Meadowbrook Lane in Napa: Skaters find upside to quake damage. Video: http://nbcbay.com/QuJe0HC (Pic by Jeremy Carroll)
Parc de Belleville, in the 20th arrondissement, Paris.
Pictured from top:
From my short visit I was pleased to find a park that, despite seeming slightly down at heel, seems to truly represent the diverse communities that live in the surrounding neighbourhoods.
“You can neither lie to a neighbourhood park, nor reason with it. ‘Artist’s conceptions’ and persuasive renderings can put pictures of life into proposed neighbourhood parks or park malls, and verbal rationalizations can conjure up users who ought to appreciate them, but in real life only diverse surroundings have the practical power of inducing a natural, continuing flow of life and use.” - Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities.
Grüner See (Green Lake) is a lake in Styria, Austria. In the winter you’ll find crisp, tranquil grasslands and lake that is only about 3 to 6 feet deep. However, during the spring, when the temperature rises and the snow melts, the basin of land below the mountains fills with water. The lake reaches its maximum depth of around 40 feet from mid-May to June and is claimed to look the most beautiful at this time.
Masterplan for Chislehurst Common, London, rendered in pencil.
My proposal aims to improve biodiversity on the Common and create locally distinctive, stimulating spaces where people can meet, walk and enjoy nature.
Relict lowland heath would be restored in places, the woodland canopy structure would be diversified and effects of heavy local traffic mitigated using noise attenuating earthworks, swales, reed beds and wildlife crossing points.
More amazing drawings from the Bartlett Architecture School show, this time from MArch student Louis Sullivan. He proposes a ‘Living Dam’ which would provide homes for 10,000 inhabitants and: “Together with the integration of ecology, society and infrastructure…is a physical model of a modern ‘hydraulic civilisation’; a community and society sustained and dependant on its control, management and utilisation of water.”
"Whilst providing a store for the national asset of water, the project simultaneously provides a series of tiers, terraces, weirs and platypuses which house a series of beneficial ecologies such as reedbed systems, watercress fields, ponds, lakes and elevated fruit gardens for the water to flurry and flow through, building upon the technology of the Living Machine which segregates wetland ecologies into useful components for accelerated water filtration. The ecologies maintained within the dam go beyond the bucolic, and provide purification and filtration of the water beyond EU drinking water directive 98/83/EC as well as nourishing foods for the occupants to maintain and harvest."
“‘The Living Dam’ is towards a new typology of dam - away from the image of solitary hydrological infrastructures, and towards a model which is not only integral but also integrated with society, which may help alter the public perception of the essential infrastructures and reduce many of the negative consequences associated with dam management.
A ‘useful pyramid’ for the 21st century.”
Scott Outdoor Amphitheatre, Swarthmore College, PA. Designed by Thomas Sears and completed in 1942.
2ft high retaining walls are made from layers of local schist slabs and the randomly spaced trees are Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip Tree) and Quercus alba (White Oak).
I love the idea of a ‘turf proscenium floor’ and it looks like a great place to learn. I can imagine this kind of space would conform to the theories of design laid out in ‘A Pattern Language’ by Christopher Alexander…
(Photo source: Swarthmore College - The Cultural Landscape Foundation)
Before (left hand column) and after (right hand column) pictures of a garden I designed and helped to build in Coverack, Cornwall. Putting ‘before and afters’ together is just the best and most satisfying game to play. In the future when I go for initial site visits I must make sure I take more photos from more angles.
This sense of transformation of real places and materials is something I’m missing at the moment in my landscape architecture studies, where all projects are works of the imagination, with far reaching ambitions based on real situations, but lacking progression to a tangible, visceral conclusion.