It’s no news, our cities are dissolved, fragmented, globalized, the era of the anthropocene has been proclaimed. Acknowledging the world’s near complete human pervasion, this new line of thinking has prompted scientific and artistic statements towards the new perspective. As a cultural topos the garden stands at the interface of these readjustments. A new grasp on our understanding of garden, the recovery and widened reactivation of the term could well be a tool and simultaneously a field of work where landscape architecture, urbanism, architecture, art, and many more disciplines converge. The garden is, so to say, for all.
This ‘garden’ is not defined by form or style, but rather by its agency as the cultural (and even intellectual) area in which our urban realities and relations to the environment become concretely tangible and palpable. At the same time the garden is concrete, it has and receives a form, it is designable. Much beyond issues of formal design, such „designation“ is part of the communication process that is at the core of the work of defining and shaping open space, its preconditions, processes, techniques and potentialities. This communication can not be merely abstract, but requires aesthetic participation and (re)negotiation.
We speak as garden and landscape architects. Our understanding of garden represents a tangible reality of giving form within landscape. ‘Garden’ in this sense is not an exclusive category, but an opportunity. ‘Garden’ that is urban nature. Designing with such nature is about conceptualizing its complex presence. This means discovering and utilizing for our urban lives as much of the immediate nature as possible: ranging from flower pots on the window sill through neighbourhood parks, to the technicalities of micro-climate or water management, to the discourse about how we live together. Such a nature does not constitute an opposition to the city; it rather is essentially part of it, a nature that is integrated in and culturally interwoven with the city, a nature that includes humans, their curiosity and knowledge.
Focusing on projects in the urban realm, the aim of 100Landschaftsarchitektur’s work is a changed perspective of place as a re-localisation of the inhabitant in his environment. Landscape design understood as a base for a ‘Baukultur’, a building culture that is founded on careful observation of the existing and a sensible development from this inexhaustible resource.
100Landschaftsarchitektur has long-standing experience in designing and activating public open space. Next to a number of installation projects and co-operations with artists, architects and other disciplines the office has a list of projects and realizations in landscape architecture and the art of the urban garden. Founded by Thilo Folkerts in 2007, 100Landschaftsarchitektur is a small, agile office with project-based collaborations and a network of free-lance staff.
A transparent, flexible fence made of a stainless steel fabric runs freely across the undulating terrain and mediates the inclusive, bilingual (spoken and sign language) daycare center ‘Sinneswandel’ with the surrounding school campus. Within its bounds three conceptional zones grant a great diversity of spatial qualities for the children: the Forest, the Urban Yard and—as an intermediary—the Urban Woods Deck. The latter connects the daycare center’s open spaces between the undulating topography and the flat, asphalt covered Urban Yard, almost all without steps. Only few elements accentuate the little oak and birch grove, while the expansive figure of the deck moves up and down and integrates a plethora of space and play functions: among them two sand boxes, a play area with safety gravel, a climbable shelf, a blackboard, a water and mud table and access to the raised garden beds. The open space design supports the empowerment of the children and the bilingual inclusion of the hearing impaired. Visual communication is eased through open visual access to the whole area, rounded edges and circular assembly possibilities. The generous wooden decks enable a stronger perception of body movements through vibration. Some elements of the design are painted turquois—the guide color of deaf culture. Thus multilingualism and opportunities to form an identity within a lively signing culture playfully come together outdoors. (Thilo Folkerts, Elisa Serra)
Project: Open Spaces Daycare Center ‘Sinneswandel’ | Berlin Charlottenburg (D), 2014 | Surface: 1300 m2 | Client: Sinneswandel gGmbH, Berlin | Commissioned: All phases | Designers: ARGE Serra and 100Land. 100Landschaftsarchitektur with Elisa Serra | Architectural | Interior Design: baukind, Berlin. www.baukind.de | Collaboration: Julie Guiomar | Contractors: Fa. Modellbau Stein, Frankfurt/O., Fa. Alpina, Potsdam
A typical turn of the century Berlin residential building is carefully being renovated and extended by roof apartments. The ambitious development from historic substance is accompanied by a careful redefinition of the open spaces in the yard, in the common garden and in the newly private terraces. The concept aims to give a simple yet elegant finish to yard and garden, developing the design closely from the given spatial situation. Few elements and materials tie together the separated open spaces and those with the architecture. While green plants play a decisive role in creating the atmosphere of yard and garden, the rest of the elements are contrasted in black and white, reflecting the new (black) metal work on the building and the light concrete borders and terraces.
