Article by Erin Tharp LAN writer of the year 2015/16 Erin Tharp, takes a look at some creative ways how to use trees in various landscape designs. Almost every successful landscape installation has one thing in common: trees. Trees are found in traditional landscapes and in ultra-modern landscapes alike. And even though the feel of the spaces may differ, the trees bring them back to nature and remind us that even the most desolate places can support life. So how do you go about becoming an expert in placing trees in your designs? Take a look at the following 10 projects that show 10 uses for trees in the landscape and prove that every space can be made better by using trees.
1. Trees as Art Visitors to the Tree Museum in Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland, are greeted by a collection of trees — carefully placed by Swiss landscape design firm Enea — that are meant to serve as a 75,000-square-meter work of art. Enea placed several giant sandstone walls and water basins throughout the site to divide the space and to also create quiet spaces for visitors to relax and enjoy the entire collection of trees, which obviously take center stage here.2. Trees as Design Inspiration Every so often, landscape architects are faced with a project in which they don’t know where to begin their design. In the case of Baltic Sea Art Park, by Kilometrezero, in Pärnu, Estonia, the designers took one look at the existing trees and knew exactly where to start. The existing trees served as a connection to the urban fabric of the nearby city and the riverbank, but lacked any order. So, to create order, the design team reorganized the space by creating small squares among the existing trees that would be separated by a sequence of smaller paths connected to circular areas that could be used for small social gatherings. All this, while also allowing room to plant more trees. The designers used the placement of the existing trees as path makers, and ended up with a beautiful and functional design. 3. Trees as a Food Supply Everyone knows that apples grow on trees, and everyone knows that adding green spaces to an urban fabric can help to deal with climate change and pollution. But the Open Orchard Project funded by Open Works in London took these uses of fruit trees one step further. Here, a group of residents decided to change the social fabric of their neighborhood by planting fruit trees throughout the community. They found that fruit trees are great choices for cities, since they can be grown on dwarfing rootstocks and, once established, require little maintenance — all while providing residents with a reliable food source and a way to come together. 4. Trees as a Fight Against Global Warming As stated above, everyone is aware of the positive changes that trees can have on the environment, including on global warming. And there is no better example of this than on Gonçalo de Carvalho, a street in Porto Alegre, Brazil, that is considered by many to be the most beautiful street in the world. More than a hundred Rosewood trees (Tipuana tipu) were supposedly planted in the 1930s by employees of a local brewery along both sides of the street. Today, they create a microclimate that helps to keep the street below both cool and in shade, proving that the addition of trees can truly change the world, even if it is only one street at a time. 5. Trees as Placeholders Historical preservation is practiced by many cities in order to help residents remember important people or events, and landscapes are often what is being preserved. Sometimes, a tree may be saved due to a significant event that happened near the tree or even due to the age of the tree, but what if the trees were used as archaeological markers to preserve access holes for future artifact excavation? That’s exactly what designers did when they placed the trees along the Place d’Youville in Quebec City, Canada, and, by doing so, they created a space that is both stunning and filled with meaning, both for the people of the city and for the trees. 6. Trees as Memories In 1922, the people of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, began a movement to plant a tree for every fallen soldier from World Wars I and II, with the hope of providing some solace to grieving families that did not have a grave to visit. Today, most of the 3,278 Poplars planted are nearing the end of their life cycle, which is the reason behind the revitalization project of Poppy Plaza, where new trees have been planted to continue the legacy of this special place and allow the memories to be carried on through the trees. 7. Trees as Lines of Sight and Focal Points Landscape Architects 49 in Bangkok are experts at creating lush and inviting residential spaces for their clients, and Baan Ladprao is no exception. Not only did the design team situate the residence among existing trees, they also used trees to lead the users’ eyes around the project by mimicking lines found in the hard materials. They carefully placed a grove of trees to create a long vista from the second-floor exercise room to the parking area, then used concrete lines placed in the ground to lead the viewer’s eyes to the focal point of the landscape – a large tree, which proves that trees can be the most important piece in a site. 8. Trees as Habitat The story of Jadav Payeng, or the Forest Man, is truly one of inspiration. In 1979, this man took it upon himself to start a reforestation project on the largest river island in India, Majuli in the Indian state of Assam. Working with the Social Forestry Division of Golachat District, he started a project to create a tree plantation on 200 hectares of land. Five years later, the project was complete, and he stuck around to maintain the place and to keep planting trees. Today, this place is a secure refuge for animals such as Bengal tigers, Indian rhinoceroses, elephants, and several varieties of birds, all of which live among several thousand trees that Payeng helped to plant. WATCH >>> Forest Man Trailer
9. Trees as Survivors When Thorbjörn Andersson started designing Hyllie Plaza in Malmö, Sweden, the designers knew they wanted to create a place that would have an identity and stand out form other plazas in the country. To do this, they decided to create a minimalist beech forest. Going in, they knew that using the ever-sensitive beech could be problematic, but they had a plan and knew that if they could accomplish it, they would create a place that showcased the survival instincts of this majestic tree. They planted 28 trees in a large planting bed accessed through12 slits cut into the granite and concrete paving surface. This bed contains just the right mixture of mulch, stones, and soil to allow the trees to thrive.10. Trees to Entice The only indication that something fabulous lies behind a high perimeter wall in Bangkok would be the tops of large trees that might make a visitor stop and try to get a peek inside to see what else is in there. LOKOH=Co used the trees as a way to create interest in the T. Residence for people who might chance to walk by. Those allowed inside are not disappointed by the award-winning and complex design they find. Here, the trees add to the tropical landscape and help to provide shelter for some of the tender mosses and ferns that grow beneath them. Each one of these projects shows that trees are much more than simple landscape plants. Trees should not only always be given a place of honor in designed landscapes, but should also be given the opportunity to fulfill even grander elements in your designs — as these projects prove they can. Can you think of any other magnificent uses of trees?
