The master plan reintroduces a forest in the heart of Seattle, giving homage to the past while reminding present-day and future residents of the city’s natural habitat. Embracing social life at multiple scales, an interactive wall at the park’s edge contains “event boxes” with different functions – cafés, a library, sports facilities, and areas for cultural events. Planned for implementation over decades to come, the project aims to be adaptable to future changes, an objective that is straightforwardly supported by the project’s current minimal interventions and restraint of formal means.
ABF-lab architects won a Holcim Awards Acknowledgement for “In-Closure: Public park and interactive wall for urban revival, Seattle, USA”. The project focuses on social ecology in the context of our creation within the enclosure.
An Acknowledgement prize went to a public park and interactive wall for urban revival in Seattle by Paris-based ABF-lab architects whose master plan reintroduces a forest in the heart of the city.Read full media release – Holcim Awards 2014 for North America » Pour en savoir plus (French) »
Acknowledgement prizes were presented to Sheila Kennedy and J Frano Violich of Kennedy & Violich Architecture of Boston for the Chrysanthemum Building; architects Nader Tehrani and Katherine Faulkner of NADAAA in Boston for the renovation and extension of the University of Toronto’s John H Daniels building; a public park and interactive wall for urban revival in Seattle by Paris-based ABF-lab architects; and to Peter and Hadley Arnold of the Arid Lands Institute, Woodbury University for Divining LA, a digital tool for urban design and water-use planning in Los Angeles.
The question of how to revive civic space is at the core of the submitted entry. The jury, in this regard, greatly values the importance attributed to the very concept of “civitas” and applauds the manner in which this proposition is translated into an exciting piece of landscape architecture – a forest in the midst of the urban fabric encased by peripheral structures accommodating manifold programs. But the design does not stop there since the project’s essential contribution lies most prominently in the almost surreal atmosphere conveyed: trees mirrored in walls, partially transparent walls, or light reflecting on polished surfaces – blurring time-honored distinctions between the domains of the so-called “natural” and “artificial”.
The master plan reintroduces a forest in the heart of Seattle, USA, giving homage to the past while reminding present-day and future residents of the city’s natural habitat. Embracing social life at multiple scales, an interactive wall at the park’s edge contains “event boxes” with different functions – cafés, a library, sports facilities, and areas for cultural events. Planned for implementation over decades to come, the project aims to be adaptable to future changes, an objective that is straightforwardly supported by the project’s current minimal interventions and restraint of formal means.
At the time when Seattle wonders what course to follow for a lasting transformation of public spaces, In-Closure positions itself as the mainspring of urban revival for the next five decades. Slow decision-making processes increased by fast practice changes and modern means of communication as globalized dematerialization implies that, traditional urban planning methods are currently reaching the limit. An urban project can be planned: but it will be obsolete even before seeing the light.
How can such a dematerialized urbanism be produced? A contemporary and future urbanism, that is flexible enough to be immediate, distortable, as well as embracing different living-in-harmony modes and new constraints in the long term. At the same time, a dematerialized urbanism must be strongly characterized so that everyone can adapt to it, in everyday life in continuous motion.
Encouraged by the acknowledgment, the project chooses humility to intervene, keeping this natural and unique area in the heart of the city as a legacy to the following generations and an economic, social and environmental experimentation field for the next five decades. The vision of a prototypical Seattleite public space considers also that it has to be done with respect to the history of the city and its identity, along with its inevitable transformation and transition phase.
By working on the perimeter of the space, avoiding material and energy wastes, the aim is to accurately frame the area. This will constitute the starting point of the project. The result will be a space that congregates history and identity together in a peaceful urban atmosphere that does not echo of “disconnection or negation” with its surroundings – but is imbued with a reverence for gathering, experiential contemplation, and the gestation of innovative ideas. The project will act as urban attractor in the eyes of Seattleites.
Through extreme formal sobriety and a minimalist architectural response to surrounding projects, In-Closure develops a vast number of events and experiences at its heart. The “outside-inside-outside” sequence standing as a spatial process is here to remind the city of the temporal dimension, past, present, and future.
The In-Closure claims to be neither a memorial nor observatory at present: but a social, economic and environmental incubator/laboratory for tomorrow. It is cut out to condense a space in the center of the city, which will be both open and closed – external and internalDownload project entry poster (PDF, 1.93 MB) »See more
Five Acknowledgement prizes were presented: Sheila Kennedy and J Frano Violich (Kennedy & Violich Architecture) of …
ABF-lab architects won a Holcim Awards Acknowledgement for “In-Closure: Public park and interactive wall for urban …
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