LILA Awards 2020 – “Variety in Approaches”

This year’s fifth edition of the Landezine International Landscape Awards – LILA – took place under extraordinary circumstances. The winning entries were announced without an award ceremony due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. The jury gave out 7 awards and 5 special mentions, while the editors of Landezine selected the recipients of the Office and Honour Awards. Editor-in-chief Zaš Brezar pointed out that the award winners illustrated the large variety of approaches and current dominating themes within landscape architecture.

One of the winning projects: Phase Shifts Park by French landscape architects mosbach paysagistes

The winning projects in the categories Public Project – Phase Shifts Park by French landscape architects mosbach paysagistes – and Infrastructure – Girona’s Shores by EMF – stood out for their aspiration to give back to society and a relaxed, informal design approach instead of overdesigning spaces. With regard to the Catalan project the jury recognized the role of the landscape architect not only as designer, but as a social catalyst enabling positive change.

Phase Shifts Park by mosbach paysagistes:

Girona’s Shores by EMF:

Special mentions in these categories went to the projects Lifting The Palm Grove To a Higher Level in Morocco by Building Beyond Borders, Yongqing Fang Alleyways – An Urban Transformation by Chinese architects Lab D+H and the Ballerup Boulevard in Denmark by Marianne Levinsen Landskab.

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Swiss project Fold’s Childhood by Gilles Brusset won the Playgrounds category. A play with topography and two different materials, the project takes its inspiration from the geological processes that shaped the Jura Mountains and creates an interesting contrast to the surrounding modernist residential housing complex. “While the design tools are simple, they offer a layered complexity within this simplicity,” the jury stated.

Selected as winner of the Hospitality category was the Catalan project Terra Dominicata Hotel & Winery by SCOB Architecture & Landscape, with a special mention to Cloud of Hometown in China by gad · line+ studio. Danish architects Juul Frost Architects received the award for the Residential category for their project Flyvestation Værløse. A special mention went to the French project Square Maïmat by Emma Blanc. The awards in the Gardens category were handed out ex aequo to Ellipse Garden in Denmark by Kjeld Slot Havearkitekt and Dutch project Anticipating the Landscape by Andrew van Egmond.

The Enfant terrible of the landscape architecture scene

Topotek 1 was selected as this year’s winner of the Office Award. “Enfant terrible” of the landscape architecture scene with a unique approach, attitude and confidence that dares to experiment, according to Brezar, something that “the Landezine team would truly wish to see more of in landscape architecture offices around the world.”

Honour Award winner Charles A. Birnbaum, founder of The Cultural Landscape Foundation, has been recognised for his outstanding advocacy work to foster the appreciation of landscape and landscape heritage within society. His promotion of the social, cultural and environmental values of landscape is of outmost importance to the profession, as the “condition for the landscape architecture community to thrive in a society lies in an understanding of the work we do.”

Diversity of contemporary landscape architecture

With the selection of this year’s award winners, the jury not only highlighted the diversity of contemporary landscape architecture, but rewarded the willingness to push the limits of the profession through process-based and flexible approaches, the exploration of new aesthetics and typologies, and a strong focus on the human aspect of our work.