Jun 2014, Volume 2 Issue 1

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  • Papers
    Yi LUO,Ming-Han LI
    2014, 2(1): 42-56.

    The purpose of this study is two-fold: 1) to introduce background of landscape performance and the Cast Study Investigation program of Landscape Architecture Foundation; and 2) to explore whether landscape’s environmental, economic and social benefits are conflicting or converging for sustainability. Landscape performance, as defined by the Landscape Architecture Foundation, is “the measure of efficiency with which landscape solutions fulfill their intended purpose and contribute toward sustainability.” Landscape Architecture Foundation based on the concept of sustainability to establish the research framework for investigating landscape performance by quantifying environmental, economic and social benefits. The current common sustainable development concept often discusses the benefits in the three environmental, economic and social aspects whereas their interrelationship is hardly addressed. Considering the large body of literature supporting the fact that human activities have significant influences on the natural environment, it seems that certain benefits would impede other benefits, and therefore result in tradeoffs in landscape performance. Understanding the interrelationship between the environmental, economic and social benefits, allows designers to enhance the compatible relationships, mitigate the conflicting relationships and create high-performing landscapes in the future. In this study, we used the 39 landscape performance case studies published by the Landscape Architecture Foundation in its 2011 Case Study Investigation (CSI) program to test four hypotheses.

  • Views and Criticisms
    Carol R. JOHNSON
    2014, 2(1): 58-65.

    Landscape architects who work in urban areas face some challenges which are similar to all landscape projects, and some of them are unique to urban sites. The article describes the landscape of a 20th Century buildings at Harvard University, and two other urban sites along rivers. In each case, the growth of trees has contributed significantly to the success of the project. In addition, a layout responsive to public use and the overall environment has contributed greatly to the final result.

  • Views and Criticisms
    DONG Li
    2014, 2(1): 66-71.

    Within a day or a year, during the life cycle of individual plants and the evolving process of the whole plant community, temporal changes of plant landscape have been taking place. Such changes are reflected not only in the plants per se, but also the spatial characteristics formed by the plants. This interview concentrates on the changes of plant landscape, and introduces planting design guidelines according to these changes, addressing the wrong understanding of plant landscape.

  • Views and Criticisms
    2014, 2(1): 72-77.

    What is quality in landscape architecture? How do we define atmosphere? And what is the role of time in relation to urban design? These are the questions addressed by Stig L. Andersson in this article. He stresses the importance of context and the difference between quantity and quality in landscape design, arguing for the importance of a landscape design that creates new meanings, new experiences and new contexts that force us to engage with city and nature in new and surprising ways.

  • Views and Criticisms
    2014, 2(1): 78-83.

    The basic thesis of this paper is that temporality gives access to the primary order of architectural topography and thus to the reality and meaning of landscapes, streets, buildings, rooms, and their details. Time is not a contingent attribute of the places intended in design and realized through construction but a key to their essential structure and significance. Three dimensions of temporality are discussed: the time of the world, of the project, and of the experience, as it moves through and comes to rest in a work’s several spatial situations. The interconnections between prior, present, and future appearances are discussed, in consideration of a building or landscape’s materials, spatial order, and location. All of this is set out in a twopart argument: that the stories of our lives are recorded in the spaces of our lives, and that this recording is essentially temporal.

  • Views and Criticisms
    Lele PENG
    2014, 2(1): 84-88.
  • Original Practices
    2014, 2(1): 90-94.

    Lichtung is an installation built along a narrow pathway of 400 m in the alluvial forest of Ingolstadt, Germany. It aims to immerse residents into the haptic qualities of the Danube River. Lichtung is the German word for “clearing”, and derives from light (licht); it is a space of disclosure, appearance, and reverberation.

  • Original Practices
    2014, 2(1): 95-99.

    As a result of aggressive urban highway building that took place during the mid 20th century, North American cities are littered with elevated roadways that have severed neighborhoods and left behind unused, derelict and often dangerous places. Underpass Park in Toronto fights back by delivering a transformative park space that helps reconnect an evolving community while providing a highly useable, engaging and eye catching space in the process.

