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1 SPECIAL > Landscape Architect_Lodewijk Baljon Lodewijk Baljon Special Landscape Architect LODEWIJK BALJON landscape architects LODEWIJK BALJON landscape architects is an international office for urban design and landscape architecture. Over the last 20 years LODEWIJK BALJON landscape architects has established itself as a leading design office which meets successfully design challenges in highly innovative ways. Their international team of landscape architects and urban designers are continuously pushing the potential of landscape architecture forward. The activities range from the garden to the city. Alongside the development of the theory of landscape architecture, the interest in the arts and crafts aspect of the profession is the constant binding component in the projects. In every project the landscape is explored for hidden potential. Landscape architecture influences the environment intentionally, therefore it has the obligation to it in a responsible way. To create a place that engages people and is sustainable

2 SPECIAL > Landscape Architect_Lodewijk Baljon Lodewijk Baljon Lodewijk Baljon (1956) graduated Cum Laude at Wageningen University and received his PhD in 1992 (Designing Parks, An examination of contemporary approaches to design in landscape architecture). Since 1986, he holds his office in Amsterdam, where he is working with a team of fifteen designers on a variety of projects, ranging from private to public projects and from landscape architecture to urban design. The design work is supported by teaching, research and writing. He was awarded the most prestigious prize for urban design in the Netherlands: Omgevingsarchitectuurprijs. In 2004 he received two awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects. Recently he got the Dutch Design Award (category public space) for the Station Square in Apeldoorn (this project has just been nominated for the German Design Award 2010), and the National Building Prize (category integral design) for the urban gardens at the government office complex in Groningen. He has written numerous critical essays on urban and landscape developments and lectures on a regular basis. He is guest professor at the Academy of Architecture Amsterdam and taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Selection of publications in English - Designing Parks, Architectura et Natura Press, Amsterdam, Modernity in Park Design, a retro-active manifesto, in: Docomomo Journal nr La Villette revisited, in: Topos, nr The landscape of urban extensions, in: Topos nr Space on the river, in: Outdoor space at the Kop van Zuid, Rotterdam, Halftime at Kop van Zuid, in: Topos nr Nieuw Sloten: Low rise in high density, with Margriet Pflug, Bussum, Natural Stone, in: Topos nr Artificial Nature, in Territories, Boston/Montreal, 2007 Amsterdam, July

3 SPECIAL > Landscape Architect_Lodewijk Baljon Interview 1. You, designer of the landscape architecture of Hyundai I PARK CITY in Suwon-si, have visited Korea for an invited lecture June, 2009 together with Architect Ben Van Berkel who collaborated this project with you. At the lecture, you showed a meaning of landscape and your own view, and let us feel a European landscape philosophy. Please tell us more about your design philosophy based on the urban landscape in this interview. Landscape is not only scenery, it is a system. The interference between topography, soil conditions, vegetation and occupation creates the landscape. This complex system caries in it the history of the place; landscape is in essence a cultural phenomenon. Coming from the Dutch tradition, landscape is a thing that we adept to our needs. Urban planning should not only be about laying out roads and erecting buildings, it should be about the cultivation of a place. That s why it is natural to take the landscape as the basis for urban design. Only through this concept can we create meaningful places. 2. Hyundai I PARK, the 245 acre site, goals for the completion in 2012 has a unique U-shaped site and two streams which flow along the site. What are you emphasizing on this project s site with unique shape in addition to Korea project? or what is the most distinguishing mark at this project? The project is outstanding through the integration of architecture and public space based on the landscape. The design process is driven by deep analysis of context and program. It is an urban development that puts the landscape first: in design because we used the concept of landscape as a basis for the urban plan, and in realization because we park all cars underground to give people the space to wander freely through the urban landscape. Within tight constraints we, together with our client Hyundai Development, found ways to create more ecological values and make a more durable water system. 3. It is said that the secret to your success is the design philosophy, which places the city's history at the heart of urban landscaping. Create drawings of the basic layout using a solution that enhances the profile of the target space, and add to this the results of analysis and historical background for a richer landscape design. So, would you tell us something of yours method for cultivating, or aspects you emphasize ordinary times as a landscape architect? 72 73

