20 Mar 2013

25 Apr 2011

IZOLYATSIA Regeneration Project

Project: Izolyatsia Landscape Park Masterplan
Landscape Architect: FoRM Associates
Location: Donetsk, Ukraine
Area: Unspecified
Dates: 2010 - 2011 completion

The Izolyatsia project site was formerly an industrial site in Donetsk, transformed into a Landscape Masterplan by FoRM Associates & AID architects. The area was an important industrial centre for steel & coal throughout Ukraine. The project has been split into phases; the first phase is for a new circular park that incorporates a 45m high slag heap, & an experimental Arts centre.

The main aim of this project is to create a "hub of cultural excellence" (FoRM Associates), as well as creating a social, ecological & economic transformation of the post industrial landscape. "The Izolyatsia project aims to foster a dynamic environment emphasising the creative process, investigation & cultural production" (World Landscape Architecture).

The phased regeneration of the industrial complex will reclaim a lot of the 'grey' & abandoned site & transform it to make it 'green'; having the implications of literal environmental improvement & metaphorically as a place for new growth & positive change.

The slag heap, in phase one of the project, will be adopted for two purposes; a platform for large scale art installations & the centre of a new green public realm. The slag heap - the Terrikon - is completely man-made & has become a defining feature of the city, the transformation into a green space will continue its prominance, creating more of a sense of definition, boundary & community connections.

The project will deliver a bio diverse landscape in the centre of the city, contrasting to the current landscape of Donetsk, which was based on Soviet style "mass greening". The new public realm will incorporate open spaces with natural enclosed spaces, creating the ability for nature & art to coexist & interact. The transformation will form the basis for future developments of other aspects of the industrial site.

Images courtesy of World Landscape Architecture


Whilst working on my 3rd year final project I have been experimenting with a variety of graphic communication styles. There are many ways to represent a masterplan, every practice has their own style, but there tend to be similarities between some of them. Masterplan styles range from very diagrammatic to photo realistic. Below I have chosen some masterplans, at a variety of scales, that I have come across whilst trying to set my own style, all of these have been represented in an interesting or individual way.

Project: BGU University Entrance Square, Israel
Landscape Architects: Chyutin Architects

Area: 0.5 ha

This masterplan is for quite a small area, an entrance square to a University. The plan is simple & easy to read, the lack of textures makes this even more so (even though I tend to avoid using flat colours myself). Chyutin Architects have managed to use colours from similar colour palettes, creating a very tonal look, where all the colours compliment each other & are distinguishable, but do not contrast to much. I think you can tell this drawing was done by Architects as opposed to Landscape Architects due to the choice in style, however it has worked very well for them in my opinion. Surprisingly it is hard to keep things simple & make them look good.

Project: Valencia Parque Central, Spain
Landscape Architects: Gustafson Porter
Area: 23 ha

This Gustafson Porter Masterplan is more realistic, in a sense that the trees, grass, water & other elements have a texture to them, making them less diagrammatic. Despite this the colours are very vibrant, more so than they naturally would be, reducing the photo-realism of the plan, but distinguishing it as a design proposal not aerial photograph. I like this style of masterplan, it is very informative & all aspects of the project are clearly visible.

Project: Tianjin Qiaoyuan Park, China
Landscape Architect: Turenscape (Beijing Turen Design Institute)
Area: 22 ha

Turenscape have used a very diagrammatic method of drawing their masterplan. The colours used are an exaggerated representation of the elements they are displaying, as opposed to being a true representation of the colour. The context map surrounding the plan has been greatly darkened to draw all attention to the main design, although this is effective, the dark grey is also slightly distracting, perhaps just too dark.

Project: Madrid RIO, Madrid, Spain
Landscape Architect: West 8

Area: 80 ha

This masterplan is on a larger scale, spread along a long linear site. The detail at this scale is minimal (or not clearly visible), but zoomed in plans would be shown to compliment the overall plan. The faded colours & very faint surrounding context make this masterplan very appealing to look at. It intrigues me & encourages me to want to look closer into the project & see the finer details of the design.

