LANDSCAPE WELCOMES NEW VISITING PROFESSORS
The Department of Landscape is very pleased to announce that 3 highly distinguished and forward thinking landscape professionals have accepted the role of Visiting Professor.
Carl Steinitz of Harvard University. Carl's research is devoted to improving the methods by which planners and designers organize and analyze information about large land areas and how they make major design decisions. Piet Oudolf the renowned Dutch designer and Andrew Grant of Grant Associates Andrew formed Grant Associates in 1997 to explore the emerging frontiers of landscape architecture within sustainable development. His approach is driven by a fascination with creative ecology and the promotion of quality and innovation.
LECTURERS VISIT CHIBA UNIVERSITY
Helen Woolley, Andy Clayden and Eckart Lange were invited to attended a series of meetings and seminars that were hosted by the faculty of Horticulture and Department of Landscape Architecture at Chiba University, Japan. The event was also attended by academic staff from the departments of Landscape at University of Washington and Rutgers University New Jersey. The seminars were an opportunity to share research interests and approaches to teaching and to explore the possibilities of future collaboration. The department of Landscape has agreed to a student exchange programme with Chiba university.
LIFE ON THE EDGE LECTURE #6 AVAILABLE TO STREAM ONLINE
PLACE KEEPING AND THE LOCALIST AGENDA: TEETERING ON THE EDGE?
BY DR NICOLA DEMPSEY
Local, resilient, sustainable landscapes – exciting buzzwords which we forget to use at our peril these days. But what do they mean in practice? How does it affect what people do who are involved in creating, sustaining, retaining such landscapes? Within the context of place-keeping***, this seminar calls on the recently-completed MP4 research project which examined how long-term and responsive management is shaped, helped and hindered by processes of partnership, governance and policy. The seminar will call broadly on the management of Sheffield’s River Don as an illustrative case study.
*** the new exciting buzzword of the day
Dr Nicola Dempsey is a Lecturer in the Department of Landscape whose academic life here in Sheffield started on the MP4 project.
GUEST LECTURE BY PROFESSOR BINYI LIU NOW ONLINE
Following the lectures by Kongjian Yu (Peking University) and Hu Jie (Tsinghua University) we welcome another distinguished speaker from China:
Lecture by Prof. Binyi Liu from Tongji University. Professor Binyi Liu will present past and current projects including planning, design and construction of Jiyang Lake, Bailang River Corridor and the UNESCO world heritage site Longmen Grottoes.
Binyi Liu, Ph.D., Hon. ASLA, is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Landscape Studies of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at Tongji University, Shanghai.
He is Director of the Landscape Science Research Institute, Deputy Director of the Education Committee for the Professional Bachelor Degree of Landscape Architecture of the Department of Construction of China, Vice President of the Society of Landscape Architecture of Shanghai, Vice Director of the Editor Committee of the Chinese Landscape Architecture Magazine and Honorary Member of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
During the past 28 years, he directed and completed 7 research projects supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, 5 research projects at national level, more than 230 real-world landscape planning and design projects, urban design and tourism development as well as supervised 22 Ph.D. and 120 post-graduate students.
Department of Landscape played a key role in the Tongji-Sheffield Summit which took place 15-18 April 2013.
The Tongji delegation of nearly 20 academics and students, as well as including the president of Tongji University and the Head of Department of Landscape Studies at Tongji University were welcomed by our Vice-Chanceller Professor Sir Keith Burnett and other members of the University Executive Board.
In a formal event at Firth Court Memorandum's of Understanding were signed for the following disciplines: Medicine, Dentistry and Landscape. These were witnessed by the VC, Pro-VC Rebecca Hughes, Chairman Zhou and Mr Shen Yang, Minister Counsellor of Education of the Chinese Embassy in the UK .
The signed agreement will allow to exchange staff and students as well as to pursue joint research.
The final event of the Tongji-Sheffield Summit was an exhibition opened by Prof. Eckart Lange (Head of Department of Landscape) displaying work of alumni of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP), Tongji University. The exhibition also includes work by Tongji alumnus Wang Shu, the most recent winner of the Pritzker Prize. The nobel prize equivalent for Architecture.The Department of Landscape played a key role in the Tongji-Sheffield Summit which took place 15-18 April 2013.
Sheffield PhD student wins prestigious grant to study regionalism in Chinese gardens
The Universities' China Committee in London (UCCL) has awarded Josepha Richard, one of our first year PhD students, with a grant to fund a three week field visit to China. Josepha’s thesis explores the idea of regionalism in the gardens of China, and she will be presenting her first paper on the topic in the Global goes Local: Visualizing Regional Cultures in The Arts of Greater China Conference held in Hong Kong from 27-29 June 2013. The grant will cover travel to Hong Kong and help her fund a preliminary period of fieldwork in China, mainly in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. Here she will be exploring gardens and recording them. The grant is £1200 for a three-week itinerary.
Alumni Victoria Jones and Andrew Nicol building a show garden at this years RHS Cardiff Flower Show
Recent graduates Victoria Jones and Andrew Nicol have just set up a garden design and build business together, and will be exhibiting at the RHS Cardiff Flower Show to launch the new company.
The Garden is going to be built almost entirely out of recycled materials and will have a green roof and green 'wildlife wall' which will contain insect and bird houses, bird feeders as well as lots of plants. Victoria told us "It will be a real Sheffield Landscape team effort, Other Sheffield alumni students Will Johnson, Marcus Hall and Sook Im are going to come down to help us with the build over the next 2 weeks. We've just got our fingers and toes crossed now that it warms up a bit so that our trees come into leaf and our flowers bloom in time".
