Author: Lydia Major

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Latest News Landscape Architecture July Edition

10-July-2017 – Latest News Landscape Architecture July by Brett Lezon | Edition No. 2 out of 5 In this week’s Latest News in Landscape Architecture we highlight National Park and Recreation Month in the United States, feature a proposed astronomy park in Hanoi, and examine the world’s most biodiverse city. Additionally, we showcase a book about retrofitting the built environment with green infrastructure, and don’t forget our YouTube Tutorial of the Week! This week we share a resource on quirky technological advances for designers. 10 of the Best Stories in this week’s latest news in landscape architecture:

  • 5 Super Cool Gadgets for Architects & Designers #3 (2017) Next Punch [YouTube Tutorial of the Week]
  • Which is the World’s Most Biodiverse City?
  • Moscow will Bring Back Gardens to the Center in 2017
  • Regreening the Built Environment: Nature, Green Space, and Sustainability [Book Review of the Week]
  • Why Do We See More Species in Tropical Forests? The Mystery May Finally Be Solved
  • Urban Greenery to Get a Major Push in Mysuru
  • July Highlights the Value of Local Parks, Recreation in Communities Nationwide
  • First Outdoor Astronomy Park in Southeast Asia to Be Built in Hanoi
  • Why We Should Be Graphically Designing Our City
  • Details of Major New ‘Urban Extension’ of Newton Abbot Revealed – Including 1,275 Homes

Latest News Landscape Architecture July Edition 02

  • 5 Super Cool Gadgets for Architects & Designers #3 (2017) Next Punch [YouTube Tutorial of the Week]

WATCH >>> 5 Super Cool Gadgets for Architects & Designers #3 (2017) Next Punch Throughout, this 13-minute tutorial, the presenter reviews five neat gadgets for the savviest of designers. From reMarkable, a paper tablet that replaces your sketchbooks and notebooks to Hovr, a tool that reinvents sitting—these gadgets can save time and energy. Related Article: 8 Apps for Landscape Architects and Designers

As urbanization continues, ecosystems in many cities are grasping for survival. Since 2011, 318 types of plants, 22 types of birds, and 24 types of animals are in danger of extinction. However, São Paulo, Mexico City, Singapore, Iquitos, and many other biodiverse urban areas have made commitments to protect and preserve their natural systems. Researchers have always been interested in determining the world’s most biodiverse city, but it’s not a simple feat. For instance, some cities lack the data necessary and have varying areas within their administrative limits. Still, according to Thomas Elmqvist, editor of Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and leader of the United Nation’s City and Biodiversity Outlook Project, in raw numbers Cape Town could take the top spot. For now, we know biodiversity is under threat as human population has increased by more than 30 percent since 2011. Related Article: 5 Best Ways to Increase Biodiversity in Urban Landscapes WATCH >>> Ibirapuera Park | São Paulo, Brazil

The once extensive, green boulevard known as the Garden Ring located in central Moscow is returning to its former appearance. “The idea of tree planting and returning gardens to the Garden Ring is one of the key points of the reconstruction,” said the Strelka Design Bureau, which is responsible for the transformation. Hired for the project were sixteen well-known Russian and international firms including Latz + PartnerVilles & Paysages, and Snøhetta. Seventy-five percent of the Garden Ring is set to be completed this year. Related Article: Moscow Festival of Gardens and Flowers

“Regreening the Built Environment by Michael A Richards examines the relationship between the built environment and nature and demonstrates how rethinking the role and design of infrastructure can environmentally, economically, and socially sustain the earth. The case studies will demonstrate how existing “gray” infrastructure can be retrofitted with green infrastructure and low impact development techniques. It is quite plausible that a building can be designed that actually creates greenspace or generates energy; likewise, a roadway can be a park, an alley can be a wildlife corridor, and a parking surface can be a garden.” Related Article: 10 Projects That Put Sustainability at the Forefront of Landscape Architecture

A mystery, which dates back to 1835, may have been unraveled thanks in large part to a new study published in the journal Science. In the 1970s, Daniel Janzen and Joseph Connell hypothesized that the high plant diversity found in the tropics is due to the “presence of natural enemies that target specific species and keep population size in check and the tendency of youngsters of one species to settle far away from their parents.” That hypothesis was validated by forest ecologists Jonathan Myers and Joe LaManna after rigorously analyzing a dataset of 2.4 million trees from 3,000 species. They discovered in areas with higher numbers of adult trees, there were fewer young saplings of the same species. “It’s changed the way I think about ecology,” Myers says. “The enemy can actually have a beneficial effect in maintaining the rare species in these communities, especially in the tropics.”  Related Article: How a Holistic Approach to Landscape Architecture Prevents Rainforest Damage WATCH >>> A simple idea More Top Stories in the News This Week

For all of the hottest news continue to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Have news to share? Send to balezonasla@gmail.com  News report by Brett Lezon

Latest News Landscape Architecture May Edition

10-May-2017 – Latest News Landscape Architecture May by Brett Lezon | Edition No. 2 out of 4 In this week’s Latest News in Landscape Architecture, we feature several urban topics such as Amsterdam’s ‘Night Mayor’ and a series of technological solutions to aid global problems, highlight a proposed park in Taipei, and examine the results from a design competition in Tampa. Additionally, we showcase a book about environmental sustainability, and don’t forget our YouTube Tutorial of the Week! This week we share a resource on downtown master planning in SketchUp.

10 of the Best Stories in this week’s latest news in landscape architecture:

  • City Planning Workflow – 1: Downtown Master Plan [YouTube Tutorial of the Week]
  • Lessons from Amsterdam’s ‘Night Mayor’
  • Why Urban Trees Are Giving Us Life
  • Landscape Architecture and Environmental Sustainability: Creating Positive Change Through Design [Book Review of the Week]
  • How Amazon’s ‘Invisible’ Hand Can Shape Your City
  • Here Are Eight Startups Developing Technological Solutions to Global Urban Problems
  • Kinder Institute Releases Findings from 2017 Houston Area Survey
  • Building A Resilient City Through Design and Analytics
  • TRTC Unveils A Redesign Plan for Belt-Shaped Park
  • Can Tampa Undo its Post-War Planning Mistakes while Embracing its Environment? This Competition Explored How

Latest News Landscape Architecture May Edition 02

  • City Planning Workflow – 1: Downtown Master Plan [YouTube Tutorial of the Week]

WATCH >>> City Planning Workflow – 1: Downtown Master Plan

Throughout, this 17-minute tutorial, the presenter demonstrates how to approach urban planning in SketchUp via his workflow preferences. From a beneficial “”incremental random push-pull” plugin to importing an entire modeled city at once—this instructional video offers tremendous tips for any level user. Related Article: 10 Incredible Plugins for SketchUp