>>>CLICK TO COMMENT<<<
Article by Erin Tharp
Article by Erin Tharp We cross disciplines and look at the iconic Steve Jobs to see what concepts cross over from the world of Apple to Landscape Architecture. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, was known for many things, including his love of technology and his innovative designs. Both of these traits can also be found in most aspiring landscape architects, so the question is; what could Steve Jobs teach landscape architects about design? Here are seven lessons from Steve Jobs to make us all better landscape architects.1. His Use of Color Jobs knew that to create a product that would stand out from its competitors he had to create a look that would make it literally stand out. He is credited with choosing the five fruit-inspired colors for the iMac, which boosted sales by 24% and allowed people to use their computers as a way to express themselves. Later, when other computer companies began following suit with the bold use of colors, Jobs, once again, was a step ahead and chose a more minimalistic look for his line of Apple products, and then later went back to using color in the new line of iPods. Just like the world of landscape architecture, where trends are constantly changing, it’s important to be able to keep designs fresh and new, and Jobs was an expert at this. It’s also important to know how to use color in a landscape, whether it be through plants or hardscapes, and to not overwhelm users with too much color. It’s one thing to create a vibrant landscape and another to create a gaudy landscape, and Jobs would have been able to add vibrancy without being tacky. 2. Don’t let Clients be Designers While it is always important to listen to what your clients expect a design to accomplish, it’s also important to remember that you are both designer and expert and ultimately you need to create the design. “A lot of times people don’t know what they want until you show it to them,” is one of Jobs’ more famous quotes and is a great piece of advice to all designers, not just landscape architects. 3. Keep it Short and Simple Jobs may be best known for his ability to create both great products and presentations that are inherently simple and easy to use and understand. So, the next time you sit down to present an idea to a client, remember the rule that Jobs preached to his employees; KISS (keep it short and simple). Keep your presentation simple and be clear by not using too many technical terms. Along these lines, Jobs was famous for using the “rule of three.” This is a presentation technique perfected by Thomas Jefferson in his “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” speech, and one that Jobs used in every Apple presentation. For example, he introduced the iPhone by saying that Apple would be introducing “three” products: an iPod, a phone, and an Internet communications device. This rule was applied to every presentation after, whether in the number of products released or in the description of the product, e.g. “thinner, lighter, and faster,” and it was his way of engaging his audience and keeping them interested. 4. Does the Design Work? Something that is frequently forgotten, because a designer feels their product is beautiful, is whether or not the design works. Landscape architects fall into this trap all the time. Oftentimes an idea will get stuck in a designers head that they “have” to use this paver or this plant or put the pool here, but by stepping back and really looking at the big picture, one will sometimes discover that while this design element might be pretty, it isn’t functional. Steve Jobs was known for his ability to be flexible in design and would regularly release a product only to change it down the road based on user feedback. He is quoted as saying, “Design is not just what it looks and feels like. Design is how it works,” which could be a saying applied to landscape architecture as well. 5. Always Offer Value Over Price If a client is stuck on a budget it’s important to design around that budget, but don’t sacrifice quality and ultimately produce bad design to meet that budget. Instead, explain the importance of quality pavers or a good irrigation system for the longevity of the project, and point out the money that will be saved in the long run by installing the right products up front. A project can always be installed in phases if the budget just won’t allow for it, and remember Steve Jobs proved that people will pay a premium if they know they are getting a better quality product. 6. Challenges = Success Sometimes your toughest clients or design problems can push you to produce your best work. If given a job that is a quick fix or a simple design, oftentimes the results are boring and typical, but given a site with a unique set of problems can really bring out your creative side and the result is usually brilliant. Steve Jobs constantly challenged those that worked for him and encouraged all those around him to never back down from a challenge. 7. Design is Important Steve Jobs was one of those rare people that was interested in creating products that not only worked but that were also beautiful. No one is going to hire you if you only create functional sites; in fact, there are other career paths you should take if you are only interested in the functional side. Being a landscape architect means that you not only know how to make sites work but you also know how to make sites enjoyable and beautiful and attractive to users. If you were to survey people about why Apple products are so popular, more than likely most would say their design. So, remember this the next time you sit down to redo a site. The next time you’re stuck on a design or nervous about a presentation than simply channel Steve Jobs and follow some of the rules that helped to make him one of the most famous designers ever. WATCH >>> Steve Jobs 7 Rules of Success | Apple and Pixar Founder | Entrepreneur Motivation
Go to Comments Recommended Reading:
Article by Erin Tharp
Article by By Erin Tharp. Ming Mongkol Green Park, Landscape Architects 49 Limited, in Mittraphap highway, Thap Kwang, Kaeng Khoi, Saraburi, Thailand Cleaning up and repurposing unused sites has become a major trend in landscape architecture over the last decade. Most of these sites are former brown sites that require some sort of remediation, but Ming Mongkal Green Park actually started out as a deteriorated orchard. Located on 22 rai on the Mittraphap highway near Thap Kwang, Khang Khol, Saraburi, in Thailand, the park is a Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative (CSR) by owner Siam City Cement. The owner contracted with Landscape Architects 49 Limited, which set out to create a place for environmental education and preservation awareness.
They also wanted this place to help promote social service and interaction for the people who live nearby, as well as be a place that will help increase tourism and give people the opportunity to interact with nature — a leisure activity that is hard to find in Thailand’s cities. The park designers also hope to help benefit the local OTOP product and temporary market. According to the Royal Thai Embassy, “OTOP stands for ‘One Tambon (meaning subdistrict) One Product.’ It is a local entrepreneurship stimulus program which aims to support the unique locally made and marketed products of each Thai tambon all over Thailand.”To help encourage this market, Landscape Architects 49 Limited included a special blend of service facilities, including public restrooms, a coffee shop, retail shops, both permanent and temporary local product vendor kiosks, and an herbal garden. All of these things blend together to create a park with a vernacular landscape. This park also implements the “Sustainable Living” philosophy under the initiative of Thailand’s king. The OTOP kiosk was designed to be aesthetically pleasing alongside needed architectural components. This was done by creating facades that reveal the steel structure within, which expresses both its strength and beauty simultaneously. This same of idea of dual functionality flows into the landscape itself. Here, the main concept was to create a design that would not only be functional, but would also embrace Thai culture by laying out the park in the same manner as a Thai city. To do this, the designers created a community center and marketplace and sought to preserve existing trees. Preserving the trees was not the only sustainable concept the designers utilized. These concepts were used extensively throughout the site, including not only in the landscape design, but also in the layout and the location of the facilities and in the buildings themselves. Buildings were placed so that the natural surface drainage of the site could be maximized. This, along with the use of unsealed concrete paving — created by the land’s owners — allows water to flow back into the aquifer through collection swales. All excess overflow is channeled into a manmade pond. The designers also wanted the site to be energy efficient. To accomplish this goal, they used energy sourced from solar power and wind power to provide electricity for the lighting used all over the site. This natural energy is also used to power the turbine that pushes the water through the stream and eventually over a waterfall. Finally, the designers chose an interesting plant palette. Instead of using plants commonly found in more traditional Thai landscapes, they instead chose to make a statement about natural beauty that is often overlooked by city dwellers. To do this, they chose plants that most people would classify as weeds. But in this setting, they hope that people will be able to see their common beauty and will want to preserve them instead of killing them off. These trees, grasses, and wildflowers combine in a setting that appears to have always been there and was not in fact carefully created by man. The use of these native plants also cuts down on the maintenance required on site, which also cuts down on environmentally harmful products. The project has won numerous awards since its completion in 2013, including the ASEAN Energy Awards in 2015 for Tropical Building, the 2015 Thailand Energy Award, and the 2015 Thai Landscape Architecture Award (TALA) for General Design-Public Space Project. Ming Mongkol Green Park is an excellent example of how both natural and manmade elements can work together to create a place that is not only sustainable and educational, but also culturally inviting. All of the elements here work together to create a place that brings people closer to nature and closer to the culture of the people who helped to build it, while also educating them on the processes in nature that we need to help preserve. Go to comments
Project Name: Ming Mongkol Green Park Location: Mittraphap highway, Thap Kwang, Kaeng Khoi, Saraburi, Thailand Site Area: 32,000 square meters Completion: 2013 Project Value: 60 million baht Client/Owner: Siam City Cement Public Company Limited Landscape Architect: Landscape Architects 49 Limited Design Director: Predapond Bandityanond Project Team: Suttida Tharanatham, Thossapon Mongkhondee, Hathaichano Sukaviriya, Nattapong Meechaiya, Prachya Bausomboon Architect: Architects 49 Limited Structural Engineer: Architectural Engineering 49 Limited M&E Engineer: M&E Engineering 49 Limited Photographer: L49, W Workspace Recommended Reading:
Article by Erin Tharp
Article by Erin Tharp LAN Writer of the Year 2015-16, Erin Tharp, takes a closer look at 7 Top Photoshop tutorials for digital rendering. One of our roles as landscape architects is to help our clients visualize the design that we are trying to sell to them. Plan view drawings usually aren’t enough to do that and oftentimes clients ask for renderings that will reveal what the project will look like once installed. One of the best tools we have at our disposal for this is Photoshop, but to use it we need to know some tricks to make our renderings actually look realistic. So here are seven Photoshop tutorials, ranging from super easy to slightly complicated, and all available on YouTube to help you perfect the art of photo rendering.
