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F60 Visitors mine, IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land, Open-cast mining Niederlausitz/Germany Landscape and Transformation. FS 2014 V08 theory lab lecture series Landscape Park Duisburg-Nord/Germany; Latz + Partner. In: Groundswell (2005), p. 125 The term recultivation is quite new and awkward because it refers to an unpreceden- ted situation: outside the tradition of typology and archetypes. Land and soil, which have been severely abused, are reclaimed and put into some form of cultivation, call it landscape if you will. As easy as this may sound, the transformation of so-called »brownfields« into productive »greenfields« requires specific know-how in terms of cultivation, relentless determination, and faith in nature over time. Countless projects and initiatives – at a broad range of scales – indicate a growing trend in urban and industrial areas where wastelands are transformed into new and possibly productive landscape environments. The range of recultivation projects in this century is im- pressive, it accounts for well over half the landscape projects underway. They range from large-scale industrial reclamation projects, such as the IBA Emscher Park in the Ruhr, through mid-sized urban parks like the Oerliker Park in Zurich, down to the small »Guerilla Gardens« which began in California ten years ago and are now rapidly spreading worldwide. The reason for the global appeal of recultivation projects is that they are the direct expression of a positive reaction to a general planetary condition, one where nature needs to be completely rethought and reinvented for the purpose of ecology. It is difficult to address the aesthetics of recultivation along the same lines as earlier landscape and garden histories. There are presently no aesthetic models to draw from in terms of method of soil and landscape amelioration, although such methods in great part effectively determine and characterize the spatial configuration of a project. The shift at the paradigm of landscape recultivation, although not visible at first glance, is quite pervasive and determines in great part the final outcome of any design. It is the varying soil condition and the degree of contamination that determines the mode of intervention to follow. This in turn delivers the project’s inherent quality and singular aesthetic. The most common approach is to use a series of phyto-remedial processes and it takes up to half a century to achieve its remedial goals. The very placement of plants and trees on a tight grid within a landscape determines in great part the inhe- rent spatial arrangement and the outcome of any remedial design. We need to learn anew how to live within this recultivated world, and to understand how to cope with the aesthetic constraints of these very long processes a stake. It requires a new under- standing, but also a new vision of what landscape has come to be. © Christophe Girot 2014 Landschaftsarchitektur FS 2014 Seite 01 www.girot.arch.ethz.ch

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V08FS14.inddLandscape and Transformation. FS 2014 V08
theory lab lecture series
Landscape Park Duisburg-Nord/Germany; Latz + Partner. In: Groundswell (2005), p. 125
The term recultivation is quite new and awkward because it refers to an unpreceden-
ted situation: outside the tradition of typology and archetypes. Land and soil, which
have been severely abused, are reclaimed and put into some form of cultivation, call
it landscape if you will. As easy as this may sound, the transformation of so-called
»brownfi elds« into productive »greenfi elds« requires specifi c know-how in terms of
cultivation, relentless determination, and faith in nature over time. Countless projects
and initiatives – at a broad range of scales – indicate a growing trend in urban and
industrial areas where wastelands are transformed into new and possibly productive
landscape environments. The range of recultivation projects in this century is im-
pressive, it accounts for well over half the landscape projects underway. They range
from large-scale industrial reclamation projects, such as the IBA Emscher Park in the
Ruhr, through mid-sized urban parks like the Oerliker Park in Zurich, down to the
small »Guerilla Gardens« which began in California ten years ago and are now rapidly
spreading worldwide. The reason for the global appeal of recultivation projects is that
they are the direct expression of a positive reaction to a general planetary condition,
one where nature needs to be completely rethought and reinvented for the purpose of
ecology.
It is diffi cult to address the aesthetics of recultivation along the same lines as earlier
landscape and garden histories. There are presently no aesthetic models to draw from
in terms of method of soil and landscape amelioration, although such methods in great
part effectively determine and characterize the spatial confi guration of a project. The
shift at the paradigm of landscape recultivation, although not visible at fi rst glance, is
quite pervasive and determines in great part the fi nal outcome of any design. It is the
varying soil condition and the degree of contamination that determines the mode of
intervention to follow. This in turn delivers the project’s inherent quality and singular
aesthetic. The most common approach is to use a series of phyto-remedial processes
and it takes up to half a century to achieve its remedial goals. The very placement of
plants and trees on a tight grid within a landscape determines in great part the inhe-
rent spatial arrangement and the outcome of any remedial design. We need to learn
anew how to live within this recultivated world, and to understand how to cope with
the aesthetic constraints of these very long processes a stake. It requires a new under-
standing, but also a new vision of what landscape has come to be.
© Christophe Girot 2014
www.girot.arch.ethz.ch
Literature: Corner, James (ed.): Recovering Landscape. Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture, New York 1999.
Dettmar, Jörg et al. (ed.): IndustrieNatur - Ökolo- gie und Gartenkunst im Emscher Park, Stuttgart 1999.
Girot, Christophe: Design Nature - Natur entwer- fen. In: Dettmar, Jörg; Rohler, Hans-Peter (ed.): Trägerschaft und Pflege des Emscher Land- schaftsparks in der Metropole Ruhr. Wie viel Grün kann sich die Metropole Ruhr leisten? Essen 2010, p. 26-41.
Hauser, Susanne: Metamorphosen des Abfalls. Konzepte für alte Industrieareale, Frankfurt 2001.
Museum of Modern Art (ed.): Groundswell. Constructing the Contemporary Landscape, New York 2005.
Pflug, Wolfram (ed.): Braunkohlentagebau und Rekultivierung. Landschaftsökologie - Folgenut- zung - Naturschutz, Berlin u.a. 1998.
Reynolds, Richard: Guerilla gardening. Ein bota- nisches Manifest, Freiburg 2009.
Strelow, Heike (ed.): Ökologische Ästhetik. Theo- rie und Praxis künstlerischer Umweltgestaltung, Basel 2004.
Weilacher, Udo: Syntax der Landschaft. Die Land- schaftsarchitektur von Peter Latz und Partner, Basel u.a. 2007.
Landschaftsarchitektur FS 2014 Seite 02
Oerliker Park in Zurich; Zulauf Seippel Schweingruber Landschaftsarchitekten Foto: Dunja Richter