Topos 79


Small Scale Interventions

In landscape architecture even the smallest intervention can provide a profound experience. A viewpoint reveals a new perspective, while skywalks and pathways lead to hidden places or highlight unique features. The routes through the ­wetlands of the Bay of Arcachon in France or the National Park of Cap de Creus in Spain provide ­opportunities for the unexpected. A series of dispersed interventions across a wider scale can act to stich a narrative through a landscape. While vastly different in their form and function, all of the projects presented in this edition of Topos are highly site-specific in their engagement with the landscape, and they achieve much with minimal impact.


Dancing in the Wind

Tudela’s reclamation project at Cap de Creus on the Catalan coast is the biggest project of its kind ever in the Mediterranean basin. Through necessary but inexpensive actions, the design skillfully orchestrates destruction and reconstruction to celebrate the site’s peculiarities, both natural and cultural.

Author: Victor Ténez Ybern


Roman Forum of Empúries, Spain

Interventions in the Roman Forum of Empúries in Girona, Spain help to understand and distinguish the different archaeological spaces in a subtle way. The newly designed elements provide access and guide visitors through the historical site.

Author: Lola Domènech


Sharp as a Knife

The Dutch Waterline, a historic defence system, is nowadays a cultural heritage site which has been developed as an important recreational area. A series of interventions add a contemporary layer to the historic defence features.

Author: Martin Knuijt


Spherical Bird Observatory

A former bunker of the Dutch Waterline was turned into a bird observatory. It is part of the recent renewal of the historic defence line for touristic use.

Author: Arie Huisman


Moses Bridge

Fort de Roovere of the Dutch West Brabantse Waterline has been developed as a recreational area with hiking and bike paths. A bridge slicing through the restored waterline is an almost hidden gap.

Author: Ro Koster, Ad Kil



An organic structure is hidden in the dunes of the Belgian coast. The Sandworm is constructed of willow. Based on this simple natural material, the artwork seems to be part of the surrounding tidal beach.

Author: Marco Casagrande


Ephemeral Landscapes

Ephemeral interventions in Norway and Mexico explore the relationship between art and function, integrating the disciplines of architecture, landscape, design, sculpture, and installation. The projects are conceived as a function of their physical context, particular to the site.

Author: Ivan Juarez


Stone River

The Stone River project in Eastern New York State, USA, is both a path through the woods and
a sculptural work. The aim of the project was to join culture to nature. The timeless experience of walking along the path under the trees integrates visitors with nature.

Author: Jon Piasecki


Qinhuangdao Forest Park, Transforming a Working Landscape

Qinhuangdao Forest Park in Hebei Province in China emerged from a monotonous forest that served as a windbreak. Small changes generated an urban park with storm water management features, agriculture, and a varied eco-system that can be experienced by visitors.

Author: Kongjian Yu


Panorama of the Chilean Coast

A wooden plateau and paths placed on the spectacular rocks of the Chilean coast near the small town of Infiernillo are exposed to the forces of sea. The project pays homage to a special type of Chilean, living near and with the sea: the costino.

Author: Mauricio A. Ureta Villagra


Forest Stair, Sti For Øye Sculpture Park in Stokke, Norway

The Forest Stair viewpoint is both a solitary functional object and an artistic installation. The stairway to nowhere lifts visitors of the art park above the trees and forms a vertical element in the horizontal forest.

Author: Todd Saunders


Scenic Viewpoints in a Dutch Landscape

In the Dutch Drentsche Aa area new belvederes give an overview of the exceptional qualities of this landscape. The proposals for several locations are based on a masterplan for the 30,000-hectare river basin to enhance the contrast between the different landscape types.

Author: Berno Strootman


Road with a View

The viewpoints along the Route Touristique des Gorges de l’Ardèche in the south of France offer panoramic views of the river and the surroundings. They provide access to the protected landscape whilst managing the stream of visitors.

Author: Tanja Gallenmüller


Places for Discovery

The wetlands of La Teste de Buch within the Bay of Arcachon are revitalized. As important as restoring nature is improving the awareness of the area’s ecological coherence. Therefore, viewpoints, paths and picinic areas were inserted into the landscape.

Author: Juliette Bailly-Maître


Arboretum, Gjøvik, Norway

The Gjøvik Care Centre, where young asylum-seekers find shelter, provides an arboretum as refuge and place of education. For it, small garden trees from every continent of the world were selected. The layout is based on a map of the world which was derived from a triangulated model of the earth

Author: Dagur Eggertsson


A Blaze of Light along the Road

An array of gold anodised aluminium staves transforms an unexciting stretch of the A66 roadway in Middlesbrough, UK. The sculptural forms provide commuters with a poetic play of light.

Author: Ian McChesney


Lookout Barbecue Terraces of Seña Vineyards, Chile

The Seña Vineyards Terraces mark a new self-image of the wine-growing district of Central Chile. Since several years, the vineyards are opening up to tourists to get more attention. Located on a site above Aconcagua valley, the terraces  provide great views over the landscape and the vineyards.   

Author: Fulvio Rossetti



The Games and the City

The London 2012 Olympic Park is a model of intelligent ecological planning, but it fails to capture the rich spirit of the area, smothering the past with a pristine green blanket. A series of “fringe” projects are to link the Olympic site to the surrounding urban quarters.

Author: Oliver Wainwright


Before, During and After the Olympic Games

Jason Prior is Chief Executive for Planning Design + Development for Aecom (former Edaw) and has been involved in the master planning for the Olympic Games in London since 2003, two years before the city was awarded the event. Peter Zöch asked Jason Prior about the Olympic Park and the long-term effects of the Olympic Games.

Author: Jason Prior, Peter Zöch (Interview)


London’s Fresh Outdoors

For the past few years London has been working on aligning the quality of its open spaces with that of other European cities. According to Design for London, the governing mayor Boris Johnson has followed Ken Livingstone in taking up the cause of improving London’s squares, streets and green spaces. By the time the Olympic Games open, the city will have spent around 310 million British pounds on 80 projects within the scope of “London’s Great Outdoors” programme. As well as Stratford, several other urban spaces in central London are due to benefit. Both privileged and lower-income neighbourhoods to the north and south of the Thames will be upgraded in terms of their design, traffic structure and the way they integrate into the surrounding areas. Topos describes some of the new projects.

Author: Ljubica Heinsen