1. Sketchup to Photoshop: quick Quick rendering Rendering tutorial Tutorial by Alex Hogrefe Sketchup is an easy and fast way to create a 3D image of a site design, but the main complaint with the program is that the finished product is far from realistic looking. Adding some realism to these drawings is where Photoshop comes in. This tutorial will show you how to prepare your drawing for Photoshop and then add a sky, shading and color to your Sketchup renderings and create a drawing that will leave your clients in complete awe of your rendering skills. WATCH >>> Sketchup to Photoshop: quick rendering tutorial
2. How to Load Brushes Into Photoshop by Rebekah Cornell Finally, hHave you ever wondered how your coworkers or fellow classmates got all of those grass or cloud brushes into their Photoshop program? It’s actually not as hard as you might think, and most consider it pretty basic knowledge, so if you don’t already know how to load brushes, be sure to watch this tutorial, – because sometimes a nice ghost tree is all that a rendering needs to really make it pop. WATCH >>> How to Load Brushes Into Photoshop
3. Simple GRASS Tutorial by VIShopper One thing that a lot of people complain about with Photoshopped images is that elements in them appear flat or have hard edges, but if you follow this tutorial then you’ll be able to create a 3-dimensional rendering by laying down a realistic lawn that won’t take you dozens of billable hours to create. This short, seven-minute video is easy to follow and uses simple tools that even a beginner will master in no time at all. WATCH >>> Simple GRASS tutorial
4. How to Make a Tree in Photoshop CC 2014 by f64 Academy Photoshop CC is a customized version that uses cloud cloud-based technology to provide users with access to Adobe Stock libraries that make rendering seamless. If you don’t have this version it might be worth the monthly fee to try it out because this version of Photoshop makes rendering landscape architecture projects easier by providing users with a tree library. This tutorial will show you how to use this feature with ease and make your trees look like they actually grew there. WATCH >>> How to Make a Tree in Photoshop CC 2014 by f64 Academy 5. How to Remove a Background, Then Add add Another – Photoshop CS5 by Ch-Ch-Check It Sometimes you find an element, like a bench or, planter, or a person, that you want to include in your own drawinga rendering, but how do you get that element or person into your own drawing? Well, this tutorial shows you how to create a mask that will allow you to literally pick up whatever it is you want and put it in your project and make it look like it belongs there. The video is long at 25 minutes, but completely worth it if you want to create a truly professional professional-looking rendering. WATCH >>> How to Remove a Background, Then Add add Another – Photoshop CS5 by Ch-Ch-Check It
6. How to add Light Flares by Phlearn Photoshop and Photography Tutorials It’s not too hard to create a rendering to give your clients a good idea of what their site will look like, but if you want to really wow them then you need to make your drawing sparkle. Adding light rays is a tried and true method for taking a photo to the next level and adding a level of emotion to the rendering that is sure to sell it, and t. This tutorial will give you the tools to not only take the right picture but to then also add light rays effects in a realistic manner. WATCH >>> How to add Light Flares by Phlearn Photoshop and Photography Tutorials
7. Tutorial: Render an Architectural Night Scene in Photoshop – Tạo Phối Cảnh Đêm với Photoshop In this video we learn how to create a rendering that will show off the beauty of our project at night. This one is definitely for a more advanced Photoshop user, but despite the lack of verbal instructions the information is there and the video will show you how to add a night sky as well as the proper lighting that a site would require at night. WATCH >>> Tutorial: Render an Architectural Night Scene in Photoshop – Tạo Phối Cảnh Đêm với Photoshop
See More Photoshop Related Articles:
Article by Erin Tharp We take a look at 5 incredible residential designs that enhanced the users living experience. For many landscape architects, designing a residence is viewed as simple, no-brain work. Plop down a few plants around the house, throw in a water feature and a path and you’re done. But is this really the way we should be viewing residential landscapes? After all, most people view their home as a place of refuge or a place to escape the world around them; perhaps if we viewed these residences with more pride and as a path to change the way people live then perhaps we could all change the world a little, one yard at a time. The following projects definitely changed the way their clients live but at the same time they also managed to change the way we will all want to live and inspire us as landscape architects to jump onto the residential bandwagon.
Beachfront properties have always sold for a premium and are most times limited real estate, but what if a property could be transformed from having only a few beachfront units to giving the entire property waterfront views? That’s exactly what Sanitas Studio managed to do with the Baan San Kraam residential development in Thailand. The development is home to 13 buildings, but originally only two were going to have views of Cha-Am beach. In the end, though, designers were able to create a holistic setting for the entire property that mimics the seascape. So next time a client tells you they love the beach, give it to them – in their own backyard!
In school, we were all taught how to create outdoor rooms, but Giuseppe Lunardini Landscape Architecture perfected this concept with his contemporary Italian Garden in Ortonovo, Italy. While the house on the property is spectacular by itself, Lunardini was able to add 6,200 square meters of livable space by creating separate areas for a swimming pool, an outdoor kitchen, a defined entrance and a functional and beautiful parking area. Each space manages to have its own feel but all are cohesive due to the effective use of plants as structural elements and stone throughout the project. So, you have a client complaining that they want to entertain but the house just isn’t quite big enough, well then – give them some more rooms outside and expand their livable space.
Another thing we all studied in school was Italian Gardens, and with good reason; Italian gardens are some of the most inspirational examples of landscape architecture out there. But what if you had a client that loved Italian gardens but didn’t have a yard? Well, hopefully you’d do what Studio S.O.A.P did with a terrace in Alassio, Italy. Inspired by the Italian Renaissance ideals of order and beauty, designers transformed a flat, blank terrace into a lush garden defined by symmetry and views of the Mediterranean Sea. All of the pieces are here to create an Italian garden; symmetry, water, evergreen, fragrant plants, and a distinct color scheme of white, blue and yellow. These components combine to form a delicately crafted Italian garden, but on a terrace instead of a yard.Designing yet another terrace or rooftop garden? Find some inspiration and bring a little bit of Italian charm to whatever city you happen to be in.
Sustainability is oftentimes a word not associated with a residential climate that is addicted to green lawns and irrigation systems. But it is possible to convince clients that being sustainable does not equate to an ugly landscape. In fact, Vila 1148 in Vale do Lobo, Portugal, by Iúri Chagas, is just the opposite. Here, lush plantings are sustained by a drainage system that connects to a rainwater collector and the lawn area is also minimized. Chagas was selective with the choice of plants, and only selected native species or plants that are well-adapted to the climate and thus require minimal care. So, the next time a client is dead set on that huge lawn, show them what their options are, and if they won’t give the lawn up, talk them into collecting rainwater instead of installing a typical irrigation system.
