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Nachbericht | Andreas Kipar in London [englisch]

08.11.2019

The second November Lecture at the UEL School of Architecture was delivered by Andreas Kipar, German landscape architect and co-founder of LAND. LAND is world renowned for its urban redevelopment projects and winner of many prestigious international awards, including the MIPIM Award for Best Urban Regeneration Project 2018, and the WAN Awards Future Project Award 2016. LAND has its headquarters in Milan, Italy, alongside offices in Lugano, Switzerland and Düsseldorf, Germany.


Kipar introduced the four major pillars of LAND’s work: Landscape, Architecture, Nature, and Development, explaining that the practice strives for sustainable development by cultivating resilience in its projects, which can include everything from waterscapes, to parks, to infrastructure. He then outlined some of the contemporary projects that LAND is working on, including a biodiversity strategy for Montreal, Canada, a new smart city in Russia, and an urban strategy in the Middle East that seeks a new relationship with nature for the region.


Kipar then shared the workings behind a number of major LAND projects in Milan, where the practice has been working for over 30 years: Milano Bicocca, Parco Rubattino, Portello Park and Porta Nuova. All the projects bring open public space and new perspectives to industrialised zones of the city, through strategies ranging from a long-term tree-growing strategy, to a skywalk offering long views and uninterrupted sight lines, and a water-based, poetic landscape, with no greenery at all, under one of the city’s highways.


Kipar described the difference between architecture and the urban landscape: which you yourself can be part of, explaining that if you understand the city as an urban landscape, you will see it in a very different way. He explained that public space comprises of everything from views and sightlines, to architecture and skylines, and described urban design as making space for people, and as the passport for great architecture.


Kipar moved on to reflect on the nature of landscape design. Landscape does not have borders; it exists before us and will be there after us. He described an urban evolution in which we are moving towards the predominance of open spaces, and highlighted the growing appreciation around the privilege of space within dense cityscapes. He called on students to conserve space through design, and to adopt a smarter urbanism in which we create fluid and permeable cities, with public spaces that are inclusive to all generations.


Kipar campaigned about the importance of working with nature, not against it, and underlined the three elements you need for landscape design: soil, water and greenery, with the right amounts for the scale you want to work in. He described the water and soil as the body and soul of landscape design, and the greenery as being like clothes, that can be changed once these two fundamentals are in place.


Kipar highlighted the importance of the UN sustainable development goals for future projects, and predicted that reconnecting people with nature will be a common priority in the new paradigm of development. He emphasised the importance of providing ‘tangible’ nature for the ‘technology’ generation, as people search for a new kind of spirituality, to achieve a balance with the high value placed on efficiency in contemporary culture.


Calling for a more holistic approach to landscape design, Kipar emphasised the importance of creating liveable spaces for a shared society. Within this, he advocated fostering a low emission lifestyle, improving citizens’ heath, increasing land value, and facilitating biodiversity. Future cities, he proposed, should be compact, green, attractive, inclusive, connective and climate resilient.

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