Posts tagged with "Landscape Architecture":

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Rogers Marvel Secures Competition to Revamp White House Lawn Extension

Today, the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) announced that Rogers Marvel Architects (RMA) has won a design competition to revamp President's Park in Washington, DC. The New York-based architects bested a distinguished list of landscape designers, including Hood Design Studio of Oakland California, Michael Van Valkenburgh of Brooklyn, and Reed Hildebrand Associates and SASAKI, both of Watertown, Massachusetts. After September 11th, 2001, security design in major public spaces took on a new significance, and President's Park South—a large ellipse forming a public extension of the White House's front lawn—this meant concrete jersey barriers and fences along E Street. Soon, though, the park could become one of the most pedestrian-friendly—and secure—in the capital, thanks to RMA's subtle combination of landscape architecture and security design. RMA is no stranger to blending security design seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. In New York, they created a secure streetscape for Battery Park City near the World Financial Center, complete with anti-ram walls, public amenities, and landscaping. Nearby, they designed a secure streetscape along Wall and Broad streets guarding the New York Stock Exchange, where sculptural bollards and a mechanical turntable flush with the street both create a distinct pedestrian environment and permit service vehicle access. Officials at the NCPC said today that a design competition was held to garner ideas about making a world-class public park, one where security is key but does not dominate the space. NCPC chairman L. Preston Bryant, Jr. praised RMA's design as a bold statement about security and landscape design that offers a model for keeping our public spaces open and inviting. At the heart of RMA's Washington D.C. design is the strategic layering of security perimeters, which form a flexible boundary accommodating a variety of security scenarios. To accomplish this, the architects raised the central ellipse and placed an anti-ram wall that doubles as a bench around its perimeter; the bench seating faces the ellipse and helps define the iconic space. According to RMA, this elevational tilting formally "presents" the ellipse lawn to the White House while also screening nearby parking spaces from the view of park goers. Punctuating the new perimeter wall are distinct pedestrian entrances with sculptured bollards to help guide pedestrian flow. This new boundary allows for the pedestrianization of E Street facing the White House. RMA vastly expanded the public space forming a large plaza—the E Street Terrace—flanked by leafy groves containing concession and maintenance structures. "The Ellipse is subtly reinvented to address recreation, public promenading, environmental responsibility, and security. We envision a President’s Park South that will physically and conceptually connect the President and the people," said Robert M. Rogers, principal at Rogers Marvel Architects, in a statement. "Around the formal ellipse, RMA calls for a less formal rain garden with natural vegetation designed to handle rainwater runoff from a perimeter parking lot." Officials at the NCPC said at today's announcement that elements of all five short-listed proposals could be incorporated into the final plan. Next, the National Parks Service and the United States Secret Service will review RMA's design before it heads to federal, local, and public review.
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On View> Material Landscapes in St. Louis

Seemingly sliced into the asphalt of a Brooklyn street beneath the Manhattan Bridge is an unexpected glass-filled "tattoo" designed by landscape architect Paula Meijerink, founder of Boston-based WANTED Landscape. Meijerink is among eight landscape architects featured in Material Landscapes, a recently opened exhibition at the Sheldon Art Galleries in St. Louis running through January 21st, 2012. Work from the eight firms including D.I.R.T  studio, dlandstudio, Stoss Landscape Urbanism, Legge Lewis Legge, PEG office, Kaseman Beckman Advanced Strategies, and ESKYIU is presented in photographs and drawings. Curator Liane Hancock, senior lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis, chose projects ranging from a vertical container garden in Hong Kong to a waterfront in Milwaukee to reflect innovative use of materials in landscape architecture and to advance landscape design in St. Louis in light of major projects such as Citygarden and the redevelopment of the St. Louis Arch grounds.
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Snohetta Heads South of the Border

The Oslo- and New York-based firm Snøhetta has been chosen to design the new Museum of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guadalajara. They were selected from a short list including Shigeru Ban, DS+R, Smiljan Radic, and Mauricio Rocha.

Construction on the $35 million building, which was developed in collaboration with ARUP, is scheduled to begin in 2011. Located in Mexico's second most populated city, the museum will be part of the school’s Centro Cultural Universitario, which will consist of a cultural district adjacent to the main campus and planned wilderness preserves.

According to Snøhetta, the site's "unique hybrid of cultural and natural landscapes allows for a new understanding in Mexican architecture." As such, the design makes use of linked courtyards and gardens to maximize fresh air, open space and natural light. The irregularly-shaped courtyards are meant to echo both traditional Spanish colonial planning and forms found in the surrounding landscapes of Jalisco.

Acting as a bridge between the university's new library and auditorium buildings, the structure will be compact, keeping sight-line disruptions to a minimum. With trees peeking out from the gardens below, the museum's rooftop will be accessible to visitors, giving them another perspective from which to view the surrounding area.

