Ny Agenda 2,

Danish Landscape Architecture 2009-13

This second volume of Ny Agenda covers 39 landscape schemes from 29 different offices that were undertaken and completed between 2009 and 2013 - a final selection from 109 submissions. These have been grouped into five sections - New Sobriety, Heritage Reinterpreted, Exercise through Play, Urbanisation and Climate and Growing Power After All - to cover major trends that have been identified in design in landscape architecture over the five years. There is a foreword and an essay by Annemarie Lund on Old-time Values and an essay by Lisa Diedrich on The Danish Way - A European Glance at Danish Landscape Architecture.

In her essay on Old-time Values Annemarie Lund argues that the criteria for recent awards for landscape design - sustainability, sculpting of the terrain, establishing quiet spots and a creating a better place to live - reflect qualities and values for which Danish landscape design has been appreciated and admired since the middle of the last century. But some newer trends are identified with an increasing awareness of the value of appropriate landscape changes to encourage and help people to exercise and of course changes to the landscape determined by our response to climate change whether that is growing food or dealing with patterns of heavier or more intense rain fall.

Generally, the schemes are presented as a double-page spread although major works are taken over four pages and the monuments area in Jelling, the foreshore park around the National Aquarium, the Fredensborg Palace Garden, the new garden in front of the renowned restaurant NOMA and the landscape around the castle of Kronborg are each given 6 pages but all with a clear and simple layout with a two-column design to allow for parallel Danish and English text. Photographs are superb and there is a good use of drawings and the team involved in each project is listed. Together this means that the book can be used with a computer to use the internet to call up maps, particularly for Copenhagen the Google 3D maps, and to look at information from company and city internet sites to provide context or a broader or deeper level of information about specific places.

Just under half the schemes are in Copenhagen and its immediate suburbs.

If any aspects of landscape design can be seen as common to these widely diverse and varied projects, what comes across strongly is the Danish determination to use the very best materials as a matter of principle, investing in the future, but also to show courage when dealing with historic towns or major monuments to try and to succeed with innovative and radical ideas.

This review was posted first in January 2015 on Nordic Design Review


Annemarie Lund (editor), Ny Agenda, Dansk Landskabsarkitektur (New Agenda, Danish Landscape Architecture) 2003-08, Forlaget Bogværket (2009)

Annemarie Lund (editor), Ny Agenda, Dansk Landskabsarkitektur 2 (New Agenda, Danish Landscape Architecture 2) 2009-13, Forlaget Bogværket (2014)