The lay of the land

Monday 17 Nov 2014

Huw Morgan, Daniel Rea and Andy Sturgeon select the WAN Landscape Award Shortlist

Three experts in our renowned jury panel have reduced a longlist of twenty five exemplary projects in the WAN Landscape Award to a shortlist of six. Judges Huw Morgan, Director of Camlins, Daniel Rea, Director of Operations at Martha Schwartz Partners and Andy Sturgeon, the leading UK Garden Designer used their knowledge and expertise to evaluate all the projects based on their originality, form and special quality, sustainability and context, and how well the design addressed the client brief and pushed the boundaries of the typology.

After a three-hour objective debate, the judges concluded that the following six projects well deserved a place on the WAN Landscape Award Shortlist.

We started with the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London by Hargreaves Associates. For the judges, this 110-hectare parkland in East London was a definite yes, with Daniel stating: “I think it’s great. It’s a transformative project. For London it's completely forward in park typology - we don’t build parks like this anymore and we haven’t for 100 years.” All three were enthusiastic about the park’s innovation and social popularity, and felt it an important project in urban, cultural and regeneration terms.

The second project shortlisted was Krymskaya Embankment in Moscow, Russia by Wowhaus. The firm's objective was to turn a once unappealing, quiet, four-lane road into a city landmark, with a pedestrian and cycle route connecting Vorobyovy Hills, Neskuchny Garden, Gorky Park, Bolotny Island, along the Moskva River, and Boulevard Ring. The judges were all in agreement that the architects demonstrated brilliant initiative and were impressed by the very short time of eight months that the architects completed the project in. Huw praised the architects saying: “In terms of urban design value and what they have achieved it is great. To champion it and get it built is a special thing.” Andy added 'even the cycle route is innovative'.

The next addition to the shortlist was One Central Park in Sydney, Australia designed by Aspect Oculus, a mixed-use project and the largest green façade in Australia. Andy was impressed with how the vertical landscapes were thriving: “The plantings look like they are doing really well there. It’s very successful.” Huw recognised the complexity of a design like this saying: “It is technically challenging to have done all that. The whole team have been fully on board to make it look like that and achieve that so it is quite special. It’s fully integrated.”

Mangfall Park in Bavaria by A24 Landschaft Landschaftarchitektur GmbH was also admired by all three of the judges. The park, located in Rosenheim, Germany, is a great example of how both sustainable water management and good design can be accomplished in one project. Daniel said: “It’s beautifully detailed. I really like this especially given the scale of the project.” Huw said: “I really like it; I think it’s understated and has a lot of high quality details.” He was also impressed by the connection of every part of the park with a series of 'intimate moments'.

Parco Dora in Turin, Italy by Latz + Partner Landscape Architects and Urban Planners was also highly praised. This original 37-hectare park on a former industrial heritage site comprises five separate areas above the new tunnel of relocated motorway and is dominated by the river Dora. The judges found the simplicity of the project very interesting and Huw observed that 'the project is contextually right and it’s done a lot for the surrounding city'.

The charming Nordic Garden designed by POLYFORM was the sixth and final project on the shortlist. Located in Copenhagen, Denmark this small garden runs around the front of award-winning restaurant Noma and was designed to create a buffer zone around the restaurant, which gave passing visitors the experience of Noma and in this way included them. Huw commented that 'the project is very cleverly designed and it looks lovely'. Andy was also impressed by POLYFORM’s creation stating 'it’s difficult to design something effective on such a small scale'.

A big congratulations to all of those on the shortlist from the WAN AWARDS team and our 2014 Landscape Award winning announcement will be made in News Review on 2 December.

Janet Dounen

Key Facts:

Urban design

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