Qiyi Li

Representative Landscape: Seeing and Being Seen

Barracks of Pion bears the awkward location of sitting between Versailles, a world-famous tourist destination, and Saint-Cyr, a currently underdeveloped local neighborhood. This proposal turns the “left-over back” into a “new-gate front” for Versailles. By relocating the car park within a contemporary garden, we can bring the experience of Versailles back to the original intention of French landscape architect André Le Nôtre. This is done through the sequence of garden-forest, canal-forest, and palace-garden, which promotes the idea of seeing and being seen. The composition of the new garden respects cultural heritages by corresponding to the existing context grid and axis. But instead of rigidly following the pre-existing layout, it includes one off-grid element—an iconic bridge, functioning both as a connective linkage and the new car park at Versailles. The bridge is surrounded by four gardens—water, rose, tulip, and sakura gardens—each corresponding to one of four human senses—auditory, olfactory, visual, and gustatory. Comprehensively, the proposal rethinks and balances these different needs and desires, both aesthetically and functionally, with a new car park and a contemporary garden; each emphasizing the experience of seeing and being seen in a representative landscape.

About The Designer

Qiyi Li is currently pursuing an M.L.A. post-professional degree at the Harvard GSD. Qiyi graduated magna cum laude with a landscape architecture degree, with a secondary major in environmental studies from Iowa State University. Qiyi is especially interested in addressing environmental issues that transcend national boundaries, to practice landscape architecture as a means to mitigate urban issues, and to raise environmental awareness through the use of public art. Qiyi has received a number of awards from ASLA Iowa Chapter, including ASLA President's Medal for Leadership and Academic Excellence, ASLA Undergraduate Honor Award, and ASLA Merit Award in Design Unbuilt category. Qiyi is also the recipient of national LAF 2014 University Olmsted Scholar, Live Green Award for Excellence in Sustainability, and Merkle, Arthur R. & Clare M. Endowment for Excellence in Landscape Architecture.