The show will take place between the 19th and 21st April in Bute Park in Cardiff. For more information about Vic and Andy's new venture go to www.wadeandnicol.com
Huge Congratulations to Victoria and Andy for winning a gold medal for their show garden at the RHS Cardiff Flower Show. Victoria said "We are both absolutely delighted and still in shock a bit!! It was an amazing weekend and we had such lovely comments from the public and local press and quite a few leads for potential work so it has all definitely been worth it!".
Click here for more information on the garden at the RHS website.
PhD Student Fei Mo is awarded a Dumbarton Oaks Fellowship for historical research of Shanghai
Department of Landscape Doctoral student Fei Mo has been awarded a 2013 Summer Fellowship in Dumbarton Oaks in Washington DC, USA. The awarding of this fellowship is an acknowledgement of the quality of the research proposal, which was decided after a three-month selection procedure. The proposed research entitled “Going native- American gardens and the modernization of residential landscapes in Shanghai 1843-1949” is part of Fei’s PhD research, which analysis the development of the urban landscape of Shanghai during the modern era. Her study in Dumbarton Oaks is intended to extract evidence of a remarkable stage in the development of Shanghai during the 1850s in which an American developer introduced the first mass housing on an industrial scale. This story has not yet been told and also there continued to be significant American influence until the 1940s with the introduction of neighbourhood theories, which had a significant influence on residential development Additionally an American civil planner developed a proposal for the city centre. The proposed research intends to uncover the hidden stories of these American contributions to the modernization of the living environment in Shanghai. It is intended to provide a new dimension to the study of the urban landscapes in China, which highlights their cultural significance so that this is recognized and can be conserved. The fellowship is awarded through the Trustees of Harvard University and this emphasises the significance of the purpose of the research.
LANDSCAPE SEMINAR SERIES - LIFE ON THE EDGE - LECTURE 1 - Now Online
Lecture #1 - Socially Restorative Urbanism
Dr Kevin Thwaites and Dr Alice Mathers
University of Sheffield, Department of Landscape
Socially Restorative Urbanism lays foundations for new ways of thinking about the relationship between urban spatial structure and social processes, re-introducing a more explicit human dimension into the decisions we make when shaping our urban habitat. It integrates two new concepts: the transitional edge - a socio-spatial concept of the urban realm; and experiemics – a participative process that acts to redress imbalances in territorial relationships.
Dr Kevin Thwaites teaches and researches socially responsive landscape architecture and urban design. Research interests centre on how spatial and experiential dimensions of urban life converge to influence human psychological health and well-being. Dr Alice Mathers’ work is driven by an interdisciplinary approach to people-environment interactions, which straddles the academic boundaries of landscape architecture, planning, sociology, disability studies, human geography and environmental psychology.
Spring Newsletter Out Now
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Assistant or Associate Professor Vacancy at Keimyung University
Keimyung University's Department of Landscape Architecture invites applications for an Assistant or Associate Professor position in Landscape design and planning (international staff only). This is a tenure-track, full-time position commencing in September 2013.
Click here for full details.
Inaugural Lecture by Professor Nigel Dunnett
Ecological Urbanism, Designed Ecologies, and the Super-Natural Landscape.
Thursday 21st February 2013 at 5.30pm in room 13.18, 13th Floor Arts Tower
The London Olympic Park took the public by storm, and was acclaimed by design and architecture critics as the ‘star of the show’ of the 2012 Games buildings and venues. It has revitalised national and international interest in the use of nature-like landscapes in urban settings. Nigel Dunnett, together with colleague James Hitchmough, designed the planting in the London Olympic Park. These were based upon two decades of research and practice into the creation of visually dramatic and environmentally-positive landscape planting that has been carried out at the University of Sheffield. In this lecture, Nigel will argue that the Olympic Park marks a turning point in the way that biodiversity and vegetation should be viewed in urban design, and he proposes that substantive designed plantings in built development should now be considered as an essential and core component in creating healthy cities and livable places, rather than purely as decorative elements. Moreover, he will suggest that new forms of designed ecology and biodiversity should and must be the starting point for a new approach to urban design: an ‘Ecological Urbanism’. Finally, he will put forward the concept of the ‘Super-Natural Landscape’ - an enhanced, 'pepped-up', aesthetic ecology as the basis for creating urban landscapes with high public appeal and attachment, whilst delivering essential ecosystem services. The lecture will be illustrated widely with examples of Nigel’s applied work with urban rain gardens, Pictorial Meadows, green roofs, and demonstration sustainable landscapes and gardens.
The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception in room 13.17 Arts Tower. All are very welcome so please do come along.
The Green Roof Research Conference Bringing together the worlds leading green roof scientists.
18th & 19th March 2013, The University of Sheffield.
The first major scientific green roof conference in Europe. A programme of internationally-renowned speakers with significant experience in green roof research and development , including:
- Nigel Dunnett, world renowned green roof plants-man and Professor of planting design and vegetation technology at the University of Sheffield.
- Virginia Stovin, is a lecturer and prolific researcher at the University of Sheffield, with a vast experience of water transition through green roofs and sustainable urban drainage systems.
- Ed Snodgrass, owner of Emory Knoll Farms, the major grower and supplier of green roof plants in the US. Ed is the author of the standard book on green roof implementation and travels widely to investigate the potential of new plants for green roof use.
- Daniel Roehr, designer of the acclaimed water-sensitive landscape and green roof systems at Potsdamer Platz, Berlin and now Associate Professor in green roof hydrology at University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
- Robyn Simcock, Senior Researcher at the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities. Robyn manages interdisciplinary scientific research programmes, focusing on alternative substrates, mulches and plants for stormwater management and bio-infiltration features.
- Dr Anna Palla, University of Genoa, Italy. Anna specialises in green roof performance and specification for the Mediterranean climate, and in modelling and evaluating the role of green roofs in urban hydrology.
