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West 8 Landscape Architects b.v. was founded in 1987 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, by Prof. Ir. A.H. Geuze and P. van Beek. The firm has worked on myriad of projects, such as: the design of public space at the Luxury Village, Moscow, Russia (2004 – 2005); the urban design project for Island Brygge, Copenhagen, Denmark (2004); the park for the Global Egyptian Museum, Egypt (2003); and the landscaping of Helmond Sport Stadium, Helmond, the Netherlands (2003). This Dutch firm has also participated in various exhibitions and festivals, such as the Groundswell, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (2005); “Eindhoven de Groenste,” ACE, Eindhoven, the Netherlands (2004); and the Stratford City Exhibition, London, UK (2003).
Arroyo Parkway Pasadena, CA - United States
The brief consisted of the transformation of the parkway into a new entrance for the city, with a certain iconic value. Taking the Pasadena Freeway, the first freeway in Southern California, one enters the city of Pasadena through the Arroyo Parkway. Our plan is related to the use of cars, the climate of California, and the all American Roadscape (the Arroyo Parkway was part of the historic Route 66). Significantly planted on huge steel pedestals—26m high—with striking colors, the domestic Washingtonia palm forms an essential element of the design. These palms (with a natural height reaching up to 40 meters!) are placed on both sides of the boulevard and in the median strip. The tall champagne glass-shaped pedestals also provide the boulevard with light and, due to their height (the boulevard reaches far above the surrounding buildings), make the boulevard visible from the valley. Other elements of the design are a botanic rhythm of various vegetation and flowers at every junction, street furniture, and a plaza with palms.
Furthermore the Arroyo Parkway was extended to the City Hall of Pasadena.
High Botanic Bridge Gwangju - South Korea
A 10.8 km disused railway line surrounds the city-heart of Gwangju. West 8 was commissioned to do a study for transforming this linear void in the city into a usable green corridor, a linear park. West 8 conceived a green serpent that could connect over 20 public schools. This strip will automatically function as an important and safe route to and from these schools. However, where the old railway line crosses the Gwangju stream, the green promenade as proposed by West 8 would be interrupted. Instead of neglecting this area,
Palio de bougainvilleas is a unique project for Roosevelt Avenue in San Juan, Puerto Rico, that will become a new icon, an ecological logo for the city. Stretching for 350 meters along the median of the Avenue, the project is a canopy of Bougainvillea vines grown on a mesh of random cables reaching over either side of the road. This canopy offers shade in the hot Caribbean summer sun to the busy thoroughfare and helps to connect the fragmented neighborhoods of San Juan. The project is based on the context of city, making references to the history of metal works and the ecology of flowers. It also deals with the special meteorological conditions of Puerto Rico: the tropical climate and frequent hurricanes. The modular structure is a reinterpretation of the metal works of San Juan and carries a spider-web-like net of cables. This net is a twisted hyperbolic surface to provide stability during hurricane force winds. The combination of vines and net cast an intricate filigree of shadows on Roosevelt Avenue. Integral to the supporting frames are hanging pots in which grow the Bougainvillea vines. The use of bougainvilleas is a celebration of the vibrant vegetation of Puerto Rico. (Artist's Statement)
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