Martha Schwartz Partners has consistently sought to bring about urban change. As seen in this book, its recognizable work, from desolate mining towns in Canada to a central park in Austria, aims to transform these spaces and inject vitality, identity and a sense of community. As described by Emily Waugh in her introduction, the practice “recontextualize existing landscapes and objects to provide a heightened awareness of context, and as a result, a closer relationship to the place.”
The book looks at the transformation of twelve recent projects by the practice through illustrations, photographs and personal stories. These projects are identified under four “critical expressions of urban evolution” that appear in cities today: the dying city centre, the depleted resource landscape, the shifting population and the nonexistent urbanism. The consequences of and approaches to each of these critical expressions are explored. It is outstanding work from a practice described by Charles Waldheim, chair of landscape architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, as “among the most innovative and imaginative landscape architects practising today.”
Edited by Emily Waugh, Thames & Hudson, Hardcover, 2012, 294 pages, RRP $60.