4 SPECIAL > Landscape Architect_Lodewijk Baljon The activities of my firm range from the garden to the city. Very different projects, but they have in common that they are often constrained within a tight budget, a limited space, and a challenging program. These complex situations force us to clearly demonstrate our design principles. The context plays an important roll, for both time and place. The history of the site is a starting point for the future. Enhancing the character of the place, combined with an analytical treatment of the program, forms the basis of the design. We see the landscape architect as an ingenious planner and astute integrator in complex processes. By drawing, we analyze the given situation and program, we research the context and its potential, and we sketch for the client the consequences of the chosen starting points and conditions. This design technique results in an integral plan, where all possible aspects fall perfectly together. 4. As previously stated, you develop and find the solution from the historical background of the area. In case of oriental nations, not Europe (for example, Hyundai I PARK, Korea), it is different totally each other. When you consider by yourself, what do you think of solution of ideal landscape which transcends national, cultural and spatial limitation? In the post-war years architects believed that there was one ideal architecture, the International Style. As a result we saw everywhere the same buildings popping up. This was a misinterpretation of Modernity. I think that we can only progress to a higher level of landscape architecture, urban planning, and architecture if we work in a contextual way. Of course the design for I Park City is my interpretation of the local landscape and is for that matter European in its approach, but the basis is the local history and local geomorphology that create the landscape conditions that I make use of. Through my research I discovered how different styles in landscape architecture cohere. It has given me true understanding of the development of our field through the ages. That also helps me to work in different cultures. 5. Do you have any designer who affects you? If so, what are you value from their elders? My mentor at University, Hans Warnau, was a Modernist, but with strong roots in the tradition of the profession. He taught me the importance of craftsmanship. But also of creating places where people are comfortable and feel at home. Those aspects, combined with expressing the sense of the underlying landscape, is what I like in the Scandinavian landscape architecture. Thorbjorn Andersson is a strong representative at the moment

5 SPECIAL > Landscape Architect_Lodewijk Baljon Station Square in Apeldoorn Location Apeldoorn, The Netherlands Collaboration LED artist Giny Vos, urban planner Hans Davidson Engineering SmitsRinsma, ARUP, DGMR Design Completion Area 1 ha Client Public Private Partnership - city of Apeldoorn and developers/contractors Heijmans and BAM Photographer Rik Klein Grotink, Lodewijk Baljon, Daniel Nicolas The square is the focal point in front of the historical railway station. It reflects the city s regional rural identity, expresses the dynamics of the public transportation node and offers a relaxed and comfortable place to linger. It accommodates a bicycle route ( users daily) connecting the two parts of the city under the tracks. Since its opening the square proves to be popular with a wide range of visitors, making it an animated and safe place. Context The new station square is the gateway to Apeldoorn, a city proud of its strong relation with the surrounding landscape. Sand-colored paving and pine trees are a direct reference to the regional identity. Legibility of spatial organization and comfort for travellers are the primary importance for the success of this square. The everyday user of the public transport node requires a lively and well-organized station square with a distinct character. Program The public space integrates different modes of transportation (bus terminal, railway station, major bicycle and pedestrian route under passing the tracks, kiss and ride, taxi stand.) The urban shape is a Crescent accommodating shops, housing and office buildings. At the centre is an underpass for bicycles and pedestrians, both linked with the railway station and platforms. A large bicycle parking is combined with the underpass. The storage is underground but, through the concaved shell shape of the square, at the same time presenting itself with a façade and is well accessible. Design Intent and Materialization Floor The shell-shaped floor radiates calm and exclusive simplicity. Yellow Portuguese granite continues throughout and up until the tree trunks. The floor has the image of sand: informal, inviting, and refers to the regional landscape. In the pattern of craquelure-like cracks, line drains, tree grates, and light poles have been effortlessly integrated. The unique tree grates are a culmination of the characteristic paving pattern. Trees The semicircular space is a sheltered square with a character both of urbanity and of landscape. The planting is transparent with airy trees. Pine trees were selected from a nursery, as if picked from the regional forest. They stand in a loose arrangement that moves with the Crescent, denser along the edge of the square and giving way to openness towards the center. The multiple slopes and the difference in levels of the site were integrated into the shell-shaped square 1