- Dr Clare Farrell is research fellow with the Green Infrastructure Research Group at University of Melbourne, Australia, where she focuses on the use of native plant communities in urban landscapes, and in evaluation methods for new plants for green roof use
A strong focus on research methods. There is a need to continuously develop new research approaches and investigation methods, and to challenge the basis of existing practices. The conference provides an opportunity to discover new methods and approaches to green roof investigation, and to discuss the interpretation of the results.
An opportunity to become part of an emerging international network of researchers, and of people who are interested in the outcomes and implications of research. Help identify a forward-looking agenda for green roof research and development in an era of variable and changing climate, and of diminishing natural resources.
The conference represents outstanding value at just £45.00 for two days, including lunches and refreshments.
Book now at www.green-roof-systems.co.uk
The historiography of landscape design and management:
why is the profession so disengaged?
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE TO BE HELD AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD, FRIDAY 20 SEPTEMBER 2013
Over the past two centuries the profession of landscape architecture has evolved from its original meaning of those designing the buildings for parks and gardens to that of being involved in a much wider range of environmental issues. The practices of landscape design and management are of course much older, but despite this rich heritage landscape architects have been reluctant to engage with the full history of their profession, which has mainly been written by others. The aim of this conference is to encourage a debate about the discipline, scrutinising how it tells its own history, how history is used within the profession and how others see this.
The history of landscape design emerged in the 1970s as being distinctive from art history and architectural history and this has resulted in a period of intensive study, usually by those outside the profession. Garden history has an unfortunate image within the profession as being the domain of the amateur but other professions recognize the rich and varied understandings that can be explored through garden history. Gardens have now become the subject of study in literary history, sociology, psychology, anthropology, geography, animal and plant sciences and material culture, amongst others. Similarly landscape design history can bring a wide range of interesting topics to be explored as it is at the meeting point of art and science, and its study is multidisciplinary. In view of the lack of interests of the landscape design professionals, garden history as the history of landscape architecture, has thus largely become the domain of other disciplines. Meanwhile ‘landscape history’ as a term has now been appropriated by geographers and archaeologists.
Some historians specializing in landscape history have explored the purposes and trends of the historiography of landscape architecture: e.g. Michel Conan, editor of the Dumbarton Oaks volumes of 1999, 2002 and 2005, contextualized historiography in his prefaces. This gave opportunity to consider garden history as a subject. Indeed one question that arose was whether garden history was an independent subject at all, or should be allied to some more established field. Some academics feel obliged to write on gardens in the light of postmodernism, Marxist interpretation, gender politics or another perspective, all essentially seeking to underpin some modern agenda. John Dixon Hunt thought that garden history was a subject in itself, and proposed some guidelines for how to construct it. He pointed to the affinity that garden history has with many other subjects. Indeed: just as fine gardens were expressions of the aspirations, wishes, dreams and ideologies of their owners, and their making was influenced by many practical and design factors, and impressed others in many diverse ways, an unusual number of other historical subjects converge on the history of gardens. The subject thus has much in common with cultural landscapes and environmental history, both of which have attracted much attention since 1990. These too lie at the confluence of art and science, and are integrative in character.
So why is the official profession so resistant to acknowledging its own history?
It is the intention of the conference in Sheffield to look at ways in which the profession might be more engaged with its historiography, with examples, both from outside and within the discipline of landscape architecture, looking at a range of different methodologies and how they have been, or might be, applied. We would like to explore key principles and ideas, which might help strengthen historiography of landscape architecture and raise its profile in relation to other related topics such as that of art and architecture.
Department Alumnus Alan Ahlstrom Wins Award
University of Sheffield Department of Landscape Alumnus, Alan Ahlstrom, a Registered Landscape Architect and Certified Horticulturist, was honored at the Annual Winter Meeting of the Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association (RINLA), held in the new Center for Biological and Life Sciences Building (CBLS) on the University of Rhode Island Campus, this association of professionals from all aspects of the green industry, awarded Mr. Ahlstrom and his Company, Havenwood llc, First Place in Commercial Design for his work on the New Chapel Grille Restaurant owned and built by Alfred Carpionato. The judges noted that the once pastoral landscape of the Old “Bad Boy’s” school presented a challenge due to the severe changes in elevation and the utilitarian aspects of the newly constructed Chapel View mixed-use development. Mr. Ahlstrom met these challenges with creativity and artistic flair for stone and plants.
The Chapel is one of the four remnants of the Sockanosset Boys Training School, which closed in the early 1990s. The boy’s school, which was part of the Howard Reservation, represents the State of Rhode Island’s first attempt to provide state-wide social services through public institutions. The State Board of Charities and Corrections established this “State Farm” in 1866, which combined the Westcott and Howard Farms. This pastoral land in Cranston, outside the Providence city limits, was set to combine a House of Correction, an Asylum for the Criminally Insane, and a State Alms House. The thinking at the time was that the chaos of the urban industrial environment was the root cause of many of the social ills of the time.
The Chapel and the Infirmary wings (destroyed by fire, 1970’s) were established in 1891 to provide healing of the Body and Spirit. The stone structure, with a wood porch, was designed by Stone, Carpenter and Wilson Architects and was seen to be the shining jewel in the Howard complex. The School closed in the early 1990’s and subsequently fell into rapid decline and disrepair.
Today, the site is undergoing major redevelopment incorporating the three remaining Dormitories from the boy’s school and The Chapel. Currently under partial completion, it is an upscale, mixed-use development combining residential, office, retail, and restaurant space with the Chapel earmarked for a gourmet trattoria, Chapel Grille.
Alan Ahlstrom and Havenwood, llc Landscape Architecture were brought into the project by Carpionato Properties back in 2006 in order to provide a refined eye for materials and detail which would elevate the Landscape design standards and assist with the Paving, Planting and Lighting of the entire Chapel View development. “The Stone Chapel (one of the four preserved buildings on site) was the gem of whole development from the beginning. The old
context of the pastoral farm landscape that it sat upon was about to be completely altered but, we needed to keep this diamond at the center - only we needed to polish it, and set it in a new setting in order for it to truly shine. “, said Alan Ahlstrom with regards to the project. “And that is precisely what it has become. I am so glad to have my work recognized by my fellow professionals in the green industry and am especially grateful to Alfred Carpionato for
bringing me in on the project.”
