Topos 78


Release Date: Mar 20, 2012
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Topos 78

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Cities are cultural constructs by definition, created to fulfil the vital functions of society. This issue is concerned with new projects that add something to the city. In Oslo an opera house has given a new impetus to a neighbourhood and created a new category of urban space. Culturescapes can take the form of a square, like in a multifunctional space in Innsbruck, or a park in Copenhagen, where the aim was to facilitate multicultural connections. Culturescapes can also be in the form of a master plan for a new district in Singapore, which proposes ecological engineering measures to transform nature into city culture.


New Nordic Culturescapes

In northern societies culture plays an important role. Most recently, concert halls and theatres have been developed at the best inner-city locations in all capitals. They act as magnets for public life and are promoted by modest but highly functional open spaces.

Author: Guja Dögg Hauksdóttir


Irwell River Park: The Rediscovery of Manchester’s Lost River

The image of a city is very much represented by the relationship of the urban fabric and its river. The industrial decline in Greater Manchester led to the almost complete isolation of the River Irwell. The vision for the Irwell River Park aims to transform the river from a backwater into a spine and focal point at the heart of the city.

Authors: Eddy Fox, Peter Fink


A sculptured square

Innsbruck’s newly designed Landhausplatz in the Tyrolean Alps of Austria, has swiftly become a vibrant and popular place in the city. The sinuous topography and light surface create a homogenous space which is structured into distinct areas and accommodates four memorials.

Author: Peter Zöch

Culture Riot: Copenhagen’s Superkilen

Multicultural issues play out in public space. Superkilen is evidence of the pressing need to examine our aesthetic and cultural assumptions in the 21st century city. The space is a riot of cultural references, knit together by a wildly modified ground-plane.

Author: Jessica Bridger

Maxlab IV Landscape

A high-performance synchrotron radiation laboratory is laid out on 19 hectares of productive land in the traditional landscape outside of Lund in southern Sweden. The highly sensitive equipment of Maxlab IV necessitated a landscape strategy that buffers the lab from its surroundings.

Author: Jenny B. Osuldsen


High-rise and Furnace

In the district of Belval Ouest in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, on the grounds of a former steelworks, the design of a new square is inspired by the industrial past.

Author: Erik Meinharter


Unsightly Sights to See

On the transformation of old industrial sites through post-industrial design

Authors: Wolfram Höfer, Vera Vicenzotti



Photographer Bas Princen’s recent book “Reservoir” is a collection of photographs that reveal the natural and artificial aspects of the world around us: the built environment.


Walk this Way to the Time of Your Life

The slogan for the Cape Town Fan Walk reveals the ambitious hope and scope of the project. As the host of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa’s Cape Town was the site of many revitalization and development projects.

Author: Tamsin Faragher


Reciprocal Acts: Reviving Larger Ambitions, Incrementally

Two recent projects by Reed Hilderbrand Associates in Boston, Massachusetts, reveal a sensibility about the city’s new urban fabric. Boston’s reconnected waterfront allows for new civic designs and now we can begin to assess their efficacy.

Author: Gary R. Hilderbrand


San Francisco’s High-Profile Living Roof

The green roof at the California Academy of Sciences has become ­internationally famous. The roof and surrounding gardens in the context of Golden Gate Park resonate strongly with the public.

Author: Judith Stilgenbauer


A Bunker for Salvador Dalí

In Florida, on the southern end of St. Petersburg’s water­­front promenade, a hurricane-safe museum was erected for an important collection of the Catalan painter Salvador Dalí.

Author: Constance Price


Mosaico Vallarta, Mexico

The new Malecón of Puerto Vallarta brings the genius loci to life through a narrative paving pattern, widened pedestrian paths and places to linger. The new promenade promises a renewed connection between the city and the ocean – a public amenity.

Author: Daniel Vasini



Gardens by the Bay is the largest landscape architecture project in Singapore’s history. Innovative elements are combined with lush tropical vegetation in the first of three parks.

Author: Bianca Maria Rinaldi


Vocabulary for the Landscape

Dieter Kienast’s formal style made him renowned far beyond Europe’s borders. His work embodies an era in which the profession of landscape architecture underwent a phase of reorientation. A doctoral thesis was embarked upon in order to investigate the reasons for this new orientation, and the resulting publication throws light on the cultural context of postmodernism as understood by Kienast.