When a former nightclub promoter became Amsterdam’s ‘night mayor’ some were skeptical, yet over five years has passed and now cities like London, Paris, and Zurich have followed suit. London has even made it a formal position in the city administration, which Amsterdam hasn’t. Recently, the ‘night mayor’ himself, Mirik Milan, was interviewed at the Smart Cities NYC conference and besides acknowledging that he has a pretty cool job, Milan discussed entertainment policy, managing nightlife through data, and ‘Square Hosts’ (which are trained and paid social workers and the eyes and ears of the police). Related Article: Amsterdam Canal Ring | How Amsterdam Became One of the Most Sustainable Cities in the World  WATCH >>> Behind Amsterdam’s thriving club scene, this ‘night mayor’ keeps the peace

While the value of urban trees is well-known, many street trees still struggle to survive the first few years after planting. Often surrounded by concrete, in poor, compacted soil, it’s no wonder why it’s a growing concern. According to a study in Toronto, trees provide $28.2 million worth of services each year in the form of savings on heating and cooling, improvements to air quality and carbon sequestration. Though some cities have cut their forestry services, figures like these demonstrate the importance of the continued investment into these programs. Related Article: Choosing Urban Trees: The Essential Guide

Landscape architecture has a pivotal role in ensuring environmental sustainability through design interventions. This book takes a broad look at strategies and completed projects to provide the reader with a strong understanding of the sustainability challenges being faced by designers today, and potential routes to addressing them.” “Through case studies from around the world and interviews with leading landscape architects and practitioners, this book invites discussion about possible future scenarios, relevant theories and project responses in landscape environmental design. With hundreds of color images throughout the book, and additional study material in the companion website, Joshua Zeunert provides an overview of the multidimensional qualities of landscape sustainability.Related Article: 10 Projects That Put Sustainability at the Forefront of Landscape Architecture

As e-commerce continues to grow, cities should start creating more holistic designs for roadways, says Anne Goodchild, who runs the Urban Freight Lab at the University of Washington in Seattle. “Freight doesn’t appear to exist in urban planning, and that’s a problem,” she says. “Most people look at public transit and mobility, but they don’t appear to be living in a physical world. How can they plan complete streets when the words ‘freight delivery’ [aren’t] used?” Goodchild believes that through additional curb cuts (graded ramps between the sidewalk and the street) and larger loading zones “dwell times” would be reduced and everyone would benefit. More Top Stories in the News This Week

For all of the latest news in Landscape Architecture continue to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Do you have news to share? Send to office@landarchs.com News report by Brett Lezon

Latest News Landscape Architecture April Edition

24-Apr-2017 – Latest News Landscape Architecture April by Brett Lezon | Edition No. 4 out of 4 In this week’s Latest News in Landscape Architecture we feature a lively, proposed children’s area for the McKee Botanical Garden, highlight the 2017 World Landscape Architecture award winners, and examine pocket parks in Mexico City. Additionally, we showcase a book about the link between what’s built and our well-being, and don’t forget our YouTube Tutorial of the Week! This week we share a resource on portfolio techniques.

Latest News Landscape Architecture April Edition 04

10 of the Best Stories in This Week’s Latest News Landscape Architecture April:

  • Free High-Quality 3D Trees for Renders in Sketchup – Arch Viz – Laubwerk [YouTube Tutorial of the Week]
  • Urban Infrastructure: The Growing Influence of Atlanta’s BeltLine
  • Shanghai is Planning a Massive 100-Hectare Vertical Farm to Feed 24 Million People
  • Movement and Meaning: The Landscapes of Hoerr Schaudt [Book Review of the Week]
  • 15 Cities Tackling Pollution by Curbing Cars
  • Pollution in Kathmandu: Interventions Needed
  • A Green Infrastructure Guidebook for City Planners
  • Winner of Urban Land Institute Competition Highlights Chicago Roots
  • Chinese Launch Marks 11th Language Release of Vectorworks 2017
  • Building a Better Future for Street Trees

(Click the headline for the full story)

  • How to Make an Architectural Portfolio (for Architects, Interns and Students) [YouTube Tutorial of the Week]

WATCH >>> How to make an architectural portfolio (for Architects, Interns and Students)

Throughout, this 16-minute tutorial, the presenter demonstrates how to create or refresh your portfolio through a how-to guide. From the differences between a hard copy and digital, promotion strategies, and content—this review is certain to assist with your portfolio development. Related Article: 8 Essential Tips to Make a Knockout Landscape Portfolio

Recently, Times Square celebrated the completion of its six-year transformation—replacing cars with public, gathering space. “We doubled the amount of pedestrian space,” says Craig Dykers, co-founder of the architecture firm Snøhetta. While the design team didn’t alter the design too much, instead it focused on creating a “kind of cultural hub.” However, one thing Snøhetta did do was design five different benches and installed them throughout the plazas to encourage a range of sitting postures. Related Article: Top 10 Public Squares of the World WATCH >>> Snohetta Times Square renovation: Craig Dykers at TEDxBroadway

Plans are underway in Vero Beach, Florida to add a playful addition to McKee Botanical Garden. A fairy forest, a pirate ship tree house, a splash garden, and a lily pad lawn are a few of the features, which will be led by landscape architect Emmanuel Didier. “Every parent and grandparent would like to see their kids get off their devices for a while. Get them outdoors and they thrive,Christine Hobart, McKee executive director said. “Children learn by exploration and creative play and the new Children’s Garden is like stealth education. It’s designed so the kids won’t even realize they’re learning.” Hobart hopes to break ground this summer with a soft opening scheduled for December 2018 and the grand opening in January 2019. Related Article: Landscapes Designed for Children – How to Go Wild and Natural

Taking us on a fascinating journey through some of the world’s best and worst landscapes, buildings, and cityscapes, Sarah Williams Goldhagen draws from recent research in cognitive neuroscience and psychology to demonstrate how people’s experiences of the places they build are central to their well-being, their physical health, their communal and social lives, and even their very sense of themselves. From this foundation, Goldhagen presents a powerful case that societies must use this knowledge to rethink what and how they build: the world needs better-designed, healthier environments that address the complex range of human individual and social needs.

With summer fast approaching, the destination experts highlighted their top city parks from around the globe. Although, the obvious choices such as Central Park, Tiergarten, and Vondelpark are on the list—it also includes lesser known gems like Dunbars Close (Edinburgh), Lamma Island (Hong Kong), and Bang Kra Jao (Bangkok). Related Article: 6 Parks That Make the World a Better Place to Live More Top Stories in the News This Week

For all of the latest news in Landscape Architecture continue to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Do you have news to share? Send to office@landarchs.com News report by Brett Lezon

LAN’s Top Announcements 2016/17

A round-up of Landscape Architects Network’s 2016/17 announcements. 2016 was a year filled with experimentation (launch of the eBooks series) and consistency (another year in which we were ranked in the Top 5 for landscape architecture websites in the world) for Landscape Architects Network (LAN). However, before I dive in, we would like to give a big round of applause to our loyal fans and partners! Thank you Adam Christopher, Building Trust International, Fire Pit Art, The Global Grid, Minimis, Permaloc, and Zinco for all of your support over the past year!

