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In the garden with: Andreas Kipar (LAND Landscape Architecture Nature Development)

Andreas Kipar – Photo:

Dr. Andreas Kipar studied Landscape Architecture in Essen. In the year 1985, he founded his own planning office in Milan. In the following years the activities of his office expanded, taking on numerous projects in different Italian regions, as well as in Germany, where the planning activities have also been carried out by an own office since 1995.

The degree in architecture and urban development at the Milan University (1989-94) as well the foundation of the international landscape architecture studio LAND (1990) based in Italy, Germany and Switzerland led to a further expansion of the planning activity. The most recent projects of LAND include Porta Nuova for example, the largest ever urban redevelopment measure carried out in the heart of Milan, the amusement park Nagatino in Moscow, which was about retaining the natural balance of the existing green areas.


Mr Kipar, a central theme of your work is the green infrastructure in the cities, i.e. strategically planned networks of natural and near-natural areas. Why is it so important that urban green areas are networked with each other?

Kipar: We are living in an era, where we are polishing up the cities again. Today, it is no longer the defence facilities, but instead the walls and grey infrastructures of the industrial age. As a rule, our German cities are very green. Now they have to be networked. Whereby the public space as potential everyday space plays an outstanding role. Ground level connections, nature in the city, within walking distance and cycling-friendly connections are the basis for a green city. And not just out of reasons of pure recovery, but also to protect the climate – for example cold air corridors – and the biological diversity in flora and fauna. To this end, we need concepts, such as i.e. the Milan spotlights, where each of the eight green spotlights comes from a different district in the city and each of which unites the centre with the outskirts or the three spotlights in Essen, which unite the industrialised North with the natural environment in the South. A clear strategy and many different building blocks then come together.


Which role can private gardens play for the green infrastructure of a city?

Kipar: They play a major role. They are the backbone, even if they are not always accessible to the public, of near-nature equipment in our cities. On top of this they also have the advantage that they can develop individually and freely and can thus fully enfold their actual potential.


You live in Milan, but continually travel to different countries in Europe on business. Do you even have an own garden at home? And if so, what does it look like and how do you use it?

Kipar: Yes, I live in many different landscapes and in some particularly beautiful gardens. At home in Milan I live in an apartment in the city, which is enhanced by a spacious terrace. The so-called “Giardino dei tubi” is built out of recycled drainpipes of different heights and diameters – over 100 planted elements. They stand there like organ pipes and have become greener and greener over the years with many souvenirs from my trips. Today, it is a cosy place in the midst of the well-known Milan noise. A type of oasis. Not only for us a family, but in the meantime also for nesting birds, who find excellent protection in the dense urban vegetation.


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