Unearthed: The Landscapes of Hargreaves Associates

Karen M'Closkey

 
Unearthed: The Landscapes of Hargreaves Associates
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Unearthed: The Landscapes of Hargreaves Associates

Karen M'Closkey

The work of landscape architecture firm Hargreaves Associates is globally renowned, from the 21st Century Waterfront in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to London’s 2012 Olympic Park. Founded by George Hargreaves in 1983, this team of designers has transformed numerous abandoned sites into topographically and functionally diverse landscapes. Hargreaves Associates' body of work reflects the socioeconomic and legislative changes that have impacted landscape architecture over the past three decades, particularly the availability of former industrial sites and their subsequent redevelopment into parks.

The firm’s longstanding interest in such projects brings it into frequent contact with the communities and local authorities who use and live in these built environments, which tend to be contested grounds owing to the conflicting claims of the populations and municipalities that use and manage them. As microcosms of contemporary political, social, and economic terrains, these designed spaces signify larger issues in urban redevelopment and landscape design.

The first scholarly examination of the firm’s philosophy and body of work, Unearthed uses Hargreaves Associates' portfolio to illustrate the key challenges and opportunities of designing today’s public spaces. Illustrated with more than one hundred and fifty color and black-and-white images, this study explores the methods behind canonical Hargreaves Associates sites, such as San Francisco’s Crissy Field, Sydney Olympic Park, and the Louisville Waterfront Park. M'Closkey outlines how Hargreaves and his longtime associate Mary Margaret Jones approach the design of public places - conceptually, materially, and formally - on sites that require significant remaking in order to support a greater range of ecological and social needs.

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