Most urban developments rely on the infrastructure of the surrounding city to provide recreational opportunities for their residents. The Peninsula at Burswood by Hassell Landscape Architects in Perth, Western Australia, does just the opposite. Here, designers devoted more than 2.5 hectares to parks, gardens and community recreation areas within the development, ensuring that its 3,000 residents won’t have to go too far to enjoy the outdoors. The entire development is pedestrian friendly and includes places for community events, further promoting the idea that urban developments should be viewed as communities rather than just a group of buildings. Finally, to solidify the idea of community here, designers incorporated a main plaza and promenade; ensuring residents would have easy access to their beautiful surroundings. What’s the lesson here? Next time you find yourself working on a project that includes a group of buildings, be sure to leave space for residents to use and enjoy the outside too.In the end, if you’re anything like me, the reason you became a landscape architect was to change the world and the way people live in the world. These projects all show that by changing people’s homes then we are also changing the way they live. If we are able to change these residences for the better, then we are making people’s lives better too. It’s a grand challenge, but one I’m sure we’re all ready to accept. Have you worked on a residential project that you feel changed the way the owners lived? Let us know in the comments below! Go to comments Recommended Reading:
Article by Erin Tharp
Article by Erin Tharp The Playgarden, by The Pattie Group of Novelty, in Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, Ohio Traditionally, children’s playgrounds are found in schoolyards, at churches, or in public parks. But how about putting a playground in a more unconventional place, such as outside a National Historic Landmark? That’s exactly what The Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation did at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens in Akron, Ohio. Opened in 2014, the Playgarden is a 5,000-square-foot playground located just north of the Corbin Conservatory on the estate’s grounds. Designed by The Pattie Group, a full-service landscaping company out of Novelty, Ohio, it features multiple areas meant to stimulate the imaginations of children of all ages and to introduce them to the history of Stan Hywet.
“The Stan Hywet project has given us another unique opportunity to design a garden specifically for children’s delight and family interaction,” said Jonas Pattie, executive vice president of The Pattie Group. “The Stan Hywet leadership team’s commitment to making this project truly special and reflective of the rich and storied history is inspiring. We are honored to collaborate with Stan Hywet to create a new garden experience for families to enjoy for generations to come.”A One of a Kind Experience The design for the playground is an homage to the house whose property it sits on, and it is this design feature that makes it a truly one-of-a-kind experience. Stan Hywet is the sixth-largest historic home that is open to the public in the United States, and it features five historic buildings and eight historic gardens covering 70 acres. Architect Charles Schneider designed the estate for Frank “F.A” Seiberling and his family, and it was built between 1912 and 1925. …it was one the best examples of the American Country Estate movement… At the time, it was one the best examples of the American Country Estate movement, which flourished during the Industrial Age and was characterized by estates built using the wealth of self-made industry giants such as Seiberling, founder of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Frank’s Better Half The estate became a representation of all that the family loved and cherished, and this can mostly be attributed to Frank’s wife, Gertrude. She was an accomplished artist, musician, and patron of the arts, and she filled the home with both art and music. Their collection of musical instruments included a grand piano, harpsichord, and a harp-piano, all of which later became the inspiration for one of the six areas, Harmony Hall, in the Playgarden. …She was an accomplished artist, musician, and patron of the arts, and she filled the home with both art and music... Once visitors pass through the Playgarden gate, which is modeled after the arched ceiling of the Great Hall in the Manor House, they enter Harmony Hall. Here, they are greeted by an interactive chandelier of “organ pipes” inspired by the historic Aeolian Organ, which boasts 2,670 pipes and 300 chimes and is located in the Manor House Music Room. Simply walking underneath the pipes of the outdoor organ activates invisible sensors that play the instruments and release bubbles into the air. The Splash Fountain Next is the circular Splash Fountain, where the floor pattern mimics the floor found in the Manor House Round Room. This area is a favorite during hot summer days and is known to attract “kids” of all ages. See More Articles on Playgrounds:
A 1929 Model A Ford Truck The Motion Garden features a restored 1929 Model A Ford truck, which is home to seasonal plantings. The truck is a nod to Seiberling’s influence on the automotive industry and invites kids to go for a “drive.”The Green Roof Dog House There is also an area dedicated to the Seiberlings’ beloved St. Bernard, Joe. Joe’s Dig honors the dog and features a doghouse topped by a green roof that is large enough for children to pass through. Once they reach the other side, they are encouraged to dig for small keepsakes in the model archeological dig site. The Inclusion of the Bowling Alley The playground would not be complete without a bowling alley, a common feature to estates of this time. The two-lane Bowling Lawn is meant to be a reminder that the Seiberlings loved sporting activities and a nod to the bowling alley located in the basement of the Manor House and to the bowling lawn found outside the West Terrace. …The playhouse is 15 feet tall and home to a spiral slide, a marble chase, a footbridge, and a rock climbing wall… But the centerpiece of the Playgarden would have to be the Tudor Revival Playhouse, which was inspired by the estate’s Carriage House, also designed by Schneider. The playhouse is 15 feet tall and home to a spiral slide, a marble chase, a footbridge, and a rock climbing wall. But it is the architecture that is the eye-catcher here. Built in the Tudor Revival style, it even includes the “half-timbered” pattern (traditionally half-exposed wood framework) and an arched drive-through, both of which were inspired by homes the Seiberling family visited in England. It is projects like this one that are breaking the stereotypes that claim playgrounds should be gigantic, plastic, multi-colored play structures that are simply plopped down on a site. A lot of thought and imagination went into designing this space, and because of that, kids’ imaginations are allowed to run wild. Kids are also exposed to history, and therefore probably learn something while they are playing, which makes this place even more magical. When was the last time you visited a playground that encouraged both imagination and learning? Let us know in the comments below! Leave a comment
Project Name: Playgarden Location: Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, 714 North Portage Path, Akron, Ohio Designers: The Pattie Group of Novelty, Ohio Size: 5,000 square feet Client: The Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation and Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens Recommended Reading:
Article by Erin Tharp Return to Homepage
Article by Erin Tharp. Ecodistricts by ZGF ARCHITECTS LLP, in Southwest Washington, DC, United States of America. It could easily be argued that the word “sustainability” was the most talked about buzzword in the design world in 2015, and with good reason. Across the world there is an ongoing movement to create communities that are more eco-friendly, pedestrian friendly, and less reliant on non-renewable resources; or sustainable. But there may be a new buzzword on the horizon for 2016 and ZGF Architects can take credit for creating it. That word would be Ecodistrict.
