Daniel Urban Kiley Lecture: Georges Descombes, “Designing a River …



Beginning in the late 19th century, the Aire River, which runs northeast into the Rhine, was gradually canalized near Geneva, where it streams through valleys traditionally dedicated to farming. In 2001, the State of Geneva opened a competitors with the concept of bring back the Aire to its initial shape and meanders by getting rid of the canal. Atelier Descombes Rampini proposed rather, in their winning entry, to integrate the clear territorial cut of the canal with a parallel brand-new large divagation area for the river. While doing so, as Georges Descombes specified in the proposition, “the canal ends up being the guideline for the changes, a referral line offering the possibility to comprehend the ‘prior to’ and ‘after’– an ending up being which superimposes both scenarios” and accepts that “something started which was currently there.” The style’s complex company connects the brand-new river area to a direct series of gardens in the previous canal. The recognized style has actually ended up being a long direct garden that arranges the views in a real Einsensteinian montage, targeting at presenting into this area “stunning” juxtapositions meant to trigger “concerns, concerns, hopes” that will restore attention and emotion.Among Descombes’s architectural awareness are the Swiss Path around Lake Uri in Switzerland, the Bijlmer Memorial in Amsterdam, and Parc de la Cour du Maroc in Paris. The Aire River job was granted the Schulthess Swiss Gardens Prize in 2012, was called Best Swiss Landscape Architecture Project of the Year in 2015, and is a finalist for the 2016 Rosa Barba Landscape Prize.