Category Archives: Awards

Kongjian Yu: Found In Translation

The recent announcement of Kongjian Yu, FASLA, as the winner of the 2023 Cornelia Hahn Oberlander Prize sent us back to the archives for this piece on his work at Hing Hay Park in Seattle.

—October 26, 2023 

Early concepts by Kongjian Yu, FASLA, explored the park’s role as a stage, an orchard, and a series of terraces.
Early concepts by Kongjian Yu, FASLA, explored the park’s role as a stage, an orchard, and a series of terraces. Image by Turenscape.

By Betsy Anderson, Associate ASLA

On a steely afternoon in late January, the soft notes of a dizi floated over the sound of construction in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. The flutist played amid a line of safety fencing and the maneuvers of a carry deck crane. This was not an unusual scene in a city filled with building projects, in a neighborhood that proudly cradles cultural expression. But today, anyone crossing the intersection of 6th Avenue South and South King Street would not be greeted by the usual half-built shell of a mid-rise. Instead, a much less orderly silhouette emerged on the street corner. Asymmetrical, animalistic, and unapologetically red—a bending steel-clad structure reached up, piece by piece, to embrace the district’s most recently completed park. Continue reading Kongjian Yu: Found In Translation

Landmark Award: Vista Hermosa Natural Park

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: Vista Hermosa Natural Park

Claude Cormier: How Sweet

There’s no swimming at Sugar Beach, but the crowds come anyway.

By Daniel Jost, ASLALAM-Jan2013-SugarBeachSkyline

 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

Claude Cormier: Hell of Fun

As the news of Claude Cormier’s death touched us, we look back to a profile we published in 2020. A remembrance of Cormier’s legacy and life is available on the Cultural Landscape Foundation website.

-September 15, 2023

By Brian Barth

Claude Cormier, ASLA, designed bridges, which double as romantic viewing platforms, over the entrances to a pair of underground parking decks. Photo by Jean-François Savaria.

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

Backstory: What’s Behind the Redesign?

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.”

—Chris McGee, Art Director

Continue reading Backstory: What’s Behind the Redesign?

Designed for Differences

An award-winning new outdoor space in Ohio focuses on the autistic experience.

By Maci Nelson, Associate ASLA

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder enjoy the garden both independently and with support.
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder enjoy the garden both independently and with support. Photo by Richard Mandelkorn.

In early 2020, Toronto-based Virginia Burt, FASLA, received a cold call and invitation to meet for pizza and discuss a garden project in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. The garden would honor the memory of the family’s child, Morgan, whose favorite hobby was gardening, and who had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The proposed garden would replace the existing courtyard at the Monarch Center for Autism and its Lifeworks Program, which cared for Morgan, and provides prevocational training and support for people with autism who experience severe emotional, physical, and social challenges. Continue reading Designed for Differences

Ten Times Better

At Quarry House, TEN x TEN uses Minnesota stone and lissome birch to sculpt a residential garden in three dimensions.

By Aaron King

Stacked quarry stone in a parklike setting
A set of collages explored design possibilities for the backyard. Courtesy TEN x TEN Landscape Architecture and Urbanism.

The backyard as a distinct space has not always been with us. It is, according to the cultural landscape historian Paul Groth, a relatively recent invention that was made possible by technological innovations in the 1930s and 1940s.

Continue reading Ten Times Better