According to ZGF, an Ecodistrict “is a place that relies on a strong design idea supported with enduring community stewardship at multiple scales. It requires the concerted action of government and grassroots efforts to encompass the full potential of community shared interests, resources, and resolve. Opportunities are found where action can be taken and supported across the community through collective pursuit of individual self-interest.” But what does that mean? Basically, at the heart of an Ecodistrict is the idea that a community can make improvements that save resources and by working together, the cost is far less. Also, by planning for the system as a whole instead of just a small piece of it, placemaking is much improved.Every Step Matters This improvement stems from the idea that every design decision, no matter how small, can have a significant impact on the district as a whole. With this in mind, designers are able to combine all the elements of public infrastructure together at the district level to achieve improvements in energy and water efficiency, as well as in waste reduction and mobility. This is not a new idea; for years cities have been looking at mobility options at the district or city level to create systems that are both functional and efficient. ZGF Architects knew this, and saw that it worked, and decided to apply these same principles to develop systems for water and energy that will help to facilitate resource sharing and, according to designers. ZGF relied on their past experience of working closely with communities to develop the ideas that form the Ecodistrict. They also strived to focus their attention on the larger context of a place, and not just property lines, while also considering all of the details at the smallest of scales. They applied the systems of energy, water, mobility, materials management, air, natural and urban ecosystems, and community to five district projects, which could potentially be used as protocol in other cities. The following two are examples: 1. National Capital Planning Commission / U.S. General services Administration – SW Ecodistrict Plan – Washington DC Working with the DC Office of Planning and 17 other local and federal agencies, ZGF’s plan calls for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the federal employment center. Their plan accomplishes this through a mixed-use neighborhood that will be home to cultural attractions, public spaces, offices, residences and amenities. Through this mix, the district will be able to share resources, and will allow the waste from one building to supply resources for another building. Buildings will share water, gas, electricity, and heating and cooling to create a 24-hour synergy. 2. Chengdu Wenjiang District Guanghua Office of Modern Development Service – Wenjiang South Industrial Ecodistrict – Chengdu, China This Ecodistrict is designed to combine residential, commercial, recreational, and educational uses to support a community lifestyle for a new high-tech and creative community. The framework for the community is “net-zero” ready for water, waste, and energy. Rain, wind, sunlight, and ground source energy are harnessed to offset energy and resource needs and wastes of a typical urban area. A central utility plant is also used to minimize waste and pollution. Living City Competition – People’s Choice Award In 2011 ZGF combined elements from their previous projects together in a new project centered on their Ecodistrict theory in the Living City Competition sponsored by the International Future Institute and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The competition called for teams to show how existing cities could be transformed to achieve and surpass the Living Building Challenge 2.0, which is the built environment’s most rigorous performance standard. More than 80 teams submitted entries focusing on 69 different cities in 21 countries. ZGF won the People’s Choice Award for their collaboration with Portland Sustainability Institute, CH2M Hill, David Evans and Associates, Greenworks PC, Newlands and Company Inc., Portland State University, and the Institute for Sustainable Solutions and Sparling. Their entry focused on an exploration of the symbiosis between five Ecodistricts in Portland, Oregon, as well as regional systems. It also examined how certain strategies in a single district, Gateway, could contribute to the city’s overall performance. Three Strategies That Led to a Winning Project These strategies focused on a rich street life, net-zero energy and water, green infrastructure and urban agriculture. First by shifting focus on streets from automobiles to pedestrians and bikes, residents are able to move between homes, services and the regional transit center with more ease. This new focus creates a richer street life for all involved and helps create spaces for communication and connection. Second, by scaling infrastructure to the neighborhood level, residents are able to achieve net-zero energy and water. To do this, thermal pipes are used to bring geothermal heat to buildings, sewer mining and organic waste provide additional firepower, and living machines throughout the district are used to clean water, which is then distributed to each building through an underground network laid under the streets. Third, green streets and a new greenway allow the growing of native habitat and food while treating and conveying water. Transforming a six-lane asphalt highway into a greenway for biking, walking and urban agriculture does this. Here, organic wastes from stormwater and other sources are captured in tunnels next to the remaining two lanes where it is then collected, treated and reused as freshwater for the neighborhood. Finally, in this mock-up, residents grow food on every available surface, including abandoned big box stores, greenways, rooftops, and green walls. Small livestock are also allowed within the district, which helps to generate one of Gateway’s most valuable fuels – food. People would be able to sample food on the greenway that was sourced 100 feet away. In their example they found that the rooftops of the former big box store alone would produce up to 4,400,000 kWh per year with solar power that would provide electricity for 790 households, while the inside of the building could be used as a school or community center. In closing, ZGF wants the takeaway from this project to be guiding principles for future projects. The principles are: build projects where they will be wanted; build projects that will pay for themselves and enrich the lives of others; build projects that will attract partners and encourage other like projects; build projects in places that encourage community stewardship; and finally, build projects that will capture good ideas. They also reiterate that improvements at the streetscape are imperative to transforming a district and that leads to regional change. These changes could be as small as a new utility, a new open space, or a new building. These are all things ZGF has been doing for the past 50 years and things they will continue to do and advocate for. Can you think of any communities that would benefit from this Ecodistrict approach? Let us know in the comments section below! Click here to comment
Article by Erin Tharp. Return to Homepage
Article by Erin Tharp Arnhem Central Station, by Bureau B+B urbanism and landscape architecture, in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Since the first steam engine carried passengers through England in the early 1800s, rail travel has been a prominent form of transportation in Europe, for both locals and tourists. While the trains have always been successful, the stations they come into have often just been places to pass through. Many countries are starting to realize this, and are seeking ways to improve them. As a way to improve transportation for both locals and visitors, the Netherlands has set about developing new public transportation stations all around the country, and the new station at Arnhem is among them.The Movement to Improve Stations This movement started with the opening of Rotterdam Central Station in 2014, followed by stations in Delft and The Hague, as well as the first section of Arnhem Central in 2015. There are plans to open stations in Breda and Utrecht in 2016. All of them will be more than just interchanges for public transportation.