The Chapel Grille opened its doors in December, 2011 and has been flourishing in its first year. As it succeeds, the final portions of the gardens are being completed. This is award marks the second time Alan Ahlstrom and Havenwood, LLC has been presented an Excellence in Design award by RINLA, the first being in 2008 for Residential Design.
Former MA Students and a Current PhD student Win at the Landscape Awards
Two of the Department's former MA students and a current PhD student all won awards at the Landscape Awards on 29th November. Amy Kirk won the Student portfolio category for her detailed design of a hospice inthe Graves Park area of Sheffield. The judges described Amy's work as,' Exemplary, showing great attention to detail and excellent communication and graphic skills,'. Roisin O' Riordan and Helen Hoylewere both awarded Highly Commended in the Student dissertation category. Helen's project was entitled , 'The use of cutting andirrigation to delay the flowering of native wildflower meadows,' and focused on the London Olympic perennial meadow trials conducted with Professor James Hitchmough.The judges said: ' This is an interestingand timely piece of research. The aims are clear and the research is thorough and well documented.' They commented on the implications for future projects. The title of Roisin's project was ' Petrorhagia saxifraga germination response to masonry substrates for the use in living walls.' The research aimed to determine the success of a new type of living wall. The judges described the work as ' thorough and detailed, well - structured and analysed,' commenting on the potential for real - world application.
Go to the Landscape Institute Website for more information:
New Lanscape Lecture Online.
Professor Hu Jie - Shan-Shui City: Exploring Sustainable City Development in China.
After working for Sasaki Associates (http://www.sasaki.com) as senior landscape architect for eight years, and winning the competition for the Beijing Olympic Forest Park he joined the Beijing Tsinghua Urban Planning & Design Institute in 2003 as the director and chief designer.
New Online Lecture Available.
Kongjian Yu - Beautiful Big Feet. Toward a new Landscape Aesthetic.
Kongjian Yu is one of the most influential landscape architects / landscape planners. He has received numerous awards for his innovative projects in landscape and urbanism in major cities around the world. Among his most acclaimed projects are Houtan Park for Shanghai Expo, the Red Ribbon Park in Qinhuangdao and Shipyard Park in Zhongshan.
Postgraduate students present their ideas to the Parkwood Springs Friends Group.
Our postgraduate MA students chose Parkwood Springs in for their Urban Development project and presented their work to the friends group. Click the link below to find out more.
The Olympic Park: a Landscape Legacy - A Short Film by The Landscape Institute Featuring Profs. Nigel Dunnett & James Hitchmough.
The Landscape Institute has released this short summary film on the Olympic Park and the team behind it. It features the departments Professors Nigel Dunnet and James Hitchmough.
Visit the Olympic park page on the Landscape Institute website for more information. www.landscapeinstitute.org/knowledge/olympics.php
New Lanscape Lecture Available online.
We have just made a new lecture available as part of our online lecture series. This one is from Professor Nigel Dunnett and Professor James Hitchmough and is about their involvement with the Olympic Park.
For more online lecture go to: www.sheffield.ac.uk/landscape/lectures
Postgraduate students presented their work to the Friends of Parkwood Springs at St Catherine's School in Burngreave
A group of postgraduate students doing the Urban Landscape Planning Project presented their work to the Friends of Parkwood Springs at St Catherine's School in Burngreave on Thursday 15th November. Here is what the various people involved said about the experience:
Anna Jorgensen, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Landscape at the University of Sheffield, said:
'This year the Urban Landscape Planning Project for postgraduate students in the Department of Landscape at the University of Sheffield focused on Parkwood Springs. The collaboration with the Friends of Parkwood Springs took the form of a guided site visit, feedback from Neill and Carol Schofield at the presentations of students' work, and a further presentation of the work to a group of the Friends at one of their regular meetings. The interaction with the Friends was invaluable for the 30 UK and international students who took part, who were able to contribute to a live ongoing project and to learn new skills in communicating their ideas and evaluating their work. The Friends' care and concern for Parkwood and their overall enthusiasm was infectious, and helped make the project a really positive experience for everyone involved.'
Claudia Ferrai (from the Productive Revolution Group), from Italy, said: 'Parkwood Springs is a multi-layered site, which I enjoyed planning and designing. I was keen on integrating different needs and functions with the overall aim of producing local food in an urban context, whilst enhancing existing recreational opportunities and re-integrating the landfill site. Growing local food so close to the city and reconverting land to urban agriculture is a vision that can be achieved.'
Thanos Tsalikidis (from the Wildlife Sensation group), from Greece, wrote:
'It was very interesting to discuss our proposals with the stakeholders and hear different opinions.'
Neill Schofield, the Chair of the Friends of Parkwood Springs, said:
'Many, many thanks to you and the students who came last night. People found it really interesting, and I think that it was well worth doing.'
Lecturers Nicola Dempsey and Mel Burton involved in ESRC Festival of Social Sciences.
3rd Nov saw the event 'Place matters!' part of the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences. Over 20 delegates gave up their Saturday mornings to come to the Showroom and try out some green space evaluation tools which Nicola Dempsey, Alice Mathers and Mel Burton are developing. It also included a chance to try out Sheffield City Council's Sheffield Standard. The morning was a great success and the weather held off for us to go out to South Street Park and try them out in situ.
