Landscape architect Bas Smets wins Ultima cultural award

Landscape architect Bas Smets will receive the Ultima General Cultural Merit award at the Ultimas ceremony on Tuesday 30 April. The Flemish Community awards these cultural prizes annually in recognition of the socio-cultural sector.

Smets is a landscape architect with an impressive portfolio. "His work encompasses various types of outdoor public spaces and includes designs that respond to contemporary challenges such as climate change and the livability of urban areas," said the jury.

He studied civil engineering and architecture at KU Leuven and completed a postgraduate degree in landscape architecture in Geneva. 

Smets moved to Paris after his studies, where he worked closely with the renowned landscape architect Michel Desvigne for seven years. In 2008, he set up his own practice in Brussels, Bureau Bas Smets (BBS). ​ 

Some of his most notable projects include the Tours & Taxis park in Brussels, the urban forest of the Trinity project in Paris and the memorial to the victims of the 2016 terrorist attacks in the Sonian Forest in Brussels. In 2022, he won the international competition to redesign the area around Notre Dame in Paris after the devastating fire. 

Smets has received several major awards, including the Médaille de l'Urbanisme from the French Académie d'Architecture and the Brussels Architecture Prize. In 2023, he became ​ the first Belgian to be appointed professor in practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

According to the jury, Smets is "a landscape artist who follows the logic of nature and considers the destructive effects of climate change". "He advocates more space for nature and water in urban contexts," they said. 



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