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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.” (more…)

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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. (more…)

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

BY ROBERTO J. ROVIRA, ASLA

FROM THE DECEMBER 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

Angular and lean, the new St. Pete Pier in St. Petersburg, Florida, folds its way for 1,380 feet from land to water. Under a bright, hot sun, even 10 feet may be just a few too many.

The pier’s many shifts, crossings, and cantilevers, made possible by more than 400 concrete pylons, make the journey seem rather effortless, however. This new addition to St. Petersburg’s urban infrastructure is more of a networked arrangement of spaces than a single object, the latter a fatal flaw that compromised the previous pier and contributed to its obsolescence and eventual demolition.

Subtle transitions allow the new pier’s architecture and landscape to take turns and communicate in a cohesive language while surfaces move up and down and laterally in plan and section. The roughly 3,000 feet from the beginning of the Pier District, which begins downtown, to the Pier Head building at the end aren’t all visible at once. Instead, the trip is divided into a series of manageable segments with plenty of respite along the way. Residents and tourists of all ages move along shared walks that begin with gateway elements consisting of an elaborate pergola, an outdoor market, and mature plantings preserved from the previous pier. Visitors quickly transition from downtown speed to park speed. Free trams share a curbless space and pass by varied programs that promote buy-local culture, public art that changes dramatically at night, sculptural play areas that integrate earthwork with native plantings, and a central civic plaza whose grand expanse and water features accommodate programming large and small.

New restaurants and pavilions allow one to pause, eat, listen to live music, people watch, get close to the water, and maybe even help sample it and learn something new about the bay at a nonprofit-run ecological discovery center. The broad palette of experiences leads to the Pier Head, where fishing is allowed and where beer is served (and in demand)—even on Mondays at 11:00 a.m.—at the rooftop bar. One may, in fact, decide to never get to the Pier Head, and the experience would not be the lesser for it given all the new options. (more…)

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

Photo by Rich Montalbano/RiMO Photo, LLC.

From “Right of Center” by Roberto J. Rovira, ASLA, in the December 2021 issue, about the new St. Pete Pier in St. Petersburg, Florida, the latest iteration of seaside life and leisure that reaffirms the city’s elemental connection to the water.

“Dusk at St. Pete’s Pier.”

–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.

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BY JARED BREY

Pashek + MTR works with two public agencies to design a heavy-hitting stormwater park in Pittsburgh.

FROM THE DECEMBER 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

One bright-blue Friday afternoon in October, I was paused at a stoplight in Squirrel Hill, a residential neighborhood about five miles from downtown Pittsburgh, when I saw a young woman with a red backpack try to summit a steep slope on her bicycle. She approached the hill with good momentum and no shortage of confidence and was halfway up the block before she started losing speed. Two thirds of the way, she began to wobble. Pedaling a few more yards, she surrendered to the inevitable and finished the journey on foot.

At the bottom of the hill sat Wightman Park, recently redesigned around the very force the young woman was trying to overcome. In Pittsburgh’s Hill District, stormwater accumulates in the valleys. In 2014, the city’s Department of Public Works (DPW) began a master-planning process for the low-lying, two-acre park, with its small baseball field, half basketball court, and aging playground, through which a long-since channelized stream used to flow. In the process of collecting community input for the master plan and redesign, the landscape architects at Pittsburgh-based Pashek + MTR heard from neighbors that basement backups during storms were getting worse.

“And so we thought, ‘Oh, this would be a great place to really bump up the stormwater capacity and start to try to capture water from the surrounding streets,’” says Sara Thompson, ASLA, a principal at the firm. (more…)

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FOREGROUND

The Stranger Territory (Minds)
Julie Bargmann, the inaugural winner of the Cornelia Hahn Oberlander
International Landscape Architecture Prize, flourishes in the dirt.

The Wright Way (House Call)
Was Frank Lloyd Wright a landscape designer? For Bayer Landscape Architecture, the firm that restored the garden at the Darwin Martin House in Buffalo, New York, the answer lies somewhere
between the archives and the modern house museum.

FEATURES

Right of Center
It’s been a fishing jetty, a railroad pier, a contested site of segregation, even an inverted structure that called to mind a cake left out in the rain. But after six tries and 130 years, St. Petersburg, Florida’s dazzling new pier and park, by a team including W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Ken Smith Workshop, and Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers, might be a keeper.

The full table of contents for December 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 December articles as the month rolls out.

Credits: “Right of Center,” Rich Montalbano/RiMO Photo, LLC; “The Stranger Territory,” Barrett Doherty, ASLA, courtesy the Cultural Landscape Foundation; “The Wright Way,” Bayer Landscape Architecture.

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On the Cover: Students perch on an overlook at the Tennessee River.

“When Stars Align,” by Jared Brey. Thanks to years of work by students and faculty from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s School of Landscape Architecture, the 652-mile trail known as the Tennessee RiverLine has grown from a sparky idea to a full-fledged proposal. It is poised to be part of the region’s next era of people-centered infrastructure.

Also in the issue:
Russell + Mills Studios designs a riverfront for New Belgium Brewing Company in Asheville, North Carolina. | Landscape architect Martin Smith’s vision for revitalizing the Arkansas Delta has grown from passion project to a force for change. | Fallen Sky lands at Storm King Art Center. | Knoxville’s storied Loghaven re-emerges as an artists’ haven. | Seferian Design Group finds a material balance along Lake Ontario. | Carbon counting for city services in Reno, Nevada. | The High Line Canal is a vision for a 71-mile irrigation canal that runs along Denver’s eastern edge. | Goods features new exhibitors at ASLA’s EXPO in Nashville. | Three designers from SCAPE Studio reflect on Hurricane Ida. | A review of Site Matters: Strategies for Uncertainty Through Planning and Design, edited by Andrea Kahn and Carol J. Burns. | Seeking a way to translate wildfire risk in Lake Tahoe, a landscape artist lets the trees talk. 

 

Online this month from the November issue:

“Better Edges for Eels” by Timothy A. Schuler on November 2. On a living shoreline in Ontario, Canada, Seferian Design Group is designing to counteract erosion and provide a habitat for endangered species.

“Home Brewed” by Brian Barth on November 11. A connection with New Belgium Brewing Company led to a chance for Russell + Mills Studios to design the landscape for a brewery in Asheville, North Carolina.

“When Stars Align” by Jared Brey on November 18. A student project to connect people and public lands along a 652-mile river trail gathers steam. English and Spanish.

“High Profile” by Haniya Rae on November 30. The transformation of an irrigation canal east of Denver shows off the region’s diversity.

The full table of contents for November 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 November articles as the month rolls out.

Credits: Cover, photo by Tennessee River Studio; “The Bridge Builder,” Timothy Hursley; “When Stars Align,” Tennessee River Studio; “Home Brewed,” Mark Herboth Photography, LLC; “High Profile,” Evan Anderman.

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