Project: Sa Riera Park, Palma de Mall
orca, Spain
Landscape Architect: Ravetllat Ribas
Area: 11.6 ha

The images below show a masterplan of the same site & design but at two different scales, illustrating the differences between plans at differing scales. The top image is a closer look at the plan without a surrounding context, & is purely for purposes of showing the proposed planting scheme. Each tree has been represented by a coloured dot, & each tree species is shown in a different colour. This way of showing a planting scheme is very effective.

The second masterplan is at a smaller scale but with its surrounding context & other phases of the project in darker grey tones. The plan, like above, shows trees as coloured dots, but because of the scale they are harder to distinguish between. The colours used are an exaggerated representation of the features/plants they are illustrating. This is not my favourite style of masterplan as I find it harder to read the information; there is too much colour in a small space, & all of it quite contrasting. Tonal colour schemes are far more appealing & easier on the eye.

Images courtesy of World Landscape Architect & Landezine

19 Apr 2011

Landscape Restoration

Project: Landscape Restoration of Landfill - La Vall d'en Joan
Landscape Architect: Batlle i Roig (Architects)
El Garraf Natural Park, Barcelona, Spain
Area: 150 ha
Completion: 2008
Cost: 26,000,000 Euros

A 150 hectare land fill site, south-west of Barcelona, has been transformed into a green terraced agricultural landscape by Spanish architects Batlle i Roig. The project named La Vall D'en Joan (Valley of Joan) was started in 2000 & completed in 2008, in which year it won the Energy, Waste & Recycling category at the World Architecture Festival, which was held in Barcelona.

Joan Roig of Batlle i Roig Architects has said: "The idea was to create a system of hills and banks in a way that would avoid erosion from water and to give the rubbish dump back to nature with a natural design." (CNN)

The landfill site had been used by the whole of Barcelona's metropolitan area for the last 30 years, with over 20 million tonnes of waste spread across the site. In some areas they had to dig down over 100 metres before they reached soil. The whole site has now been made very sustainable; there is an underground drainage system used to remove contaminated waste fluids from the rubbish & filter it so that the water can be used to irrigate the park. Bio gas emitted from the rubbish is also used on site to create energy.

Part of the design was to keep some of the rubbish above ground, contained in steel cages, marking the entrance to the park. These act as a constant reminder to visitors of the history of the site. The project was described by the World Architecture Festival judges as being: "a perfect example of bringing dead nature back to life by converting rubbish into a beautiful piece of landscape architecture...using few and humble means". (CNN)

Images courtesy of Landezine.com

14 Apr 2011

HBO+EMTB - Practice Profile

HBO+EMTB is a multidisciplinary practice with studios in Australia, New Zealand & Asia. Their disciplines include; interior design, architecture, workspace solutions, heritage architecture, planning & landscape architecture.

Below is an extract from HBO+EMTB's Landscape Architecture section of their website.

"HBO+EMTB create quality environments informed by place, culture and ecology. Our projects emphasise and incorporate sustainability and water sensitive design principles.

As cities expand, available greenspace within the public, corporate and private domain takes on greater significance. Our interventions benefit the community, enhancing the experience of landscape through robust, functional designs that delight the senses and increase biodiversity.

HBO+EMTB’s landscape design expertise covers the design and construction of constructed ecologies, parks, large scale rural and recreational landscapes, schemes for private gardens, boutique resorts, new residential estates, commercial developments, streetscapes, public domain and infrastructure projects" (HBO+EMTB)

HASSELL - Practice Profile

HASSELL is a multidisciplinary design practice with studios in Asia & Australia, working with disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, planning & urban design, all integrated with the idea of sustainability. Design work is informed by all areas of the practices' disciplines, creating well rounded & effect designs.

HASSELL have won many awards across the design field, "Recognition of our sustained and diverse output is illustrated by the more than 450 design awards HASSELL has received from peer groups and industry bodies." (HASSELL - Practice Profile)

The practice aim to create exciting, diverse places & spaces whilst also considering environmental & sustainable issues. Informing their designs with knowledge of environmental conditions, shapes, forms & function.

