German landscape architect Peter Latz has been awarded the Topos Landscape Award 2013. This is the first time that Topos – The International Review of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design – has honoured a landscape architect for his life’s work.
Latz has influenced landscape architects worldwide. His Duisburg-Nord Landscape Park project has played a particularly important role, and is considered internationally to be a model for the conversion of brownfield sites. With this project, Latz set the basic standards for the design and reuse of post-industrial areas. His ideas about this former steel factory have also enriched the debate about what parks should provide at the beginning of the 21st century. Other internationally known projects include City Park on the River Port Island in Saarbrücken, Parco Dora in Turin, and the redesign of the former Hiriya landfill in Tel Aviv. Topos has published and presented numerous essays and projects of Peter Latz in the past.
Latz’s method of working is based on a “syntactic design concept”, and his approach is especially characterised by an analysis and discussion of the site and its context. Considering local conditions and initiating ecological and social processes while keeping all forms of intervention at a minimum is more important to him than developing a recognisable style of design. Latz says “It is certainly my firm conviction that, in the event of any doubt, the structure is more important than the design.”
In addition to his work as a practicing landscape architect Latz has also influenced generations of students through his activity as a professor, at first at the University of Kassel and later at the Technical University Munich Weihenstephan. He has taught at universities around the world, for instance as a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and as an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Topos Landscape Award 2013 will be presented on 10 September in Munich as part of the
Topos conference Strategic Urbanism.
Photos: Peter Latz (left, © Latz + Partner) and one of his famous projects: Duisburg-Nord Landscape Park (right, © Michael Latz)