Boasting a resplendent topography, Karen Blixens Plads in Copenhagen is both a 20,000-squaremetre public space and a parking lot large enough for 2,000 bicycles. Architect Dan Stubbergaard of local firm Cobe achieved this feat by stacking one program element on top of the other. On the surface, the square is an undulating landscape, half hardscrabble, half green, and perfect for bike rides or summertime strolls. But in key locations, the space is punctuated with whimsical circles to reveal semi-submerged parking lots beneath the artificial mounds. Karen Blixens Plads is a climate park, too: During heavy storms, when nobody’s biking anyway, the storage will become a massive rainwater collector.
Team Dan Stubbergaard (Cobe) with Peter Droob (EKJ), Rolf Carlsen (CN3), Jacob Møller Madsen (M.J. Eriksson), Esben Misfeldt (NCC Denmark) and Per Jørgen Jørgensen (Vind-Vind)
For decades, the edge of China’s Fu River was little more than a concrete embankment. Like many municipalities around the world, the city of Chongqing had made the mistake of transforming its natural riverfront into a hard, “impenetrable” flood wall. It not only made for a dull, lifeless setting, but it ultimately failed at its sole purpose, as extreme weather became more frequent and waters threatened the surrounding farmland. Enter Turenscape.
The Beijing-based landscape architects (winners of past AZ Awards) have replaced the flat concrete barrier with a natural habitat that welcomes the water instead of repelling it. The nearly 99-hectare park that now embraces the river is a constructed wetland of naturally porous, biodiverse and flood-resilient indigenous vegetation complemented by a series of ponds and islands.(more…)