Category Archives: Design

Collage Material

For new master plan, MNLA embraced Smith College’s ethos of participation.

By Jonathan Lerner

Photo of river with small waterfall.
Paradise Pond, a beloved Smith landmark, was formed by a dam on the Mill River. A proposal to renaturalize the river strikes some alumnae as too radical. Photo courtesy MNLA.

In 1871, Sophia Smith devoted an inherited fortune to realizing her dream, a women’s college to equal those for men. Today the institution bearing her name enrolls some 2,100 female undergraduates (and a few hundred grad students, including some men). Smith College is in Northampton, Massachusetts, a town of about 30,000 where idealistic visions flow luxuriant. Continue reading Collage Material

Destination Hemp Farm

A Virginia landscape architect thinks cannabis farms could be the state’s next tourist attraction.

By Kim O’Connell

A concept by Kirk Bereuter, ASLA, shows how working hemp farms could incorporate the amenities of wineries or breweries. Photo by Kirk Bereuter Landscape Architecture.

On a farm in Loudoun County, Virginia, the first thing you might notice is the smell. Some say it’s citrusy, others say it’s piney, and still others say it’s skunky. Most visitors find it pleasantly earthy. This is the Cannabreeze Hemp Farm, nestled into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Continue reading Destination Hemp Farm

Mind the Gaps (and Curves) with Precast Concrete

Getting the best from precast concrete requires a little flexibility. 

By John Payne, ASLA, and James Dudley

The first prototype of the precast piece is what will determine the mold form. Photo courtesy SiteWorks.

Precast concrete, which is concrete that is cast into its final form before it is installed, has long been used in architecture and engineering for myriad forms and applications. These include bridge trusses, ornamental cladding, and prestressed beams. The casting process takes place within the regulated confines of a facility, with tightly controlled concrete mixes and material ingredients resulting in greater control and consistency, making it a real attraction to both designers and builders. Continue reading Mind the Gaps (and Curves) with Precast Concrete

Line by Line

Local and global, analog and digital, Michael Blier leads Landworks Studio into the wide world.

By Jessica Bridger

East Dareen Beach Neighborhood Park in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Image courtesy Michael Blier, FASLA.

The East Dareen Beach Neighborhood Park site in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, is a serious place: Bounded by a missile silo to the north, its double shore of coast and island form results from a dredge-ravaged coastline—and it is a major part of the city’s treated sewage effluent (TSE) program. Continue reading Line by Line