World Landscape Architecture - landscape architecture webzine » Architecture Tue, 30 Sep 2014 07:55:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 HAO / Holm Architecture Office and AI have been chosen as a shared winner of the Eco City Binhai Master Plan Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:08:17 +0000 ]]> Rendering_5_HAO
HAO / Holm Architecture Office and AI have been chosen as a shared winner of the Eco City Binhai Master Plan, situated outside Tianjin in Northern China and covering an area of 49,2 acres / 200,000 M2. The plan includes a new Central Business District (CBD) and five new cultural buildings. The project has been chosen as a finalist for this years WAF in Singapore.


The Binhai Eco City Master Plan is the result of a unique collaboration between the Chinese and Singaporean governments. The project was conceived as a case study for a completely green development, emphasizing the use of renewable energy and the direct integration of natural surroundings into the built environment.


The project consists of a new Central Business District (CBD) as well as five new cultural buildings with programs ranging from exhibition spaces to libraries and dedicated educational space to sports facilities. Where the CBD will provide valuable new office space and create a bustling new city center, the cultural buildings will become the educational heart of the plan.


Both the CBD and the central cultural buildings are all designed to minimize energy use, and all incorporate ideas of passive building design, utilizing solar panels and geothermal heating and cooling to achieve near zero impact structures.





The entire master plan sits on a raised plateau, allocating traffic and service to a lower level, establishing the new Eco City Master Plan as a green pedestrian oasis within the larger development of the new Binhai area. The overall plan integrates and merges the cultural belt towards the water with the new CBD, drawing green areas towards the plan’s center.



“ The proposed ‘finger plan’ mimics an open, outstretched, hand, creating an environment that directly integrates nature and living. This design allows the green areas to slide in-between each finger, inviting direct interaction throughout the day and night and creates five islands that house the cultural buildings. The direct access to the green surroundings makes the Eco City Master Plan distinctive and affords its future inhabitants a vibrant and healthy place to live, work and play.” – Jens Holm, Founder, HAO






Eco City Binhai Master Plan

Program: Museum, Exhibition, Sports Center, Hotel, Library & Financial District.

Type: Invited Competition, Shared .1st Prize. WAF Finalist 2014.

Size: 49,2 Acres / 200,000 M2.

Client: SINO Singapore.

Location: Binhai, Tianjin, China.

Status: Ongoing.

Collaborator: AI, Kragh & Berglund (Landscape), Buro Happold.

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Brookfield Place­ | Perth, Australia | HASSELL Mon, 08 Sep 2014 00:55:45 +0000 ]]> 2_Brookfield-Place_DouglasMarkBlack

Image Credit | Douglas Mark Black

Brookfield Place is a landmark destination in the Australian city of Perth, attracting thousands of people who go there to work, eat, drink and relax. The site covers an entire city block. Unused for 30 years, it was a scar on the central business district. Today, it is a vibrant, mixed-use precinct that houses the world’s largest resources company and some of Perth’s best restaurants and leisure activities.


Image Credit | Peter Bennetts

The centrepiece of the project is a 46-level commercial office tower that has redefined the city’s skyline, though its careful integration with six refurbished heritage buildings and the surrounding open spaces has ensured that the street level experience is distinctly human. The tower meets the ground in a manner that respects the existing city form, creating a rich new layer of public urban space that acknowledge Perth’s heritage as well as responding to the needs of a dynamic, contemporary city.

Image Credit | Peter Bennetts

Image Credit | Peter Bennetts

Commenting on Brookfield Place’s contribution to the city, Perth City Lord Mayor, Lisa Scaffidi, said: “From any vantage point, Brookfield Place stands out very loudly and proudly and I love the fact that it has such bold architecture, and yet, at the ground plane you’ve got this beautiful intricate, interconnection into the existing heritage fabric along St Georges Terrace.”
The success of Brookfield Place is based on an inter-disciplinary design collaboration, which brought together architects, workplace designers, landscape architects, urban designers and heritage specialists. The HASSELL design team worked together with the client and project partners to create an integrated precinct that builds on the evolution of high-performance commercial architecture, and extends that generosity to the public realm.