Landscape Architecture is not their most developed discipline, projects mainly consist of small spaces, outside buildings (offices, universities), there is no large scale public spaces or parks in their design portfolio.

The Harrington Grove Country Club: this project focus was on the building & interior, the landscape surrounding completed the design. The landscaped grass terraces "wrap around" the building, each terrace creating opportunity for multi-use spaces, including an amphitheatre.

Darwin Waterfront (work in progress): this project is a masterplan redesign of an old industrial port into a public, mixed-use urban community. A new extensive park area has been proposed, which is to include an all year round public swimming beach, public promenades, picnic areas, art & cultural facilities.

Cairnlea: 460 hectare new residential suburb in the north-west of Melbourne. The site was previously an explosives plant, & so was heavily contaminated. The redevelopment of the area used existing natural features, including large areas of remnant grassland, two creeks & an array of native trees; all situated on an active floodplain. The project was also aimed at creating a community hub, with schools, community facilities & a commercial zone.

HASSELL addressed the importance of sustainability & environmental land management; due to the nature of the site, being a floodplain & having two major waterways traversing it, they created an extensive storm water re-use system (potentially saving upto 160,000 kilolitres of water per year). Some of the water is treated & used in irrigation, other water is used to create habitats & wetland areas.

Deck walkways cross the wetland zones, creating paths & circulation within the site.

A pavilion besides the wetland creates a public space element to the project, inviting people to enjoy the wildlife & habitats that surround them.

All images courtesy of HASSELL

28 Mar 2011


After another day attempting to gain access to the Millenium Mills site for my studio project (another failed attempt) I decided to see what else was in the local area. I came across a few interesting places, including a community run allotment, Newham City Farm & Beckton District Park

On the north side of the Royal Victoria Dock yet another large office or hotel complex is quickly being erected. The curving shape of the building (I can assume to mimic the surrounding water) is becoming a bit of a cliche, you see it now with a large amount of new builds near to water. The whole area is under constant redevelopment, which will continue for several years, it is not surprising most of it is very corporate due to its proximity to London City Airport & Canary Wharf. Hopefully once the buildings are up then someone will do something about the landscape, which at the moment is very dull & uninspiring.

On the way to Beckton District Park, I stumbled upon this small community allotment. The area was enclosed by a steel fence & locked gate, but there were a couple of men in there who let me in. Originally a bare plot of land, one of the locals took it upon themselves to turn the wasted land into an allotment available for people in the local area.

Dotted around the allotment were these old mannequins, which added a very individual, perhaps slightly spooky element. I did not ask, but assumed these were partly decorative & partly as a deterent to birds & other animals.

Home-made bird deterents made out of household waste items such as tins, plastic bottles, transformed into shapes that allows wind to blow through them & cause movement.

Newham City Farm is one of London's longest running city farms, opening in 1977. The farm offers educational & leisure activities for the whole community, & visitors to the area. Over the years the farm has expanded, gaining many species of animals, including a shire horse, goats, pigs, cows, ducks & many more. Another expansion was the addition of a Visitors Centre; an existing park building that was no longer used has now been converted into the centre which provides classroom facilities & a display room. The farm continues to grow, with developments of new paddocks taking place when I visited.

An interesting steel bull is in the middle of the central paddock

This City Farm is the best I have visited. The whole concept of city farms is a reasonably new one to me, having only visited them this year, however I think they are a great way for children & adults to enjoy aspects of nature & wildlife that typically they cannot in the city environment. All of the ones I have visited, including; Vauxhall, Spitalfields, Newham & Hackney, have all been busy even during the week, showing that they are a very utilised & enjoyed feature within their areas, attracting more than just nearby residents.

This photo (above) shows the lake in Beckton District Park; the third year studio project site of another landscape architect on my course.

27 Mar 2011

Tudela (Club Med) Restoration - Spain

Project: Tudela (Club Med) Restoration
Landscape Architect: EMF Landscape Architects
Location: Cap de Creus, Catalunya, Spain
Area: 200 ha
Completion: 2010
Project Type: Restoration, nature

Image courtesy of Landezine