area 113 | benedetta tagliabue embt

architect: Benedetta Tagliabue Miralles Tagliabue EMBT

location: Xian, China

year: 2010

We are architects and landscape architects because we think about our profession with no separation between the fact of doing buildings or doing the environment of the buildings. We consider the profession of being an architect to change the environment in a better way so you can do it both with built structure or with natural structure. And I think this is very beautiful this is tradition which is taking place in Spain and in Italy where we don’t make any separation between the two professions and this gives a possibility of doing buildings and landscapes in a more integrated way.
We have many good experiences with many types of beautiful gardens or open spaces I think we are very much in love with historical gardens and we did a demonstration of this by our own projects both projects in big gardens like diagonal mar and the mollet park or also project in open spaces in cities like piazza dels Paisos Catalanes or the new piazzas we are doing in Vigo, or in the Scottish parliament and Utrecht and many other places. I think an excellent garden or design as every project is place which makes you feel very well and makes you mind being very stimulated by the new place. So I think you really have to be attentive about finding excellent spaces and try to do in your project something similar, for example we had incredible good experiences in classical European gardens like French or German or Italian but also we had the experience of Japanese and oriental gardens, for example in the Kyoto temples which are especially beautiful and not only that but also the natural beauty of special landscapes can be really teaching about how to make a new type of fantastic garden.
Chinese gardens are real inspiration to us when we did garden in diagonal mar but also in Mollet we had in mind Chinese garden it’s a way of making gardens really inventing really creating a kind of artificial sets that become fantastic and sometimes more fantastic than the real natural set. So this is a very beautiful game and this makes me wish to learn more about the Chinese gardens.
This is a kind of how to inherit tradition is a very important theme but you cannot give a formula to it. I think that is important to try to find a harmony and you have to find it yourself by having a kind of real great attention to history and to tradition but also not being afraid to innovate. So this is I think something that relates on the capacity of equilibrium of the architect and that’s why we need good architects. And sustainable development I think it’s something very important for the present and for the future and sustainability is fantastic theme, we really have to go on discovering more and more about it especially regarding how nature is reacting to our violent human invasion in this world. Now we are involved in making projects in China and we are very curious about China and about starting a conversation between west and east. We tried to interpretate in our garden a kind of Chinese landscape and to transform it in the way we know. It’s a way of doing that is our normal way of doing but looking at east, looking at China. What we don’t know is if Chinese people will like it or will find it familiar or different, but for sure is a kind of from west looking at east. I think landscape architecture is fantastic profession and it will be more and more considered. In a way I said that in Italy and Spain we still consider it part of the general formation of an architect but now more and more people realize that open spaces can be designed and can have a very great influence and importance. So It will be more and more important it will involve both the agricultural or garden spaces and also more generic city spaces. Actually we love to have the possibility of making jumps and play with the level because when we did diagonal mar park we really didn’t have this possibility and then we invented it because having little mountains or little lakes, places which goes up and places which goes down it is making landscape much more complex much more interesting, so in this sense this is not a difficulty but it’s gift. In the Spanish pavilion in shanghai we thought to use this material which is both talking about the possibility of linking with the tradition and innovating within the same time and also bringing something which is similar from the way of working in handcraft field in Spain and in China. This way of working it is very similar in Spain and in China. And in china you still have a lot of this hand craft so we thought it would be fantastic to have very typical Chinese façade, very typical Chinese wall which is usually not used for the great scale, and also in this park we thought that this would be a very good material because in the Spanish pavilion we did one type of façade but we could have done many more variations and so now in this project we are trying to do one of these variations. We have a kind of a small plot because it’s an expo and we thought that it would be very nice to create a kind of labyrinth. This means that people will have the impression through falling many many different lines that the garden is very big. There are many many experiences even if the plot is not so big; so I think this complexity something that where we looking forward and we will make a different perception of the space, and we will make the space became big even if not big and this is something which is very interesting to make. Yes I think it is fantastic to have this kind of conversation between west and east and I’m really looking forward to learn more from you and more than you from us.