Image Credit | Peter Bennetts

Image Credit | Peter Bennetts

The well-crafted public realm plays an integral role in the precinct’s successful activation. The precinct has been overlaid by a ‘street and lane’ pattern derived from the surrounding city form. The spatial planning combines clear open sightlines with intimate ‘discovered’ spaces. A key move in the heritage refurbishment and integration involved exposing the basement zones of the historic buildings, by scraping away the ground immediately to the south. This created a collection of open-air, lower-street settings that are protected from the elements and perfectly suited to alfresco dining. Pre-cast bridges and stairs span this lower level, forming connections through the precinct and down into the atmospheric new restaurants and bars, that hum with activity.


Image Credit | Douglas Mark Black

HASSELL Associate, Aysen Jenkins recently explained the practice’s landscape response, saying: “Good landscape design for a tower development like this, is really about scale and texture, and adding those dynamic qualities to a space … It creates a human scale. It makes people want to stay a little while, rather than just move through. They want to sit down and enjoy the spaces.

Image Credit | Douglas Mark Black

Image Credit | Douglas Mark Black

High quality and robust, yet elegantly lightweight materials characterise Brookfield Place’s open and adaptable spaces, allowing a range of different uses into the future without significant changes to the original built fabric.

Image Credit | Douglas Mark Black

Image Credit | Douglas Mark Black

At the podium level, discrete entry plazas are surrounded by mature trees, a combination of integrated and changeable landscape elements, and passive seating spaces; all enhanced at night by specialist lighting.

Image Credit | Douglas Mark Black

Image Credit | Douglas Mark Black

Abstract effects in the paving and tactile casts in the seating bring a narrative layer to the public realm, sharing stories of site’s former uses and the city’s history and making. The text and quotes featured in the seating come from the first edition of the West Australian newspaper that was once printed on site.

Image Credit | Douglas Mark Black

Image Credit | Douglas Mark Black


Image Credit | Douglas Mark Black

Brookfield Place has received several industry awards since completion for outstanding architecture, urban design and heritage adaptation. Most recently the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (WA) presented the design team with the 2014 Excellence Award for Design in Landscape Architecture, commenting: “At the footprint of one of Perth’s tallest buildings the user feels neither dwarfed nor insignificant. The tower meets the ground in a manner that creates a rich new layer of urban spaces which have been a major contributing factor in the success of the precinct’s commercial, retail, food and beverage tenancies.”


Image Credit | Peter Bennetts

Brookfield Place has dramatically changed the way Perth uses its prime business district. It brings Western Australians’ love of outdoor leisure into the city centre for the enjoyment of all – from the start of each working day, well into the night.


Image Credit | Peter Bennetts


Brookfield Place­ | Perth, Australia | HASSELL

Landscape Architecture, Urban Design: HASSELL

Architecture: HASSELL and Fitzpatrick + Partners

Interior Design: HASSELL

Heritage Architecture: Palassis Architects

Client: Brookfield Multiplex

Photography: Douglas Mark Black; Peter Bennetts




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ONE City Plaza | Greenville, South Carolina | Civitas Mon, 11 Aug 2014 20:30:18 +0000 ]]> ONE-City-Plaza.-photo-by-Fish-Eye-Studios

Image Credit | Fish Eye Studios

“It’s gem-like in a gem-like city,” says Mark Johnson, founding principal of Civitas about the new ONE City Plaza in Greenville, South Carolina. The project’s simple elements – including urban sofas, trees, water and shade structure – combine for maximum impact in creating an outdoor experience that attracts pedestrians for shopping, dining or just strolling in the city’s central downtown district.


Image Credit | Civitas Inc

Civitas designed the project in collaboration with Bob Hughes of Hughes Development Corp., 4240 Architects, and the City of Greenville, including Mike Murphy, Director of Public Works, and Dwayne Cooper, Engineering Services Manager, who were instrumental in getting approval on material upgrades that have contributed to the transformed urban space’s success.

The completed project references Greenville’s textile industry history through weaving, layers and folds, both in its overall plan and in the fabric-like canopies that artfully provide shade. At the same time, the elegant simplicity of the design and palette, including the stainless steel sun shades and the granite pavers underfoot, “match the sophistication of Greenville’s growing creative and tech community,” says Johnson.

At a spring dedication and ribbon cutting, Mayor Knox White praised the redesigned plaza as one of the city’s “great places.” The $5 million renovation of ONE City Plaza and the pedestrian Laurens Street helped attract a number of retailers to the area. “With ONE City Plaza, downtown Greenville really joins the big leagues of retail centers in our region,” said White.

