TOPOGRAPHY 5/12

Bruxelles Saint-Gilles, Louvain-La-Neuve, Tournai

Publié le 30 novembre 2017

par les paysagistes JOAO NUNES
et INAKI ZOILO du bureau PROAP

Mardi 05.12 | 17h30-19h30
LOCI-Bruxelles | Auditoire AR-06
Rue Henri Wafelaerts, 47-51
1060 Bruxelles
(conférence en français et anglais)

Before proposing a specific design, and given the awareness that a landscape architectural project shall never correspond to any static and immutable image, what we seek is dynamism backed up by clear strategy. In each project development moment, formalism should leave space for the capacity to contemplate a complex operational metabolism. The objective is not to engrave some image onto the land but rather to understand the characteristics of the place, understand the energies that determine its functioning and placing the will for transformation into the flow defined by these same energies. It is somewhat like sailing a yacht: the energies that modify the state (movement and transformation) are not introduced by Man into the systems; they are intrinsic to the system. We retain the responsibility to observe and transform, but only to the extent of enabling these forces to build the system desired. It would be unthinkable to undertake any type of transformation that runs counter to the natural forces of the system itself. This would immediately imply a completely unsustainable power struggle that would result in an enormous and constant waste of energy to ensure its maintenance. Image should emerge out of a dynamic but serene functioning. What we seek with a project is, in fact, an expressed functioning: the introduction of an active principle that drives, over time, to the continuous success of different images that the actual landscape sets about building and modifying, in accordance with its own needs and conditioning factors. The research deals with finding a functioning dynamic within which the images, or more precisely the infinite succession of images, emerge. Constructing a landscape, through a landscape architectural project, is to manipulate natural metabolic factors positively, incorporating a poetic, ideological and artistic sense. It is conveying fertility, productivity and diversity, with the awareness of the cultural importance of this gesture. Intervention in the landscape is not the juxtaposition of some agglomeration of objects, but rather reinventing that base from which we set off from through the interplay of elements and proportions. Topographic manipulation represents an essential parameter in the transformation of landscapes. Historically, this has been traditionally associated with the conservation of soil and water for agricultural purposes, but also with urbanization processes when establishing infrastructures and points of access. The project effectively ensures the confluence and integrative syntheses of both within the logics of appropriation and transformation: the agricultural, out of the imperative of rationally managing resources, and the urban out of providing access to all citizens and the establishment of comfort and, secondarily, out of the need to rationalize processes.

PROAP is the commercial name of a research and design studio created by the Landscape Architect João Ferreira Nunes in 1988 and simply means Projects of Landscape Architecture.It corresponds to the idea of ​​depersonalizing the practice of architecture of the landscape and of the public space, themes in which the questions of authorship hinder more than they add.
Throughout the 30 years of its existence, the studio has been conducted with various partnerships and collaborations, being at the moment the conceptual conduction and the corresponding development shared with the Architect Iñaki Zoilo.
The studio constructed a very specific way of working, characterized by an awareness of the intervention sites as part of a functioning spatial and temporal system broader than the physical dimension of the sites themselves. The project spaces, and the communities that inhabit them, are larger (in space and time) than the places. the project.
The work carried out and in progress corresponds almost entirely to contests won, in Portugal and around the world, highlighting as relevant examples projects of landscape and public space in Portugal (Parque do Tejo and Trancão, Calçada da Ajuda, Ribeira das Naus in Lisbon, Choupal Park in Torres Vedras, Cordoaria Garden in Porto, Mondego Green Park in Coimbra), in Italy (Forlanini Park - not completed, "House in the Park" complex in Jesolo), in Belgium (Masterplan forwards in Antwerp (under construction), in Lebanon (Khan Antoun Bey Souk in Beirut - under construction), in Morocco (outer space of the Grand Teatre de Rabat - under construction) in Spain (Parque Urbano de Valdebebas in Madrid - , in Angola and in Brazil.