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And Then There Were Five

The competition to improve the grounds and urban connectivity at the St. Louis Arch site has attracted attention from some major talents in architecture, landscape, and engineering. The list of competitors has been trimmed to five: the Michael Van Valkenburgh-led team, the Weiss/Manfredi team, SOM Chicago/Hargreaves/BIG, the Behnisch-led team, and PWP/Foster + Partners/Civitas. The winner will be announced in late September.
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Shrubhenge

If you've passed by One Bryant Park in the past month or so, you may have noticed what looks like a kind of leafy-green Stonehenge clustered in the lobby of the Bank of America building. The three monoliths and twenty-five foot tall archway are made of galvanized steel frames seeded with thousands of ferns, mosses, and lichens, an installation designed by a team from Wallace Roberts & Todd, led by designer Margie Ruddick and sculptor Dorothy Ruddick. The piece is meant as a reminder of the building's green cred, as the Cook + Fox tower achieved LEED Platinum. Unlike the original Stonehenge, we don't have to wonder how this one was built. In fact, you can watch it being assembled in the above time-lapse clip, which compresses the entire 42 hours of installation into a mere 30 seconds. Watch as the mysterious shruboliths rise before your eyes, and check some photos after the jump.
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Beyond the Quotidian Landscape

The Cultural Landscape Foundation has just launched What's Out There,a database of landscapes with some sort of historical significance: parks big and small, and various important modern landscapes. Because these public spaces are often part of our quotidian routines, it's easy to be completely oblivious to the designer or how the space participates in the history of landscape design. Have a look at  "What's Out There"--a wonderful title that positively invites browsing--and learn more about what is just around the corner from where you are. A good place to start is in Advanced Search, where you can browse works by one particular landscape designer ("Pioneer"). Did you know that Isamu Noguchi designed a playground in Georgia? Or simply type "Park" into the search box and start browsing. As the last of the pioneering Modernist landscape designers leave us (like Lawrence Halprin, who died this last Sunday),  the launch of such a database feels particularly timely. Halprin and many other important designers are only represented by a handful of works in the database, but hopefully this is just a start for a most worthy enterprise.
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Landscape Architects to Invade Chicago

In spite of the down economy, on Wednesday, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) released an official statement that cited an increased number of registrants for this year’s Landscape Architecture Meeting and Expo in Chicago. This year’s meetings, set to take place on September 18-21 in one of the nation’s most sustainable cities and the world leader in green roof design, will focus on the theme “Beyond Sustainability: Regenerating Places and People.” The event is expected to become the largest gathering of landscape architecture professionals in the Society’s 110-year history, reaching approximately 7,000 attendees. With this year’s AIA 2009 National Convention and Expo in San Francisco falling behind in attendance, we are left to wonder what is it about Chicago that attracts so many landscape architects? To find out, register, and view the complete schedule, visit the ASLA’s website.
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The Emerald Coast of Queens

On Thursday, we wrote about a new park that had been unveiled as part of the city's plans for Hunter's Point South. Not to be outdone, Gantry Plaza State Park, Queens West's original greenway, is expanding, with a new 6-acre stretch opening tomorrow. Designed by Abel Bainnson Butz, the new section of park brings Gantry Plaza to 10 acres of waterfront open space. With Macy's fireworks moving north up the Hudson this year, those new lounge chairs and hammocks could be a perfect place to watch. Check 'em out after the jump.
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Landscapers Short On Green, Too

We've been tracking the AIA Architecture Billings Index ever since it took a dive last spring. But what about the rest of the design industry? Well, the American Society of Landscape Architects released its quarterly survey of member firms, and the numbers are no better than their brick-and-mortar friends. In fact, the numbers are even worse, with only 16 percent of firms experiencing growth in their billings and 43 percent having stable or rising inquiries. Nancy Somerville, executive vice president and CEO of the society, said that with the market the way it is, the downturn was to be expected. “The reduced demand for landscape architecture work comes as no surprise considering the current problems with the economy,” Somerville said in a release. “International projects, particularly in the Middle East and Pacific Rim, are a strong and expanding source of work for many firms. Domestically, the public sector remains the most robust source of projects.” Not surprisingly, architects are seeing the same trends. As for the landscape designers, those are: Compared to last quarter, your billable hours are: Well above average – 5.6% Slightly above average – 17.3% Right where they usually are, average – 21.1% Slightly below average – 38.3% Well below average – 17.7% Compared to last quarter, your inquiries are: Well above average – 2.3% Slightly above average – 14.7% Right where they usually are, average – 25.7% Slightly below average – 35.5% Well below average – 21.9% Compared to the same quarter a year ago, your second quarter 2008 billable hours were: Higher – 17.9% About the same – 23.7% Lower – 58% Don’t know – .4% Compared to the same quarter a year ago, your second quarter 2008 inquiries were: Higher – 12.5% About the same – 27.8% Lower – 59.3% Don’t know – .4% Do you plan on hiring any employees in the upcoming quarter?: Experienced landscape architect – 6.8% Entry level landscape architect – 9.4% Support staff – 7.9% Intern – 4.1% Other – 6.4% Not hiring – 74.4% Role of sustainability issues in candidates’ platforms: High on candidates’ agendas – 9.4% Cited more than in the 2004 campaigns – 38.9% About the same as 2004 – 14.0% Cited less than 2004 – 4.2% Not a significant part of the candidates’ agendas – 31.3% Other – 2.3%