Before the Civitas redesign, the area had been called the Piazza Bergamo – named for Greenville’s Italian sister city from the Eisenhower era. The piazza, created in the early ‘80s, was home to events and concerts for 25 years, but in recent years had become worn, with concerts devolving into weekly loud beer parties. A Civitas-led community engagement process highlighted a desire for a more restrained, comfortable and attractive plaza for daily use for downtown workers and visitors alike, with the potential for occasional smaller events.

While Civitas is known for its major urban projects that transform entire cities, “It’s not the scale of a project that draws us,” says Johnson of the smaller-scale Greenville plaza renovation, “but rather the opportunity to make cities


Image Credit | Civitas Inc

Civitas designs ONE City Plaza in Greenville, South Carolina

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New Riverbank Bridge | Adelaide Australia | TCL, Aurecon and TZG Mon, 11 Aug 2014 00:08:18 +0000 ]]> 20140610MacDow-bridge-lighting122

Image Credit | Drew Lenman

A new $40m pedestrian bridge has recently opened in Adelaide, providing a vital connection between the city’s highly visited Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide Railway Station and the recently redeveloped Adelaide Oval.


Image Credit | Drew Lenman

Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL), Aurecon and Tonkin Zulaikha Greer (TZG) were engaged in 2012 to design the new Riverbank Bridge, following a design competition run by the South Australian Government Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI). The 255 metre long bridge, constructed by McConnell Dowell, was temporarily opened for The Ashes cricket series in December 2013, while it was still under construction. Now fully complete, the bridge is a must-visit destination, encouraging interaction with water through an integrated water feature and illuminating the Riverbank precinct at night.


Image Courtesy of TCL


Image Credit | Drew Lenman


Image Credit | Drew Lenman

The bridge arc has been designed to mirror the River Torrens and pivot to connect two key destination points on the north and south banks. ‘The beauty of the bridge arc lies in its purity of form, and the way the bridge glides past the north bank to cantilever out over the water, culminating in a stunning water feature,’ said TCL Associate, Lisa Howard.


Image Courtesy of TCL

According to Peter Tonkin, Director of TZG, the notion of ‘touching the ground lightly’ drove the design team to consider a method that would allow the bridge to be supported by a seemingly minimal structure. ‘It was important to the team that a single pier within the Torrens could suspend the bridge, emphasising the lightness,’ he said.


Image Credit | Drew Lenman

The bridge profile has been minimised and clad in white glass that reflects both light and water throughout the day, while programmable LED lighting creates a dynamic environment at night.


Image Credit | Drew Lenman

The design team worked with Cultural Consultant, Karl Telfer from Cultural Research Education and Design (CRED) to facilitate local indigenous links and storytelling within the project. The south landing hosts a stainless steel artwork where subtle traces of animals etched into the surface of the steel can be seen by day, and representations of the southern constellations can be seen by night. ‘The completion of the Riverbank Bridge invites exciting opportunities for revitalising the parts of the city that connect to this precinct, and stimulating investment in the visionary masterplan for the Riverbank Precinct,’ said Andrew Russell, Project Director, Aurecon.

Image Credits | TCL & Drew Lenman (as noted)

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Clark Art Institute Expansion Landscape | Williamstown, USA | Reed Hilderbrand Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:39:40 +0000 ]]> 02_Clark-Center-from-Reflecting-Pool-2

Clark Center from Reflecing Pool | Image Credit Tucker Bair

The Clark Art Institute is in its final phase of a transformational campus expansion program that adds new facilities to support the growth of museum and academic programs, enhances the visitor experience, improves circulation throughout the campus, and creates new levels of sustainability across its 140 acres. The program focuses on providing superior facilities for the benefit of visitors and scholars and underscores the Clark’s environmental stewardship of its grounds.


Campus Plan | Image Credit Reed Hilderbrand


Landscape rendering of campus expansion looking south | Image Credit Reed Hilderbrand


The project was initiated in 2001 after the creation of a master plan by Cooper, Robertson & Partners that reconceived the campus. The Clark’s entire 140-acre campus is renewed and enhanced by the introduction of four miles of new walking trails, five new pedestrian bridges, and more than a thousand new trees. But the focal point of the landscape is a set of tiered reflecting pools. Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architecture designed the pools, with their cascades, lawn embankments, and stepping stones to knit together the architectural refinement of the inner campus with the pastoral sweep of Stone Hill Meadow and the meander of Christmas Brook and its wetlands. In order to meet the environmental and experiential goals of the Clark and the community, the pools needed to fit into the site’s topography, hydrology, and habitat.