Architecture firm UNStudio drew the master plan for the Arnhem Central Station area, including the area for the public transportation terminal, platforms, new office towers, and other areas to attract visitors. The bulk of the work for these areas was completed in 2015. The final piece — the eastern section — will be completed in 2016.Since opening in 2015, some 65,000 passengers — including international travelers — have used the station and its surrounding spaces every day. These public spaces include office towers, a cinema, a car park, shops, restaurants, and cafés. People are brought here from national, international, regional, and local trains. For the outdoor spaces, Bureau B+B urbanism and landscape architecture was called in to design the approximately 45,000-square-meter space. The location of the station was the guiding principle in the design of this outdoor space. Dealing With The Terrain The new station is located in the area between the Hoge Veluwe national park and the land surrounding the River Nederrijn, which is characterized by a rolling topography that has height differences of up to 20 meters in certain areas. The terrain would make it seem impossible for trains to enter the area from Utrecht, but a deep lateral moraine cut into the Veluwe hills makes it possible. Bureau B+B was familiar with the surrounding landscape and sought to incorporate it into its design, so that the station would appear to be continuous and coherent with the existing ground plane. To achieve this continuity, the designers chose a stone paving that is laid in various directions in order to follow the undulating ground. This stone surfacing flows from the car park entrance to the office plaza and on to the connection with both the inner city and the city center to the east. The public transportation terminal, bus station, and their immediate surroundings are also covered in the stone, so that they extend seamlessly from inside to the outdoors. Finally, the Oude Stationsstraat, which is the area that connects the station to the city, is also paved with these stones. Dealing With Flooding The designers knew that with such an extensive hardscape, the area might face flooding problems later on, so they outfitted the underlying surface with stainless-steel drainage lines to carry off excess water. They also wanted the public to be aware of the height differences on the site, so they placed stainless-steel topography numbers throughout the space to indicate the varying elevations. Clever Design Solutions As another nod to the difference in elevations, the designers created folds in the landscape to bridge the height differences. Each one is fitted with a wooden seat that transforms the folds into benches, which also help to create spaces for greenery. The Forest Giants and Other Small Helpers These green spaces are home to trees that play homage to the “forest giants” that are found throughout the city of Arnhem. Here, sycamores are meant to be a tribute to the green identity of the surrounding city, and smaller honey locusts are meant to signal meeting places or spots for encounters. “the space has become known as an international skate park” The planting scheme isn’t the only aspect to arise from the topography. The designers were pleasantly surprised that due to the topography, the space has become known as an international skate park, where skateboarders make use of the durable street furnishings and sturdy ground plane to help enhance the vibrancy of the station at all hours of the day. An Effective Lighting Scheme In addition to the skateboarders, travelers are known to use the station at all times, so the design team knew the lighting scheme needed to be both functional and appealing to visitors. They called on Atelier Lek to develop a lighting scheme that is low maintenance, energy efficient, and vandal proof. They also asked that it make visitors feel safe at all hours and that it reinforce the overall quality of the space. In places where finding one’s way is important, such as the busy bus zone, low levels of contrast ensure that the space remains easy to navigate. In other, calmer places, light is used to strengthen the quality of the surroundings. The designers placed small lampposts close to areas of greenery and seating, while ground spotlights were used to illuminate the monumental trees around the station. Both linear illumination and lights integrated into handrails were placed so that they emphasize the folds in the ground plane and make the area walkable at night. All of these features add up to create a space that has become much more than just a train station. This space is an actual destination that both greets and welcomes visitors to the city, as well as locals who might be looking for a place to just hang out. It is all-encompassing designs like this one that are helping to transform not only individual sites, but cities as a whole into more viable and liveable places. What’s the most exciting train station you’ve ever visited? Let us know in the comments below! Go to comments
Project: Arnhem Central Station Location: Arnhem, the Netherlands Client: The Netherlands Size: 45,000 square meters Architects: UNStudio Landscape Architects: Bureau B+B urbanism and landscape architecture Lighting Design: Atelier Lek Construction: 2015-2016 Get Social with Bureau B+B urbanism and landscape architecture: Website: www.bplusb.nl Facebook: www.facebook.com/BureauBplusB Recommended Reading:
Article by Erin Tharp Return to Homepage
Article by Erin Tharp We searched the world for our “Top 10 Landscape Architecture Projects 2015”. This past year has been marked by some extremely innovative and forward thinking projects in landscape architecture. When selecting the top ten for 2015 we looked for projects that were not only sustainable but also projects that gave something back to the communities where they were built and are being used and loved by the people. All of the projects were completed in some form during the past year.
Due to regulations and ownership, the city of New Orleans found itself with a 1.4-mile long piece of riverfront land and nothing to do with it. Hargreaves led the design team that included executive architect Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, and architects David Adjaye Associates and Michael Maltzan Architecture, to transform 20 acres of former port lands into a connective riverfront. The new park focuses on pedestrian connections between Bywater and Marginy neighborhoods with the Mississippi River, and helps to bring French Quarter tourists into the Crescent City. Website: www.hargreaves.com WATCH: Crescent Park
As the longest stretch of shared space in Europe, the Mariahilfer Strasse redesign includes 1.6 kilometers and stretches from the Westbanhof to the Museum Quarter in a bustling section of downtown Vienna. Designers closed off sections to vehicles to make the space more pedestrian friendly and divided the site into three zones.The central zone is known as the heartbeat of the site with lots of activities while the neighboring zones on each end serve as quieter spaces with more dense shopping shared with housing institutes and private use spaces. Sleek, modular site furnishings line the space to provide shoppers with places to stop and relax and take in the surrounding scenery. Website: www.bplusb.nl
Due to a five-meter height difference between the park and the river designers were met with quite a challenge when asked to create a usable park along the Lippe River.They solved the problem by creating a path and stair system that doubles as a small amphitheater for outdoor events. By doing this they were able to leave the existing landscape alone so visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of the space while bringing the river to the center of the design. Once again, minimal intervention proves to be the best solution here. Read all about Riverside Lünen. Website: www.wbp-landschaftsarchitekten.de
This unique elevated park was initiated by the NSW Government and delivered by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority. What used to be an unused rail corridor running from Railroad Square to Darling Harbour is now a bustling park in the heart of one of Sydney’s most densely populated areas. “ “Once a conduit for trade, the former rail line is reinterpreted to carry the precious cargo of a thriving neighborhood – culture, creativity and community,” according to the parks website.Website: www.aspect.net.au
Based on the principles from the first stage of the project, the promenade once again becomes the unifying element. Designers also drew inspiration from the way the dunes meet the flat foreshore. At center stage is a coherent town plinth, with a raised base meant to unify the area’s distinctive freestanding buildings.It is meant to provide flood protection but also doubles as steps for sitting. Materials are raw and simple and the site includes a series of spacious plazas that are home to dense groves of trees. Website: www.cfmoller.com
Just a decade ago, this land was used by fisherman to store their boats during storms, which led to the development of temporary slums nearby. The overall environment, especially the lake due to the direct inflow of sewage, was degrading rapidly and the people of Qui Nhon knew they had to repair the damage. The first step was to install a new sewer system and then work on repairing the land. Designers extended the edge of the land out into the lake to create a buffer zone and included pedestrian friendly site furnishings that attract locals and tourists alike to the new natural setting. See Previous Versions of Top 10 Landscape Architecture Projects of the Year:www.miadesignstudio.com
This is a park meant to unite cultural references and natural processes. This historic headland on an abandoned dock in Sydney Harbor had been forgotten for too long. Now, the “Club Cape” is made new again by the incorporation of an underground cultural center, public garage, a shoreline walk with pedestrian and bicycle paths separated by a sandstone wall that flows the 1836 shore edge. Designers included native plantings and a replicated bush landscape. Website: www.pwpla.com WATCH: Barangaroo Headland Park animation
Sometimes it’s more about the intent of the project than the look of it. This installation’s intent is why it made the list. The installation is meant to make us think about the relationship between nature and the changing urban environment, designers claim that while buildings are viewed as permanent, the undeveloped spaces around them are in constant flux. So, what is it? It’s a natural bathing pond where visitors are invited to jump on in, and it’s right in the middle of the King’s Cross development site.Website: www.ooze.eu.com
Designers used three design concepts to put together this 31.3-hectares park. Minimal intervention, productive urban farming landscape and water resilience are the driving forces behind this ecological space that is bringing in droves of visitors every day.Depending on the time of year people are greeted by a sea of sunflowers or canola, both of which are shocking to see in such a huge mass planting. Designers also included an environmental interpretation system as a way to introduce visitors to the natural and cultural history of the area. Read all about Quzhou Luming Park. Website: www.turenscape.com
Towards the end of June, the Navy Yard in Philadelphia unveiled its sixth park addition to its expanding office campus. James Corner Field Operations has debuted a strong addition to Philly’s expanding simple but effective public spaces.The 1200-acre Navy Yard is a dynamic urban development promoting business growth and smart energy innovation. The vision for the campus is concerned with creating environmentally friendly workplaces, industrial development, public spaces, residential development, and remarkable architecture. Website: www.fieldoperations.net – This past year has definitely been filled with some interesting projects and this list in no way comes close to including all that could have been mentioned, but they are the best of the best from the best. They represent a level of standard and care that all designers should strive for when faced with a new challenge and should serve as inspiration for years to come. What do you think of this year’s list? Let us know in the comments below! Go to comments Recommended Reading:
Article by Erin Tharp Return to Homepage
Article by Erin Tharp The Rooftop Park at Saint John’s Bulwark, by OSLO Ontwerp Stedelijke en Landschappelijke Omgeving, in `s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch), Netherlands. In 1999, the town council of the city of s-`Hertogenbosch began restoring the fortifications that surround the old town as a means to address flooding from the surrounding rivers. The town is home to 6.5km of walls, originally built to defend the city from invading enemy armies.
