LILA 2020 Winners
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30 June 2020: We are proudly announcing the recognitions LILA – Landezine International Landscape Award 2020 recognitions. We thank the members of the jury and all participating practices.

Congratulations to all recognized practitioners!

LILA 2020 Office of the Year Winner is TOPOTEK 1

Landezine team recognizes Berlin based landscape architecture and architecture office Topotek 1 as the winner of the LILA 2020 Office Award. The portfolio of Topotek 1 reflects a unique conceptual approach that is dedicated to solving social issues and practicing landscape architecture as a multilayered and creative cultural discipline. Besides their landscape projects, the editors of Landezine acknowledge their exhibition and book Creative Infidelities, which is a playful yet sober reflection on both their own work and landscape architecture as an open-ended design profession. A quote from Jorge Luis Borges featured in the exhibition perfectly illustrates Topotek 1’s approach to the notions of identity, honesty, and context in terms of landscape design: “The original is unfaithful to the translation”.

LILA Office Award 2020 goes to Topotek 1 for their ability to design layered projects and above all for their refreshing and daring colorfulness in conceptual thinking, which the Landezine team would truly wish to see more of in landscape architecture offices around the world.

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LILA 2020 Honour Award Winner is Charles A. Birnbaum

The Landezine team recognizes the work of Charles A. Birnbaum as an outstanding contribution to the global community of landscape architects. His work has been focused on advocating for the cultural value of landscape heritage in the US. In 1998, Birnbaum founded TCLF – The Cultural Landscape Foundation – which acts as a bridge between American cultural landscapes and the public. Through the various complex programmes and initiatives of TCLF, Birnbaum has shown an ambitious and innovative vision, executed with great precision, enthusiasm and perseverance.

The condition for the landscape architecture community to thrive in a society lies in an understanding of the work we do. Birnbaum has been continuously working on deepening this understanding and communicating the values of the American landscape heritage, both for the places and the people that shaped them.

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Winning Projects

LILA 2020 Winner in Public Landscapes is Phase Shifts Park by

This transformation of an airport into landscape works to balance the extreme climate, the design interlocks three scales: geographical, urban and local. The design meshes precisely formulated climatic and poetic goals in an inextricable way. The reflections of the office are at once complex and simple, of enormous depth, yet with childlike wonder. The design works well on all scales, from the park as a whole to a pedestrian perspective. The jury recognized the relaxed design language of the park that makes it look undetermined, as if it can change at any point. The design shows a powerful mix of a personal design language which doesn’t celebrate itself, but serves the adventures of the visitor through differentiated landscapes, climatic spaces and atmospheres.

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LILA 2020 Winner in Infrastructure Projects is Girona’s Shores by

This on-going project was self-initiated by landscape architecture office EMF – Estudi Marti Franch – in the midst of the global financial crisis. The goal was to make it “big and cheap”, so that the model can be repeated and adapted to many sites. It began by using vegetation maintenance to design public spaces in Girona. In this case, the landscape architect is not just the designer, but also a social catalyst who enables positive change. The jury recognized not only the process, but especially the result, which is a system of low-cost, modest, poetic and above all useful spaces that greatly enrich the quality of life for the people of Girona.

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LILA 2020 Winner in Schools and Playgrounds is Fold’s childhood by

Folds works above all as sculpture-play-scape. While the design tools are simple, they offer a layered complexity within this simplicity, so as to cater for various uses. The play of shapes, levels and morphology makes it interesting to the various age groups of the nearby kindergarten as well as children from the area. The project is about the play between two materials which reflects geological processes that formed the Jura Mountains. In this way it establishes a unique and strong visual language and an engaging playground. On a larger scale it enriches the well-known modernist design approach of the surrounding residential area; the contrast between the orthogonal housing and more nature-inspired landscape forms.

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LILA 2020 Winner in Residential Landscapes is Flyvestation Værløse by

The jury recognized a very different approach to the typology of residential landscape, where one would usually find very determined structures, designed to the very last square meter. Instead, Juul Frost Architects explored how a surrounding landscape can be brought into the residential area and how the buildings fit into the surrounding landscape. In the ‘inner’ area, small patches of what looks like local vegetation are placed in a very relaxed design language, emphasizing the qualities of the surrounding landscape and translating it excellently to a smaller scale.