Clark Center and Reflecing Pool | Image Credit Tucker Bair

Conceived by architect Tadao Ando as a unifying element for the campus and its surroundings, the pools orchestrate a unified composition among the diverse architectural characters of the Clark Center, the Museum Building, the Manton Research Center, and the varied landscape beyond. The Clark Center terraces overlook the uppermost pool, which reflects views of wetlands and woodland beyond as visitors arrive. The entirety of the pools links the cultivated lawns of the central campus with the pastures of the Stone Hill meadow and the intricate network of streams that define the site’s drainage systems and shape its habitat. Lawn walks and embankments thread between the pools. Water cascades through granite weirs from one pool to the next and then is recycled through a system that integrates rainfall capture, stormwater management, landscape irrigation, and building systems, including climate control and toilet flushing.


Reflecing Pool | Image Credit Tucker Bair

The water management system designed for the Clark, prominently represented by the tiered pools, was conceived to reduce total water consumption for the expanded campus through the interconnection of landscape and building water sources. This system transforms what would have been considered wastewater into a resource; balances the need to rebuild groundwater through infiltration on site with the desire to offset potable water use in the building; and improves the health and performance of surrounding wetlands and streams through careful mitigation of storm events and runoff. Original modeling of total water savings, based on a first design study, forecast no potable water consumption in the landscape. As-built performance modeling is forthcoming. The Clark has also elected to commission the entire landscape, as one does for building mechanical systems, to enhance and evaluate the performance of all of its landscape features and assets and to provide a model for future projects.


Clark Center and Reflecing Pool | Image Credit Tucker Bair

Through intense collaboration, the design team created an integrated hydrological system that links all of the campus buildings to the reflecting pool and landscape. Using various harvesting techniques (drains, pipes) and storage techniques (reservoirs, tanks), the system collects foundation water, as well as rainwater, and funnels it into the reflecting pool. Collected water is also used for irrigation, plumbing (gray water for the toilets), and for makeup water for the cooling tower.

Key Landscape Features

  • Operational volume for reflecting pools is 284,000 gallons of water over an area of 42,000 square feet (approximately 1 acre) at an average depth of 13 inches
  • 2000 gallons of water flow through the pools each minute
  • Schow Pond area enhanced and views from galleries improved
  • 500 trees added in final phase; 1150 new trees planted overall
  • Upgrades and extensions to 4 miles of walking trails, including 5 pedestrian bridges
  • Landscaped parking for 398, including 154 overflow meadow spaces and 69 porous asphalt spaces
  • Invasive plant species removed
  • 1.5 miles of new drives built since 2005
  • 80 acres of the campus maintained as woodland
  • 49 acres of the campus managed as native meadow
  • 15 acres of the campus protected as wetland and waterway
  • 10 meadow rain gardens capture and treat runoff


 Clark Art Institute Expansion Landscape | Williamstown, USA | Reed Hilderbrand

Museum Leadership

Peter Willmott, Chairman, Board of Trustees
Michael Conforti, Director

Design Team

Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, Osaka, Japan
(Clark Center, Lunder Center at Stone Hill, physical plant)

Selldorf Architects, New York, New York
(Museum Building and Manton Research Center)

Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architecture, Cambridge, Massachusetts
(Campus Landscape, Circulation, Tiered Reflecting Pool)

Gensler, New York, New York, Executive Architect and Sustainability Consultant


Key Dates

Groundbreaking March 2006 (project launch at the Lunder Center at Stone Hill)

Opening Date The Museum Building and the Clark Center open July 4, 2014; the Manton Research Center opening will be celebrated in spring 2015


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Qingdao World Horticultural Expo Theme Pavilion | Qingdao China | UNStudio Thu, 12 Jun 2014 13:03:32 +0000 ]]> ©Edmon Leong_UNStudio Qingdao Horticultural Expo-15

Following selection in the 2011 competition UNStudio’s World Horticultural Expo Theme Pavilion in Qingdao has been realised. The World Horticultural Expo 2014 takes place the Chinese city of Qingdao (from April to October 2014) and is expected to attract 15 million international visitors. The main theme of the expo is ‘From the Earth, For the Earth’ and aims to encourage the exchange of culture, technology and horticultural knowledge.

