Veredict Rosa Barba International Landscape Prize 2021
Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York, from Michael Van Valkenburgh
Deliberation of the International Jury*: "The lasting pandemic has killed millions of people, and the global climate change has been a primary influence on devastating floods in the US, China and Germany, the drought in Africa and fires in Australia and California. This has threat the survival of all lives and make us to rethink the role landscape architecture can play, and specifically the role that parks can play in our contemporary lives.
We believe everyone has been amazed by the image of thousands of people sitting on the sloped lawn watching a performance, with the East River and the Manhattan skyline at the backdrop! The city, the river, the post-industrial landscape and designed nature, all these elements have been skillfully integrated to compose beautiful city scenery in arguably the most urbanized environment of the 21th century, considered as one of the "most important public spaces, akin to Central Park in the late 19th century.” As a testimony to its resiliency - environmental, social and cultural - the park has influenced the discipline of landscape architecture globally and provided a model for cities aspiring to regenerate their vulnerable and degraded landscapes.
However, this landscape was not just about scenery, or simply not about scenery at all, it is about “post-industrial nature...and uses unabashedly man-made landscapes to kick-start new site ecologies that can thrive and evolve in a heavy-use urban setting." Moreover, it is about how a designed landscape functions as essential green infrastructure to heal the relationship between human and natural processes, between city and water, all of which had been largely broken by the past eras of industrialization.
One of several strengths that sets this project apart from other competitive projects is its power in bringing people together and enhancing the sense of an inclusive community in the setting of designed nature. With rich and well programmed activities bring the abandoned warehouses, obsolete piers, and decaying bulkheads into a vibrant public space, with annual visits over 5 million, it is truly considered as a people’s park.
In terms of design and engineering techniques, this project sets a benchmark for postindustrial landscape design, including the recycling of industrial structures, the construction of soft edges that reintroduce marine ecologies and absorb rising tides and floodwaters, landscaped strategies addressing urban noise, etc. Spanning over 85 acres, this park has been designed and built over the past 20 years, and the fact that this park survived super storm Sandy and its recovery has proved the success of this project a as sustainable and climate resilient landscape.
After a thorough discussion, the Jury has come to the decision that The Brooklyn Bridge Park designed by MVVA to receive the 11th Rosa Barba award. Let us congratulate the winner".
Honorific Mention of the Jury
Parques del Rio Medellín, from Sebastian Monsalve Gomez and Juan David Hoyos Taborda
Deliberation of the International Jury*: "Parques del Rio Medellin in Medellin Colombia, designed by Sebastian Monsalves Gomez and Juan David Hoyos Taborda receives an honorable mention, as the jury has considered the contribution this project has made to change the city's image as intensely traffic congested. The project has added integrated pedestrian areas in an unsuspected way, and is a model for the capacity of a city to overcome the long conflicted period. It is an inspiration to revitalize obsolete infrastructure with compelling urban landscapes."
*Members of the Rosa Barba International Landscape Prize 2021 International Jury: Julie Bargmann; Cristina Castel-Branco; Esteban León; James Hayter; Kongjian Yu.
Transformation of Yang Shupu Thermal Power Plant, Shanghai (China), from Zhang Ming and Zhang Zi (Original Design Studio/TJAD)
Check here the verdict of the International Award of the Schools of Architecture and Landscape 2021