  • Original Practices
    2014, 2(1): 100-105.

    24 solar terms display the seasonal changes throughout a year. The solar cycle is composed of 24 points on the traditional East Asian lunar calendar, which correspond to particular astronomical events or signifying natural phenomenon. In this project, we created 24 private gardens according to the 24 solar terms.

  • Original Practices
    2014, 2(1): 106-113.

    In 2008, AECOM began the landscape design for the area surrounding Wenying Lake with the goal of revitalizing the lake. An “Urban Green Lung” and waterfront recreational space that focused on nature, history, and culture were recreated through a series of eco-focused design approaches. As a result, a large lake landscape has reappeared on the Loess Plateau and an eco-bird island has returned to the tumultuous city. Residents have benefited from the high-quality life brought about by nature, culture, and art, making the best footnote for the rebirth of Wenying Lake.

  • Original Practices
    Zhicheng XU
    2014, 2(1): 114-123.

    The project seeks to find the balancing point between culture and nature along the Wabash River in Lafayette, Indiana, which is currently underappreciated because of flooding, vacancy and disconnection. The design solutionis an embodiment of cultural representation and technology of stormwater management in order to achieve ecological and social resilience. With potential for spontaneous use and dynamic programming, the site can transform into asustainableinfrastructure with a cultural identity that provides active waterfront experience.

  • Original Practices
    Bernardo Dias,Chiaki Yatsui,Qiuying Zhong
    2014, 2(1): 124-128.

    Timescape is a project that morphs geometric sculptures with nature to explore the idea of the picturesque and the potential of architectural decay. The virtual side of the project explores the geometry of interlocking bricks, generated from 3D pieces cast from local materials, such as earth, cork, sand, and cement, that will decomposed from exposure to high pressures of water mixed at different ratios. The shifting morphological shape means that some parts will maintain a concrete structural base, while others are more fragile, porous, and textural. During the process of exposure, the architecture is sacrificed to wider landscape, creating a series of informal spaces that are both intriguing and uncertain.

  • Original Practices
    Alexander ARROYO
    2014, 2(1): 130-141.

    As avant-garde interface between geologic and meteorologic media, highaltitude montane and alpine zones constitute a “High Coast” delimiting a massive, diffuse, yet largely unrecognized freshwater “ocean”: the snowpack. In the western United States, up to 80% of water resources draw from the snowpack of the Rockies, Sierra Nevadas, and other ranges; accordingly, snow has critically shaped geotechnical systems of regional urbanization, both up- and down-slope. The infrastructural components of such systems express the vernacular geographies of economy and ecology unique to each altitudinal and orographic (mountain) range, from snow-fences to forestry patterns. The highly varied coupling of components evidences decentralized yet systematic territorial management of snow across multiple spatio-temporal scales. Reimaging snow as theoretical and material ground for geotechnical praxis (following Patrick Geddes, Lewis Mumford, and Benton MacKaye), this project proposes a speculative thermodynamic narrative for a set of sites in California, Nevada, and Utah, exploring the potentials and implications of a “Big Melt” for the High Coast.

  • Original Practices
    Daia Paco Stutz STEPPACHER
    2014, 2(1): 142-151.

    What started as a research project on underground urbanization and mega-infrastructures in Switzerland became a thesis project on the Alps as a whole: from significant changes in climate conditions, heavy infrastructural intensification, to concentrated real-estate boom together with simultaneous abandonment and decline, a whole series of dynamic forces are currently pressing on the European Alps while thoroughly changing its geography and territorial relationships. As new yet indispensable phenomena, these urban transformations heavily question the predominant static and isolated view of the picturesque and natural alpine landscapes as well as the conservation and preservation efforts behind them. Through the lens of the new Transalpine Rail Tunnel in Switzerland (AlpTransit), the largest and deepest tunnel on earth, the paper outlines a radical rethinking of the Alps not only as an thoroughly urbanized and artificial territory in transition, but as an operating urban ecology itself where processes of urbanization, de-urbanization, growth and shrinkage become the programmatic vectors of a systemic and flexible design approach.