Landscape Architects Network’s Announcements 2016/17

As one of LAN’s most-tenured writers, Win is always exploring new writing styles and is eager to take on challenging tasks. Since joining us in 2012, Win has written countless articles, been featured in Paisea (a Spanish landscape architecture magazine), and attended Expo Milano 2015. Some of her top articles include Landscape Design Software – Which is Best? and How Bishan Park Became “The Central Park” of Singapore. Win currently lives in Bath, United Kingdom and works as a Landscape Architect at Greenhalgh Landscape Architecture. She earned her BA in Landscape Architecture with Planning and her MA in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield.

landscape-design-software

From Win Phyo’s article – Landscape Design Software- Which is Best? | Click HERE to read it.

The Fourth Annual Top 10 Projects of the Year is back, and it’s loaded with exemplary projects from six countries. This year’s recipients include the thoughtfully planned The Hills at Governor’s Island in New York, designed by West 8; the groundbreaking facility known as Max IV located in Lund, Sweden, by Snøhetta; and the whimsical playscape, Play Landscape be-MINE, created by CARVE + OMGEVING. Adaptive reuse and public open space were the key themes, and these trends will certainly continue into 2017 and beyond. WATCH >>> Crescent Park

For a third straight year, LAN has been ranked in the Top 5 of Landscape Architecture websites in the world by The Global Grid. Similar to previous years, this ranking has been established based on the website’s level of traffic, as measured by Alexa International Analytics.

With more than 20,000 likes and more than 43,000 shares, this article claims the top spot for the most-viewed article of 2016. Aybige’s article examines four exceptional small gardens and why they were successful. From Hilgard Garden,  designed by Mary Barensfeld Architecture, to Vale do Lobo Garden, created by Iúri Chagas, these examples demonstrate that well-designed small spaces can be impactful.

Hilgard Garden. Credit: Mary Barensfeld Architecture

Read our hit article 4 Awesome Projects for Small Garden Design Inspiration HERE! |Hilgard Garden. Credit: Mary Barensfeld Architecture

  • Announcing Erin Tharp as LAN’s New Content Director

LAN’s Writer of the Year for 2014 and 2015/16 became our Content Director this year. Erin brings a great deal of experience and a high level of creativity to the mix, and it shows in the team’s work. When not reviewing articles or providing guidance to team members, she is a Landscape Architect in Tennessee at her own firm, Tharp Design.

Now is a great time to join our VIP Club. From 30 percent off Timber Press books to access to exclusive LAN articles, the benefits are endless! Explore the complete list by clicking the headline above.

As an added bonus to support The Nature Conservancy’s goal to Plant 1 Billion Trees, LAN donates $2 USD for every new VIP Member who signs up for an annual subscription. To date, we’ve donated $570 to this great cause. Sign up  today to join this great mission!

To help our readers stay current, we’ve launched eBooks, which can be individually purchased. All VIP Subscribers receive a 40 percent discount. Currently, we offer four eBooks. Topics include an introduction to landscape architecture, green roofs, AutoCAD, and SketchUp.

The popular weekly news feature celebrates two years sponsored by our generous partner, Zinco. Typically published each Monday, this roundup covers incredible depth. On any given week, viewers may find project reviews, industry trends, op-eds, and much more from across the globe! Check out the next release on Jan. 9, 2017. – Finally, I’d like to thank the LA Team and all our loyal readers for a fantastic year! It’s your efforts that make Landscape Architects Network one of the premier destinations for projects, news, and trends in the world of landscape architecture. Stay tuned by following us on Facebook and Twitter. Have a happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year! Announcements composed by Brett Lezon

Can an International Summit Shape the Future of Landscape Architecture?

The Future of Landscape Architecture – Landscape Architects Network team member Brett Lezon reflects on “The New Landscape Declaration: A Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future“. It’s been 50 years since Ian McHarg and other leading landscape architects composed the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s (LAF) seminal Declaration of Concern, which decried the burgeoning environmental crisis and heralded landscape architecture as critical to help solve it. Much has changed since then, and on June 10-11, 2016 the LAF met again at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia to reflect on the past and look forward to the future of landscape architecture. Titled “The New Landscape Declaration: A Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future”,  this symposium featured an all-star cast of over 65 leaders from around the globe that made bold claims on what’s forthcoming in the industry. Attended by over 700 people, it was an impressively historic event from which I came away with more questions than answers. However, before diving into more detail, here are some of my key takeaways from the panel discussions on the second day of the Summit.

Key Takeaways from the Panels:

  •  Climate change is worse than we want to admit
  • Policy implementation has significant room for growth
  • Racial and cultural diversity must improve within the profession
  • The general public [still] lacks a clear understanding of what landscape architects really do (strong need for greater advocacy and activism)

The Future of Landscape Architecture

Ecology Panel

After an interesting discussion on aesthetics, the ecology panelists each went through a series of words (more on this later) that described the current state of our environment. While this approach was effective, what really got me thinking was the story about the impending sea level rise in San Francisco as mentioned by Kristina Hill, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning and Urban Design at the University of California, Berkeley. Essentially, there was talk of a projected 8-foot sea level rise for the year 2100 which led to obvious concern and ultimately a panel was held to clarify. Based on sea level rise data, the studies expected a 3-foot rise by 2100. However, as she contends, we have to begin planning now. “Cities need to start planning now for impacts that will happen 50 or 100 years in the future,” said Hill.

Future of Landscape Architecture

Poll question to the audience from Ecology Panel. Credit: Brett Lezon

Public Practice Panel

Featuring a strong group of practitioners from a former mayor to several professionals who are working with nonprofit organizations, the panel discussed a host of pressing topics including how to push initiatives forward, funding streams, and the misunderstanding of public practice as a “less than desirable” setting for recent graduates. Mark Focht had lots of wisdom to share, as his experience transcends the private and public sectors. Most notable are his efforts with the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation where he assisted in the implementation of a strategic stormwater plan for Philadelphia.

Society Panel

The jury has been out for years, but the profession must diversify. I don’t have a grand vision for addressing this, but initiatives such as the ACE Mentor Program Legacy Project, which has been active since 2008, is a good start. Additionally, the panel brought it up time and time again, but the profession already has some exceptional role models that should be leveraged to attract new, young students into landscape architecture. Perhaps Kate Orff, founder of SCAPE, said it best. Orff believes that thephysical program and social program should be linked to create a stronger tie to the community.

Call to Actions from Society Panel Credit: Brett Lezon

Call to Actions from Society Panel. Credit: Brett Lezon

Capacity Organizations Panel

A well-represented panel consisting of leadership from the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA), the Urban Land Institute (ULI), and the charitable organization known as Public Architecture made for an intriguing discussion. Among the topics discussed include the need to collectively share information across groups about best practices for organizational structures, working more closely with allied partners, and how to involve and encourage African-American students and how to reach out to low-income communities about landscape architecture.

