Young Catalan landscape architect an inspiration to students

The 200ha Paratge de Tudela-Culip, Cap de Creus Natural Park, 2005-10. Photo: Pau Ardävol

The University of Greenwich has awarded an Honorary Doctor of Design (HonDDes) to Catalan landscape architect Martí Franch Batllori.

Born in Barcelona in 1971, Franch studied at the University of Greenwich, gaining a BA Hons Architecture in 1996 and a Dip Hons Architecture in 1998.

He set up Girona-based Estudi Marti Franch (EMF Architecture) in 1999. The practice works on projects of varying scales. Its award-winning Parc Natural del Cap de Creus, Girona, is one of the largest restoration projects on the Mediterranean coast, returning an abandoned holiday village to parkland, punctuated by dramatic cor-ten steel installations.

Equally admired are the series of ‘urban micro interventions’ in Barcelona, including Parc Germanetes, where old pavement pieces were recycled in the creation of a new route and public space with play areas and a garden of the senses; and also a landscape management project that has opened up a new tourist route around Girona.

The university said the honorary award ‘recognises Franch’s achievements at a relatively young age, and acknowledges his inspiration to the university’s students who are setting out in their own landscape architecture careers’.