In a Smithson sculpture like Aslphalt Rundown (1969), in which truckload of the viscous material was poured down the gullied slope of a quarry near Rome, Hargreaves saw the expression of this contemporary conception of landscape. Although far from beautiful in any familiar sense, Hargreaves found such work deeply compelling for the way it brought time, gravity, erosion, human commerce, and the physical properties of matter all into play. ‘For the first time,’ Hargreaves recalled, “I understood that designed landscapes could be extraordinarily meaningful. The Smithson works reintroduced the concept of landscape as idea -something lost in the pursuit of the functional landscape- and opened a door to a world not yet fully explored and still expanding.
John Beardsley, Entropy and the New Landscapes (1996)
Robert Smithson, Asphalt Rundown (1969)
George Hargreaves + Hargreaves Associates, Byxbee Park (1988)
Yves was a man of few words. He expressed his ideas in the form of drawings and collages tossed off wordlessly. They always contained an element of violence, aggression and unbelievable impatience. The most significant thing for me was the fact that his knowledge of nature helped me to confirm the hunch I had about the change of route under way, about the fact that landscape was in the process of becoming the only medium capable of establishing connections in the city. These hypotheses about tension between city and country came to the fore at La Villette competition, not only in relation to our project, but the projects of Cedric Price, Jean Nouvel and Bernard Tschumi as well. Since then they have been confirmed, specially in Asian cities, not only for these positive reasons, but for other less admissible reasons too, because landscape is less expensive and politically correct. So the 20th century is drawing to a close with the death of town planning and with his highly cynical apotheosis of landscape. Yves was a molecule in this field with his bipolar tension between city and country. He foreshadowed this shift.
Rem Koolhaas about Yves Brunier, Interview (1996)
Yves Brunier, Diverse Design Documents (circa 1990)
Yves Brunier, Model for the Garden Rooms of the Museumpark (1992)