The conference by Georges Descombes represents the key to the second edition of the Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial (BULB). The opportunity to promote a unique landscape and territorial operational culture and methodology, which questions the morphological memory of a fragment of territory, the meaning of a place and finally, the use of water, as an allusion to a mechanism from the past.
In many of his projects, Georges Descombes reinvents the meaning of the place by describing what no longer exists. It is by way of ‘topographical sensitivity’ that his landscape projects seek to translate the feeling of loss and disappearance with as much impact as possible. The surface of the land, where you can see the history of its transformation, is both the map and the archives.
With the definitive rejection of the classic metaphor of theatre applied to the landscape, the search for a fresh, livelier way of defining the landscape began.
Georges Descombes lives and works in Geneva. After completing his studies in Geneva, Zurich and London at the Architectural Association Graduate School, he taught at the Architecture Institute of the University of Geneva – where he cofounded the landscaped architecture programme – and at the Berlage Institute in Amsterdam. Visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and at the University of Virginia, Georges Descombes is a respected lecturer in Europe and the United States.
His main achievements include the Parc de Lancy, the Geneva section of the Swiss Path, the Bijlmer Memorial in Amsterdam, the Parc de la cour du Maroc in Paris, the Parc de la Confluence and the Jardins de la Saône in Lyon, not to mention the planning and revitalisation of the River Aire in Geneva. His ongoing projects include the Quai des Matériaux in Brussels and the Jardins Dok Zuid in Antwerp.