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Posts Tagged ‘Gulf State Park’

BY JARED BREY

Gulf State Park in Alabama is one of the largest public projects to be funded through the Deepwater Horizon settlement. Many more are coming.

FROM THE JANUARY 2022 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

The Lodge at Gulf State Park is built directly into the dunes, so when you walk from the parking lot into the spacious lobby, you’re looking straight through the glass back wall of the hotel, across a stretch of white-sand beach, and out into the seemingly endless Gulf of Mexico.

For Alabama, whose precious few miles of beaches all but carry the state’s tourism economy, this was the essential goal of the Gulf State Park Enhancement Project: A view of the sea for visitors and, says Matt Leavell, the director of design and planning at the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, “an experience of being in the dunes.”

But being in the dunes can mean a lot of things. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan swept across the dunes and destroyed the original lodge, which was built in the 1970s. In 2010, tar balls washed onto the beach as oil gushed from an underwater well operated by BP after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which killed 11 workers. The night before the ribbon-cutting at the new lodge in 2018, as dune-grass plantings were still taking hold, strong winds blew about two feet of sand into an area between the lobby and the restaurant, and crews scrambled to shovel it away before the governor arrived at 8:00 a.m.

“There is something really unique about designing in a dynamic dunescape,” says Kate Tooke, ASLA, a principal at Sasaki, which did the landscape architecture work for the lodge while completing a master plan for enhancements throughout the state park. “Every other landscape you design in, you can sort of assume that the landscape is going to stay mostly where it is. But a dunescape is constantly changing. Dunes are growing, they’re shifting, wetlands are forming, and swales are forming in different places, and that’s part of a healthy dunescape, to have that growth and change over time.” (more…)

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

Photo by Billy Pope, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

From “Roll, Tide” by Jared Brey in the January 2022 issue, about Gulf State Park in Alabama, where compensation from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is flowing into coastal remediation projects.

“A new dune view.”

–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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FOREGROUND   

“I” Is for Information (Tech)
Focus on the building and the model can overlook the many new approaches landscape architects are taking to embedding detailed site information in BIM projects.

FEATURES     

Prairie Primetime
When Mundus Bishop was selected to modernize public access at the Plains Conservation Center, a reserve of remnant Colorado short-grass prairie, the pandemic was still two years out. Social distancing has made the center a destination for nearby Aurora residents, so the design team kept the
focus on the delicate balance between the people and the prairie.

 Roll, Tide
A decade after the Deepwater Horizon explosion killed 11 workers and dumped 134 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf Coast’s fragile economy and environment have reemerged, thanks to billions of dollars in payouts and federal support. A rebuilt lodge at the region’s leading attraction, Gulf State Park, undergirded by a Sasaki master plan, has come to represent
all that money can and cannot put back.

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

Credits: “Prairie Primetime,” Scott Dressel-Martin; “Roll, Tide,” Matthew Arielly; “‘I’ Is for Information,” Lauren Schmidt, ASLA.

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