Guest Lecture by Professor Kongjian Yu, Peking University / Turenscape
You are warmly invited to the Department of Landscape for the Lecture by Professor Kongjian Yu, Peking University / turenscape.com/English
Kongjian Yu is one of the most influential landscape architects / landscape planners. He has received numerous awards for his innovative projects in landscape and urbanism in major cities around the world. Among his most acclaimed projects are Houtan Park for Shanghai Expo, the Red Ribbon Park in Qinhuangdao and Shipyard Park in Zhongshan. He will discuss these projects and other recent work.
Beautiful Big Feet. Toward a New Landscape Aesthetic
Friday 30 Nov, 16.30-17.30.
Arts Tower, Lecture Theatre 4.
Drinks reception afterwards on floor 13, Arts Tower until approx. 18.30.
Prof. Kongjian Yu will be available for signing his new book 'Designed Ecologies: The Landscape Architecture of Kongjian Yu' (Birkhauser 2012).
Professors Nigel Dunnett and James Hitchmough talk to The Landscape Institute about their involvement on the Olympic Park
Professors Nigel Dunnett and James Hitchmough recently spoke to the Landscape Institute as part of a series of interviews on the role of Landscape Architects in the Olympic Games. Click here to see the video.
To find out more visit: http://www.landscapeinstitute.org/olympics
Research and Recording Study Day at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park
On 21 September 2012 Jan Woudstra lectured at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park at a Research and Recording Study Day, which investigated the development of the landscape at Bretton Hall, 1720-2012. Bretton Hall is the historic estate, which is now commonly known as the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and about which Karen Lynch provided a comprehensive account of the various phases that provided a new understanding of the development of the landscape. Jan’s talk was on the era after 1825 when Robert Marnock was foreman and head gardener of the estate, until 1834 when he designed and became curator of the Sheffield Botanic Garden. After leaving Bretton Marnock became one of the best known landscape gardeners who designed various country house gardens, as well as public parks, housing developments and cemeteries in Great Britain and abroad. The talk revealed his presence at Bretton as an important step towards his professional maturity, where he experimented in new techniques in horticulture and landscape design and where he practiced his skills. This talk was followed by one by Helen Pheby, the curator of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, that -entitled ‘Layered Land’- looked at the use of the landscape of Bretton as a backdrop for modernist sculpture. The successful conference was closed of by a choice of one of a series of three guided walks, which respectively looked at the past, the natural history and ecological management, and use of the estate as a venue and setting for sculpture.
The day revealed the tremendous potential for the site, both as a significant historic landscape and as an internationally renowned sculpture park. There are a range of pressures on the site, such as the search for a suitable use of the buildings, in a way that does not affect the other uses. The Department of Landscape is offering its assistance in coordinating these efforts, in creating a general landscape strategy. In the meanwhile Bretton Hall continues to be a site that offers opportunities for further research. The layout of the early nineteenth century survives in the archaeology which might well be explored; further studies are required on the Jacobean house and garden that were demolished in the early eighteenth century and the site of which is said to be marked by a surviving column in the woodland. There is also potential for looking at the later period in more detail, and in particular the driving forces and objectives behind the creation of the sculpture park. Thus the study day organised by the Association of Gardens Trusts, Yorkshire Gardens Trust and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, in association with the Garden History Society proved to be a starting point for further research and engagement.
Associate tutor and PhD student Sally O’ Halloran will be presenting a paper at a conference promoting the value of archives on the 9th November 2012, at the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters (CELL), in London.
Sally will discuss the value of archival material in garden history research, and, in particular, how surviving gardener’s records informed her research on the seventeenth-century gardens of Arbury, Nuneaton in Warwickshire.
Autumn Newsletter Out Now
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Place-keeping through Partnership:
How can we sustain quality green & open spaces in a time of economic constraint?
In Sheffield, the ongoing funding cuts are having a real impact on how well the local authority can continue to provide green and open spaces. However, there is also increasing awareness of the role parks play in our collective health and wellbeing, for climate change, biodiversity and pollution mitigation. To ensure we do not lose these green benefits, key questions are raised: Who provides? Who pays? Who manages? Who cares?
To answer these questions, Sheffield City Council’s Parks and Countryside Service have been working with members of the EU-funded MP4 ‘Making Places Profitable’ project, based in the Department of Landscape at the University of Sheffield. MP4 has been investigating the potential of place-keeping, or the long-term management of green and open spaces, and the importance of partnership working to ensure a sustainable green space legacy, particularly important in these times of economic constraint.
Sharing the realities of the current situation and exploring green space partnership capacities (who does what) across the city and beyond, was the focus of the recent event ‘Place-keeping through Partnership’ on 11th July 2012, held at ICOSS and hosted by the Council and MP4.
With support from the University’s Research Exchange for the Social Sciences (RESS), the event saw over 50 delegates from public bodies, community groups and third sector organisations' participate in an intensive and highly successful day of presentations and workshops.
The day’s proceedings were opened by Isobel Bowler, the Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport & Leisure, with discussions from the day’s workshops drawn together by Liz Ballard, Director of Sheffield Wildlife Trust. A number of important points were raised, including:
- the importance of transparency, patience, trust and good communication between organisations;
- the need for adaptable expectations and perceptions of future open space management by community organisations;
- this is a time for realism, reinvention and rediscovering innovation;
- the potential of area-based approaches to help things move from strategy to working on the ground (such as the East GOSS pilot facilitated by Green Estate);
- the role of the University as an important civic partner contributing through student volunteering, evaluation and supporting best practice;
- the need to recognise the added value of the third sector; and,
- the changing role of Sheffield City Council, potentially from service provider and landowner to facilitator and coordinator.
The day was closed by Paul Billington, Director of Culture & Environment, Sheffield City Council. Mr Billington reflected on the collaborative working that had taken place and looked forward to a new chapter for the city’s green and open spaces, turning place-keeping through partnership into action on the ground.
