Some people prefer to make decisions based on instinct, while others act on careful calculations. When it came time to design a getaway compound on the Greek island of Milos, DECA Architecture did a bit of both. First, the architects traversed a nine-hectare landscape to identify five choice sites for undisturbed vacation homes based on pure visceral feel. Then they turned to math. Inspired by the diagrams developed by Russian mathematician Georgy Voronoi, the firm mapped polygonal corrals around each of their chosen locations and introduced unique landscaping. Some, like the Hourglass Corral nestled into a plateau and the Immersion Corral near the island’s rugged coastline, highlight the features of their geological site. Others, like the Preservation and Orchard Corrals, favour agriculture by growing fruit and olive trees, respectively. Finally, the Isolation Corral is home to a small, stone-walled structure built entirely by hand to leave its wilderness location peacefully undisturbed.
Project Voronoi’s Corrals Location Milos, Greece Firm DECA Architecture, Greece Team Alexandros Vaitsos and Carlos Loperena with Minna Colakis, Stefanos Nassopoulos, AlisonKatri, Eva Tsouni, Maria Pappa, Aliki Samara-Chrisostomidou and Dionysis Dikefalos Photos Ståle Eriksen and Yiorgis Yerolymbos
Never underestimate the healing powers of nature. When faced with an abandoned quarry site at the eastern edge of the heavily polluted Taihu Lake, Suzhou City came up with an unconventional plan: open a park. Or, rather, rehabilitate the landscape, work to remediate the contaminated water and then open a park. The community had a particularly pressing need for more green space given China’s rural–urban migration, which had led a significant number of former farmers to Suzhou City only to leave them longing for better access to nature. Design firm Turenscape met their needs by using cut-and-fill to construct a wetland accented with several patches of farmland ready for cultivating community crops. Closer to the lake, the terrain shifts to an ecosystem designed to purify the water and filter future runoff. To underscore the project’s success at presenting a clear path forward, a raised boardwalk lined with a bright red fibreglass bench runs throughout the 43-hectare corridor.
Project Suzhou Zhenshan Park Location Suzhou City, China Firm Turenscape, China Team Kongjian Yu with Jing Zhu, Minghui Ban, Yuan Fang and Hongqian Yu Photo Kongjian Yu
In Greece and China, these two projects express the productive potential of their respective landscape.