Flower Show exhibit, students and faculty, garner awards and honors

A pop up garden created by Temple University Ambler students and faculty for the 2011 Philadelphia International Flower Show has been chosen for inclusion in the official U.S. presentation at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale, which will be held in Venice, Italy, from August 29 through November 25.

The American exhibition, “Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good,” highlights projects initiated by architects and designers “aimed at bringing positive change to the public realm.” Established in 1980, the Venice Architecture Biennale welcomes more than 50 participating countries and attracts 170,000 visitors.

Titled “Écolibrium – French Traditions/Modern Interpretations,” Temple's exhibit, envisioned and created by landscape architecture and horticulture students, combines classic components of iconic French gardens with touches of modern art and sustainable design. In summer 2011, Écolibrium served as the gateway to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s (PHS) first Pop Up Garden, a 32,000 square-foot urban garden designed by Temple Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture Baldev Lamba, who extended the artistic and environmental themes of the exhibit to the entire site.

Now, nearly two years after Écolibrium’s initial conception as a Flower Show project for Temple students, the innovative exhibit, and the environmentally rich PHS Pop Up garden that it inspired, continues to garner great interest and high praise.

For his design efforts for the PHS Pop Up Garden, Lamba received a Merit Award from the Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects in the General Design Category. The judges commented that the garden was a wonderful way “to engage the community and get them connected to the City.”

At the same awards program, the PA/DE ASLA also presented Department of Landscape Architecture students and faculty with an Honor Award for the 2011 Écolibrium exhibit, calling it “first rate among student projects” and an “effective use of space that integrated a wide spectrum of sustainable design principals.” Écolibrium additionally received the “People’s Choice Award” at the ASLA ceremony, given to the top vote earner of all of the submitted award entries from ballots cast by those attending the organization’s Annual Meeting.