Isthmus Group recently submitted Project Veli, located in Bakurtsikhe, to the LafargeHolcim Awards, an international competition that seeks projects and visionary concepts in sustainable construction.
Initiated, managed, and designed by a women-led team, Project Veli is a 17-hectare rural agriculture, arts, and hospitality campus in the village of Bakurtiskhe, Kakheti, Republic of Georgia. A landscape mosaic of historic significance revitalized for contemporary conviviality, the project unites a 19th-century winery with a Soviet technical college in a renewed botanical terrain of Caucasian endemic species. Site programming includes a farm-to-table restaurant, an agricultural center, performance space, artist residency, research library, and hotel. The first project of its kind post-Soviet independence in Kakheti, Veli’s construction manifests a progressive,”long-horizon” approach to rural development in Georgia, by uniting the social, educational, economic, and ecological spheres.
- April 1, 2020
Isthmus Group was interviewed for a feature on the online TBC Business journal. Discussing our emerging Landscape Architecture practice in Georgia, we highligh the challenges of workign in this emerging field while underlining the incredible collaborations and partnerships that have already developed between our team and our clients. The inverview corresponded with our first Open Studio--celebrating a year of working in Georgia--and featured numerous photos of the work of our amazing creative team: Mako Kapanadze, Giorgi Nishnianidze, and Mery Tatarishvili.
- Nov. 25, 2019
Sarah Cowles's review of Seeing Trees by Sonja Dümpelmann, a history of street trees and politics in New York and Berlin, is featured in the March issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.
Street trees occupy a shifting and contested dimension of cities. Whereas trees in parks and private gardens in cities are afforded a measure of stability and protection, street trees are literally on the front lines of urbanism, absorbing the impacts of changes in policy on errant cars. Street trees are surrounded: hemmed in by architecture, tree grates, cages, with leaking gas conduits at their roots and power lines teasing their crowns, soaked by deicing salt on one side and dog urine on the other.
- March 12, 2019
Sarah Cowles' feature article on the impact of Resilient By Design and landscape strategies for climate change was published in the December 2018 Issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.
- Dec. 1, 2018
Sarah and Jesse led a workshop in landscape interpretation and transformation with a group of students in the mountain village of Didi Mitarbi.
- Aug. 1, 2018
Sarah Cowles' feature article on the application of rapid prototyping to digital fabrication techniques at firms in the Bay Area was published in the August 2018 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.
Today both undergraduate and graduate landscape programs provide training and facilities in CNC fabrication, including five-axis mills for sculpting wood and foam, 3-D printers, and laser cutters. Yet this new generation of graduates, facile with the work flow producing CNC models in the design studio, often finds it difficult to ply these skills once they reach the world of professional practice. But a handful of studios in the Bay Area are leveraging the technical and aesthetic know-how of this cohort, and in the process are building relationships with local fabricators to handle the complexities of converting digital models to full-scale site elements in concrete, stone, and even rammed earth.
- Aug. 1, 2018
Jesse Vogler co-edited and contributed to Tbilisi: The Archive of Transition (Niggli 2018), which documents Tbilisi's dynamic and messy built history, which included an essay by Sarah Cowles.
With the Archive of Transition, we set out to record different dimensions and velocities of change within the city. We talked to artists and city-planners, architects and activists, historians and cyberneticians, to understand what change means to all of them. While in our archive these interpretations sit next to each other on an equal register—like index cards in a file drawer—making a coherent book from this very same material suddenly creates meanings, conclusions, and perspectives. In drawing together our work we suddenly faced a question we always deferred: Which Tbilisi do we want to show?
- June 1, 2018