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Laurus 2021 competition recognised a sensitive and responsible approach to the landscape

On Thursday, 14 April, the winners of this year's Laurus 2021 student landscape architecture competition were announced. Two projects by students of the Faculty of Architecture of the CTU were among the winners.

The foundations of the competition date back to 2017, when the selection of the best project of the first year students of landscape architecture at the Faculty of Architecture of the CTU was organized. This year, however, for the first time ever, landscape students from other schools also participated. The mission of the competition remained the same – to bring an independent view of the quality of landscape architecture education, to motivate students and teachers through comparisons between studios and schools, and to present the field of landscape architecture to the wider public.

A total of 61 projects were submitted for this year's competition. The jury consisting of Štěpánka Šmídová, Petr Halama and Yvette Vašourková selected the winners in four categories. The judges evaluated how the projects take into account the current needs of society, relevance and appropriateness of the approach in terms of materials and technologies. All of the finalists' projects were praised by the jury for their exceptional quality in craftsmanship, sensitivity to the subject matter, and application of contemporary landscape architecture practices.

Results of Laurus 2021

  • Small scale category – Alice Pachněvičová – (FA CTU)
  • Medium scale category – Andrea Šupová (FAPPZ ČZU)
  • Large scale category – Diana Lučková (FA CTU)
  • Lanscape gesture – Monika Briestenská, Petra Mlýnková, Rebeka Lučanová, Jan Peřina, Marika Janíková, Anna Vazačová, Petra Remutová, Veronika Grunwaldová, Aneta Cvrčková, Anežka Jirků, Jana Veselá, Markéta Mívaltová, Jakub Igaz (FA VUT)


Small scale category

Alice Pachněvičová – With myself – FA CTU

Author's note:

The task was to design a place in the public space around the Rokytka river that would offer the inhabitants of the surrounding housing estates privacy, a place for work, entertainment and more... In my design I focus on providing privacy to an individual who is looking for a quiet nest in today's fast-paced world. Here he or she could focus on one activity... meditate, read a book, relax, reflect... simply be with himself or herself at a given time in a given place. I would like to provide this privacy to visitors by modelling the terrain, creating embankments and excavations to create hollows for one or two people. The paths and hollows would be covered with low grass. In contrast, the overgrown mounds with tall grass mix would create the right atmosphere of overgrown meadow and intimacy.

Jury evaluation:

Above all, the jury finds an extraordinary consistency between the idea/concept of the design and its presentation. The jury noted the general difficulty of maintaining such solutions. However, in the case of this subtle landscaping intervention, which is not mere decoration but the very essence of the design, it is more of an educational 'footnote'. The theme of solitude, contemplation and escape into the landscape is a fairly represented aspect in landscape design at present; however, this proposal manages to approach the theme creatively and with sufficient flexibility, and is well argued and clearly presented.

Medium scale category

Andrea Šupová – Údolí ticha – FAPPZ ČZU

Author's note:

The area is located in the "Valley of Silence" in Březová u Hořovic, which is part of the Křivoklátsko Protected Landscape Area. The main objective of the project was to improve the permeability of the landscape in response to the collectivization of land in 1960' and its impact on the permeability and diversity of the Czech landscape. Another objective of the project was to support the development of local tourism and recreation in the protected landscape area. Water management was improved, leading to the promotion of its ecological sustainability and biodiversity through vegetation features and landscaping. New methodologies and theories were applied to the project area. As a final solution, a new nature trail route "Valley of Silence" with interactive elements was designed. The concept includes improving water retention in the landscape and the design of natural play elements that support the physical and mental development of children. The current aim of the project is to attract young people to live in the countryside to combat population growth and the territorial growth of large cities.

Jury evaluation:

The project is an excellent representative of a well-designed study/design. It sets the bar for projects that represent a solid and responsible approach to their brief, using the available knowledge and following current trends in landscape management. The clear and pleasant presentation made it easy for the judges to navigate the proposal and appreciate all aspects of it from the overall concept to the selected vegetation.

Large scale category

Diana Lučková – Promenade of Vinoř – FA CTU

Author's note:

Vinořská promenade A path that brings the richness of Vinoř to life through small interventions in the landscape and initiating buildings. Water, vegetation, permeability and points of interest are the four basic building blocks of the entire promenade, which together with their location form a green enclave around the Vinohrady. The four layers, which build on each other, create a complex system of functional landscape. The main idea of the design is to promote local assets and a landscape that should be cared for and treated as a gift. The promenade leads the visitor along watercourses and areas that are complemented by small buildings. The purpose of these small interventions is to create a human relationship with the place.

Jury evaluation:

Walking through the landscape (i.e. revitalizing permeability) is another frequently discussed topic in landscape architecture. The jury decided to award such a project in the Large scale category for its quality and, in particular, for its clear and even instructive presentation. It is thanks to this presentation that the design shows the amount of work that must have taken place in the analytical phase of the design, makes clear conceptual decisions and presents the main ideas and partial interventions in an accessible way, even to a wider audience. Due to the scale of the proposal, it considers the drawing of selected building details to be superfluous not only for presentation but also for the project, while appreciating the actual placement and conceptual designs of the small buildings in the area, which are subtle and refined.

Landscape gesture category

Monika Briestenská, Petra Mlýnková, Rebeka Lučanová, Jan Peřina, Marika Janíková, Anna Vazačová, Petra Remutová, Veronika Grunwaldová, Aneta Cvrčková, Anežka Jirků, Jana Veselá, Markéta Mívaltová, Jakub Igaz – Les budoucnosti – FA VUT

Author's note:

We are creating a coherent space that is connected to the city of Olomouc. This city in the heart of Moravia can draw from this space and the new space draws from the city, creating a symbiotic relationship that elevates both spaces to a higher level. The structure of the Forest of the Future and the wetlands relates to the environment of the floodplain forests around the Morava River in the north of the city and also to the events that take place in this environment, which gives the urban space an environmental significance. The change in the character of the area is drastic. The key condition was a sustainable environmental environment of the urban space, where the forest of the future provides the city with a certain degree of self-sufficiency in the most important areas of life, such as water and food. The space is a living platform for transforming human settlements and sustaining them in the ongoing planetary changes, but also for transforming human consciousness in general.

Jury evaluation:

The winning project impressed the jury with its combination of naivety and courage in its approach to the area and its attractive design. The design contains many sub-ideas, interventions and elements that it is good to mention often in the public space to make them standard. And although the combination of these in the final design is not considered by the jury to be the best solution in the sense of a landscape and urban study, it is a landscape gesture – a valuable basis for discussion among experts and lay people.

For the content of this site is responsible: Ing. arch. Katerina Rottová, Ph.D.