©Edmon Leong_UNStudio Qingdao Horticultural Expo-36

In its design for the Theme Pavilion UNStudio combines expert knowledge of logistics, spatial organisation, specialised typology, future flexible usability, function programming, façade intelligence, user comfort and sustainability.

Ben van Berkel: “The architecture for the Theme Pavilion overflows and interacts with the surrounding landscape. The forms of the pavilion buildings respond to the nearby mountains, with their carefully composed rooftops acting as plateaus, each addressing a different portion of the master plan by different inclination and terracing and providing panoramic views which extend far into the surrounding landscape.”

The 28,000 square meter Theme Pavilion comprises the main Expo hall, a grand performance hall, a conference centre and a media centre. The architectural design gesture for the pavilion is borrowed from the shape of the Chinese rose – the city flower of Qingdao – and converted into the floor plan layout of the design.

©Edmon Leong_UNStudio Qingdao Horticultural Expo-93

The four pavilion volumes or ‘petals’ are connected by internal and external walkways and frame a central square which becomes a ‘stage’ for the visitors: a dynamic focal point surrounded by viewpoints on varying levels.

Ben van Berkel: “The flowering out concept is integrated into the design of the Theme Pavilion as gesture of communication. Similarly to how it occurs in nature, the action of flowering out in architecture attracts and invites through the senses. It alludes to the notion that a building can open itself up and encourage public interaction.”

The Theme Pavilion operates as the platform for monthly programmed and seasonally themed activities, featuring flowers in spring, shading in summer, fruits in autumn and greens in winter.

©Edmon Leong_UNStudio Qingdao Horticultural Expo-40

‘Rainbow Ribbons’ provide the routing and infrastructure for the expo and permeate the surrounding landscape. This colour concept is further reflected in the facade elements which are constructed from vertically folded aluminium panels. The four theme colours (green, yellow, orange and blue) are applied along the lengths of the vertical folds, appearing and disappearing depending on the viewpoint.

©Edmon Leong_UNStudio Qingdao Horticultural Expo-10

The World Horticultural Expo will cover nearly 5 million square meters, encourage the participation of more than 100 countries and is expected to attract more than 6,000 visitors daily. In addition the Expo will function as a catalyst for other undertakings and initiatives in the city of Qingdao to improve the city quality as a whole.

©Edmon Leong_UNStudio Qingdao Horticultural Expo-48

Following the World Horticultural Expo 2014, the landscape art themed expo park will become a new venue for eco-tourism, which will shift the focus of Qingdao’s tourism from sightseeing to leisure. Together with the organisers, UNStudio has incorporated a possible future lifecycle into the design of the Theme Pavilion by allowing a transformation of the buildings into a hotel building, accommodating conference and teaching facilities. As part of the design process, the future use of the Theme Pavilion is therefore incorporated into the DNA of the design.

130307_FacadePresentation 7

Credit | UN Studio

 Qingdao World Horticultural Expo Theme Pavilion | Qingdao China | UNStudio  

Client:                                    Office of 2014 Qingdao World Horticultural Expo Executive Committee
Location:                              Qingdao, China

Programme:                        Main Expo Pavilion including Expo Hall, Grand Theater, Conference Center and Media Hub

Status:                                   Realised


UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Hannes Pfau, Gerard Loozekoot with Markus van Aalderen, Joerg Petri, Milena Stopic, Yu-Chen Liu and Cong Ye, Irina Bogdan, Xing Xiong, Maud van Hees, ShuoJiong Zhang, Philipp Mecke, Maya Alam, Junjie Yan, Gilles Greis, Subhajit Das, Erwin Horstmanshof, Faiz Zohri, Andrew Brown, Patrik Noomé, Amanda Chan, Nanang Santoso


Competition stage
Landscape Architect: !melk landscape architecture PC, New York

Theater Advisor: Theateradvies bv, Amsterdam

Structure: Arup, Amsterdam

MEP: Arup, Hong Kong


Construction stage

Structure engineering: Qingdao Architectural Design Institute (QUADI)
MEP engineering: Qingdao Architectural Design Institute (QUADI)

Façade engineering: Senyang Yuanda Aluminium Industry Engineering CO.,LTD-Special Project Group.
Lighting designers: Tsinghua Tongfang

Local Architect: Qingdao Architectural Design Institute Corporation

Text : UN Studio

Images: Edmon Leong otherwise noted as UNStudio

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Shawm House | Coldtown UK | OOBE Ltd Fri, 23 May 2014 13:46:41 +0000 ]]> shawm-house_visualisation
A unique landscape responding to an innovative new residential building set within rural Northumberland. The brief was to develop a sustainable dwelling that sat within, and responded to, its surroundings. Architects Mawson Kerr proposed a pioneering barn conversion that uses innovative construction techniques and sustainable technologies alongside local materials to produce a simple, elegant new home.