Call to Actions from Capacity Organizations Panel Credit: Brett Lezon

Call to Actions from Capacity Organizations Panel. Credit: Brett Lezon

Why Should We Care?

While there are several reasons we as landscape architects should fully support the Summit’s endeavors—it’s really about the bigger picture. First, the planet is becoming increasingly urban. Figures from the United Nation’s DESA’s Population Division report from 2014 illustrate that about 54% of the world’s population lives in urban areas. Early projections indicate that urbanization combined with overall growth could add an additional 2.5 billion people to urban areas—swelling the overall tally to 70% of the world’s population residing in urban areas. At the end of the day, landscape architects will be heavily relied upon to help sort out this massive growth, which leads to my next point. Second, with a dramatic uptick in urban population, cities will command inclusive public space more than ever. What I mean by “inclusive” is all-welcoming; to provide space for everyone to gather, picnic, play, read, dance, celebrate, etc. As noted by Nina Chase, placemaking will play a major role in providing public space as it’s mobile and can affect gradual, large-scale improvements while bringing identity to a place and promoting people’s health.

Aesthetics key takeaways. Credit: Brett Lezon

Aesthetics key takeaways. Credit: Brett Lezon

Third, the global marketplace is shrinking in large part due to readily available technology—impacting the way we do business with each other and the way we go into business for ourselves. Consequently, landscape architects must adapt and become more culturally aware of our surroundings as it’s likely that teams will become more ethnically and geographically diverse.

What I Wish Was Addressed?

While the conference was a two-day, jam-packed affair and all of the questions couldn’t be possibly answered—here are a few that I wish had been.

  • Why do we have to use such complex jargon?
  •  How do we put this content into action with metrics and how do we measure levels of success?
  • How does the finished proclamation reach a broader audience (a majority of landscape architects, designers, and allied professionals, educators, and students)?
Future of landscape architecture

Private Practice Question. Credit: Brett Lezon

On the flight back to Chicago, I sat next to a fellow landscape architect from the Chicago area and we discussed our initial reactions to the Summit. We echoed optimism especially from the emerging professionals, but struggled to grasp some of the thoughts from our current leaders. While I wish the future was clearer, we must remain committed to spreading the word about this profession through education, advocacy, and activism as the world is depending on us. Catch the World Design Summit 2017 in Montréal, Québec, Canada from October 16-25, 2017. An unprecedented international gathering of diverse disciplines will convene next fall with a common focus—how design can shape the built environment of the future. Learn more here. Select proclamations from the LAF Summit held June 10-11, 2016 in Philadelphia, USA. Reflection by Brett Lezon

A Look Back at 50 Years of Landscape Architecture … And What’s to Come

Press Release compiled by Brett Lezon Landscape Architects Network issue a press release for The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) and their Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future.  Philadelphia, PA: One of the most intriguing events by the landscape architecture community in recent memory is seeking ambitious professionals and students who are passionate about challenging conventional wisdom. The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) invites you to participate in the sought-after Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future. On June 10-11 in Philadelphia, LAF is hosting the brightest thinkers and practitioners from across the globe to explore the future of the profession and beyond. Over the two days, an elite line-up of 65 veteran and emerging leaders will elaborate on the past 50 years of landscape architecture, make bold claims on what the future of the profession holds, and engage in energetic debate on the industry’s potential to make a lasting impact. The Summit marks 50 years since Ian McHarg and other leading landscape architects composed LAF’s seminal Declaration of Concern, which decried the burgeoning environmental crisis and heralded landscape architecture as critical to help solve it. Building on this legacy, this one-time historic gathering will culminate in a redrafting of the original 1966 Declaration of Concern and a landmark publication of the ideas presented. LAF will also host a lively dinner and reception at the Constitution Center to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the organization’s founding. Join the best minds and rising stars in contemporary landscape architecture, broaden your thinking, get inspired, and help propel the profession forward! For more information and to register, visit: www.lafoundation.org/summit

Landscape Architecture and the Future

LAF’s Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future is made possible with support from PennDesign, EDSA, Landscape Forms, Sasaki, Landscape Structures, BrightView, Design Workshop, OLIN, Anova, TBG Partners, Aquatic Design & Engineering, Burton Landscape Architecture Studio, Coldspring, Ruppert Landscape, and SWA Group. Supporting organizations include the American Society of Landscape Architects. Media Partners are Land8 and World Landscape Architecture. About the Landscape Architecture Foundation The Landscape Architecture Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. Established in 1966, LAF invests in research and scholarships to increase our collective capacity to achieve sustainability and cultivate the next generation of design leaders. Follow the Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future on Twitter by using #LAFSummit. Recommended Reading:

Press Release compiled by Brett Lezon

LAN’s Top Announcements for 2015/16

Announcements composed by Brett Lezon A round-up of Landscape Architects Network’s 2015/16 announcements. From reaching the coveted mark of 1 million Facebook fans to the launch of our VIP club, 2015 was a year chock-full of uncharted territory for Landscape Architects Network (LAN). However, before we proceed, this would not be possible without the support of our passionate fans from across the globe and of our devoted partners! We would like to thank Adam Christopher, Building Trust International, Fire Pit Art, The Global Grid, Minimis, Permaloc, and Zinco for all of the tremendous assistance over the past year! Inside This Years BIG Announcements:

  • Writer of the Year
  • Top 10 Landscape Architecture Projects of 2015
  • Article of the Year
  • LAN Page of the Year
  • The New Landscape Architecture Facebook Group
  • Celebrating the launch of our VIP club
  • Celebrating More One Year of the Latest News in Landscape Architecture, sponsored by Zinco

LAN 2015/16 Announcements

Velislava

Writer of the Year 2015-16: Velislava Valcheva

Since joining LAN on Halloween 2014, Velislava has been one of our most consistent writers, producing nearly 40 articles. She has been named Writer of the Month and Writer of the Week on several occasions. So … Writer of the Year 2015 nominee is only fitting. Some of her record-breaking pieces include How This World-Class Design Became a Great Success Story  and 10 of the Most Common Mistakes People Make in Planting Design and How to Avoid Them. She currently lives in Sofia, Bulgaria, and completed her master’s  degree in landscape architecture at the University of Forestry in 2014. Congratulations, Velislava, on a tremendous year! We look forward to your continued development and future articles in 2016!
Place de la République

Place de la République before and after. Above photo credit: ©AIR IMAGES. Below photo credit: ©TVK-Myluckypixel

  • Top 10 Landscape Architecture Projects of 2015 [by Erin Tharp]

The Third Annual Top 10 Projects of the Year is back, and it’s loaded with exemplary projects from four continents. This year’s nominees include the adventurous Barangaroo Headland Park in Sydney, Australia, designed by PWP Landscape Architecture, the eclectic Aalborg Waterfront II, situated in Aalborg, Denmark, by CF Møller, and the connective Crescent Park, located in New Orleans, Louisiana, by Hargreaves Associates. Public space and pedestrian-centric design were the big winners, and this trend will grow as cities continue to urbanize.

