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ROLL, TIDE

BY JARED BREY

Gulf State Park in Alabama is one of the largest public projects to be funded through the Deepwater Horizon settlement. Many more are coming.

FROM THE JANUARY 2022 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

The Lodge at Gulf State Park is built directly into the dunes, so when you walk from the parking lot into the spacious lobby, you’re looking straight through the glass back wall of the hotel, across a stretch of white-sand beach, and out into the seemingly endless Gulf of Mexico.

For Alabama, whose precious few miles of beaches all but carry the state’s tourism economy, this was the essential goal of the Gulf State Park Enhancement Project: A view of the sea for visitors and, says Matt Leavell, the director of design and planning at the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, “an experience of being in the dunes.”

But being in the dunes can mean a lot of things. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan swept across the dunes and destroyed the original lodge, which was built in the 1970s. In 2010, tar balls washed onto the beach as oil gushed from an underwater well operated by BP after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which killed 11 workers. The night before the ribbon-cutting at the new lodge in 2018, as dune-grass plantings were still taking hold, strong winds blew about two feet of sand into an area between the lobby and the restaurant, and crews scrambled to shovel it away before the governor arrived at 8:00 a.m.

“There is something really unique about designing in a dynamic dunescape,” says Kate Tooke, ASLA, a principal at Sasaki, which did the landscape architecture work for the lodge while completing a master plan for enhancements throughout the state park. “Every other landscape you design in, you can sort of assume that the landscape is going to stay mostly where it is. But a dunescape is constantly changing. Dunes are growing, they’re shifting, wetlands are forming, and swales are forming in different places, and that’s part of a healthy dunescape, to have that growth and change over time.” Continue Reading »

The things our art director, Chris McGee, hated to leave out of the current issue of LAM.

Photo by Scott Dressel-Martin.

From “Prairie Primetime” by Haniya Rae in the January 2022 issue, about the Prairie Conservation Center in Aurora, Colorado, where a plan by Mundus Bishop reveals this short-grass prairie as a thriving place for ecological education.

“A plains education.”

–CHRIS MCGEE, LAM ART DIRECTOR

As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 250 bookstores, including many university stores and independents, as well as at Barnes & Noble. You can also buy single digital issues for only $5.25 at Zinio or order single copies of the print issue from ASLA. Annual subscriptions for LAM are a thrifty $59 for print and $44.25 for digital. Our subscription page has more information on subscription options.

The things our art director, Chris McGee, hated to leave out of the current issue of LAM.

Photo by Billy Pope, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

From “Roll, Tide” by Jared Brey in the January 2022 issue, about Gulf State Park in Alabama, where compensation from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is flowing into coastal remediation projects.

“A new dune view.”

–CHRIS MCGEE, LAM ART DIRECTOR

As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 250 bookstores, including many university stores and independents, as well as at Barnes & Noble. You can also buy single digital issues for only $5.25 at Zinio or order single copies of the print issue from ASLA. Annual subscriptions for LAM are a thrifty $59 for print and $44.25 for digital. Our subscription page has more information on subscription options.

PEOPLE AND PASEOS

As part of an ongoing effort to make content more accessible, LAM will be making select stories available to readers in Spanish.

 

BY TIMOTHY A. SCHULER

FROM THE JANUARY 2022 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

It’s likely a fantasy of any number of landscape architects: designing an entire neighborhood without having to consider a single car. Housing blocks separated not by wide, traffic-choked streets but by gentle, shaded paseos, or promenades. Apartments opening onto European-style courtyards. Every square foot of open space devoted to people.

Kristina Floor, FASLA, is building that dream. For the past two years, she and her team at Floor Associates, which is based in Phoenix, have been leading the site design for Culdesac Tempe, a 16-acre, 761-unit mixed-use development in Tempe, Arizona, in which private cars are prohibited. Made up of two- and three-story apartment buildings arranged around courtyards, the development has no garages, no “parking podiums”—the latest urban work-around that stashes all the parking on the first few levels of an otherwise banal development—and nothing you’d even call a street, which, as it turns out, leaves a lot of room for people space.