The landscape also uses innovative approaches to sustainability including a rain garden which creates a rich new habitat at the heart of the project, deals with excess run-off, encourages infiltration into the soil, improves water quality and provides localized flood control whilst creating an attractive setting for the redevelopment. Solar panels are used to power the house, with 12 photovoltaic panels standing above the water garden. Alongside an ecologically responsive approach, local materials and clean simple lines compliment the architecture and nestle the project into its wonderful setting.

The architects Mawson Kerr and landscape architects OOBE were commissioned in 2011 by Tony and Anne Pender, assisted by their son Richard, to design a house that would cater both for their changing needs as they grow older and their desire to live more sustainably, within the grounds of their present farmhouse at Coldtown.

Their brief sought an outstanding piece of architecture that would create an accessible, comfortable, energy efficient home, employing local and traditional materials in a contemporary way.
Coldtown is in a rural setting surrounded by farmland and sits in an exposed area with strong South westerly prevailing winds. Great views across the landscape can be taken looking towards the South and North East from the settlement. Coldtown is a collection of houses and farm buildings. The farm buildings are no longer used for agricultural purposes and the settlement now consists of three dwellings and families.

‘Shawm’ is an old Northumbrian term meaning ‘to warm oneself’ and was chosen by the client during the design development of the scheme because it so neatly sums up the essence of the design both in the physical and philosophical sense. Working with the client and drawing on all research and analysis of the site the design showcases exemplar contemporary architecture that responds to the site and its unique characteristics.

The design uses innovation through cutting edge construction techniques and sustainable technologies whilst also sourcing traditional and local materials to be used in a contemporary way. A first for this country, the design aspires to push the boundaries of sustainable design by employing a Northern European method of construction called Brettstapel, a ‘massive’ timber system which allows the use of locally sourced timber.

The landscape vision for the site is to create a simple naturalistic setting for the development which relates to the surrounding character and wider site context. At the heart of the proposals is the aim to maximise the environmental and ecological value of the scheme through use of SUDS and renewables. To that end, the following features are proposed:

1. A rain garden
A rain garden is a shallow depression that drains surface water run-off and encourages infiltration into the soil. Rain gardens are beneficial for many reasons: they improve water quality by filtering runoff, provide localized flood control, are aesthetically pleasing and provide interesting planting opportunities. They also encourage wildlife and biodiversity, and help tie together buildings and their surrounding environments in an attractive and environmentally advantageous way.
Rain gardens differ from retention basins, in that the water will infiltrate the ground over a short period of time and therefore has the advantage that the rain garden does not allow mosquitoes to breed.

2. Photovoltaics
A series of solar panels are proposed to sit within the new landscape which would be nestled within the rain garden boundary wall. The panels would not be visible on entry into the site as they sit lower than the top of wall which acts as a ha-ha and screen. These are located centrally within the scheme to utilise the maximum available light throughout the year.

3. Ecology
The existing site consists largely of hard standing associated with the existing barn and therefore considered to have low ecological value. The proposal substantially reduces the extent of hard landscaping for a rich diverse soft landscaping scheme of native flowering plants. The proposal also includes a wetland/water body which will support variety of invertebrates, amphibians and birds. Existing woodland will be extended to the western boundary using suitable native species.