This event marked the launch of a new chapter for place-keeping, with place-keeping identified by delegates as an effective approach to tackling current issues in green and open space provision and management.
Following the event a number of outputs will be available to support those taking forward place-keeping on the ground:
- A place-keeping charter
- The University of Sheffield place-keeping research group (www.place-keeping.group.shef.ac.uk)
- MP4 place-keeping e-toolkit (September 2012)
- MP4 place-keeping online policy documents (September 2012)
- 2012 promises to be an exciting year for place-keeping, therefore please keep in touch regarding your work and look out for upcoming place-keeping events at www.place-keeping.group.shef.ac.uk
For further information on this MP4 ‘Place-keeping through partnership’ event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our websites: www.mp4-interreg.eu and www.place-keeping.group.shef.ac.uk
Heaven here on Earth
Jan Woudstra was one of two foreign speakers invited to talk at a conference at University (SLU) in Alnarp held on 4 and 5 September 2012. The conference entitled ‘Heaven here on Earth’ was organised in the honour of the late Kjell Lundquist, a knowledgeable and inspirational garden historian who died in September last year, aged 56. The conference investigated some of the strands that were Lundquist’s interest, highlighting one of his on-going research projects relating to garden cultures on Icelandic monastery sites presented by joint researcher Inger Larsson, of Stockholm University. Erik de Jong, of the University of Amsterdam, was asked to present the plight of knowledge in seventeenth century gardens, while Jan Woudstra was given the title: “In search for the meaning of reconstructing paradise; to reconstruct or not to reconstruct, that is the question”. The issue was explored by means of a survey of selected reconstructed gardens from the seventeenth century, establishing an evolution of approaches. The main case study involved some of his recent work at Het Loo Palace, The Netherlands that was initially reconstructed between 1977 and 1984. His talk highlighted the difficulties and constraints in maintaining and reconstructing a garden of this period.
Such conservation issues were an important consideration in Lundquist’s research and the second day of the conference involved a visit to one of his projects at Uraniborg, on the island of Hven, where Tycho Brahe’s late fifteenth century gardens have been partially reconstructed. Participants had had an introduction to this project by collaborator Kenneth Lorentzen during the first day of the conference, on the issue of collecting historic plants with known provenance for the garden. On site Anna Jakobsson and Åsa Ahrland of SLU, who had also organized the conference, further enlightened them with the history of the development. The event provided a suitable occasion to honour Lundquist, and provide a renewed impetus for garden history research in Scandinavia. The conference was well attended with over 120 participants.
The Department at the Olympics!!
Our blooming marvellous Professors Nigel Dunnett and James Hitchmough have designed the UK's largest ever wildflower meadows at the Olympic Games.
The riverbank meadows of bee-friendly cornflowers, marigolds, Californian poppies and prairie flowers have been specially designed to flower late by international wildflower expert Professors Nigel Dunnett and Professor James Hitchmough from the University of Sheffield's Department of Landscape. The plants are now blooming gold just in time for the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony to ensure they are at their best.
Seb Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee, said: “The wildflower meadows timed to flower around the Stadium are just one example of the painstakingly detailed and innovative work of the team of experts that have created the Olympic Park that will be enjoyed by spectators during the Games and for generations to come.”
Garden conservation issues at Frogner, Oslo, Norway
On 15 June 2012 Jan Woudstra was one of two foreign experts invited at a meeting in Oslo, Norway, which considered the reconstruction proposals for the gardens of Frogner. This is one of the last of the traditional merchant country houses surviving near the centre of Oslo, which by the end of the eighteenth century was surrounded by a formal garden, kitchen garden and landscape park. The Frogner Park is now perhaps best known as the location of the Vigeland sculptures placed there during the first half of the twentieth century in a design contrived by Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943). In his design for the layout of the display for his remarkable sculptures the artist seems to have taken cues from the formal framework for the Frogner gardens in an axial framework of avenues and vistas. The formal gardens were respected and remained to one side, with the Frogner courtyard buildings being taken over by the Oslo Museum service, as a monument to the former owners and the history of the development of Oslo. It has long been a desire to restore the gardens as an auxiliary to the museum and to help with the interpretation, but evidence of the layout is remarkably poor. The gardens are incorporated on measured surveys of 1777 and 1791, some sketches of 1788, and there is a travel account, but there are no estate records or any other information that might provide detail on house and gardens. While on stylistic grounds the gardens can be associated with Dézallier d’Argenville’s La theorie et la pratique du jardinage -first published in 1709 and remaining popular in Europe well into the eighteenth century- there is little information upon detail of the gardens. There is no information on planting or its details but there are some surviving lime trees.
The formal garden contained a terraced bowling green with a lime bower to one side and an orangery on the opposite side to the house; the main garden was divided in six hedged quarters which were occupied by long narrow beds. This layout was probably created by Hans Jacob Scheel (a Danish military officer and Director of Fortifications in Norway), its owner from 1747-1760, and presumably contained his and later Bernt Anker’s (the owner from 1790-1805) collection of foreign plants revealing of international connections. At the public seminar garden historian Madeleine von Essen detailed the findings of the historic research; followed by an interpretation of three stages of archaeology carried out by different archaeologists between 2001 and 2008, while the landscape architect Anne Kaurin detailed outline proposals for the area of the formal garden. The seminar was concluded by an attempt by Lena Löfgren-Upsäll, landscape architect at Swedish National Property Board, to position the proposals for Frogner in an international context, while Jan Woudstra provided an account of lessons from reconstruction work at Chiswick House, Het Loo and Hampton Court. These formed the basis for a discussion in the afternoon between the stakeholders about the values, opportunities and constraints of garden reconstruction at Frogner. Olaf Steen, representing the City of Oslo Cultural Heritage Management Office, led the seminar and round table discussion and the day was organized by this office, in association with the Norwegian branch of ICOMOS and the City Museum of Oslo. Landscape architect Ann-Mari Nylund of the Parks Department of the City of Oslo is leading the project of the reconstruction of the formal garden.
