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Posts Tagged ‘Russell + Mills Studios’

BY BRIAN BARTH

The beer flows freely alongside Asheville’s renewed French Broad River.

FROM THE NOVEMBER 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

On a cool Friday morning back in the spring, I stood on a small pedestrian bridge overlooking a tiny stream that feeds into the French Broad River in Asheville, North Carolina. Native species including cardinal flower, joe-pye weed, trumpet creeper, rhododendron, witch hazel, serviceberry, and river birch cloaked the crystal-clear streamlet, which meandered down a series of stone-lined pools in the ravine below. Less than a decade ago, the water meandered around rusted car bodies, tires, and slabs of concrete that had been tossed there over the years, part of an old, unpermitted landfill that oozed with heavy metals and hydrocarbon pollution. At my side were Paul Mills, ASLA, and David Tuch, who designed the landscape that has brought the place back to life.

As if on cue, a groundhog appeared from a burrow under a boulder they specified. “Snake!” Mills exclaimed a few minutes later, pointing to a serpentine line squiggling through one of the pools. As he and Tuch debated the species, a second, smaller serpent squiggled by after what I presumed was its mother. “It’s a family!” I shouted.

On the flat ground above this BBC wildlife special are intoxicating gardens of native plants surrounding a boozy business: the East Coast headquarters of the New Belgium Brewing Company. Mills’s firm, Russell + Mills Studios, is based in Fort Collins, Colorado, the brewery-laden city where New Belgium was established in 1991. Looking to expand a couple of decades later, the company decided on the Appalachian city of Asheville, which has the second-highest number of breweries per capita in the United States and has been deemed the nation’s “best beer city” by seriouseats.com. (Fort Collins has merely the 11th most breweries per capita.) Russell + Mills, the rare landscape architecture firm with a reputation for designing brewery grounds—they’ve worked on a dozen to date—was hired as the lead designer for the brownfield site. Tuch’s Asheville-based firm, Equinox Environmental, collaborated on plant selection and the design of stormwater management features.

The ravine bisects the 18-acre property—a 400,000-barrel-per-year brewery lies on one side; New Belgium’s Liquid Center, a tasting room and event space, on the other—which opened to the public in 2016. It lies less than a mile from downtown Asheville in the city’s River Arts District, a place of artisans’ studios and riverside parks that have replaced the industrial landscape that once enveloped the French Broad, a long-polluted water body that borders the brewery on one side. New Belgium’s $175 million investment represents a major step toward a riverfront reclamation that has been decades in the making. (more…)

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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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