Soil and Water - King’s Cross, London by Ooze Architects. Photo credit:  John Sturrock

Soil and Water – King’s Cross, London by Ooze Architects. Photo credit: John Sturrock

  • Celebrating the launch of our VIP club

The benefits of our VIP club are endless! Whether you’re an avid reader and interested in taking advantage of 30 percent off Timber Press  books or want to catch up on learning through one month of free Planetizen online courses, there are many great offers. Check out the full array of benefits by clicking on the headline above and sign up today!

With an astounding 61,958 views (when last checked), Yuliya’s article examines a number of cities that are getting closer with their rivers. The Rhone River redevelopment project in Lyon, France, and Red Ribbon Park alongside the Tanghe River in China are just two of the exciting transformations across the world. “This list clearly shows the need to integrate rivers carefully into their future vision in order to provide the necessary and more demanded public spaces close to nature in our urban reality,” Georgieva said.

“Korea-Seoul-Cheonggyecheon-2008-01″ by stari4ek – originally posted to Flickr as fest2-01. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons

“Korea-Seoul-Cheonggyecheon-2008-01″ by stari4ek – originally posted to Flickr as fest2-01. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons

  • LAN Page of the Year: LAN-United Kingdom
LAN-United Kingdom - LAN Regional Page of the Year 2015/16

LAN-United Kingdom – LAN Regional Page of the Year 2015/16

Featuring projects in all shapes and sizes, from contemporary gardens to public parks, this more than 8,500-member Facebook Page promotes the best of landscape architecture and its allied disciplines from the UK. Congrats, LAN-United Kingdom, on an incredible year!

  • The New Landscape Architecture Facebook Group

This group is hosted by Landscape Architects Network (LAN) and is aimed at students who want to discuss their projects, seek advice, and converse about relevant issues. With nearly 800 members (and growing) it’s among the hottest destinations for worldwide discussion among aspiring designers and a collective of LAN team members.

  • Find out more at www.zinco-greenroof.com

    Find out more at www.zinco-greenroof.com

    Celebrating More One Year of the Latest News in Landscape Architecture, sponsored by Zinco

The widely popular weekly news feature celebrates one year of being sponsored by our gracious partner Zinco. Published each Monday, this roundup covers incredible depth. On any given week, viewers may find project reviews, industry trends, op-eds, and much more! Check out the next release on Jan. 4, 2016.  – Lastly, the LA Team deserves a massive thank you! Your countless hours spent browsing the web for topics, composing articles, editing to perfection, and giving back to the landscape architecture community is truly greatly appreciated. I know Scott (LAN Founder and director) would echo this, too! Keep up the fantastic work, and here’s to an even stronger 2016. Stay tuned by following us on Facebook and Twitter, and if you haven’t already, subscribe to our newsletter today. Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous New Year! Announcements composed by Brett Lezon Return to Homepage

Developing the World’s Most-Used Cross-Platform CAD and BIM Software

Developing the World’s Most-Used Cross-Platform CAD and BIM Software: An Interview with Vectorworks expert Eric Gilbey. With many options in computer-aided design (CAD) software, how do you know you’re using the right one? To find out, we turned to a software expert in the architecture, landscape architecture, planning, and urban design field. With more than a half-million designers across upwards of 85 countries using its products, Vectorworks is on a mission to develop the world’s best cross-platform CAD and BIM software. During its 30 years in business, it has been one of the first to promote BIM capabilities.

Profile

ERIC GILBEY, PLA ASLA, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT SPECIALIST AT VECTORWORKS, INC.

Landscape Architects Network (LAN) had the opportunity to interview Eric Gilbey, PLA ASLA, landscape architect specialist from Vectorworks, at the ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO 2015 in Chicago. Here’s what he had to say. (The responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.)

Interview with Vectorworks

LAN: Tell me about Vectorworks. How was the company started? Was it originally developed for landscape architects? Vectorworks: The software was called MiniCad when the company started in 1985. The initial intention was to offer a 3D CAD solution and a specific market wasn’t targeted, but the early adopters were architects, and we later added 2D capabilities. When architects started using CAD technologies, landscape architects were pulled in. as well. In the late 1990s, we were acquired by our parent company, the Nemetschek Group of Munich, Germany. In 2000-2001, we started to introduce industry-focused products, and it’s been that way ever since. LAN: What are the primary advantages to using Vectorworks? Why should landscape architects choose your software over your competitors? Vectorworks: Most of our users choose our industry-specific Vectorworks Landmark product because the software runs more intuitively compared to other software. For example, Vectorworks allows landscape architects to model with smart objects, which directly relate to the design of the project and include hardscapes, landscape areas, planting design, walls, and more. The biggest advantage to using Vectorworks is the integrated workflow, which merges 2D and 3D, smart objects, built-in rendering capabilities, and freeform modeling.

.) Caption: Gilbey leads a hands-on workshop during a continuing education session for professionals and students at the University of Georgia this past October.

Gilbey leads a hands-on workshop during a continuing education session for professionals and students at the University of Georgia this past October.

LAN: Is there a particular sector that has embraced Vectorworks? Why? Vectorworks: Vectorworks products are put to work in more than 85 countries in 10 languages. Besides English, Vectorworks products are currently available in Chinese, Japanese, German, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Norwegian. On the customer level, there is a good mix from private practices to government and even schools. With that said, a majority of users are practitioners at firms with 20 or fewer people focused on landscape architecture, design/build, land development and planning, garden design, the landscape contractor, and even a small number of civil engineering firms. We hear that people think our software is only made for small projects, which is not true—it’s really made for both small and large projects. We have users doing GIS work, urban design, site information modeling, and land planning with Vectorworks software.
CYP Studios and Morris take advantage of Vectorworks' ability to cut sections from 3D models for installation details. Image courtesy of CYP Studios and Morris.

CYP Studios and Morris take advantage of Vectorworks’ ability to cut sections from 3D models for installation details. Image courtesy of CYP Studios and Morris.

The design team repurposed the Patterson Canal logo as medallions on a 1,250-square-feet brick paver seat wall. Nearby, a dozen 12-foot-tall vertical pylon elements provide strong visual cues for pedestrians that they are in the Patterson Canal Corridor. Photo courtesy of CYP Studios and Morris.

The design team repurposed the Patterson Canal logo as medallions on a 1,250-square-feet brick paver seat wall. Nearby, a dozen 12-foot-tall vertical pylon elements provide strong visual cues for pedestrians that they are in the Patterson Canal Corridor. Photo courtesy of CYP Studios and Morris.

