2_4_DiscoverBenelux_Issue16_April2015_ALL_Q9_Scan Magazine 1 20/03/2015 20:37 Page 48
Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Landscape Architecture
Photo: Bureau B+B
Photo: Mark Hendriks
Designing collectivity TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: RICKY RIJKENBERG
“We create a functional design that always includes an idea or an unsettling intervention that raises the spatial experience far beyond the simply functional,” begins the Amsterdam-based design office Bureau B+B, whose winning approach to landscape architecture and public spaces has rendered them a pioneer of unifying and pleasant landscapes. Reclaiming a sense of wonder towards the world, the collective approach adopted by this acclaimed urban and landscape architecture studio has led to many prolific projects in its lengthy history, redeveloping the public spaces of more than 25 Dutch cities alone, and taking on countless projects of varying sizes – from gigantic waterways and their locks, to gardens and zoo enclosures. With a 12-strong team of architects, landscape architects, urban planners and other specialists, the studio eschews the individual in favour of a well-considered out-
48 | Issue 16 | April 2015
come. Their four pillars – namely, sustainability, narrative, craftsmanship, and collaboration – are strictly adhered too, regardless of the size or location. “Through convincing images, collages and models we involve the owner in our thought process,” explains the studio. “Questioning each other is crucial. At the end of the day we’re telling a story with our designs – one that’s going to be repeated time after time by those who visit the place.” Alongside Arnhem’s central station and a series of essential waterways and locks, Bureau B + B is also working on an extensive urban redevelopment in Nieuwegein entitled Blooming City. Testament to their flexibility and wide-ranging skillset, these projects are vastly different, with monumental concrete locks, multi-use public spaces and flowering trees.
and movement – but not that of cars. This central, 1.6 kilometre shop-lined stretch has left the clutches of car domination behind thanks to Bureau B+B and the Austrian office of Orso.Pitro. Their design fosters a sense of community, with custom-made street furniture (referred to as “dialogue furniture”) comprising benches, tree planters and water mirrors standing alongside two iconic lines of kerbstones, stretching the length of the now bustling shared-space street. “Public space is an incredibly powerful tool to strengthen a city’s identity,” Bureau B+B explains. “A thriving city is one with life and space in which to seek out people, avoid them, share experiences, see and be seen.” With our urban destinations in the hands of Bureau B+B, the future looks set to be a lively one, with the optimum balance of mobility, refuge and nature. www.bplusb.nl
A stroll along vienna’s newly created Mariahilferstrasse gives way to a glimpse of life
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and France.