07 December 2011

Live Blog: West 8's America Work

West 8's American Work

Jamie Maslyn Larson, RLA, ASLA
Principal and Partner, West 8 New York

West 8 is based in Rotterdam but has an office in New York.

They do artful interventions.  Have industrial designers on staff so they can create unusual fixtures and features with ornamentation and tactile qualities, in house.  Many projects use artificiality to draw attention to the hand of man in the landscape. 

The opening overture was an overview of the Eropean work that helped establish West 8 as a notable firm.  European examples included a the cow horizon project, storm surge barrier, Schouwburgeplein, Kröller-Müller Museum Sculpture Garden, and the Expo.02 Yverdon-les-Bains.

The interlude was a discussion of the differences between the English picturesque and the Dutch tradition.  What is our landscape DNA?

Some of the work is translating (scalegirl=mermaid)Some of the work is forcing interaction across the Atlantic

Wave Decks in Toronto Central Waterfont

Longwood Gardens
Respite and retreat
Elevated wooden bridge through the woods

Miami Beach Soundscape
Lincon Park next to Frank Gehry's New World Symphony

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The big American project is
Governors Island in New York Harbor
Trust for Governors Island

No permanent private residential is ever allowed on the island - mostly off the map, but very democratic
As a former military facility, it was difficult to access and was not on Google Map for a while
The ferry ride is part of the experience
ADA accessibility is a goal
Taking away lots of the parking
Instead of wooden shoes, they've designed wooden bikes for exploring the site
Smaller spaces within the parks are key, like Liggett Terrace
2400 trees will be planted in Phase I, including Hammock Grove
Even though it is flat, they wanted it to have its own form like a skyline giving it identity
The island is being givenn added topography in anticipation of sea level rise - don't want to plant ANY trees that won't make it 100 years

Phase I opens in the Fall of 2013!

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Here are 2 others to look at since they were not in the lecture:
Swamp Garden in Charleston SC
Tulsa Riverfront in Oklahoma

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