mavo Landschaften positions itself between urban planning, landscape and architecture understanding these disciplines as the interacting motors in contemporary territories. Interdisciplinary thinking and methodology is considered as a basic requirement in order to encounter the complex problems and tasks of our times. Rather than being a tool to embellishment, landscape architecture is understood as an instrument and a method to solve problems. Our projects deal with various tasks ranging in scale from territorial and urban planning to housing surroundings and gardens.

Whatever scale we work on, we start with a funded reading of site and task in order to ask the right questions. There are no generic answers since every project is a specific reaction on the characteristics and processes of a site, the psychology of a project’s organization, the legal or financial restrictions. The continuous challenge of a design and realization process often leads us to strategical proposals. Instead of drawing completed fix pictures we are intrigued by the idea of designing transformation processes that are partially controlled or guided, partially let go. This often forces us to develop new working methods jumping between very big to small scale or oscillating between precise pictures and overall rules.

Riverside Park Attisholz South, Luterbach Switzerland

Location: Luterbach SO, Switzerland
Designers: mavo Landschaften, Hydrologists: Staubli Kurath & Partner AG (water)
Commissioned by: Hochbauamt Kanton Solothurn
Period of design: Competition 2015, Period of Design 2016-2017, Implementation period: 2017-2018

The location found impresses with a specific character, which is generated by the superposition of the linear landscape structure given by mountains, river, vegetation and the identity of the industrial realm. The project builds up on these existing atmospheres. Inspired by the typical pragmatism of industrial realities, it aims to intervene only very specifically and where necessary. Starting from today’s foreclosure of the river through the banks vegetation, three openings to the Aare are planned. In this way, the classical landscape ’veduta’ can be traced to the picturesque watercourse and the characteristic silhouette of Attisholz Nord. The three viewing windows are differentiated by their location, being more natural in the western part (close to the natural resort) and more intensively usable in the western part. In the transition to Attisholz Nord, the new square Attisholzplatz, the heart of the park, will be built. In the western part the new significant revitalization of the Aare extends and creates an ecological continuity to the protection area ‘Emmenschachen’. Towards the industrial areas in the south, the ‘Park Margin’ defines the edge of the park. A ribbon of differently rhythmised tree rows defines the transition to the industrial areas, creating various transparencies. The margin accompanies the promenade, which allows pedestrians and bicyclists to stroll pleasantly through the Aare area. The shore path, which runs right next to the water, is partially reduced.

Strategy ‘Inner Garden’, Zurich Leutschenbach

Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Designers: mavo Landschaften
Commissioned by: City of Zurich (urban planning and green space department) and privates
Period of design: Planning study 2010, Concept design 2012, Partial Realization since 2015

The ‚Inner Garden’ has its origin in a planning study of 2009, when the city of Zurich asked three interdisciplinary teams to work on proposals for the future development of Leutschenbach Zurich. The discussions centered around density, use, transformation process, and identity. We based our proposal on the hypothesis that big scale uses should continue to exist on the site, however, the open space – the „Inner Garden“ – is the structuring element. This important inner link (pedestrians and cyclists) was finally anchored in the city’s mission statement.

This new typology of open space demanded a concept of the characteristics and rules for the phase-by-phase implementation. The diverse requirements of the different existing and future uses (industry close to housing) influence the atmosphere of the ‘Inner Garden’ and require a contemporary, ecological public space that brings a socially, high-quality and new identity to this neighborhood. Being located within the building’s core of Leutschenbach, the ‘Inner Garden’ gets its typology from a garden. It wants to be discovered. It is understood as an urban space, as a diversely planted garden landscape of high spatial and ecological quality. A connecting path, which also offers quiet places to rest – for humans as well as for flora and fauna.

