Jury members recognized Catherine Mosbach as an outstanding and talented creative force who pushes the profession beyond excellence, revealing hidden layers of designing and also thinking about landscape. The result is a portfolio of unique and strong conceptual works. They remind us that there will always be infinite opportunities to find and express an original personal vocation whilst practicing environmentally and socially responsible work.
Strelka KB is not a classical design office, but a bridge between Russian society and the global design profession. They stand out due to their role as facilitator, initiator and project driver. They do not claim to be design experts. but help make projects reality through their local expertise, willingness to navigate through the local environment, and a desire to change things. Strelka KB is not defined by a unitary design vision but by a collective of hundreds of young professionals hungry to transform their city and country. In doing so they have managed to affect change to an extent never before seen in the design profession.
The project answers questions related to reintroducing nature into artificial landscape and dealing with landscape in rural-urban fringes. It reactivates the old river channel for visitors, masterfully combining new modest elements and simple structures into a powerful experience. The most poetic element is the grid of sand – a platform for the river – a natural force that expresses itself through decomposition. Designed as a ruin, the project is the process; full of play between the grid and the river, man and nature. Renaturalisation is not brought in by force; it occurs. One can imagine the river entering the grid for the first time, like an animal released from captivity, figuring out which way to go and where to settle. The power of this work lies in its honesty, taking us to a much deeper thinking about the relation between man and nature in the age of the Anthropocene.
Jury members acknowledged this garden as an outstanding way of bringing residents to nature, due to its simplicity and the way it allows for exploration. An ordinary site was curated and transformed by Coen+Partners into a dramatic landscape comprising various ambiences with a unique character. The jury noticed the presentation of the project, focusing away from the house into the garden as the place of dwelling and coexisting with the site.
This intervention raises the question of what ‘garden’ is and what it represents. Salaam house is a ‘hard-core’ landscape architecture project sending a message that with subtle approach, simplicity and a modest budget we can create a garden by maintaining and appreciating what we already have.
H+N+S has through an engineering approach successfully developed large scale thinking about landscape, integrating aspects concerning energy, environment, well-being and aesthetics. They feature a consistent opus of brave interventions in landscape, often with ingenious and innovative solutions. H+N+S is a relevant force in our common task to find and develop new tools for overcoming the challenges concerning landscape today and in the future.
Agence Ter stood out for their ‘motion and evolution’. Motion, for entering unchartered territories and solving problems from multiple directions, and evolution, for constantly responding to changing demands concerning climate change and social issues. With this approach, Agence Ter designs unique, smart and convivial landscapes.
Members of the jury recognized SLA from Denmark as an office that demonstrates the ability and adaptability to successfully design a wide scope of different tasks. They developed an effective approach to bringing nature into the urban environment, whilst working with its processes in cities, especially dealing with large quantities of water.
In terms of bridging regenerative infrastructure and public landscapes, the jury also acknowledges SCAPE studio from NYC. SCAPE combines research and practice to conquer cross-scale spatial challenges, whilst blurring the lines between neighbourhoods and habitats.
Saint Ouen – Park at The Docks is a complex landscape system that offers optimistic answers to questions concerning social equity and water resilience. Agence Ter demonstrated excellent skills to design a multifunctional, generous and inclusive social platform that offers various uses (including growing food). At the same time, it works as a sponge, providing space for water during heavy rains and floods. Jury members agreed passionately that this project will send the right message to the professional community on how to design liveable urban spaces for the future as well as to everyone else on how we should all be able to use open spaces in the times ahead of us.
The jury members also acknowledge Chicago Riverwalk (SASAKI + Ross Barney) as a high-quality urban space, extremely well structured and built. The new horizontal layer in the birthplace of the skyscraper will certainly have a positive impact and will transform the city into a more liveable and pedestrian-friendly urban environment.
Park am Gleisdreieck (Atelier LOIDL) was also debated as one of the most effortlessly beautiful and comfortable projects. Placed four meters above the city level, Gleisdreieck is an urban oasis and a vital link between neighbourhoods, featuring smart interventions, such as a(?) placing programme under the bridge, revealing layers from the site’s past uses and exposing the contrast between soft park tissue and S-Bahn trains buzzing over the main meadow on the elevated rail-yards. One jury member commented: “It’s so Berlin!”
Marti Franch is in his projects not only successfully solving spatial, environmental and physical problems concerning the sites he works on but with very respectful interventions manages to nurture landscape architecture also as a cultural discipline. His landscapes offer educational and experiential richness, often in fragile environments.
EMF designed landscapes are a result of a curious design approach that emphasises the curiosity also in the visitor by leaving landscape features and stories hidden enough to be discovered rather than just put on display. The narrative in Cap de Creus projects awaits the user in suggestion and not in the direct message. This way the user interacts with the meaning, making the experience far more intense and memorable.
La Tancada Salt Fields and Cap de Creus, are blending ecology, natural and cultural memory into harmonious and at the same time very powerful experience. The grounds of Can Framis museum illustrate EMF’s ability to intervene in dense urban fabric. A green, almost forest like ambience in the middle of Barcelona, again with a direct connection to the site’s past and ecological measures for cooling down the site with dense planting.
With Les Echasses project Marti Franch is effectively using natural processes to create a lake for a nature like resort. Instead of just creating a lake the landscape is proposed that first creates natural conditions for a lake to take place as a consequence.
EMF is practicing excellent scientific and technical work, but most importantly also proves well manifested paradigm that visiting landscapes must mean a culturally fulfilling experience. In the times when ecosystems are constantly being challenged by the consequences of human activity preservation and restoration of nature are vital for the wellbeing of all species. Marti Franch is aware that promoting subtle change in order to emphasise overwhelming natural forces and features left ‘as they are’ in nature plays a very important role in establishing a bond between the user and the landscape – people and environment.
Felixx is a young office for proactive landscape architecture, founded by Michiel Van Driessche, Deborah Lambert and Marnix Vink. The office designs public spaces, works on urban development plans, engineers landscape transformation strategies, and is involved in spatial research projects.