“What happens on so many projects, with the amount of parking you have to put in, is that most of your landscape is perimeter landscape or parking-lot landscape,” Floor says. At Culdesac, which is under construction and will open in summer 2022, Floor says they’re “designing spaces for people.” Continue Reading »

WONDERLAND

BY LEAH GHAZARIAN

A print journal is the next step for The Planthunter’s Georgina Reid.

FROM THE JANUARY 2022 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

Not long into the pandemic lockdowns in Australia, Georgina Reid, the editor of The Planthunter web magazine, grew weary of words on a screen.

“The stories I want people to actually read, to think about, and to sit with, they don’t have a natural home online,” says Reid, a landscape designer who writes about the connection between people and plants—stories that are often lacking place. So Reid had a thought: “Maybe that needs to be print.”

The pieces in Wonderground, the journal born in her riverside studio, are pensive and rousing, sometimes heartbreaking. They form collections of works made to be held in hands and enjoyed deliciously and not all at once.

“It’s about telling stories that challenge the way we see ourselves in the world, that inspire us to create the future that we want to live in—it’s as simple as that and as complex as that,” Reid says. Continue Reading »

BY KIM O’CONNELL

A new pocket park in Baltimore helps to ignite a neighborhood revitalization.

FROM THE JANUARY 2022 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

On a corner in Baltimore surrounded by vacant lots and boarded-up buildings, Gold Street Park is easy to miss. Built on a former coal yard in the neighborhood of Druid Heights, the pocket park features a winding brick path that leads to a circular gathering space with a starburst mural at its center. Steps along one edge can be used as seating or a de facto stage, and the simple planting scheme includes a few rose bushes and serviceberry trees.

Druid Heights is a historic African American community that once had a thriving social scene, where the jazz great Cab Calloway sang “Hi De Ho Man” in clubs, and where well-to-do Black families raised their kids. In the late 1960s, the uprisings that followed the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination led to a period of urban disinvestment from which the community is still working to recover. A local nonprofit, the Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, is taking a holistic approach to revitalization through real estate development, food and career assistance, and incentives and paths to homeownership.

Among the barriers facing Druid Heights is a lack of green space: Tree canopy coverage in the community is 14 percent, just half of the city’s average. To remedy this, the community partnered with Byoung-Suk Kweon, ASLA, an associate professor of landscape architecture at the University of Maryland, on a green community master plan that includes the development of both pocket parks and larger green corridors and connections. Continue Reading »

JANUARY LAM: BIG FIXES

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

FOREGROUND   

“I” Is for Information (Tech)
Focus on the building and the model can overlook the many new approaches landscape architects are taking to embedding detailed site information in BIM projects.

FEATURES     

Prairie Primetime
When Mundus Bishop was selected to modernize public access at the Plains Conservation Center, a reserve of remnant Colorado short-grass prairie, the pandemic was still two years out. Social distancing has made the center a destination for nearby Aurora residents, so the design team kept the
focus on the delicate balance between the people and the prairie.

 Roll, Tide
A decade after the Deepwater Horizon explosion killed 11 workers and dumped 134 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf Coast’s fragile economy and environment have reemerged, thanks to billions of dollars in payouts and federal support. A rebuilt lodge at the region’s leading attraction, Gulf State Park, undergirded by a Sasaki master plan, has come to represent
all that money can and cannot put back.

The full table of contents for January can be found here.

As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 250 bookstores, including many university stores and independents, as well as at Barnes & Noble. You can also buy single digital issues for only $5.25 at Zinio or order single copies of the print issue from ASLA. Annual subscriptions for LAM are a thrifty $59 for print and $44.25 for digital. Our subscription page has more information on subscription options.

Keep an eye out here on the blog, on the LAM Facebook page, and on our Twitter feed (@landarchmag), as we’ll be posting January articles as the month rolls out.

Credits: “Prairie Primetime,” Scott Dressel-Martin; “Roll, Tide,” Matthew Arielly; “‘I’ Is for Information,” Lauren Schmidt, ASLA.