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Top 10 World Class Landscape Architecture Projects of 2013

Australian-Garden

As 2013 grinds to a halt, it only seems fitting that here at LAN we sit down and take stock of the year gone by. With such a slew of world-class landscape architecture projects — either freshly consummated or procuring maturity through phases of design implementation over time — choosing only 10 was no easy feat. With an emphasis on waterfront revitalization and urban greening, here are the top 10 projects of 2013. 10. Victorian Desalination Plant Green Roof,Bass Coast, Australia This 26,000-square-meter piece of land art minimizes the dominant visual impact of the seawater processing plant along Australia’s Bass Coast. With no established green roof industry in Australia, no strict standards needed to be adhered to when designing the roof. The roof showcases key principles of water-sensitive urban design and represents the potential that green infrastructure has in realizing energy reduction through increased thermal performance, carbon sequestration, and reduction in carbon concentrations. 9. Ceramic Museum and Mosaic Park- Jinzhou, Dalian, Liaoning, China by  Casanova + Hernandez Architecten

Jinzhou Museum and Mosaic Park in Jinzhou, China; image courtesy of Casanova + Hernandez Architecten

Jinzhou Museum and Mosaic Park in Jinzhou, China; image courtesy of Casanova + Hernandez Architecten

Landscape and architecture, mosaic and museum: These unite as one element through the design’s clever visual consolidation of built form and nature. The vivid hues of this polychromatic composition are the result of four colorful flower species and the fractural remains of Chinese porcelain and ceramics. These materials reference the region’s once prosperous pottery trade and the many centuries of commercial and cultural exchange.  8. Wenying Lake, Datong, China Known as the “Mother Lake”, this invaluable reservoir acts as the essential water supply for the city of Datong, considered the most polluted city in the world. Simple yet effective environmental planning strategies have been put in place to combat the ramifications of continual urban development and degradation, restoring the water quality and ecological value to the region. See this project here  7. St. Jacques Ecological Park, Saint Jacques de la Lande, France by Bruel&Delmar.
Bruel&Delmar; Footbridge in the reedbed; image courtesy of Atelier de Paysages Bruel Delmar

Bruel&Delmar; Footbridge in the reedbed; image courtesy of Atelier de Paysages Bruel Delmar

St. Jacques is located in the northwest of France, the park being a dividing line between two neighborhoods at the bottom of a valley. The notion that water takes the form of its vessel holds true in St. Jacques, with the precious resource being ubiquitous on all scales throughout the park. Ecosystems are protected and further developed through skillful water-sensitive urban design, and as a result the design was awarded a national prize for “Wetland area in Urban Context” in 2012, with phase 3 complete this year. 6. Crown Sky Garden–Chicago, Illinois, United States, by Mikyoung Kim Design
Crown Sky Garden; courtesy of Mikyoung Kim Design

Crown Sky Garden; image courtesy of Mikyoung Kim Design

Located within the Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the Crown Sky Garden provides an intimate refuge for inpatient children. The 5.000-square-foot area of the 11th floor has been transformed into a restorative healing garden, providing a rich experience through the use of light, water, and vibrant colors. Atop this, the 12th floor acts as a protected treehouse space, designed for children with health conditions preventing them from engaging the main garden. Opened in November 2012, the design has deservedly won a 2013 ASLA honor award. 5. Mill River Park and Greenway–Stamford, Connecticut by OLIN
Mill River Park and Greenway; image © OLIN / Sahar Coston-Hardy

Mill River Park and Greenway; image © OLIN / Sahar Coston-Hardy

The restoration of Stamford’s integral waterway allows the return of its natural flow and reverses the effects of its damaged ecological systems. This new urban oasis is a place for visitors and inhabitants to gather, play, reflect, and engage with the reclaimed river’s edge. Several new phases of the park are under way, aiming to further activate the banks of Mill River and extend the greenway south. 4. Lotus Lake Park–Kunshan, Suzhou, China by Integrated Planning and Design Lotus Lake Park is a revitalized urban waterfront situated in the canal village of Kunshan, China. Water and music are of significant value to the local community, and have destined the park’s two key landscape elements. The resulting landscape provides restoration for despoiled habitats, wetlands, and waterways, while simultaneously creating public open space for recreation and education. 
Lotus Lake Park, image courtesy of www.ipdgrid.com

Lotus Lake Park, image courtesy of www.ipdgrid.com

3. Leicester Square–London, United Kingdom by Burns + Nice
Leicester Square; image courtesy Burns + Nice

Leicester Square; image courtesy Burns + Nice

Also featured as our number 7 in our  Top 10 Squares for Detailing ,this historic West End square is one of London’s most frequented areas, attracting around 2 million visitors each and every week. The design draws influence from the late 19th century form of its central gardens. Spatial separation of the square is established through a “white ribbon”, acting as informal seating, along which sits a “green ribbon” of sweeping textural planting. Once an unkempt public space, the square’s thoughtful and contemporary design has provided London with a new type of urban space. The firm responsible, Burns + Nice, have earned numerous accolades this year for the design. 2. The Australian Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne–Cranbourne, Australia by TCL Landscape Architecture Urban Design
Australian Garden, ; credit: John Gollings

Australian Garden, ; credit: John Gollings

Australia’s largest botanic garden devoted to the display of native flora stakes claim to the best landscape project of the year award at the 2013 World Architecture Festival and also featured in 10 Great Projects Showing why Australia are Leaders in Landscape Architecture. Users are taken on a metaphorical and experiential journey through the ever-changing Australian landscape. Situated on the site of a former sand quarry, the garden illustrates the artistry of landscape architecture through an assimilation of horticulture, architecture, ecology, and art. 1. Gardens by the Bay — Bay South–Marina Bay, Singapore by Grant Associates
Gardens by the bay; credit: Photo collection from Robert Such, Darren Chin, Craig Sheppard

Gardens by the bay; credit: Photo collection from Robert Such, Darren Chin, Craig Sheppard

Opened mid last year, this 54-hectare, verdant wonderland is the first of three distinct gardens that aim to form Singapore’s new urban oasis by the year 2015. Bay South is comprised of a collection of special horticultural gardens, each containing mass flowering and colored foliage. The visual highlight is the 18 iconic“Supertrees” — uniquely designed vertical gardens suffused with tropical climbers, epiphytes, and ferns. Through its intelligent environmental infrastructure, Bay South is a fine example of multi-disciplinary collaboration, and has recently been awarded the 2013 Landscape Institute Fellows’ Award for Climate Change Adaption. There you have it — 2013 summed up in 10 amazing  landscape architecture projects that will continue to prosper for years to come. Now, keep your eyes peeled for our “Top 10 projects to look out for in 2014”! Article written by Paul McAtomney Featured image; credit: John Gollings

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