6 Site plan Lighting The simple light poles stand loosely spread amongst the stems of the pines. The emphasis is on the spectacle of the glass wall. It turns the confrontation of the dugout square and the wall as a consequence of that into an interesting feature. It makes the entrance to the underpass into a feast, that otherwise would have been a dark and sombre place. The 1.3 million LED lights in the glass wall picture a continually changing reference of travelling sand that refers to a sand drift, a phenomenon of the regional landscape. The glass wall is also lit during the day, making the otherwise dark (north facing) wall in to the most attractive element of the square. Sculptural objects Large elements offer room for specific use or invite passersby to rest and watch the everyday ballet of people coming and going. The horizontal planes contrast with the gentle sloop of the shell-shaped square. There is a space for skaters, which provides liveliness. Additionally, a water table made of granite, a red metal protective covering of the roots of the existing Platanus, and a number of robust sitting elements follow the irregular craquelure-like pattern throughout the square. Different people at different moments populate the space. Concept 3 4

7 The difference in level comes alive with 1.3 million LED lights depicting a sand drift 5 6

8 Sculptural elements in the square provide informal seating The granite water table reflecting the sky The skate pool is a source of liveliness and diversity in activity of the square The craquelure pattern of expansion joints and line drains continues into the tree grates Large sitting elements express the characteristic of the craquelure pattern of the floor 7 8

9 SPECIAL > Landscape Architect_Lodewijk Baljon Suwon Hyundai I Park City Location I Park City in Suwon, Korea Architect Ben van Berkel_UNStudio Local consultant CA landscape design, Landscape department Hyundai Development, Heerim architects and planners Engineering consultant ARUP Design Completion 2009 Area 100 ha Program 7000 dwellings and commercial and social facilities Client Hyundai Development Company Photographer Hyundai Development Award Grand Prize, 2008 Public Design Expo Seoul Suwon s I Park City is a collaboration between Ben van Berkel s UNStudio and LODEWIJK BALJON landscape architects in making an integral design of urban planning, architecture and landscape architecture. The plan makes a break with common urban planning of standardized boxes in a landscape without a context. The landscape has a remarkable structure: a mosaic pattern of paddy fields with subtle changes in level. The site embraces a central green plot, to be transformed in a central park. Unique features to the site are two streams. Three different landscape types are thus defined: the riverbank, the central park, and the city border. This results in three zones, gradually transforming the landscape. The landscape is continuous, is open and the binding factor. It is the expression of the geomorphology, the urban context and of the landscape history. Programmatic aspects were also analyzed, which lead to clustering of facilities and definition of public space by organizational factors, such as accessibility. Creating a feeling of being at home with over a hundred apartment buildings was a challenge. Not to have to find one's way home by reading only a huge number on the facade of a building, but being able to experience real and meaningful differences. Grouping of apartment buildings identity, feeling of coming home, unique place. In all 45 islands, to be shared by the residents, were designed based on a toolkit reflecting the gradient of the landscape and themes that are associated with that. The islands consist of varying color tones, in both senses, to create a sense of community and an environment conductive to communication and exchange. For the architecture of the buildings similar concepts were developed through association and abstraction of the landscape gradient. 88

10 Most of Suwon is build up in a standard city gridiron pattern. The site stands out with its unique local structure. The open space is developed based on the present landscape to create a distinct and pleasing character. Using the context the project will connect better to its surroundings and it will help to create a strong identity. Further thematic development of the landscape gradient and the clustering of buildings in islands creates identity. The islands have clearly defined edges and are expressed in the open landscape as terraces. Schematic design of the 1st phase expressing the variety in character of the islands and the openness of the landscape in between. Thanks to a double layered underground parking, this urban environment will be the domain of people wandering, playing, and reposing. Gradients are an important element of nature. They are the inspiration for the landscape based urban plan. Using the potentials of the existing site and program, several gradients are developed relating to landscape, housing and facilities. The planting scheme, based on the landscape gradient, expresses the concept of the plan in detail

11 The architecture of buildings and landscape is based on the context and the program : one lives near the city, along the stream, close to the park or in the village. Model house soon to be opened as starting point of the realization of the new urban district. Plan of the Model house, a three story pavilion designed by UNStudio, showing the different types of apartments. To create a real feeling of coming home, small numbers of buildings are grouped together, each time making one unique place. The park benches, opening as a flower, are a unifying element in the open landscape between the variety of islands

