When Claude Cormier, ASLA, and I pull up to Dorchester Square in Montreal, a man is leaning against the grand fountain, with its three Victorian bowls, all painted a very Victorian shade of green, smoking a cigarette. When we get out of the car, I realize it’s not a cigarette, but a joint. Continue reading Claude Cormier: Hell of Fun→
Claude Cormier + Associés and Confluence untangle a puzzle of wayfinding and stormwater management on a tricky site along Chicago’s lakeshore.
By Zach Mortice
A few years ago, if you wanted to visit the site of Cascade Park in Chicago, designed by Claude Cormier + Associés (now CCxA), you’d find yourself near the shores of Lake Michigan at a 50-foot cliff overlooking a vacant pit bordered by a foreboding service road that led to the lakefront trail to the east. “The entire site was one giant hole,” says Matthew Strange, ASLA, a principal at Confluence, the landscape architect of record for the project. (Confluence was preceded by another landscape architecture firm of record, Living Habitats, from the design development phase through construction documents.) Elsewhere in the Lakeshore East high-rise district, there’s a park by OJB and residential skyscrapers by Studio Gang and others, built atop parking and amenity podiums that hoist the developments over the lake. But Cascade Park was the anomaly.Continue reading Claude Cormier: Step Down, Splash Down→
Vista Hermosa Natural Park Studio-MLA, Los Angeles
By Mimi Zeiger
At the turn of the last century, the 10 acres on which Vista Hermosa Natural Park sits was a forest of oil derricks. Located on the outskirts of a nascent downtown Los Angeles, dozens of wellheads replaced the native sage and chaparral scrub. A photograph from 1901 shows a poisonous landscape glistening with pools of what might be water—or oil. Continue reading Landmark Award →
Students in Spain bring the biodiversity of the tree canopy down to the ground.
By Zach Mortice
In 2022, a group of 18 students at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) had the rare experience of designing and building their own school’s research facility. Rising 30 feet above a hillside site amid the dense forest canopy of Barcelona’s Collserola Natural Park, the Forest Lab for Observational Research and Analysis (FLORA) is a mass timber observation tower that will allow students to observe and catalog the park’s biodiversity, specifically the organisms that make their home in the forest canopy.Continue reading Close Encounters→
There’s no swimming at Sugar Beach, but the crowds come anyway.
By Daniel Jost, ASLA
It’s 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or, as they say here in Toronto, a balmy 27 degrees. Stephanie McCarthy leans back in a white Adirondack chair and digs her feet into the sand. On Canada’s Sugar Beach she’s just a short walk from her downtown apartment, though as she sits in the shade of a pink umbrella, it seems a little unreal. “It feels like you’re somewhere tropical,” she says, “like a minivacation.” Continue reading Claude Cormier: How Sweet→
Lone Oaks Farm had a master plan as ambitious as they come. Implementation has been rocky.
By Timothy A. Schuler
From the beginning, the idea behind Lone Oaks Farm in Middleton, Tennessee, was ambitious. Acquired by the University of Tennessee (UT) in 2015, the 1,200-acre property was to be a new home for 4-H summer camps; offer hunter education programs and a world-class sporting clays course; host corporate retreats and private events; and serve as a model for ecological restoration and environmental conservation, all while continuing to operate as a working cattle farm. The goal was to connect people of all ages, especially youth, to the Tennessee landscape, which the farm would do through education, sport, hospitality, food, and agricultural science.Continue reading Form Follows Funding→
A Fresh look for the ASLA Awards issue emerges from dozens of almosts.
“I realized we needed to take a big step back and think about how we were presenting our awards to our readers. We were presenting them as one large object instead of individual objects. The main thing was that we needed a color structure that would allow the reader to jump around and know where they were.”
California repurposes farmland to save its water supply.
By Lisa Owens Viani
Last winter, 31 atmospheric rivers drenched California after an extended drought, filling the state’s reservoirs to the brim for the first time in years and enabling the state’s two main surface water supply systems—which bring fresh water from the mountains to thirsty cities and farms via a complex network of reservoirs, canals, and pipes—to provide all of their promised water allocations. Massive, long-disappeared wetlands such as Tulare Lake in the southern San Joaquin Valley reemerged, and other parts of the valley were still underwater in late spring. But despite the soaking, the state continues to plan for a hotter, drier future, including ways to recharge parched aquifers. “This year was an exception to the rule,” says Andrew Schwartz, the lead scientist and manager of the Central Sierra Snow Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. “We’re in an aridifying climate and things will just continue to get drier.”Continue reading Farm To Water Table→
The Magazine of the American Society of Landscape Architects