Lausanne Jardins 2014 Competition: The Garden That Climbs The Stairs in Bilbao by Balmori Associates
In December, the ‘Jardin Urbain’ Association together with the Town Council of Lausanne announced that Balmori Associates is on the shortlist to create one of twenty-five mobile gardens in Central Lausanne, Switzerland. Selected from a pool of over 400 applicants, Balmori enters the second phase of the competition with the task to re-use an existing rooftop under the program’s broader concept ‘Landing’.
We are very excited to participate in this project within the historic city of Lausanne,” says Diana Balmori, FASLA, founder of the international landscape and urban design firm. “Temporary gardens offer a unique opportunity for experimentation that we really enjoy.
Since the early 2000s, Balmori has garnered global recognition for the development of alternative forms of landscape. The firm is the creator of the largest green rooftop in New York City, a 35,000 square foot “fifth facade” at Silvercup Studios in Long Island City. In 2009, Balmori realized Jardin: The Garden That Climbs The Stairs in Bilbao, Spain, which was built with local materials and craftsmen. This has since become an annual event, with new temporary installations expanding the possibilities for landscape interventions in otherwise unused places.
In recent years, Lausanne has aimed to integrate contemporary 21st century design into the historic fabric of the city. In 2010, the Rolex Learning Center, designed by SANNA, opened at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne opened. In 2011, international teams were called upon to master plan the Pôle Museal et Culturel, a tight urban arts district adjacent the city’s central train station. Competitors included Allied Works (US), Kengo Kuma (JP), Nieto Sobejano (ES) and Gigon/Guyer (CH), among others. Sir David Chipperfield (UK) served as the chair of the jury.
Lausanne Jardin 2014 aims to investigate the potential for creating and planting temporary gardens that will form a route through the 15th century city. A public exhibition of the submitted designs is scheduled for April 2013.