12 SPECIAL > Landscape Architect_Lodewijk Baljon Gardens Photographer Lodewijk Baljon, Maayke de Ridder Landscape architecture is constructed from craftsmanship, theory and artistic sense. My interest in the making, in the craftsmanship aspect of the profession, is aimed at the materialization of the design: giving shape to an idea. That interest has naturally to do with the tradition of the landscape architecture, but also has its inventive side. To invent how something is best made, is part of my design approach. Private gardens prove to be a welcome testing ground. In my designs I structure gardens by means of hedges, canals, paths and walls. The basic planting is placed in geometrical plantations. These straight lines and strong rhythms are put into perspective by flowering plants. Flowering plants are decorative as ornaments are in classicist architecture, creating relief, interest and detail. The structure of the garden is more abstract and about spatial organization whereas flowers are tangible and loose. The design of a garden plays around themes such as sturdy versus delicate, green versus colour, and stability versus variety. Together they build frame and fringe. They are part of the tension between ratio and sentiment. 88

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15 SPECIAL > Landscape Architect_Lodewijk Baljon National Museum (Rijksmuseum Twente) Location National Museum (Rijksmuseum) Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands Area Courtyard 1400 Architect Ben van Berkel_UNStudio Engineering SmitsRinsma Design 1994 Completion 1996 Photographer Rik Klein Grotink, Lodewijk Baljon Client Government Building Agency Award ASLA 2004, (Simple elegance creates effective solution.. Jury comment) Conceptually, this space is the mediator between the old and the new. Surrounded by a dark building, the courtyard had to become a bright place: a garden that would provide a restful place in the middle of the museum. The idea was not to create a sculpture garden, although occasionally a statue might find its place there, the visitor s attention is directed to the objects within the museum. On a warm summer day, the Museum s courtyard and cafe are popular destinations for museum visitors and locals. In the drab of winter the courtyard retreats to become a more visual amenity from the cafe and from the museum ambulatories that surround it. The rhomboidal pool intermediates between the modern cafe building and the field of planes, using reflections to virtually extend the inclined facade while capturing clouds and skies from above. 1

16 The difference in elevation between the museum and the courtyard is used to create a folded landscape. The pattern of lines and the play with colors can be experienced not only from the courtyard but also from the inside of the adjacent buildings. 3 4

17 The new pavilion includes a cafe that intrudes upon the sanctity of the garden court. A bosque of Koelreuteria (Golden Rain tree) dominates the southeast corner of the courtyard and offers a soft counterpoint to the dark building. The museum galleries form the background for the courtyard, yet the court also represents the centre around which the tour of the museum leads. 5 6

18 The Koelreuterias form a leafy, airy canopy over half the garden and offer a soft counterpart to the dark masonry wall surface. The gravel planes, executed in two tints of grey, continuously interweave with one another. In shape and in slope they complement the leaning geometries of the modern cafe. Lines of the new building and the planes meet each other and continue. The pattern of Koelreuterias interfere with the lines of the planes. The perception of the lines constantly changes as one overlooks the courtyard. Galvanized steel strips form the edges of the planes. The steel rim leans slightly and as a result the planes seems to float and create a lightness in contrast to the weight of the old building. 7 8

19 SPECIAL > Landscape Architect_Lodewijk Baljon Installation Location International Garden Festival, Chaumont-sur-Loire, France Design 2002 Completion 2003 Area 250 Photographer Lodewijk Baljon Client CIPJP, France Concept is the core of the design process at LODEWIJK BALJON landscape architects. It is the idea by which to solve the problem. Concept is by nature abstract, but will in the end be experienced in a concrete and physical shape. Concept sounds abstract, but in the end it will become tangible, it can materialize. The interesting aspect of making installations, is that they are (temporary) constructions with their primary function to convey an idea, a concept. For the 12th International Garden festival in Chaumontsur-Loire in France this theme was weed. Unexpected, exceptional, remarkable, powerful, explosive: that is what characterizes weeds. Then why are we looking at them with distaste? We are jealous at their vigorous growth and don't want to be surprised by their unplanned appearance. That is why we put so much effort in getting rid of weeds. Making space for the plants carefully fostered by man. The garden is a battlefield, where man is fighting against the weeds with the hoe. To express this conceptual aspect of gardening in a physical way, a forest of standing (and oversized) hoes is erected. They keep the soil bare and open for the very one plant man has selected. The colored handles of the hoes are oscillate upon touching. Pushing the hoes away to clear a way, sets off a concert of glimmering blades. Until one arrives at the surprise in the middle of the centre: hundreds of geraniums! At a second glance, one notices that there is only one single geranium plant, glorified and multiplied by kaleidoscope mirrors. A moment of reflection. The philosophical issue of gardening is raised: spontaneous development versus cultivated environment. The garden also demonstrates the basic design question between matter and void. The result is a playful space at the same time. 1

