Category Archives: Design

The Long Game

Landscape architects are working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and building new networks through the Engineering With Nature program. The implications could be transformative for both.

By Jared Brey

Photo of people standing on the shore, pointing toward the bay.
Monica Chasten (foreground) and Sean Burkholder (center, holding a coffee) survey the opportunities with the team near Matts Landing in New Jersey. Photo by Jared Brey.

A needle that falls in the southern reaches of the New Jersey Pinelands might find itself washed into the Maurice River and carried by its current to Delaware Bay. The Maurice flows south in tight coils, and before it reaches the estuary, it’s forced into one final wide bend around a long dike at Matts Landing, near the old bayside oyster towns of Bivalve and Shell Pile. Continue reading The Long Game

Explorers at Home

Plant-hunting is always in season at the Leach Botanical Garden in Portland, Oregon, the storybook base of the botanist Lilla Leach, where Land Morphology has begun a next-century upgrade to the grounds.

By Bradford McKee / Photography by Sahar Coston-Hardy, Affiliate ASLA

Man standing with his back to the camera on a trail through the garden.
A path leads through a grove of camellias in the Woodland Garden, down to the Leach House next to Johnson Creek.

Leach Botanical Garden

“We wanted that project so badly,” a friend told me when I mentioned my upcoming visit in May to the Leach Botanical Garden in Portland, Oregon. The Leach Garden is a former private property, about 90 years old as a garden and about 40 years old as a Portland public park.

Continue reading Explorers at Home

Pocket Ecologies

Offshoots, Inc., designs a place for people, bikes, and plants in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood.

By Karolina Hac

Aerial photo showing ramp, green roof, and trees shielding parkgoers from the freeway.
The park uses trees and topography to screen the adjacent elevated freeway. Image courtesy Peter Vanderwarker Photography.

Traveling into Boston on the elevated section of Interstate 93, a small pop of green is visible among the swath of industry in Charlestown’s Hood Park. Designed by Offshoots, Inc., in conjunction with Elkus Manfredi Architects, that green dot is known as Hood Bike Park. Continue reading Pocket Ecologies

For Crows, By Humans

Walter Hood reflects on what corvids can teach us.

By Anjulie Rao

Photo of artistic model of a crow's nest hanging from a tree.
Hood Design Studio incorporated bottle caps into the crows’ nests to explore the idea of humans as scavengers. Photo by Liz Ligon, courtesy Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Crows—although they share a predilection for scavenging human food waste alongside other urban avian “pests” such as pigeons—carry a more mischievous reputation. The National Audubon Society cites their incredible intelligence and documented cases of the birds using tools, holding grudges, and performing funerals. Continue reading For Crows, By Humans

Seeding a Wilder Future

A new gorilla conservation campus by MASS Design Group and TEN x TEN is a laboratory for reforestation.

By Timothy A. Schuler

Aerial photo of Fossey Center showing landscape and low-lying buildings with green roofs.
The experimental landscape at the new Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund headquarters features plant communities that are critical to mountain gorillas’ survival. Photo by Iwan Baan.

The plan was ambitious, even by MASS Design Group standards. For the headquarters of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, the world’s foremost mountain gorilla conservation organization, the designers envisioned a series of lily pad-like buildings nestled into a landscape made up of plant communities drawn almost exclusively from the gorillas’ native habitat in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Continue reading Seeding a Wilder Future

Windbloom Maps the Breeze

Falon Mihalic’s sculpture charts the atmospheric forces that bind us.

By Zach Mortice

Plan view of sculpture on triangular site.
The color palette used in Windbloom was determined by the average wind direction for the entire year. Image by Falon Land Studio.

Windbloom, a 12-foot-high sculpture and pavilion under construction near Houston by the artist and landscape architect Falon Mihalic, will give physical form to ephemeral weather processes—specifically, which way the wind blows. The site-specific piece will map the direction of local wind, and its biomorphic qualities will reflect the vitality and energy of the Gulf Coast skies it surveys. Continue reading Windbloom Maps the Breeze