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The Landscape Architecture and Outdoor Spaces Design Thread

mordecai

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thought it deserved a separate thread. Piet Oudolf designs with grasses and seasonal plants, planning his landscapes not only for life, but also for death. i'm a big fan. i believe the planting design of the high line in NYC was mostly his as well.
 

pruppert

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Bernard Tschumi: Parc de la Villette.

Hard to get a good idea based on pictures because of the sheer scale and amount of open space, but interesting nonetheless.





 

edinatlanta

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neat stuff.
 

StephenHero

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The great paradox of Parc de la Villette is that it's only great because of how unwelcoming and cold it is, which ensures that nobody really goes there and thus allows it to retain this slighly eerie and surreal atmosphere that makes it worth visiting. If it weren't so sterile, more people would use it and it'd suddenly just become a boring unromantic modern park. But you get some moments of complete isolation and the quietness is really incredible. It's the closest experience I've ever had to the equivalent of walking through an industrial de Chirico painting. Unlike every other park, the best time to go is when it's overcast or misty so the sunlight can't mitigate its ugliness. And the grass is perfectly maintained, which is critically important to good parks.
 

Kent Wang

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Look at this drivel on Wikpedia (some of it cited): There have been many criticisms of the park since its original completion. To some, the park has little concern with the human scale of park functions and the vast open space seem to challenge the expectation that visitors may have of an urban park. Bernard Tschumi designed the Parc de la Villette with the intention of creating a space that exists in a vacuum, something without historical precedent.[7] The park strives to strip down the signage and conventional representations that have infiltrated architectural design and allow for the existence of a "non-place." This non-place, envisioned by Tschumi, is the most appropriate example of space and provides a truly honest relationship between the subject and the object.[8] Visitors view and react to the plan, landscaping, and sculptural pieces without the ability to cross-reference them with previous works of historical architecture. The design of the park capitalizes on the innate qualities that are illustrated within architectural deconstructivism. By allowing visitors to experience the architecture of the park within this constructed vacuum, the time, recognitions, and activities that take place in that space begin to acquire a more vivid and authentic nature.[9] The park is not acting as a spectacle; it is not a self-indulgent example of traditional park design such as New York City's Central Park. The Parc de la Villette acts as a frame for culture and interaction. The park embodies anti-tourism, not allowing visitors to breeze through the site and pick and choose the sites they want to see. Upon arrival and the park, visitors are thrust into a world that is defined by exact architectural relationships and languages. The frame of the park, due to its roots in deconstructivism, has the ability to change and react to the functions that it holds within.[10] The relationships between the park and the cultural interactions that are found in it are dynamic and have the ability to change. The true deconstructive-ness of the Parc de la Villette is apparent in its ability to host these interactions in an environment that is built on the platform of cyclical change and reaction.
 

kwilkinson

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Is this the thread where I can say that Chicago's Pritzker Pavilion is ugly as shit?
 

GlenCoe

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A Y

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A landscape architect friend hates that kind of inhuman design -- it's like intellectual masturbation that you make someone pay to watch. She was railing against the very stark sidewalks in front of Disney Hall because it didn't encourage people to gather and hang out. The LA Music Center's plaza is great, however. It's always fun to see the kids (and even some adults) run in and out and play in the fountain, and the place is very comfortable to hang out in during intermissions and before shows. The entrances and exits are also well-designed so that large crowds can move in and out effortlessly.

Another interesting thing I learned was how this kind of thing affects urban design. Apparently there is a rule-of-thumb about how much stuff to place on sidewalks between the walking area and the road so that pedestrians feel comfortable walking --- stuff like trees, benches, even trashcans served as buffers and made people feel safer against the cars moving by. Having walked on bare sidewalks and well-designed ones, it's amazing how big of a difference this makes even though physically, the structures probably wouldn't matter if a car decided to hop the curb.

--Andre
 

gdl203

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Originally Posted by StephenHero
The great paradox of Parc de la Villette is that it's only great because of how unwelcoming and cold it is, which ensures that nobody really goes there and thus allows it to retain this slighly eerie and surreal atmosphere that makes it worth visiting. If it weren't so sterile, more people would use it and it'd suddenly just become a boring unromantic modern park. But you get some moments of complete isolation and the quietness is really incredible. It's the closest experience I've ever had to the equivalent of walking through an industrial de Chirico painting. Unlike every other park, the best time to go is when it's overcast or misty so the sunlight can't mitigate its ugliness. And the grass is perfectly maintained, which is critically important to good parks.
All true. But if you happen to go in the summer when they screen movies outdoors on the great lawn, you'll see that park packed from mid afternoon to midnight, every night.
 

holymadness

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Originally Posted by StephenHero
The great paradox of Parc de la Villette is that it's only great because of how unwelcoming and cold it is, which ensures that nobody really goes there and thus allows it to retain this slighly eerie and surreal atmosphere that makes it worth visiting. If it weren't so sterile, more people would use it and it'd suddenly just become a boring unromantic modern park. But you get some moments of complete isolation and the quietness is really incredible. It's the closest experience I've ever had to the equivalent of walking through an industrial de Chirico painting. Unlike every other park, the best time to go is when it's overcast or misty so the sunlight can't mitigate its ugliness. And the grass is perfectly maintained, which is critically important to good parks.
The Parc de la Villette is a desolate lunar wasteland, which is actually the image that comes across in your post despite its strangely dissonant tone of approval. The only difference between it and the equally sterile Jardin des Tuileries is that the gravel has been replaced by concrete.

All of which is to say that the French have no idea what to do with nature except to crush it under foot. Their only successful urban green spaces are Alphand's copies of English gardens.
 

Douglas

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I am not much of a fan of anything that has been posted in this thread. I think I can see why it might be considered conceptually interesting, but I do not wish to visit any of these places, nor would I hire any of these designers to do anything at my house. Perhaps my tastes are too traditional and bourgeois for SF. Actually, I think we have definitively already established that this is the case.
 

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