This year, the Landscape Architecture Department at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) had two exhibitions in the ECA Degree Show 2015. Besides having all the work from the graduating cohorts in the two programmes – the MSc in Landscape Architecture and the Masters in Landscape Architecture – the department also curated an exhibition with some of the works developed in the first half of the academic year.
The proposals focused on the Podgórze district, which lies immediately to the south of the Vistula River in southern Poland, approximately three kilometres from the city centre of Kraków. An extraordinary landscape of some 100 hectares in dimension, the site comprises the remains of PłaszówConcentration Camp, two former Jewish cemeteries, the Liban Quarry and the Krakus Mound, a landform assumed to be the burial mound of Prince Krakus, the legendary founder of Kraków. The new Podgórski catholic cemetery and extensive allotments delineate the western boundary of the site whilst a smaller quarry separates the mound from the vestiges of the concentration camp. Podgórze is an exceptional terrain charged with human, cultural, historical and political significance on a global scale.
The exhibition was curated by ESALA with the help of Landscape Institute Scotland (LIS) who provided the following prizes to the winners:
Rachel Brown – Outstanding Graduating Portfolio – £250
Le Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture, Paris The Little Belt railway
‘The Little Belt Railway is an abandoned railway line which forms a full loop around the city of Paris. My proposal will transform the loop into a green ribbon encircling the city. Possessing both the unique character of the industrial history of Paris and an air of wilderness within this dense city, it will create an experiential journey with the unique charm of this beautiful site, focusing on creating links between the diverse communities within Paris. I have focused on a specific section of the railway; Bercy Rail-yard, in order to demonstrate the character the line will possess.’
Kraków-Plaszów Concentration Camp
‘Płaszów has the tragic history of being the site of a concentration camp during the war and has therefor been largely untouched since, and left to natural succession. My proposal for this complex site seeks to relieve the tension between the need for active park space and the site’s history, by creating permeable split between active and reflective space. I believe the key to making this a functional place is a strong spatial structure which allows opportunity for people to react to the history individually.’
Elizabeth Rose – BA3 Portfolio Prize – £100
‘I am studying Landscape Architecture because of my interest in Biology, Geography and Art. This course requires the linking of these three areas and more in a challenging way. The combination of technical tasks with the need for experiential design means I find each project refreshingly different, there is a constant requirement of new skills and knowledge.
I am very grateful to the Landscape Institute Scotland for this award, I am honoured and encouraged by the recognition’