Nature is an ambiguous term, but in a context of suburban residential gardens full of order, Rooted in Clay introduces a relaxed, more natural atmosphere. As such it is a poetic statement and a convivial critique.

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Special Mentions

LILA 2019 Special Mention in Gardens: Sonoma Mountain, California

Sonoma Mountain Garden represents a rigorous approach to minimalist landscape architecture that has a strong collaborative dialogue with the architecture. The garden’s material pallet is contextual, as it pulls in the surrounding landscape through its use of textures, forms and colors. The strong and clearly human-made geometrical patterns offer a complement to the surrounding landscape through contrast. Each space and corridor within the garden are well scaled and present a well-crafted and eloquent suite of details and materials that offer the user a quiet and contemplative landscape that will bring friends and family together.

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LILA 2019 Special Mention in Residential Landscapes: Køge Kyst, Denmark

Køge Kyst poses a question on how to design residential landscape on the beach. The design brings the sand and grasses to the buildings’ doorsteps, offering a mesmerizing and unique experience.

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LILA 2019 Special Mention in Infrastructure Projects: Prins Hendrikzanddijk, Netherlands

The Prins Hendrikzanddijk deals with a dynamic landscape system – a waterfront that faces rising and unpredictable waters. They introduce a dialogue with the native forces, involving them in the emergence of the ‘islands’. The project addresses the interaction between liquid and solid, the still and the moving. It invites biodiversity, offers a beautiful space for recreation and, most of all, excellently illustrates an alternative way of design by working with time, instead of working against it.

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Projects Jury


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