May 2016, Volume 4 Issue 2

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  • research-article
    Kongjian YU
    2016, 4(2): 6-11.
    Taner R. OZDIL
    2016, 4(2): 12-29.

    Urban landscapes are highly contested, often most visible, and perhaps the most valued components of landscape architecture practice. Most projects are products of any combination of socially, environmentally, and economically driven goals and objectives for their respective urban context. Yet the value they bring to urban environment through their functional and aesthetic qualities have not been typically attested and rigorously communicated up until the rise of the performance studies in landscape architecture in 21st century. This paper reports on the value generated through two urban landscape projects, Sundance Square Plaza in Fort Worth and Elaine and Charles Sammons Park at AT &T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, completed as centerpieces representing decades of district-level efforts within the two largest cities of North Texas. This research is a product of a performance study completed as part of the Landscape Architecture Foundation Case Study Investigation Program in 2014. The paper, primarily, focuses on excerpts of social performance indicators, methods and findings, while exploring the implication of project qualities, typologies, and their direct and indirect impacts on their urban settings. In-depth focus on these two iconic projects is believed to have provided a critical look at the landscape performance within the context of changing urban landscape and urban form, while communicating the social value of landscape architecture with society as a whole.

    Wei LIN
    2016, 4(2): 30-35.

    The Opinions on Further Strengthening the Management of Urban Planning and Construction was recently introduced by the State Council. The proposal in the document for a walkable block caused a strong public reaction. This interview considers the significance of the Opinions, and discusses its intentions, misunderstandings, practical implications, and constructions. It then explores the “residence-with-workplace neighborhood,” one of the overall requirements of the Opinions, and analyses the difficulties and challenges in constructing high-density mixed-use cities with residence-with-workplace neighborhoods.

    Liu CUI
    2016, 4(2): 50-61.

    This review of two Rem Koolhaas and OMA competition projects, Park de la Villette in France and Downsview Park in Canada, compares the relationships between public space and public park design in contemporary cities. Considering the “Culture of Congestion” and “City of Exacerbated Difference” as proposed by Koolhaas, this paper analyzes the uncertainty and complexity of design approaches that respond to contemporary urban development. It then explores how contemporary urban parks should be designed for integrated with and into public spaces.

    Yi LUO,Ming-Han LI
    2016, 4(2): 62-77.

    Sponge City is a newly initiated design ideology in China. It advocates using Low Impact Development (LID) techniques to retain and treat stormwater runoff on site. The design ideology emerges at an opportune time when the demand for solutions to increasingly severe urban flooding issues in China is high. Since its inception, Sponge City has been attracting growing attention in both industrial and academic sectors. In this paper, we studied 65 landscape architecture curricula of the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) accredited programs in the United States to discuss how stormwater management training in landscape architecture education can help build Sponge Cities in China.

    Stoss Landscape Urbanism, SHoP
    2016, 4(2): 78-89.

    The Trinity Riverfront is a strategy and vision for Dallas’ future, one that reunites the city with its river and sets the stage for transformation starting now. The design intensifies the existing qualities of Dallas’ urban and natural landscapes and, in so doing, will help to realize the full potential of the region’s development opportunities and economic prosperity. It is about dense city districts full of energy and exuberance, and intense landscapes that play many roles — social, economic, and environmental. It builds off Dallas’ entrepreneurship, natural resources, business acumen, and diverse urban lifestyles. The plan is uniquely Dallas, re-imagined.

    Jiakun Architects
    2016, 4(2): 90-103.

    Unique from typical concentrated complexes, West Village encircles an entire city block to maximize the interior open space for sports and green. The oversized park-styled courtyard forms a vegetated basin containing diverse public life; it is also a representation of the original low-land landscape of Sichuan Basin. Smaller bamboo courtyards exist within the larger courtyard, and are open to the public, enabling them to pass freely through the block. The spatial design relates to the ever-popular local leisure lifestyle and refreshes their former collective memories. West Village provides a functional structure that allows individual customization; various expressions are integrated by the large scale of the courtyard. In this way, the inner facade eventually becomes a parade of marketplace scenarios. An elevated runway entwines the whole courtyard and connects each floor from below ground to the roof. It creates excitement from unusual experiences (especially for joggers and cyclists) and gives the project a dynamic character.

    Mo WANG,Xiao ZHOU
    2016, 4(2): 104-117.

    High-density residential communities are a critical part of the Chinese living environment. Equally important are neighborhood parks which play an integral role in residents’ daily lives. This article examines the strategies and techniques of the Hillside Eco-Park in Zhonghang Caticity Community, Changsha designed by Z+T Studio, for its participatory and ecological characteristics as a reflection of contemporary landscape design ideas.

    Vo Trong Nghia Architects
    2016, 4(2): 118-127.

    Population density in Bien Hoa is very high. With low plot ratio and lack of planned urban growth, the whole city is all in a muddle. There is no safe playgrounds for children to play around their homes. Such urban problems in the city has pushed the need for more and more spaces with mixed-use for nursing and public educational places.

    The project is a kindergarten with green solutions as a case-study building against this backdrop. Redesigning building typologies such as a kindergarten brings great benefits to the society. The green roof is triple-knot-shape drawn with a single stroke, providing an edible garden and an outdoor place for children’s activity. Passive design methods are comprehensively applied in this two-story building to create places for experiential learning. Farming Kindergarten not only breaks new ground for education, but also provides foods and agricultural experiences to local children as a safe outdoor playground.

    reMIX Studio
    2016, 4(2): 128-137.

    #33 Arts District envisions transforming an existing industrial site of 16.6 hectares into a campus for innovative industry to revitalize the surrounding neighborhood — a dynamic hub for innovation, collaboration, and production — that could play an important role in Dongguan’s transition from manufacturing industry city to knowledge-based industry. The masterplan aims to not only introduce new programs into the vacant old buildings, forming new functional clusters, but also retrofit public urban spaces and integrate landscape elements into the existing urban fabric. Through a series of interventions at different scales, the design of the campus redefines new ways of living, working, and learning while dissolving the boundary between indoor and outdoor spaces.

    2016, 4(2): 139-147.

    Cartography is a form of representation that often replaces the territory itself by imposing its own narrative upon it. Myths, legends, fictions, stories, histories — as many narratives as possible are required to define the contours of a new territory. With the project “Hong Kong is Land” (2014), the pleasure in constructing new maps and atlases is infinite. The project, which aims to address many urban population’s future needs while also providing distinctive hubs for tourism, proposes to add eight new artificial islands to the existing landscape of 263 islands. A personal map of Hong Kong includes our individual research and experience in the last 20 years. First "Mapping Hong Kong" (2000) developed with narratives based on various time-based and temporal densities. A laboratory of idea for the extended region, “HK LAB 1” (2002) and “HK LAB 2” (2005) publications further explored the territory in its unique urban and architectural features.

    2016, 4(2): 148-155.

    Do we really desire the dwellings that we publish, do we really want to live in the compact city? If we were to ask ourselves what the desired house really was, most of us, if we were honest, would recognize that we have an ideal photo in mind. It would be even more embarrassing if we were to ask ourselves where we live at present, in which type of house, in which part of the city and what plans we have for the future. Suddenly, density ceases to be a concept, something vital for the planet, or a ratio for judging plans. Suddenly, density becomes an uncomfortable subject which deeply affects our decisions. We know that the dense city has to be built, but while building the city one must not forget the house, considered in the singular, for the private user who will put his or her name on the letterbox.