10. July 2013 / Peter Zöch
Topos Landscape Award 2013 goes to Peter Latz
German landscape architect Peter Latz has been awarded the Topos Landscape Award 2013. This is the first time that Topos has honoured a landscape architect for his life’s work (award ceremony as part of the Topos conference Strategic Urbanism).
Latz has influenced landscape architects worldwide. His Duisburg-Nord Landscape Park project has played a particularly important role, and is considered internationally to be a model for the conversion of brownfield sites. With this project, Latz set the basic standards for the design and reuse of post-industrial areas.
Piazza Metallica, Landscape Park Duisburg-Nord, Peter Latz, Latz + Partner; image: © Michael Latz
Landscape Park Duisburg-Nord, Peter Latz, Latz + Partner; image: © Christa Panick
His ideas about this former steel factory have also enriched the debate about what parks should provide at the beginning of the 21st century. Other internationally known projects include the City Park on the River Port Island in Saarbrücken, Parco Dora in Turin, and the redesign of the former Hiriya landfill in Tel Aviv. Topos has published and presented numerous essays and projects of Peter Latz in the past.
City Park on the River Port Island in Saarbrücken, Peter Latz, Latz + Partner; image: © Christa Panick
Latz’s method of working is based on a “syntactic design concept”, and his approach is especially characterised by an analysis and discussion of the site and its context. Considering local conditions and initiating ecological and social processes while keeping all forms of intervention at a minimum is more important to him than developing a recognisable style of design. Latz says “It is certainly my firm conviction that, in the event of any doubt, the structure is more important than the design.”
Parco Dora, Turin, Peter Latz, Latz + Partner; image: © Ornella Orlandini
Belvedere, Hiriya, Tel Aviv, transformation of the Hiriya landfill into a landscape park, Peter Latz, Latz + Partner; image: © Albatros, Park Ariel Sharon Company
In addition to his work as a practicing landscape architect Latz has also influenced generations of students through his activity as a professor, at first at the University of Kassel and later at the Technical University Munich Weihenstephan. He has taught at universities around the world, for instance as a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and as an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Topos Landscape Award 2013 will be presented on 10 September in Munich as part of the Topos conference Strategic Urbanism. Discussions at the conference will revolve around the dominant trends of global planning activities, as well as the role that landscape architects have in the context of strategic and integrated planning.
Topos has presented the Topos Landscape Award (formerly the European Landscape Award) since 2002. Topos usually presents the award to young aspiring offices that have attracted attention due to innovative projects and approaches, and that can be expected to give the profession further impetus in the future. Previous award-winners include Stig L. Andersson’s Tegnestue (Copenhagen), Karres en Brands (Hilversum), Gross.Max (Edinburgh), McGregor and Coxall (Sydney), Stoss LU (Boston), Antje Stokman (Hamburg), and Taktyk (Paris/Brussels). In 2012, on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, Topos presented two Jubilee Awards to the Abalimi Bezekhaya initiative in Cape Town and to the National Tourist Routes in Norway.