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LILA 2020 Winner in Hospitality is Landscape architecture for Terra Dominicata Hotel & winery by

Using simple and graceful design language, the project succeeds in creating a new interpretation of local traditional craftsmanship and history. It is in the combination of strong spatial and material uses and detailing with fulfilling sustainable goals that sets the project apart.

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LILA 2020 Ex Aequo Winner in Private Gardens is Ellipse Garden by

The jury recognized the tension and the atmospheric density that was achieved by well-known tools of garden design. The use of historic structures successfully establishes different ambiences and opens views that change the perception of the space, orientation and the scale of this relatively small plot. The garden was designed to catch changing seasons and light and synthesize them into a dramatic display of change. Ellipse garden is also a gardener’s laboratory, and reflects the joy in cultivating, playing and experimenting with plants and their characteristics.

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LILA 2020 Ex Aequo Winner in Private Gardens is Anticipating the Landscape by

The garden successfully builds on the relation between the surrounding landscape and the site. On one side of the house, it uses the approach of borrowed landscapes, establishing a connection between the garden and the pastorality of the adjacent agricultural land. On the other side of the plot it makes a clear differentiation, a contrast between the meadow and the lush woods. The garden also offers a sequence of various interesting ambiences.

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Special Mentions

LILA 2020 Special Mention in Hospitality category: Cloud of Hometown Landscape Design, China

The project text humbly tells of the team’s aim to return the site to its rural integrity and local traditional building ways, away from the usual domination of design techniques. Yet the contemporary intervention succeeds in creating a strong independent design expression which successfully augments and strengthens the beauty of the site itself. The structures and plantings merge in creating densely atmospheric spaces.

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LILA 2020 Special Mention in Infrastructure Projects: Ballerup Boulevard, Denmark

As a part of a larger planning scheme for reducing traffic, Ballerup Boulevard provides a pilot project for transforming our car-oriented, oversized streets into multi-functional transit ways with human scale and character. The charming yet straight-forward design language of path geometries and planting beds allows the user to move through a coherent whole and at the same time differentiates sequence of spaces. Over time the plantings will create a lush, dense green corridor.

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LILA 2020 Special Mention in Public Landscapes: Lifting The Palm Grove To a Higher Level, Morocco

The structure was established as a landmark, social magnet, a site part of, yet distinct from, landscape. Its intervention is a sensitive, precise study of village imagery, social life, as well as the movement through a broader landscape. It enhances village life on multiple levels while creating a gentle, internal world for women in a society where women’s public facilities are almost non-existent. The humbleness with which usual goals of public space are achieved is emphasized through the rawness and simplicity of means, such as reordering stones found on site, choreographed view corridors through a seemingly naive window, a fireplace or a simple swing in the courtyard. Ecologically, within the harsh landscape conditions, small means are used to gather rare sources of soil, water and shade, creating biodiversity, reforestation, and the climatic improvement of shade. The simultaneity of a public space with the intimacy, and almost fragility of such a needed meeting point has created a strong, unique sense of place.

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LILA 2020 Special Mention in Public Landscapes: Yongqing Fang Alleyways – An Urban Transformation, China

Although the tiny district of Yongqing Fang still contains historical remnants, their small number limits the possibilities for a strong experience. The streetscapes successfully strengthen this quarter with a series of sensitive, highly poetic and well-measured interventions. Throwing away classical categories of old and new and the usual need to contrast these, the design playfully combines new interpretations of building techniques and materials to create a moving and powerful sense of contemporary, historic place.

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LILA 2020 Special Mention in Residential Landscapes: Square Maïmat, France

The jury recognized the approach of embracing time to make a comfortable living space. The project successfully combines soil reactivation, food production, water management and recycling of the material found on site. This simplistic, smart and visually interesting landscape reaches beyond what is expected of a residential area.

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Projects Jury


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