Cortyard Triemli Zurich

Location: Triemli, Zurich, Switzerland
Designers: mavo Landschaften / 1st phase construction as vi.vo.architektur.landschaft
Commissioned by: Baugenossenschaft Sonnengarten Genossenschaft
Period of design: First phase construction completed 2012, 2nd phase: competition 2015, 1st prize
Implementation period: 2016-2017

The construction of the open space for this housing complex was completed in 2012 as vi.vo.architektur.landschaft. After the first experiences by the inhabitants some additional layers (supplementary playing possibilities, niches and the possibilities for small kitchen gardens) should be added. The idea of the proposal was to maintain the characteristics of the existing courtyard with its topographical structure, to embed the playing zone in its slopes and to impose a new ‘bordure’: the garden ribbon. This element that lies on the lowest terrace not only provides the required small scale spaces and garden experiences, it also functions as a filter to the ground floor flats. A small path guides through the vegetation bodies that change during the seasons and time in height, color, and perfume. A simple steal pavilion offers a new place to meet and interact between young and old. On the middle terrace, the required playing elements are integrated into the existing slope. A cleverly designed relief offers children various playing opportunities: climbing, sliding, tangling, mumbling, or simply sitting.

The courtyard keeps its generous width thanks to the design decisions to occupy the lower edge and to embed the playing elements into the existing topography.

Housing `Jardin Dufaux`

Location: Opfikon Glattbrugg, Switzerland
Designers: mavo Landschaften (competition as vi.vo.architektur.landschaft) architecture: neff neumann architekten ag
Commissioned by: Migros Pensionskasse, Entwickler: mettler2invest
Period of design: 2012-2015

The project ‘Jardin Dufaux’ is a fragment of an extended urban development near Zurich. The U-shape of the building – given by the masterplan – creates two different typologies of open spaces: the patio and the street side. The main impulses for the concept were two questions: How to create an identity for the future residents of this “satellite-city” and how to react cleverly to the contemporary topic of building roof gardens. The patio is the heart of the newly built structure. It is an intimate but robust urban garden that can be used manifold. The modulation of the ground adopts the natural inclination of the parcel. By introducing horizontal surfaces the courtyard can be structured into transitory zones and zones for rest. At the same time the modulation generates enough volume of soil to allow the vegetation to grow. Implementing reliefs and varying grain sizes, such as coloured asphalt (moving area), crushed rock (retention areas), and fine gravel (resting areas), the scale of the courtyard is differentiated. The concept of the vegetation is inspired by the characteristic forest typology of the area: the ‘Föhren-Birkenbruchwald’. A strong volume of trees forms the centre of the courtyard inviting people to play or rest in the shadow. A group of Betulas forms a filter and limits the space towards the backside of the neighbouring building. The plantation of different volumes of ornamental grasses creates an intimate garden area.

Study for the Limmatvalley, Green – Blue Infrastructure

Location: Limmat Valley, Switzerland
Designers: mavo Landschaften with ASTOC, berchtoldkrass, ARGUS
Commissioned by: ETH Zurich & Municipality of Limmattal
Period of design: 2013

The Limmat Valley between Zurich and Brugg is heavily loaded with urban sprawl and infrastructure. The goal of this study was to understand the possibilities of its development and to launch a dialogue between the municipalities. The reading of the valley on different scales reveals that classical landscape is (still) a main characteristic of it. Because of it´s multifunctional character, this specific landscape can be described as an infrastructure: being a network, it interlinks all the surroundings and at the same time it structures the densely populated agglomeration, providing a better orientation. The future green-blue-infrastructural landscape functions as a framework that is based on the three primary natural elements of the space: the Limmat river (center), the lateral hills allowing access to the forests, and the transverse streams that interlink and structure. By activating these systems, the landscape framework could be developed within the context of existing instruments, such as water protection, revitalization and forest management. Methodically, only a few typological sections where defined for every system (Limmat river: different shore types from natural to urban, lateral hills: activated slope edges and a variety of transitions of forest edges, meadows and settlements, streams: transformation into structuring and connecting elements through paths and plantations).


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