Garden visiting in aid of Maggie’s Centres
On 29 June 2012 Jan Woudstra guided an excursion to three gardens in aid of Maggie’s, ‘an organisation that provides the emotional, practical and social support that people with cancer need’ (http://www.maggiescentres.org/). The organisation is named after Maggie Keswick (1941-1995), garden designer and historian of the Chinese garden, so a fund raising event organized by Caroline Collins that offered visits to gardens normally closed to the public, was highly appropriate. The event visited three gardens in the Cotswolds; Cornwell Manor, Adlestrop and Sarsden.
Cornwell Manor and the estate village date back to the Middle Ages, but were ‘reconditioned’ from 1937-39 by Clough Williams-Ellis, the environmentalist architect and author of Britain and the Beast (1937) that sought to retain the English landscape inheritance. This reconditioning ensured the preservation of the village that has continued to thrive and provides a unique insight in the changing philosophy of conservation, both for the village and garden.
Adlestrop House is known through its connection with Jane Austen and as the setting for Mansfield Park (1814) where she describes the implementation of a scheme proposed by the landscape gardener Humphry Repton (1752-1818), although she uses fictional names. This transformed an earlier layout by the architect Sanderson Miller and nurseryman Samuel Driver, and included diversions of nearby roads to create a larger park that has continued to benefit the setting of the house since.
Sarsden House, rebuilt with formal gardens after a fire in 1689, was altered as into a landscape park by Repton and his son George Stanley between 1795 and the 1820s. The garden visitors were here able to inspect one of Repton’s famous ‘Redbooks’ with before and after views, which were produced to illustrate proposed landscape improvements. This concluded a successful event that was possible through the generosity of the owners who provided access to the properties, which they have continued to develop and manage. The substantial donations in aid of Maggie’s will be used towards the building of a new Centre at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London designed by architect Steven Holl.
Copenhagen June 2012
International Landscape Architecture Study Tour
Department staff, Anna Jorgensen, Andy Clayden and Nicola Dempsey led this year’s international fieldtrip to the city of Copenhagen, Denmark along with a group of 45 undergraduate and postgraduate students.
The study tour was a great success, with a diverse range of contemporary and historic landscapes that included: urban courtyards and parks, social housing, city wide urban planning, green routes and alternative approaches to community and ecological design. We were very lucky with the weather, which was mostly sunny if a little cold on occasions. In addition to the incredible diversity of Danish landscape architecture that we visited the highlights have to include: An introduction to Argentinian tango that was arranged by Anna Jorgensen with dance instructor, Gunnar (El Pistolero) in the free state of Christiania; invigorating dips in the sea and a glorious day at the stunning museum of modern Art , Louisiana which is a complete joy for its integration of Landscape and Architecture.
Day 1: green, blue and grey: the public realm in the city centre
The first day was an introduction to the city, its typology, historic quarter and harbor side. The day began with a visit to a new office development and courtyard designed by Stig Anderson, SLA http://www.sla.dk/urban.htm. This was great place to start and an opportunity to explore the contribution that structure planting, landform and buildings make to this relatively small urban courtyard. It was also a good opportunity for students to critically evaluate the space using a variety of drawings, including sections and plans.
From here we continued on walk on our harbour side walk into the centre of Copenhagen including the new harbour, Royal Palace and gardens and views of the city from the water.
Day 2: planned and unplanned- settlements and housing
The day began with a visit to the Christiania (the free state of Copenhagen) which is a community that was established in the early 1970s on a former military site near the historic area of Christian Town. In its early days Christiania was entirely independent of the state and self-governing. It was an opportunity for students to see how a community, through negotiation and a collective approach, can develop its own environment, landscape and infrastructure. Sadly no pictures but if you want more info go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freetown_Christiania.
In the afternoon there was an opportunity to look at design at the urban scale with the new Copenhagen extension of Orestad. This is planning and design on a large scale and includes new infrastructure including a light railway, canals, housing, public services, parks, offices and retail. In this new development there is a real challenge about how to create a sense of place and identity in this new and rapidly expanding development. http://blog.inpolis.com/2011/08/29/orestad-laboratory-for-the-city-of-the-future/ It will be interesting to see how the public realm evolves over time. At the moment there is a feeling that buildings dominate the space and that there more scope to create a sense of character, identity and a human scale in the landscape.
The visit also included a tour of the award winning 8 House by BIG http://worldlandscapearchitect.com/8-house-copenhagen-denmark-big/#.T-RohpjUaZa. Interesting scheme with its striking green (red, sedum) roofs and domestic threshold spaces. However what is still somewhat disappointing is the contribution that vegetation and landscape design make to enhance the social and environmental quality and experience of the enclosed courtyards.
Day 3: exploring Vesterbro and Norrebro- Copenhagen’s city districts- everyday life and cultural landscapes in the city
Day three was an opportunity to explore a series of new linear green spaces which include the Sonder Boulevard and series of connected parks and cycle ways which lead from the Business School at Frederiksberg and on to a new public park at Superkilen. These linear routes are seen as an important opportunity to develop green corridors and networks within the city, which will contribute to social and environmental quality. They provide doorstep spaces for people living nearby and traffic free cycle and pedestrian routes leading into and out of the city. Highlights of the day included another landscape scheme by SLA in the district of Frederiksberg.
The day also included a visit to a housing regeneration scheme in Hedebygade that incorporates a communal courtyard. The scheme was developed more than a decade ago and uses water from the surrounding roofs to supply a communal building and laundry. This is a space that has a very different approach to what we had seen at 8 House. It demonstrates a very different aesthetic that embraces the breadth of activities and clutter that people bring to outdoor spaces. The communal courtyard has multiple social spaces of different scales, which are created through vegetation, landform and built structures.
