A series of workshops are held each year during the Eastern break in conjunction with different LU collaborators. Its aim is to serve as a quick and intense test bed for the application of the techniques acquired into a real project within a new political context. The work will be developed in a multidisciplinary team, formed by the LU team and local experts and consultants. The workshop will conclude with a final public presentation of the project to the body of clients.
Landscape Urbanism 7 day workshop in Tottenham Hale, London, was based on developing visions for the entire regeneration of the area and its connections to the Lea Valley and the Walthamstow reservoirs. The workshop was collaboration with Arup and the Haringey Council. Special Thanks to all the AALU cohort and Ignacio Lopez Buson and Costanza Maricardo for the help with the work. Equally we would like to thank Elad Eisenstein and Malcolm Smith from Arup for their comments and collaboration on the overall organisation of the event.
The AA Landscape Urbanism went to Bilbao as part of the annual LU in the field workshop. This year AALU students 2011-12 worked on the creation of a overall strategy for Bilbao in relation to the potentials and challenges the city faces. The students presented their work to the local authorities and had the support of the Bilbao municipality through the Urban and Services departments. The workshop took place at “La Alhondiga” a multipurpose cultural facility located in the center of the city. The work was published in the Bilbao LAN TV and the local newspaper El correo.
This year AA LANDSCAPE URBANISM In the field workshop focused in the city of Rijeka, Croatia. This is the fourth of a series of workshops held each year during the eastern break in conjunction with different LU collaborators. It was a 5 days workshop to produce a proposal within a post-industrial/post-comunist context. Other participants of the workshop include the University of Waterloo, University of Pescara, University of Ljubjana, Universityof Zagreb. The workshop was presented in a final public presentation to the goverment authorities (major and head of the planning department among others) of Rijeka on the 2nd April 2011.
The Easter workshop 2009/10 was framed as a collaboration with Trento University and the municipality of Bolzano in Italy. AALU students worked on the visions for the southern area of Bolzano, confined between the A22 Brenner highway and the Virgolo hill. The existing plans to tunnel the A22 outside the city are transforming the role of this quarter, allowing the potential expansion of the city and ultimately a place for renewed eco-industrial activities. The municipality of Bolzano asked AALU to generate a vision for this emergent part of the city, based on the academic work and professional experience of the staff.
The area is perceived as being isolated from the main area of Bolzano since it is located south of the Isarco river and the A22 elevated highway. Furthermore, Virgolo residential area is east of the industrial estate and the railway. It was clear from the start that for the overall site to succeeed, it was necessary to generate links to this residential area and across the river into the town centre. The group started to study the overall site connectivity area and concluded that it was not the A22 but the existing railway line that was the main urban barrier.
The proposal turned around the tunnelling of the railway and the reincorporation of the A22 elevated section into a green infrastructure coming down from the hill. The study of the existing topography and landscape systems was fundamental in order to propose a new kind of thickened fabric knitting together infrastructure and new typologies hosting new economic activities. The group also undertook studies of urban typologies incorporating the vineyard terracing systems on south-facing slopes. The final proposal was meant to serve as the spatial framework for urban ecologies for the emergent research and development economies with eno-tourism profiting from the stunning landscape of the city.
The project was discussed in a roundtable chaired by Technology Innovation Service and was attended by members of the Urbanism council of Bolzano, planning authorities of Trentino Region, members of Trento University, the director of Il Corriere del Alto Adige as well as other architectural professionals, AALU students and members of the general public, various newspapers and local television.
The city of Alicante is the capital of Alicante province located south of Valencia community. Alicante is home to more than 300,000 inhabitants and hosts a historic Mediterranean port. The geographic conditions of the city have fostered a vital maritime life and the development of an important port and related facilities.
In recent years, the decline of the port infrastructures caused by the global shift of maritime activities and the impossibility to compete amongst the high volumes of the logistic markets has prompted the rethinking of its future role in the region.
In 2009 the AALU was invited by the local authorities to propose and develop ideas for the future of the port and the overall relation between Alicante and its coastline. Historically, Alicante has lived detached from its coastline. The existing topographical configuration defined by the Serra Grossa and the port activities has been crucial to the separation of the city from the sea. The inhabitants live less than 100 metres away from the sea but a continuous physical barrier, consisting of a port and a hill, has kept them unaware of the potential and advantages of a post-industrial coastal city.
The AALU team proposed the development of a wider masterplan that enhanced the redevelopment of the port and the integration of the hill within a continuous but differentiated coastline. Both conditions were seen as crucial elements for the viability of Alicante and its role in the region.
As part of a wider research, Fundacion Metropoli has been studying the area as well as the potential interventions in the coastline. Using these studies as a background, the AALU team defined three areas of intervention: the redevelopment of the port infrastructure, the landscape design of the the Serra Grossa hill and the expansion of the existing public beach.
These three projects and their masterplan framework were presented to a series of experts and professors of Architecture and Urbanism as well as to the Port Authorities, local politicians and media in Alicante.
Sitges is a town located in the municipality of Barcelona, part of the community of Catalonia. The town is placed between the Garraf Massif and the sea and is conveniently located 45 minutes by car from Barcelona. Sitges is well known for its beaches, nightspots and historical sites and therefore relies heavily on its tourism industry.
The AALU programme was invited to Sitges in April 2008 in order to participate in a five-day intensive workshop to come up with ideas and a proposal that reflect the strategic opportunities of the town. A group made of students and staff applied the methodology of Landscape Urbanism to read, understand, collect and analyse the existing conditions in order to deploy a coherent and integrated proposal.
Between Sitges and Sant Pere de Ribes village lies a piece of land with the potential to house a development capable to expand the singular economy of Sitges. The project is surrounded by major infrastructural highways and railway lines. This high connectivity feature allows the site to be strategically close to Barcelona and the City airport and therefore attractive for investment. In this available land, the Sitges municipality proposed the development of a technology park where new high-tech companies could settle and benefit from the advantages of the land: its connectivity as well as competitive land prices.
The AALU team developed a proposal that intends to choreograph the various interests and land uses, existing and proposed, in order to integrate the technology park with the city of Sitges. The main objective was the use of this major investment opportunity to expand the economy of Sitges while integrating the design within the city fabric for the benefit of Sitges as a whole.
This event is part of a long-term engagement of AALU + Groundlab with the Fundacion Metropoli, which fosters innovative research and cutting-edge practice in urban design and planning. The work was presented and discussed with the Mayor of Sitges and other key decision-makers during a final presentation in April 2008.