Author: Anette Freytag



Eddy Fox, Peter Fink: Irwell River Park

Mann, Roy, Rivers in the City, David & Charles, Newton Abbott, 1973 

Bacup Times,


Wolfram Höfer, Vera Vicenzotti: Unsightly Sights to See

Böll, Heinrich & Chargesheimer, Klaus (1958): Im Ruhrgebiet. Köln, Büchergilde Gutenberg Verlag.

Eisel, Ulrich (1982): Die schöne Landschaft als kritische Utopie oder als konservatives Relikt. Soziale Welt, 33(2), pp. 157-168.

Guglielmi, Andrew O. (2005): Recreating the western city in a post-industrialized world: European Brownfield policy and an American comparison. Buffalo Law Review, 53(4), pp. 1273-1312.

Heymann, Richard (1999): Postindustrial park or bourgeois playground? Preservation and urban restructuring at Seattle's Gas Works Park. In: Bennet, M. & Teague, D. W. (Eds.): The Nature of Cities. Ecocriticism and Urban Environments. Tucson, The University of Arizona Press, pp. 111-134.

Kirkwood, Niall (Ed.) (2001): Manufactured Sites. Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape. London, Spon Press.

Latz, Peter (2004): Landscape Park Duisburg-Nord: the metamorphosis of an industrial site. In: Kirkwood, N. (Ed.) Manufactured Sites. Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape. London, Spon Press, pp. 149-161.

Maier-Solgk, Frank (2012): Phoenix – Stelldichein am See. Garten und Landschaft 122(1),20-22.


Judith Stilgenbauer: San Francisco’s High-Profile Living Roof

ASLA Professional Awards 2009 website; (accessed January 25, 2012)

California Academy of Sciences website; (accessed January 30, 2012)

Eaton, Joe & Sullivan, Ron (2011), “California Academy of Sciences' roof is thriving,” in Special to the San Francisco Chronicle, November 2, 2011; (accessed February 8, 2012)

McIntyre, Linda (2009); “High Maintenance Superstar,” in Landscape Architecture magazine, issue August 2009, pp. 64-77

SWA Group, project description; (accessed January 25, 2012)


Anette Freytag: Vocabulary for the Landscape

Bücher-Vogler, Christine: Von der Lichtlandschaft zur Stadtverwaldung. Natur- und Landschaftsdarstellungen in der westdeutschen Kunst nach 1945, Frankfurt a. M. u.a.: Peter Lang, 1994.

Freytag, Anette: „Engagement und Schönheit. Eine Doktorarbeit stellt den Zusammenhang der frühen Ideale und Entwürfe Dieter Kienasts mit seinem späteren Werken her“, in: Garten und Landschaft, Nr. 3, 2012, S. 6-11.

Handke, Peter: Langsame Heimkehr, Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp, 1979.

Handke, Peter: Die Lehre der Montagne Saint-Victoire, Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp, 1980.

Handke, Peter: Die Geschichte des Bleistifts, Salzburg: Residenz Verlag, 1982.

Herzog & De Meuron: Naturgeschichte (Hg. Philip Ursprung), Baden: Lars Müller, 2002.

Herzog, Jacques im Interview mit Sabine Kraft und Christian Kühn, „Mit allen Sinnen spüren“, in: ARCH+, Nr. 142, Juli, 1998, S. 32-40.

Kienast, Dieter: „Zehn Thesen zur Landschaftsarchitektur“, in: Die Poetik des Gartens. Zwischen Chaos und Ordnung in der Landschaftsarchitektur (Hg. Prof. für Landschaftsarchitektur ETH Zürich), Basel-Boston-Berlin: Birkhäuser, 2002, S. 207-210.

LeWitt, Sol: Structures 1965-2006 (Hg. Nicholas Baume), New Haven-London: Yale University Press, 2011.

Šklovskij, Viktor: „Kunst als Verfahren“, in: Russischer Formalismus. Texte zur allgemeinen Literaturtheorie und Theorie der Prosa (Hg. Jurij Striedter), München, 1994, S. 3-35.

Ursprung, Philip: Die Kunst der Gegenwart. 1960 bis heute, München: Ch. Beck, 2010.

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