LAN: Name a few examples of landscape architecture projects that have been completed using Vectorworks. How did this software save time, money, and resources? Vectorworks: The Park at Lakeshore East in Chicago, designed by The Office of James Burnett, used Vectorworks from start to finish. The graphic sense of the software and the ease of going to construction documents in the same program made it an ideal choice.
Landscape Architecture - The Park at Lakeshore East, Chicago, IL. Credit: The Office of James Burnett

The Park at Lakeshore East, Chicago, IL. Credit: The Office of James Burnett

Also, Pacific Coast Land Design, Inc. (PCLD) has relied on Vectorworks for about the last five years. Recently, PCLD was called upon by the Council in Newhall, California, to re-envision the city’s main corridor, which was in decline due to the expansive Los Angeles suburbs. Ultimately, PCLD’s plan specified sustainable design elements through the use of Vectorworks Landmark design software. “We have to provide water budget calculations for each site, which can become time-consuming if you don’t have the right tools,” says PCLD Principal Mike Zielsdorf. “We can input all of our data into our worksheet and use smart calculations in Vectorworks Landmark to do all the budgeting for us.” “Vectorworks allows us to use one file from the start, beginning at the conceptual phase and moving into construction, all while letting us pull out reports and diagrams to communicate our design to anyone who needs to see it. Vectorworks is an incredibly important part of our process,” said Zielsdorf. LAN: What would you say to landscape architecture students debating on whether to learn Vectorworks? Vectorworks: Generally, students are eager to learn Vectorworks because they recognize the limitations of other design products on the market and therefore seek technologies like ours to improve output and remain competitive. Vectorworks is like having the best of SketchUp, Rhino, and Revit in one software tool that is also geared for the landscape architecture industry. Plus, it’s available on both Mac and Windows. For faculty who seek specific support to their curriculum with the software, Vectorworks hosts workshops at schools. We also provide students with free licenses of our software.
The design for Australian landscape architecture and urban design firm McGregor Coxall's Parramatta River Urban Design strategy aims to revitalize the business district through an innovative urban realm and four dynamic, mixed-use precincts, creating an active waterfront where the city can celebrate its public life. Image courtesy of McGregor Coxall.

The design for Australian landscape architecture and urban design firm McGregor Coxall’s Parramatta River Urban Design strategy aims to revitalize the business district through an innovative urban realm and four dynamic, mixed-use precincts, creating an active waterfront where the city can celebrate its public life. Image courtesy of McGregor Coxall.

LAN: Do you think BIM will evolve to being fully accepted and applied in the landscape architecture industry? What is the future of Vectorworks? Vectorworks: We do believe it will happen in the next five years, perhaps, but it’s a slow migration for landscape architects, because some don’t understand how BIM will work for them and think BIM is for buildings. However, in terms of site design, many of our users are already using BIM. Eventually, landscape architects will be forced to use BIM, because architects will require it and architects will look for a different venture if your firm isn’t BIM-ready. The logical extension of BIM data structures and workflows into landscape design, which is heavily data driven, will give designers an opportunity to gain the same benefit of “model once, view many times,” as well as the integrated data management of objects and plant materials.
The Urban Design Strategy incorporates many precinct-scale green engineering elements that will help the area thrive, making it resilient to the effects of climate change and encouraging ecological growth. Image courtesy of McGregor Coxall

The Urban Design Strategy incorporates many precinct-scale green engineering elements that will help the area thrive, making it resilient to the effects of climate change and encouraging ecological growth. Image courtesy of McGregor Coxall

What’s to Come Next?

Launched this past September, our line of Vectorworks 2016 software added many features, including graphical scripting, subdivision modeling, and project sharing. Our future revolves around continuous innovation based on customer feedback and to prepare them for future, emerging design trends. We hear about creative ways that users are using the software daily, from geotechnical work to existing tree studies and beyond, and that’s exciting because we learn, too. Vectorworks is not only developing new workflows for the industry, but we are setting the pace. What do you think of Vectorworks? Let us know in the comments section below! Go to comments

Case Studies

ASLA Professional Practice Network (PPN) Vectorworks webinar scheduled for January 2016 Get your free 30-day trial version of Vectorworks software here.

Recommended Reading:

Interview conducted by Brett Lezon Return to Homepage

LABash 2015 – Landscape Architecture’s Biggest Secret

LABash 2015 – An Interview with the 2015 Host – Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Whether you’re an underclassman or a soon-to-be graduate, there’s one event that landscape architecture students won’t want to miss. In 1970, three landscape architecture students at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, founded what’s known today as LABash. Fast-forward 45 years and it still continues to be a destination for curious landscape architecture students. While it’s known as a three-day student-run conference consisting of speakers, workshops, design charettes, expos, and social events, it’s the sense of unity that makes it such a special tradition. LABash 2015 runs March 19-21, 2015, at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (SLO). Situated roughly midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, on the Central Coast, the region is home to a year-round moderate, Mediterranean climate year and a trendy vibe.

Check out the local and scenic agriculture. Credit:  Kalyn Crosier

Check out the local and scenic agriculture. Credit: Kalyn Crosier

Landscape Architects Network (LAN) had the opportunity to interview Kate Cannon, LAbash 2015 Planning Committee Director. Here’s what she had to say. The responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.

Interview with LABash 2015

LAN: What is this year’s theme? LABash 2015: Spirit of a place or “Genius sloci”, borrowing from the core principles of Genius Loci and connecting them to the conference. San Luis Obispo is famous for its rolling hillsides, breathtaking ocean views, and stunning beaches.

LA Bash 2015 - Bishop Peak in San Luis Obispo, California. Credit: Kate Cannon

Bishop Peak in San Luis Obispo, California. Credit: Kate Cannon

LAN: Who are the speakers? Are there keynotes? LABash 2015: So far we have 17 confirmed speakers, including Laurie Olin (OLIN), Mia Lehrer (Mia Lehrer + Associates), Kona Gray (EDSA), and Susan Van Atta (Van Atta Associates, Inc.), which are the keynotes, plus many more. We’re fortunate to have such a strong group! Check the website for the complete listing.
LAN's Cameron Rodman and Brett Lezon with renowned landscape architect Laurie Olin at an ASLA event; photo credit: Cameron Rodman

LAN’s Cameron Rodman and Brett Lezon with renowned landscape architect Laurie Olin at an ASLA event; photo credit: Cameron Rodman

LAN: Why should students attend? LABash 2015: While there are many reasons, perhaps the best is for the prime opportunity to interact and network with fellow students and professionals. There’s certainly a sense of shared interests and, compared to the ASLA Annual Meeting, LABash is a more intimate environment, featuring more one-on-one time with professionals. If you’re still not convinced, it’s California and what better way to enjoy your spring break than in the sunny West Coast!
LABash 2015

Enjoy hiking while you’re visiting this stunning area. Credit: Kalyn Crosier

LAN: Do you have social events planned? LABash 2015: Yes, what’s an LABash without socialization? The opening night will be held at the Farmer’s Market (which houses more than 120 vendors selling everything from delectable eats to fresh flowers) and the following nights will feature a beach bonfire at Oceano Dunes along with closing ceremony libations at a local craft brewery. For more details, explore the full schedule on our website. LAN: What is the committee looking forward to most about hosting LABash 2015? LABash 2015: We’re excited to meet the attendees and welcome them to SLO. The last time we hosted LABash was in 1993 and that was also the last time it was on the West Coast! Also, we can’t wait to show them what SLO has to offer, from its forgotten history as an agricultural and ranching community to its 18th-century Spanish architecture.
LABash 2015 - Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. Credit: Jeff Krause, CC 3.0