By 1995 most of these walls were in disrepair and had become inaccessible to inhabitants and visitors. In addition, the city was experiencing extreme flooding from the waters of the Aa and the Dommel rivers. Saint John’s Bulwark is one of 83 projects that make up this vast restoration. Originally, this bulwark was an important fortification and a former main entrance to the city; in fact, three generations of city gates were located here. Because of this, the planners decided to make the most of the area and to create an underground building to house an informational museum and sell city tour tickets. The museum also features a terraced cafe designed by Van Roosmalen and Gessel Architects, who made use of the remaining foundation in their design and added a Cor-ten steel skin as well as thin, crooked steel columns to support the massive roof that would house the new rooftop park.
This is where OSLO Ontwerp Stedelijke en Landschappelijke Omgeving stepped in. Lead architect, Martien van Osch, began working on the design for the new rooftop pocket park and envisioned that once it was completed it would become a destination for visitors to the historic city. To start, there were a few challenges to overcome, for example the space between the building roof and the ground level varies from 17 centimeters on the city side to 59 cm on the water side, and designers needed to figure out how to obtain 60 centimeters of planting depth so they could include medium sized trees in their design.On the city side they incorporated Cor-ten steel planters to give them the space they needed and in other areas they incorporated descending gradients of 4 percent in order to obtain a planting medium installation height of 60 cm.
Due to the location of the bulwark on the outer bend of the Stadsdommel, there is a stunning panoramic view of the entire river Dommel from the park, but this location also means the park is situated in full sun for most of the afternoon and early evening.To address this, van Osch incorporated 11 single and double honey locusts (Gleditsia triacanthos) into his design to offer shade to visitors. The fine-textured trees will only reach a height of 8 to 10 meters due to the shallow planting medium of only five to seven cubic meters, and through pruning. They were chosen due to the effect of filtered sunlight for those seated below them.
Finally, the building beneath the park is comprised of hard lines and sharp angles, which could have complicated the design of a park. However, van Osch chose to incorporate some of these angles into his own design through the use of specialty concrete paving tiles made by Schellevis and designed with these angles in mind.They are placed randomly and are meant to mimic ice floes with their tips almost touching and are connected with a solid gravel carpet made of Aruduin-gravel bound with epoxy. This gravel allows rainwater to be transported to the substrate so that the plants can be watered. Excess water flows into a foundation made of rubble with a lot of hollow spaces where a sensory system helps control overflow and dry spells to ensure even watering. Planting beds are home to various Carex species, which are contained by wooden planks painted with red Cook Paint. This is the same paint used in Scandinavian countries to protect wooden houses against the weather whilst allowing them to breathe. It was chosen due to the way it mimics the Cor-ten steel and seems to rise from the rusty material.
The centerpiece of the park is a communal table that is six meters long and made from a combination of Cor-ten steel and rugged Douglas fir beams. It is situated among the planting beds and was placed in a way to create small, intimate spaces in the park where more benches, created by Grijsen street furniture, are located.This restoration is further proof that cities can successfully multi-task when trying to solve a problem. Here, they not only addressed the problem of flooding by restoring the walls that surround the city but they were able to unearth and restore a vital historical site and turn it into a viable place for the future. In addition, they created a beautiful rooftop park that not only added a green space to the city but also has already proven to be a favorite destination for both locals and tourists who come to enjoy both the social aspects and the beautiful views. Have you visited this park? And if you have, what did you think?Let us know in the comments below! Go to comments
Project Name: The Rooftop Park at Saint John’s Bulwark Client: Municipality of `s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch) Location: `s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch), Netherlands Design of Rooftop Park, Street and Scaffolding: OSLO Ontwerp Stedelijke en Landschappelijke Omgeving, Berlicum Lead Landscape Architect: Martien van Osch Design building, restoration work and exterior space downstairs: Van Roosmalen van Gessel Architects Size: bulwark and surrounding: 2500 square meters Rooftop Park Area: 700 square meters Design Rooftop Park: 2012-2015 Completion: 2015 Budget: € 160.000, Construction of Rooftop Park: Van Helvoirt Groenprojecten Photography: Tekton Construction Management, Niels van Empel, Marlène van Gessel, Martien van Osch, Maud van Roosmalen, Rosanna Schrijver. Drawing: OSLO Urban Design and Landscape Environment Get Interactive with OSLO Urban Design and Landscape Environment: Website: www.bureauoslo.nl Recommended Reading:
Article by Erin Tharp Return to Homepage
Article by Erin Tharp Storehouse City Münster, by scape Landschaftsarchitekten GmbH, in Münster, Germany Historical sites are often the hardest to work with, due to the cultural or societal significance they hold. So when scape Landschaftsarchitekten was asked to redesign the 3.9-hectare area outside of the Storehouse City in Münster, a former German army pension office, they knew they had a delicate task at hand. The renovation they came up with is both thoughtful and reminiscent of what the site once looked like, but is not an exact replica. They wished to bring the site into the modern era to make it a more viable space for both the people who now work there and for the public that visits.
Located to the north of Münster, the site is considered a conservation area due to the significant role it played for the German military during World War II (1939-1945) as the central location for food storage and distribution for all of Northwestern Germany. At its peak, the building housed a central bakery that produced up to 30,000 loaves of bread every day. After the war, it housed the British occupying army. Today, the storehouses are home to office buildings and are often used for special events.
These buildings are massive remnants of the architectural style of the Nazis in the 1930s, with simple and what some might describe as plain facades. To emphasize this architectural style, scape Landschaftsarchitekten knew that the surrounding landscape must also be simple and not be in contradiction with the historical buildings.With this in mind, they thought long and hard about how to rework the existing green space to make it both more modern and sculptural, but also more in line with the architecture. The existing topography was already sloped due to the loading ramps that flanked the buildings, so designers decided to work with the land rather than against it. They reworked the contours to create a Grassland Sculpture bordered with continuous Corten steel bands, or as they call them, “cheeks.” This central area flows from +100 cm down to +5 cm, with a central path for both pedestrians and bicyclists. The path replaces the former train track that led to the bakery, and stretches between the edges, allowing visitors access to the green space. Lining this path are rows of cherry trees, perhaps planted for their symbolism of the fragility and beauty of life, with benches underneath. In the spring, mass plantings of crocuses and daffodils are a welcome sight after the cold of winter. At the center of the design is a natural stone square, meant to be reminiscent of the original basalt stone that still remains in surrounding areas. This area is also lined with a steel border, which helps to bring the two spaces together. Designers were careful to not alter the existing paving due to its historical significance, and instead sought to expand it to maintain uniformity. To further reinforce the history of the place, designers included a concrete platform to display the locomotive that once serviced the storehouse. Since the buildings are used both during the day and night, the designers were forced to put some serious thought into the lighting scheme. They designed the lighting system around the axial alignment of the site and took care to illuminate not only the new elements, such as the cherry trees, but also the historical elements throughout. For example, the lighting for the bakery façade is the most noticeable — as the designers intended — due to its historical significance and relevance to the Storehouse City as a whole.