The day concluded with a visit to a new landscape project at Superkilen, which is designed by, BIG, Topotek1 and Superflex. For more info go to: http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.topotek1.de%2F&hl=en&langpair=auto|en&tbb=1&ie=ISO-8859-1
The general reaction to this landscape was one of disappointment amongst staff and students, especially when compared with the website images. It had not yet officially opened when we visited and was already looking tired. The painted surfaces were no longer pristine and there were signs on display that advised cyclists not to ride their bikes when it was wet as the surface was too slippery.
Day 4 Coastal recreation and culture (bring your swimming things)
Day four saved some of the best until last. We took the train to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and on the way we stopped off to visit Hellerup which was designed in 1912 by Danish Landscape Architect G.N. Brandt. It was a stunning day to explore this very simple yet elegant coastal park and harbor side with rose and perennial gardens and public amenities. Great to see a landscape that is 100 years old but still looks fresh and contemporary and is enjoyed today as much as when it was first laid out. It demonstrates a bold a confident use of structure planting to create spaces with purpose and incorporates elegant bespoke details.
Last stop Louisiana Museum (http://www.louisiana.dk/dk). Whilst the exhibition is always interesting it is the manner in which the architecture and landscape come together at Louisiana that is so seamless and beautiful. The building has been extended and developed over a period of decades by the same Danish Architectural practice. It is simple and elegant and responds to the surrounding topography, vegetation and views of the sea.
Landscape Lecture Series: Olympic Park Lecture by Phil Askew, Professor Nigel Dunnett & Professor James Hitchmough
In the first of our new online lecture series, Phil Askew, Project Sponsor for Parks and the Public Realm, Olympic Delivery Authority, gives a presentation on the London 2012 Olympic Park.
Phil Askew describes the design process, key elements, delivery and implementation of what is the largest new urban park to be developed in Europe for the past 150 years. The opening of the London Olympic Park will be the most high-profile event in the Landscape Architecture world in 2012.
For the first time in the modern history of the Olympic Games, the London Olympic Park has received as much design attention as the Olympic buildings and venues, and the park is central to the long-term legacy of the London games.
The University of Sheffield and the Department of Landscape has been at the heart of the design process for the London Olympic Park from the outset.
Professors James Hitchmough and Nigel Dunnett introduce the event with a short introduction to the role of the Department of Landscape in the design and implementation of the London Olympic Park.
Garden History Award
Associate tutor and PhD student Sally O’ Halloran received a commendation for her entry in this year's Garden History Society essay competition. The essay titled “The Gardener’s Account of Extraordinary Work”: the role of Gervase Whitehead at Knole, Sevenoaks in Kent (1718 to 1739)’ examined the surviving receipts of work of the gardener Gervase Whitehead to reveal the crucial part he played in the ongoing management of the gardens, park and commons at Knole. The judges were particularly impressed with the excellent use of the primary source material, combining archive study and work on the ground. As part of her PhD research Sally looked at the work of the gardeners of Knole over an extended period and the first part of this case study has just been published as a joint article with her PhD supervisor Jan Woudstra in Garden History 40: 1 (2012) pp. 34-55; “Keeping the Garden at Knolle”: the gardeners of Knole in Sevenoaks, Kent, 1622-1711’.
Historic and Contemporary Landscapes Tour June 2012
James Hitchmough, Sally O’ Halloran and Nick Robinson led a group of thirty six MA 1 Landscape Architect students around what can only be described as an ‘action-packed’ schedule of historic and contemporary landscapes in the south of England.
Day 1 was titled CONTEMPORARY LONDON PARKS AND URBAN DESIGN and began at the Tate Modern in London looking at the work of Kienast Vogt Partnership in association with Charles Funk Associates; in particular discussions focused on the groves of birch and how they have matured and the landscape has changed since it was designed in 1999-2000. A walk along the Thames led everyone to Potters Fields Park, which was opened in 2007, to a master plan by Gross Max and planting by Piet Oudolf. Then back on the bus to the Thames Barrier Park, a contemporary park designed by Alain Provost and thus highly influenced by late 20th Century Paris park design.
Day 2 entitled GREAT 20TH CENTURY GARDENS visited two of the most celebrated British gardens. First stop was Great Dixter, in Sussex where the garden layout was designed in the Arts and Crafts Style by architect Edwin Lutyens, and the garden planted by the late Christopher Lloyd, and now, by head gardener Fergus Garret. Then on to Sissinghurst Castle, in Kent, which was designed by Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson, and is now managed by The National Trust. The day ended with a visit to the atmospheric landscape of Dungeness, where a walk on the beach led us past the small garden of the late Derek Jarman and to the Pilot Inn for fresh fish and chips.
Day 3 was renamed THE MONSOON (it rained continuously from 8am to 8pm) and began at the London Wetland Centre, Barnes a ‘wetland theme park’ on a former sewage treatment works. The park combines large areas of wetland for wildlife with a number of small-scale ‘sustainable’ gardens, including one by Nigel Dunnett. Then on to Wisley, in Surrey where an informative guided tour was given of the new plantings around the Greenhouse, which are designed by James Hitchmough, Piet Oudolf and Tom Stuart-Smith.
Student Exhibition 2012
The student exhibition is the biggest event of our year and will take place on the Friday 8th June between 5pm and 8pm. It is a showcase of all our 3rd year undergraduate and final year postgraduate student work. All welcome, hope to see you there!
Landscape Students raise £234 for the MS Society
MA2 students Rosie Loveridge and Victoria Jones raised over £234 for the MS Society baking more cakes than the entire Dept could eat earlier this month! These included tiesen lap (Welsh cake), vanilla, orange and red velvet cupcakes, pumpkin and chocolate bread and brownies among others. We're looking forward to the next baking fundraiser!!