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22 SPECIAL > Landscape Architect_Lodewijk Baljon Waal riverfront in Nijmegen Masterplan Urban development of riverfront Collaboration architect Liesbeth van der Pol (Dok architects) Design Masterplan Design Development Completion Location Waalfront in Nijmegen, The Netherlands Area 30 ha Program 2650 dwellings, plus social and commercial facilities Client Public Private Partnership - city of Nijmegen and Bouwfonds Property Development Photographer Lodewijk Baljon This master plan for the urban transformation is the result of a collaboration with the architect Liesbeth van der Pol (at present she holds the position of Government Architect of the Netherlands). On this riverbank in Nijmegen, the Romans built their biggest city in the Netherlands. Later, at this strategic location, a fort was built. More recently, in the nineteenth century, the industrialization of the city began. These three historical layers all have their own influence on the current transformation of the site. The potential of this 30-hectare project is enormous. It is located next to the city centre and longer than the historic river front. The Waalfront Masterplan is going to add a specific new atmosphere, as well as a different way of living. The design is constructed in a way that one constantly feels the presence of the river. The landscape, with its historical layers and cultural meaning, determine the framework of the Masterplan. Within the long lines of the landscape, a mosaic of nine different neighborhoods are formed. Their character is derived from the context, the designated program and the building typology. Model with the new bridge on the foreground. 1

23 Present situation with the industrial area to be transformed on the banks of the river Waal, the busiest waterway of Europe. The historic city is in the background. Masterplan with in the right-hand corner the inner-city of Nijmegen. Conceptual sketch integrating all previous analyzes and design exercises. Transformation of the industrial site will provide a one kilometer long promenade along the river next to the inner-city. 3 4

24 A. Long lines persistent in the history of the landscape. Different positions of dikes through the ages. B. Perpendicular to the river access and sightlines are projected creating connectivity to the 'riverscape' for the whole new and the adjacent existing district. E. Historic layers (Grid pattern of the Roman town and the 19thcentury fortification are expressed in the urban plan, creating the basis for a meaningful public space. F. A mosaic of different neighborhoods is tied together by the network of the urban landscape. C. New road linked to the new bridge and giving access to the Waal riverfront. The dike in the middle is the division in car traffic, an unobstructed path for bikes and pedestrians. D. A green zone at the western edge of the city is met with a green wedge at the river. Buildings not directly on the embankment have an indirect link to the river through the landscape structure. 5 6

25 SPECIAL > Landscape Architect_Lodewijk Baljon Pothoofd Apartment Project Architect Jo Crepain (Guy Mertens project architect) Engineering SmitsRinsma Location Pothoofd in Deventer, The Netherlands Area 4 ha Design 1999~2003 Completion 2003~2005 Client Public Private Partnership - city of Deventerand developer/contractor Schutte Photographer Daniel Nicolas, Lodewijk Baljon, Toon Grobet On the site, between the inner-city of Deventer and the typical Dutch river landscape, was formerly a busy place with warehouses, trains and barges. For the development of140 apartments an urban plan was made together with the Belgium architect Jo Crepain. In this plan the road leading to the historic town is moved to create space for a loose ordering of the various buildings. Along the road one has varying view toward de river dike, the bridge and the monumental church tower. The light serpentine movement of road and buildings is responds to the curves of the river. The border between the road and the housing area is accentuated by a low brick wall, setting off the slight difference in height, and keeping parked cars out of sight. The parking area and private road on the site is made from cobble stones, traditionally used on quay sides. Stately yew cones in gravel give a distinct green character to the parking and entrance area. The colour is light making a pleasant contrast with the dark buildings. The border between gravel and plantings makes another, denser curve. Behind this curve, the atmosphere becomes more garden-like. Towards the river there are two enormous roof gardens on top of the parking garage are created. The gardens are referring to the stream of the river, combined with low flowering plants. Open view towards the river is being preserved. Very slender poplars, loosely planted, are embedding the complex into the riverscape. There are several transitions in scale and atmosphere: from the wide open river to the dense historic town, from the public road to the buildings, from the overall complex to the entrance of the separate blocks, and from the individual balcony to the communal garden. 1

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