Views into the space have been kept clear to allow visitors to view the Storehouse City as they approach, which adds to the openness and reflective nature of the site. Once inside, the landscape is very calm and uncluttered, meant to invite visitors to reflect on the past of the German army and on the effect the Nazis had on this area.One could argue that a site like this one, so marked by a dark and painful past, should be destroyed and not renovated or preserved. But I would argue that it’s more important to rework these spaces so that the light of the future can replace the darkness of the past. Scape Landschaftsarchitekten did a masterful job of doing just that, by creating a space that has whispers of the past but still has a nod to modern Germany and the obstacles she has overcome as a country. By renovating instead of restoring or preserving, the designers were able to accomplish this lofty goal and create a space where visitors can reflect on both the mistakes of the past and on the endless possibilities of the future — which is what makes designs such as this one so successful. What are your thoughts? Should we work to preserve the menacing pieces of history as well as the good? Let us know in the comments below! Go to comments
Project Name: Storehouse City Münster Landscape Architects: scape Landschaftsarchitekten GmbH (Matthia Funk, Hiltrud M. Lintel, Prof. Rainer Sachse) Project Leader: Hiltrud M. Lintel Co-workers: Judith Heimann, Sven Herrmann, Ariane Wendt, Bernd Nengel, Yingying Zhu Client: Westfälisch-Lippische Vermögensverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH Location: An den Speichern 3, 48157 Münster – Germany Architects: Schoeps & Schlüter Architekten GmbH, Münster 48147 Area: 3.9 hectares Construction Budget: 1.83 Million EUR Dates of Construction: 2012-September 2013 Photography: Gereon Holtschneider, Matthias Funk – scape Landschaftsarchitekten Get Social With scape Landschaftsarchitekten: Website: www.scape-net.de Google +: www.plus.google.com/+Scape-netDe Facebook: www.facebook.com/scapeLandschaftsarchitekten LinkedIN: www.linkedin.com/company/scape-landschaftsarchitekten-gmbh Recommended Reading:
Article by Erin Tharp Return to Homepage
The Goods Line, by ASPECT Studios, in Ultimo, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Since 2009, when the iconic High Line in New York City opened its rails to the public, there has been a trend in landscape architecture that focuses on rail line design. Projects centered on former tracks have sprung up in Germany, the Netherlands, and San Francisco. Now the latest; the Goods Line, in Ultimo, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, is making headlines for how it is changing the community it runs through. The Goods Line, a New South Wales Government initiative delivered by Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, is quickly becoming an important green space for this developing part of the city and has provided a vital connection for more than 80,000 tertiary students, locals, and visitors between the Devonshire Tunnel under Central Station to Chinatown and Darling Harbour. While the whole length of the site is 500 metres, the recent upgrade is the northern precinct, which is at 275 metres.It also connects educational and cultural institutions to Sydney’s Cultural Ribbon, which includes media institutions like UTS’s Frank Gehry-designed Dr. Chau Chak Building, the ABC, and Sydney TAFE. What used to be an isolated city space has now been transformed into what ASPECT describes as, “a human-centered place offering a range of social experiences from the individual to the collective and for all demographics.”
To create a space that could merge the lines between a former industrial site and a new social space, the design team focused on incorporating materials that are associated with the rail infrastructure of the site’s past. By using gravel, concrete, steel, and timber they were able to maintain the history of the place while bringing it into the public realm of the modern city. They utilized both digital modeling and prefab construction to bring their design to life and to create a space that encourages gathering, playing and social interactions.
No detail was left unturned as each site element was designed from the ground up. Every pre-cast concrete panel, lighting element, and stool was specifically designed with this site in mind, which makes the Goods Line a truly unique space to visit.
Originally known as the Ultimo Road underbridge, it was constructed in 1879 and is the oldest triple-girder iron bridge in Australia. As an elevated park built on an old bridge, there were certain constraints that needed to be addressed to make the site work. First, there was the issue of lead paint on the 136-year-old bridge. To address this, crews literally wrapped the entire structure in white plastic wrap designed to contain lead particles as they sandblasted off the lead paint.
Next, there was the issue of it being a bridge four meters above street level. To address the issue of it being an elevated site, designers created a series of platforms that are used for a variety of activities. Public entertainment, recreation, festivals, and study are just a few of the activities that these platforms allow for and they help to make for a more intimate experience.
The designers also knew that with all of the hardscapes that the site might appear stark and unwelcoming, so they incorporated rows of trees, small shrubs, and grasses to help soften the space and bring life to the new park. They also included site furnishings like table tennis, a children’s water playground, cafes, Wi-Fi enabled spaces, and a 20-seat communal table to further encourage fun and relaxation.
But beauty was not necessarily the main goal for the design team. “This project is going to do a lot more than just beautify the area, it is going to create a communal hub and a destination,” says Sacha Coles, lead landscape architect for ASPECT Studios.
In fact, before the design became a reality, the NSW Government had a vision for a more connected Sydney and for a place that would help transform and enhance the public life of Sydney. “What was once a conduit for trade has been reinterpreted to carry the precious cargo of a thriving neighborhood: culture, creativity and community,” says Coles.
This project is an excellent example of how finding inspiration in another successful project can lead to even more success. In this case both designers and government officials looked to the High Line for inspiration, not only for aspects of the design, but for the actual project as a whole and what it brought to the surrounding community. In addition to the increased tourism, they used the example of the increase in property values that surround the High Line as a means to bring support from business owners and locals to the Goods Line project.Based on their findings, this 500-meter long park was already creating a buzz in 2014, before second-phase construction was even completed. That year it won the Australia Award for Urban Design in the Policies, Programs and Concepts – Small Scale category. It’s projects like this one that focus on more than just creating a nice space and instead focus on the lasting effects they may have that are truly changing the way designs evolve. By looking at the surrounding area and how they could bring about good for the city, ASPECT and their design team were able to create a space that works for the community in more ways than simply beautification of an unused site. What others spaces can you think of that have truly brought change to a community? Let us know in the comments. >>> Go to comments
Project Title: The Goods Line Location: Ultimo, Sydney, 2007, NSW, Australia Client: Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority Project Design Lead: ASPECT Studios Design Partner: CHROFI Team: ASPECT Studios – Project Design Lead (Landscape Architect) CHROFI – Design Partner (Architect) Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (Client) ACOR (Civil, Structural, Hydraulic, and Electrical Engineers) Deuce Design (Interpretive Design) GML (Heritage Consultant) JBA (Planning Consultant) Lighting Art + Science (Lighting Designers) AR-MA (Research and Design for precast concrete) Gartner Rose (Contractor) Photography: Florian Groehn, Simon Whitbread Year: 2015 Length: 273 metres (North section) Area size: 6,995m² (North section) Awards: 2014 Australia Award for Urban Design; Policies, Programs and Concepts – Small Scale Website: www.aspect.net.au Recommended Reading:
Article by Erin Tharp Return to Homepage