Project: Garden and Yard courtyard and garden for an inner city residential ensemble | Site: Käthe Niederkirchner Straße 31 Berlin Prenzlauer Berg, Germany | planning: 2015 – 2017 | realization: 2017 | 46 residential units | 450 sqm | client: BAJ1 ltd | architects: ABKW, Jochen Klein Architekten / Collaborator: Lorenza Manfredi
Old brick walls hold the spaces inside the buildings, but they also contain the open spaces outside. While walls rigidly mark property and create clear spatial allocations, here they also unite and generate the overreaching quality of a whole. The rich texture of the brick material ties the spatial sequence together. Its surface is softened with mortar into a lively, flowing tissue. The granite pavement bears a similar connective characteristic. It runs from busy Greifswalder Strasse all the way into the quiet garden – is lined with series of wooden furniture elements conceived for rest and play. Inside and out.
Project: Between Walls courtyard | Site: Greifswalder Straße, Berlin (D) | Design year: 2015 – 2017 | Year Built: 2018
The line is a basic garden theme that marks, designates and guides—we use it to underline the given situation. Lines and limits are already part of the site and of the game of boule that is being played here. Lines of scaffolding tubes densify and form benches or platforms. Also, existing balustrades, benches and gates are freshly painted. The paint is shades of green whose names link with the vegetation that is newly brought on site. We are thus gardening with mint and mint green, with anise and anise green, asparagus and asparagus green, sage and sage green, wormwood and absinthe green. We bend the idea of gardening along its literal and figurative sense: The place becomes greener, fresher, but while during the seasons, the colours of the plants will approximate the colour of its painted name-bearers, they will leave it again into the infinite number of green tones. Extending the vocabulary of green beyond that of plants and flowers: marking evolution against time. And then it is the users of the site that are finally its gardeners. The process of refreshment commences with the festival Lausanne Jardins, but the design of the green garden continues from there.
L’ Île Verte – garden project | Terrain de la Vigie, Lausanne (CH), 2014 | Surface: 950 sqm | Client: Association Lausanne Jardins 2014 | Commissioned: All phases | Designers: 100Landschaftsarchitektur Thilo Folkerts, GRUE Marie Alléaume, Nathanaelle Baës-Cantillon | Collaboration: Carole Lesigne, Julie Guiomar | Contractors: Bourgoz Paysages, St-Sulpice, Tucon/Niafil AG, Wilchingen | Cost: 20.000 CHF
Since 2008, under the flag of creativity, culture, and sustainability, a former malt factory has successively been redeveloped to cater for a multitude of uses. In the garden installation this vast building complex is represented as a transparent volume, made of scaffolding structures: The scaffolding as a reflection of the building’s historic envelope undergoing the process of transformation. The garden shows building, new operators and protagonists as a ‘building site’ that is constantly changing; the powder coated scaffolding tubes recall the hues of the characteristic brick architectures, the rusty red of abandoned machinery parts and the protective coating of orientation systems. Large scale fragments from the industrial past and industrious present are positioned inside the accessible structure: funnels, spiral conveyors and materials that showcase a beauty in and of themselves, that point to former and current functions, and that create an urge of curiosity for a visit in the real Malzfabrik.
Project: scaffolding structure, powder coated, original machine parts and materials, wooden deck, brick pavement, labelling. | site: 100 m2 | structure: 13 x 5,8 x 4,0 m | cost: 26.000 EUR | Design: 100Landschaftsarchitektur Thilo Folkerts | project team: Lorenza Manfredi | client: IGG Malzfabrik mbH | developed in collaboration with Anne Peters + Miriam Kühl (realfuture GmbH) within: Internationale Gartenausstellung IGA Berlin 2017 April – October 2017 | planning + realization: 2016-2017
Located on the modernist university campus in Trier, the public art project is a copy-paste re-edition of the adjacent 1970s piece of landscape design. The existing gardenesque ensemble consists of a meandering granite seat, coloured ground inlays, a grass mound with rocks, pine trees and spherical lamps. By quoting this garden, the new project aims at re-validating the qualities of the overall campus. Following a dedicated, processional development, the campus takes its spatial quality from a background in the landscape and architecture icon of the 1972 Olympia stadium and park in Munich. Built in all white concrete, the new ensemble underlines the model character of the campus space.
Project: campus design, sitting, heritage, art | Design: 100Landschaftsarchitektur Thilo Folkerts | Other designers involved in the design of landscape: Barbara Wille (Artist) | Site: Campus Uni Trier, Trier (D) | Design year: 2011 | Year Built: 2012