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. Credit: Jeff Krause, CC 3.0

LAN: Tell us about the landscape architecture department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. What makes it unique? LABash 2015: While Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo is a medium-sized university with about 20,000 students, the landscape architecture department commands a strong presence with over 150 students. Additionally, not only do students enter directly from high school, but some spend a few years at a nearby junior college and then enter the program, ultimately creating a more diverse and realistic setting. The professors are dedicated to the students and the College of Architecture and Environmental Design is highly collaborative, which is where the landscape architecture department is based. We’re also excited to have K. Richard Zweifel (current ASLA president) as Professor Emeritus! He will be speaking at LABash.
LABash 2015- Pismo Beach is a beach city in southern San Luis Obispo County. Credit: Jessica James

Pismo Beach is a beach city in southern San Luis Obispo County. Credit: Jessica James

We hope landscape architecture students and professionals can join Kate and the LABash 2015 Planning Committee in beautiful San Luis Obispo, California in March!

Sign up to LABash 2015 today and don’t delay, as regular registration ends soon.

Interview conducted by Brett Lezon Website: www.labash2015.com Dates: March 19-21, 2015 Location: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (SLO), California, USA Return to Homepage

LAN 2015 Announcements

Landscape Architects Network make landmark announcements as we embark on a new year. With another year in the books, LAN is grateful for the loyal support we’ve received from our tremendous fans! While 2014 was the year of public spaces—both large and small—at LAN we’re proud to announce the best and brightest on our end. From the article of the year to the top projects of 2014—here is a snapshot of Landscape Architects Network in 2014. The quest for 1 million Facebook fans continues…

LAN 2015 Announcements

Erin joined LAN in May and has since written 25 articles about a wide range of topics including Can Copenhagen Become The Best Cycling City in the World? and 5 Amazing Facts About Green Walls That You Didn’t Know. When she’s not busy writing entertaining pieces, Erin practices at Michael Versen & Associates in Knoxville, Tennessee where she is a registered landscape architect. She holds all of the best characteristics that LAN seeks. Erin is curious, thoughtful, driven, and most importantly committed to crafting some of our most read articles. Congratulations, Erin! We look forward to another great year of thought-provoking articles in 2015!

Can Copenhagen be the best cycling city in the world? Credit: DISSING+WEITLING

Can Copenhagen be the best cycling city in the world? Credit: DISSING+WEITLING

Each year we highlight the most outstanding landscape architecture projects, which demonstrate new technology, public attitudes, while responding to specific circumstances. This year’s recipients include: The Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve located in Grand Teton National Park, WY by Hershberger Design, Sherbourne Common situated in Toronto, Ontario designed by Phillips Farevaag Smalleberg, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Campus based in Seattle, WA by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. Parks and public spaces were the big winners as all 10 selections directly or subtly fall into these categories.

Landscape-architecture - Green roof. Credit Timothy Hursley

Featured in our Top 10 World Class Landscape Architecture Projects of 2014. Credit Timothy Hursley

While most students are on holiday break, many design students (yes, this applies to architecture students too) are fearlessly working on their portfolios—especially the soon-to-be graduates! Dalia offers five easy-to-follow tips for improving your portfolio and even threw in a few videos to validate her points. “It is true that designing a portfolio can be a pain, especially because the task is usually accomplished in between semester breaks and over summer vacations. But, if performed well, it is a pleasant experience and will elevate your potential for internships or jobs,” said Zein. WATCH: One of the featured videos in 5 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Designing Your Portfolio. In the end, you’ll be glad you listened to her advice because it just might help you launch your career!

  • LAN Regional Page of the Year

With 25 regional pages, it’s been a successful initiative. While some pages are less active and engaging there are two that are battling for top honors. At the moment it’s a tie between LAN-Italy and LAN-Iran for the status of Page of the Year! The decision will be made over the next week and a half. Check back on Facebook soon.

Our special friends have a lot to offer. Quite simply, trees keep us alive by cleaning the air and providing oxygen, but that’s only the beginning. In LAN’s most viewed article, which has eclipsed a whopping 20,000+ Facebook shares, Ashley breaks down the facts and offers up some intriguing insight about trees. Did you know a 30-meter-tall (98.4 feet) mature tree could produce 2,721 kilograms (5,998.78 pounds) of oxygen in a year, which is enough to support at least two people?

Eucalyptus tree forest in Thailand; credit: Wuttichok Painichiwarapun / shutterstock.com. modification by SDR

Eucalyptus tree forest in Thailand; credit: Wuttichok Painichiwarapun / shutterstock.com. modification by SDR

Each Monday we share the hottest news in the realm of landscape architecture and as of this week it’s been going strong for one year. However, this feature is more than simply a brief overview of current and future projects. In actuality, we highlight the most breaking content on a variety of topics including: cities, transportation, livability, biophilia, plants, natural resources, and much more. With 17,000+ Facebook shares and counting, it’s among the premier sources for landscape architecture news and trends on the web! – As we move into 2015, LAN has ambitious goals, but with our emerging team and your help we’re confident that we can turn them into reality. Stay tuned by following us on Facebook and Twitter  and if you haven’t already subscribe to our newsletter today. Happy New Year from all of us at Landscape Architects Network! Announcements composed by Brett Lezon Return to Homepage

Interview With The Roof Deck & Garden Experts

Capitalizing on Underutilized Roof Space: An Interview with Chicago Roof Deck & Garden. As we inch closer to summer, we naturally plan additional activities outdoors. Whether it’s entertaining family or friends, relaxing with a great book, or simply soaking up some rays, roof decks and gardens offer vast opportunities to improve your quality of life.

Based on a study released in February 2014 by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), landscape architects in the residential sector rated the expected popularity of outdoor living spaces — defined as kitchens and entertainment spaces — a close second to gardens and landscaped spaces.

Full-Service Outdoor Kitchen and Bar. Credit: Chicago Roof Deck & Garden

Full-Service Outdoor Kitchen and Bar. Credit: Chicago Roof Deck & Garden

Subsequently, it’s no surprise that the “leisure lifestyle” is now a $6.2 billion industry and growing (Fordyce 2013). Gone are the days of a simple table and chairs on a roof. Today’s roof decks and gardens can be rather elaborate, featuring a full array of amenities, from lounge space to fire features. I had the opportunity to sit down with Mike Maschmeyer, owner and designer at Chicago Roof Deck & Garden , to learn about his company and get his take on the rapidly emerging outdoor living industry. Here’s what Mike had to say: Tell me a little bit about Chicago Roof Deck & Garden. What motivated you to start the company? Roof deck design and build is a unique niche that typically requires urban compact living spaces. It’s also a function of capitalizing on underused outdoor living space on top of garages, multi-unit buildings, single-family homes, and commercial office buildings. When our clients started saying they have this amazing oversized three-car garage, what can you do with it, how can I maximize my investment? That’s when we started thinking about creating outdoor urban gardens.
Roof-and-deck

Outdoor Lounge with Custom Firepit Table. Credit: Chicago Roof Deck & Garden

In terms of payback/return on investment, what are the ideal installation conditions?

