Bilbao Competition Plants 27 Urban Gardens

October 9, 2009 by

Cacticity_first_prize
First place winner, Cacticity, by Anouk Vogel, at the Museao de Belles Artes in Plaza Chillida

In BilbaoJardín, the city of Bilbao, Spain has converted itself into a singular and compelling urban garden exhibition.

This is the second incarnation of BilbaoJardín, an urban garden design competition launched for the first time in 2007. This year, of 138 submissions from Spain and 52 other countries, 27 of those were selected for their innovative, personal, and creative conceptions of modern urban gardening.

The purpose of the second edition of BilbaoJardín 2009 is to create 27 new spaces in our city, 27 personal and creative conceptions of modern gardening.
These 27 spaces have been carefully selected in order to form a creative mesh within the city, allowing locals and visitors alike to enjoy a very special stroll throughout the different quarters of Bilbao and marvel at the garden projects participating in the contest.
BilbaoJardín 2009 aim is to  continue on its invitation to the development of creative gardeners, landscape artists, architects and other creative people wishing to participate. The contest has no theme, so contestants are free to choose their own topics.
Also, the organizers will value those proposals based on living matter, that is, on vegetation, as the main element of their creations, since it is precisely this use of botanical elements (trees, bushes, ivy, perennial plants, flowers, water plants, succulent plants) that we wish to particularly disseminate.
The contest is open to all those individuals or teams interested in participating.This is the second incarnation of BilbaoJardín, an urban garden design competition launched for the first time in 2007. This year, of 138 submissions from Spain and 52 other countries, 27 of those were selected for their innovative, personal, and creative conceptions of modern gardening.

As the contest had no theme, the gardeners, landscape artists, architects and other creative individuals invited to participate, were free to create within 80 square meters (about 860 ft.) whatever they pleased , as long as their main elements included living matter, vegetation, and other botanical elements such as trees, bushes, ivy, perennial plants, flowers, water plants, and succulent plants.

cacticity_closeup
Cacticity was composed of more than 900 cacti of varying heights from the same species

2nd-prize
Second prize, Mikelen Baratzea, by Basoinsa, at the Paseo de Uribitarte

3rd-prize
Third prize, Bosque de Alisedes Urbanas, by A. Santacreu and S. Garcia-Gasco at the
Plaza Levante

One of my favorites, and one which has rightfully generated quite a bit of buzz, is the “The Garden That Climbs the Stairs,” designed by Diana Balmori of New York firm, Balmori Associates. I love it for its sensuality, its color, the element of surprise seeing a garden rising up a stairway, interrupting the normal flow with wit and whimsy:

balmori_associates_bilbao_jardin_2009_garden_01_medium
The Garden That Climbs the Stairs, by Diana Balmori, at Torres Isozaki, photo: Iwan Baan

stairs
Like a beautiful green monster’s “vegetalia”…photo: Iwan Baan

stairs2
Ah, the colors…photo: Iwan Baan

Some of the others that particularly interested me:

la_llegada
Swimming in La llegada de la Primavera, by Stefano Giovannini, at Plaza Indautxu

piasaje_en_cadena
You get to peek underneath the Paisaje en Cadena, by Guillem Planchadell and Gaizka Zuazo, in
Plaza Ramón Basterra Izenburua

Kale_antzokia
I love the textural quality of Kale Antzokia, by Ana Aizpuru, Ioritz Galarraga, Maitane Otaño on
Campa Ibaizábal

reflejos

…and the geometry of Reflejos de Bilbao, by Tantaka Taldea, at Plaza del Carmelo (Santutxu)

Tunel
A veritable reversed greenhouse in Túnel verde, by Studio Raspanti, on Calle Gordóniz – Parque Ametzola




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