Category Archives: Practice

Designed Transition

Cheryl Barton winds down after decades as CEO, and her office becomes part of SCAPE.

By Bradford McKee

photo of Kate Orff
Kate Orff, FASLA, the founder of SCAPE, saw a strategic expansion to the West Coast. Photo by Lena Shkoda, courtesy SCAPE.

If there were good, recent books on passing a design firm’s ownership from founders to successors (there aren’t), it sounds as if Cheryl Barton, FASLA, and Kate Orff, FASLA, would have had little use for them. In March, the San Francisco-based Office of Cheryl Barton, Barton’s firm since 1995, became the West Coast office of SCAPE Landscape Architecture, the firm Orff founded in New York in 2004. Continue reading Designed Transition

The Team on Tops

By any count, Presidio Tunnel Tops had an unusual number of women in construction and project leadership. They say there are good reasons for that.

By Anne C Godfrey

Three women sitting on the ground at the park.
The Meadows, sitting directly on top of the Highway 101 tunnels, is a place to gather and enjoy the views. Photo by Rachel Styer.

An unexpected amount of rain fell on the Presidio Tunnel Tops construction site this past October. The rain was a mixed blessing; though welcomed by parched San Francisco Bay Area residents, it had damaged parts of the job site. Kerry Huang, ASLA, a senior associate at James Corner Field Operations (JCFO), the project’s design partner and landscape architect, said that layers of soil and plants were torn out of one of the embankments, despite the recent installation of erosion control blankets. Huang is a construction manager for Tunnel Tops, one of an unusual number of women who are project managers on this high-profile project. Continue reading The Team on Tops

A Bumpy Reentry

Women landscape architects are finding the road from part-time to full-time work full of potholes.

By Jared Brey

Barbara Peterson, ASLA, is a night owl. During the 16 years she worked as a part-time landscape architect, she typically spent the hours of 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. sending emails, working on designs, and stamping plans. When her son, Eric, got a little older, she would pack a lunch and leave it in the fridge for him to take on his way to the bus in the morning. She spent much of her day carting him back and forth to sporting events and skateparks. Continue reading A Bumpy Reentry

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

Support by Design Aids Ukrainian Landscape Architects

The flexibility of remote work takes on a new dimension when American landscape architecture firms can bring on Ukrainian designers fleeing war.

By Laurie A. Shuster

The Ukrainian landscape architect Anna Kulvanovska works as a contractor for SWA from a shared workspace in Malmö, Sweden. Photo by Kim Öhrström.

 Anna Kulvanovska had been waiting a long time at an immigration office in Sweden when she decided to check her LinkedIn account. “I don’t use LinkedIn often, but I was waiting my turn and it was a long time,” says Kulvanovska, who is a Ukrainian landscape architect. Having left her home in Kyiv during the first 24 hours of the Russian invasion, Kulvanovska traveled to Romania and then to Malmö, Sweden, where a friend had agreed to help her. “I was very lucky,” she says. Continue reading Support by Design Aids Ukrainian Landscape Architects

The LAM Gift Guide for Landscape Architecture Graduates

Books, tech, and lots of pens to set the newly minted designer up right.

By the LAM Editorial Advisory Committee

Well, it’s finally happened. Your family member/friend/mentee/colleague has graduated from a BLA or MLA program, and they’re ready to start their journey as a landscape architecture professional. Now that they’ve finished school, you want to buy them a gift that shows them you get what they do and why they’re passionate about it.

A University of Kentucky graduate exhorts her fellow students to “Be the change.” Credit: @uky_landscapearchitecture/University of Kentucky (UK) Landscape Architecture.

Continue reading The LAM Gift Guide for Landscape Architecture Graduates

Your Stuff Is Coming (Someday)

Supplies are short and prices are bonkers. What’s behind the issues in the supply chain, and when will they end?

By Bradford McKee

An Alpine crew installing granite pavers at a new park near Hudson Yards. Photo by Dylan Peck, Alpine Construction & Landscaping Corporation.

Don’t worry, it’s not just you. The supply chain chaos that has dogged the whole economy the past couple of years is hitting every point of the uniquely perishable process of building landscapes. Continue reading Your Stuff Is Coming (Someday)