We generally tell clients our goal is to get you back 75 percent of your investment into your outdoor space — your enhanced quality of life will make up the delta 25. Mathematically, we’ll also tell them (our clients) they can invest five to seven percent of their condo or single-family home into their outdoor space. Generally speaking, as long as they’re going to be there for a period of two or more years, the target number is 75 percent return on investment. Why would someone want to have a roof deck or garden? It starts with do they like the outdoors, that’s really the initial question. Do they appreciate fresh air and plants? Do they have property that has a view, which allows them to imagine? If they want to be outdoors, we can create an environment that will maximize the experience they wish to achieve from their space.

Roof-and-deck

Contemporary Garage Deck Dining and Kitchen. Credit: Chicago Roof Deck & Garden

What’s your favorite plant to specify for a roof garden? Our clients typically want a combination of threefold: early spring annuals, summer annuals, fall annuals, and winter greenery. Also, mixed in are perennials and sedums plus perennial grasses for texture and privacy screens. I really enjoy the serviceberry, because it blooms in the spring, has a pretty red berry in the summer, and has gorgeous fall color. For aspiring young designers, what advice would you provide them if they’re seeking a career in outdoor living design/build? You can be the greatest designer in the world, but if you can’t interpret and understand people and grasp their lifestyle and how they view their outdoor space, you’ll have a difficult time. In addition, understanding and having a sense of space is key, particularly in an urban environment where you have to maximize every aspect of that space. It’s analogous to living in a small condo; you can’t clutter it up with furniture — you’ll quickly ruin it. Do you have a favorite roof garden, and why is it your favorite? It’s a landmark building in Chicago that’s a single-family home built over a commercial space. What’s really neat about it is its amenities, which include a green roof, entertainment space, lounge space, a covered veranda, fire elements, a spa, an outdoor shower, and a beautiful view of downtown, bringing all the interior creature comforts outdoors.
Roof-and-deck

Roof deck on Lincoln Park loft building (Mike’s favorite project). Credit: Chicago Roof Deck & Garden?

Where is this industry headed? What will the roof deck and garden of the future look like?

It’s been in an upward trajectory for the last five years. It did flatten out a little naturally, due to the economy, but over the last two years, more people are willing to invest in their quality of life outdoors. In our climate, people are realizing the months that you have outside are limited and want to take full advantage of nice weather. Also, people are learning to appreciate the amenities that go with outdoor living, such as a bar, an outdoor grilling area, or fire elements. With all that said, I see it growing for the foreseeable future, especially with the advent of all the new outdoor design elements. About Chicago Roof Deck & Garden Chicago Roof Deck & Garden is a full service design/build firm. Our innovative outdoor living designs focus on comfort and functionality, while utilizing complementary materials appropriate to the budget and location. We are the ultimate option and turnkey solution for designing and developing quality and luxurious outdoor living environments. With projects ranging from residential garage roof decks to expansive commercial sun decks, our designs transform any outdoor space. A big thank-you to Tyler Kirages, designer at Chicago Roof Deck & Garden, for arranging this interview! You can follow them on Facebook here! Interview conducted by Brett Lezon

City-County Building Plaza Design Competition | Indianapolis, IN, USA

The City-County Building (CCB) Plaza Design Competition is accepting stage one submissions until May 28, 2014. Please follow this link to download the complete briefing booklet. Opportunity The Central Indiana Community Foundation (sponsor), Indianapolis-Marion County Building Authority (facilitator), and the City of Indianapolis (advisor) are proud to announce the CCB Plaza Design Competition. In the wake of this tremendous opportunity, the CCB Plaza Design Competition invites interdisciplinary teams from around the globe to submit their ideas, which if selected, would be implemented on an existing 1.94 acre (0.79 hectare) open space on the City-County Building property in downtown Indianapolis (200 East Washington Street).

City-County-Building-Plaza-Design-Competition

Plaza boundary/vicinity map; credit: City of Indianapolis

Prize money The design team whose winning design is selected will receive 15,000 USD (2nd Place – 7,500 USD; 3rd Place – 2,500 USD) and will then be the preferred professional services provider for a full engineering/design contract (upon obtaining available funding) with the Indianapolis-Marion County Building Authority (IMCBA). This competition is a two-stage competition. During the first stage (due May 28, 2014), minimum qualifications from design teams will be requested. The second stage is the design submittal (due August 27, 2014).
City-County-Building-Plaza-Design-Competition

Existing sign and artwork piece at CCB Plaza; credit: City of Indianapolis

Why Indianapolis? As a city known for its racing, Colts football, and Midwestern hospitality, Indianapolis (Indy) is amidst an urban renaissance. Once blighted neighborhoods are flourishing, apartments are being built, shops, restaurants, and bars, are emerging and the best part—people are moving downtown!
Indianapolis Cultural Trail ; credit: The Manual

Indianapolis Cultural Trail; credit: The Manual

However, perhaps the most exciting addition is the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, which is an 8-mile urban bike and pedestrian path that links neighborhoods, cultural districts, and entertainment. In addition, the Indiana Pacers Bikeshare program, which launched April 22, 2014, consists of 250 bikes and 25 stations, and is located near or alongside the Cultural Trail. Why Enter the Competition? The CCB Plaza Design Competition could not come at a more opportune time! As the City of Indianapolis moves towards the establishment of Market East , which features a new 500 unit multi-family development, a 300 unit luxury apartment tower, a transit center (south of the CCB Plaza), and a new distribution headquarters for Cummins, a Fortune 500 diesel company. Indy’s Design Vision The CCB Plaza is a regional destination experience that encourages people from all backgrounds to stay, play, and enjoy, a fun and interactive space for 365 days a year. The new CCB Plaza should serve the residents, employees, and visitors from Market East and downtown Indianapolis. The space should be flexible enough to draw in a young family as well as a retiree. This space should be mentioned in the same breath as other popular urban parks including Millennium Park (Chicago, IL), Jamison Square (Portland, OR), The Yards (Washington DC), and City Garden (St. Louis, MO).
Caption: New downtown transit center (scheduled to open late 2015) Credit: IndyGo

New downtown transit center (scheduled to open late 2015); credit: IndyGo

Looking ahead As a frequent visitor to Indianapolis, I’m curious to see how the competition unfolds. With all the recent national exposure the Indianapolis Cultural Trail has received, I’m eagerly awaiting that moment when the City-County Building Plaza gets its press and the jury announces the winner. Below: View our Slideshare for more pictures and details

Don’t waste any time, follow this link to download the complete briefing booklet. Content adapted by Brett Lezon Feature image credit: City of Indianapolis
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