November 2016


Workshop took students to Tbilisi Public Zoo

In beginning of November, our chief specialist Friedrich Kuhlmann travelled to Georgia to hold a workshop on contemporary landscape theory with 25 interested students from the Technical University Tbilisi.

Following some impulse lectures different local excursions were made - one specifically to the Tbilisi Public Zoo. In the previous year this area was almost completely devastated by a severe flooding nature catastrophe, which sadly gained international media coverage by scarred animals running into town.

As the workshop was focussing on the depiction of complex and artificial landscapes, this flooding risk area was an emergent as well as prominent case study area to discuss contemporary landscape development. Although Landscape Architecture is a very context dependent discipline, the transfer of theoretical knowledge works out easily once connected to a discourse dealing with an awareness of water-driven risks and the challenge to design with it.


Cultural landscape as key factor for city image in Rezekne

Master students of Landscape Architecture at the Estonian University of Life Sciences travelled to Rezekne, Latvia together with supervisors Friedrich Kuhlmann and Jekaterina Balicka to take part in an interdisciplinary planning workshop on urban development.

Being situated on the edge of the European Union, the town of Rezekne is currently suffering from economical as well as social problems although forming the cultural centre of the Latgale region. One main focus of the students’ work was to deal with the qualities of the Latgalian cultural landscape. These qualities can be discovered in Rezekne river valley and recognized as a key factor for the city image and its development. Thus, the mixed groups of landscape architects, urban planners and geographers created future scenarios with connected design proposals for different parts of the urban space in Rezekne, which were finally presented to the mayor and members of the municipality.

Study trip about Japanese gardens

Two of our Landscape Architecture students visited Japan for a study trip about Japanese gardens and culture. The trip was sponsored by Kosugi Zohen Co.Inc., an award-winning office specialising in design, construction and maintenance of Japanese gardens. Students Kätlin Umal and Kaja Veddel were picked from amongst the highly motivated students who attended a presentation about Japanese gardens given by Mr. Saki Kosugi last year. Both of the students were very impressed with the country in general, the gardens visited and the level of reception by the host. Additionally, Kätlin noted high regard for nature in Japan and a meticulous dedication and effort that is invested in maintaining the gardens. Kaja noted the spiritually guided essence of the garden experience, something that is often lacking in Estonian garden and park design.



Book on urban gardening published

Urban gardening – whether traditional allotments, community gardens or guerrilla gardens – has seen a resurgence in interest in recent years for several reasons – to grow fresh food, as a place for social activity, as part of the urban green structure and as a place for urban wildlife. The book “Urban Allotment Gardens in Europe” (chief editor: professor Simon Bell) is full of interesting case studies from around Europe and also discusses contemporary urban theories through the idea of gardening. The book is the result of collaboration by researchers from 26 countries.



Students spend a weekend in professor’s country home

For the 11th year in a row the first year master students visited the country home of professor Simon Bell deep in the rolling Latvian countryside in the area known as the Vidzeme Uplands. Winter has come early this year so the landscape was especially beautiful with fresh snow. The weekend traditionally combines student project work with recreational and social activities. The house is an old wooden farmhouse heated with wood stoves. On Saturday the students worked while staff members prepared lunch and dinner – cooked on a traditional wood-burning stove - and organised the sauna. In the evening everyone experienced the countryside sauna and was able to roll in the snow or dip in the pond through a hole in the ice in order to cool off. It was also possible to try out being whipped with bunches of birch twigs. On Sunday everyone went on a walk to look around the local landscape and to go down to the river Gauja which runs close by. After lunch the group travelled to the nearby town of Cesis and visited the mediaeval Livonian Order castle.