Shawm House | Coldtown UK | OOBE Ltd

Location: Coldtown, Northumberland UK
Design firm: OOBE Ltd
Consultants: MawsonKerr (architects); Smiths Gore (Planning Consultants); Ruth Hadden (Ecologist); John MacAskie (RIBA)
Image and text credit: OOBE Ltd and MawsonKerr​

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Bulcock Beach Esplanade Redevelopment | Caloundra Australia | PLACE Design Group Sun, 13 Apr 2014 23:08:09 +0000 ]]> Bulcock-BeachPDG_04

Image Credit | Chelmstone

The Bulcock Beach foreshore is a spectacular piece of the Queensland coast.  A natural outlook across the sparkling waters of the Pumicestone Passage, the foreshore has views from the northern tip of Bribie Island National Park and further west to the Glasshouse Mountains.  In 2007 PLACE Design Group was first commissioned by the Sunshine Coast Council to undertake master plan review, design development, stakeholder consultation and to prepare detailed tender documentation for the Bulcock Beach Esplanade Redevelopment. In 2013 this redevelopment was completed and the foreshore area not only preserved but reinvigorated.


Image Credit | Chelmstone

During the initial preparation of the master plan review and design phases, applied research into the various environmental factors intrinsic to the site was required. Specific investigation occurred into marine and foreshore ecology (fauna and flora) and coastal foreshore processes, and how they interacted with the site. A high degree of attention was given to analysis and consideration of predicted sea-level rise, tidal range and storm surge data in the establishment of design levels and infrastructure design solutions.


Image Credit | Chelmstone


Image Credit | Chelmstone

Due to this sensitive nature of the site and the Local, State (DERM and Marine Park) and Federal Environmental (EPBC) approvals and permits process there was stringent emphasis on environmental protection and appropriate design solutions. A Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) Framework was developed to provide guidance to the preparation of a final CEMP by the contractor and ongoing environmental monitoring during construction (including both water quality and monitoring of endemic fauna and seasonal variations in their occupation of adjacent waters).


Image Credit | Chelmstone


Image Credit | Street & Garden Furniture Company

Traditionally the site has attracted a broad spectrum of the local and visiting community including beach goers, sightseers, fishermen and picnickers.  With the site area being approximately 4000m2 with the narrowest width being three meters there were spatial challenges in the interweaving of the functional zones whilst providing a coastal pathway for traversers. The design minimises the impact of these various users on the sites significant environmental features in a number of ways.  The root zones of the historic Norfolk pines have been protected by a deck area which has increased access while reducing harmful compaction around these trees.  Fishermen have been provided with a purpose built fishing area including rod holders, tackle waste bins and a scaling table.  The design allows for sea level rise and has built in scour protection to sea walls.  The piling and cantilevered deck minimised disturbance to the marine environment while creating an enlarged and durable boardwalk area.


Image Credit | Street & Garden Furniture Company


Image Credit | Street & Garden Furniture Company


Image Credit | Street & Garden Furniture Company

The constructed works significantly enhance and enrich the urban quality of the esplanade beyond its previous state. It is now a much more legible, accessible, safe and comfortable place which still respects and complements its foreshore setting through use of natural durable materials and a terrestrial based colour scheme which contrasts strongly with the blues of the marine park and ocean.

Image Credit | Dennis Hicks

Image Credit | Dennis Hicks

Bulcock Beach Esplanade Redevelopment | Caloundra Australia | PLACE Design Group

PLACE Design Group (principal consultant – project management, landscape architecture, environmental management),

sub consultants
TOD Consulting (Structural Engineering)
Sunshine Coast Council (Civil Engineering)
Graham Lukins Partnership (Quantity Surveyor)
FRC Environmental  (Marine Ecology)
WEBB Australia (Electrical Engineering and Lighting Design)
Burnett Lynch MRP (Hydraulic Engineering)
Golder Associates (Geotechnical Engineering)
CORE Architects (Architecture)
John Deshon Pty Ltd (Access Consultant)
Indigo C (Interpretive Consultant)
Broadwater Consultants (Irrigation Design)
Asset Horticultural (Soils Consultant)
Sunshine Coast Council (Arborist)

Hutchinson Builders (Noosa) (Head Contractor – Stage 1)
Blakeney Munns Consulting Engineers (Superintendent)
Sunshine Coast Council (Clerk of Works)


Specialist Suppliers/Fabricators
Chelmstone (Precast pavers, kerbing, wall capping)
Bell Stainless (Stainless Steel Fabrication and Balustrading)
Street and Garden Furniture Company (Furnishings, Light Totems and Signage)
Salvatore Di Mauro (Artist)
Urban Art Projects (Artwork Fabrication and Installation)
Pacific Trees (Ex-Ground Tree Supply)
Jetty Specialists (Boardwalk Roto Piling and Precast Members)

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The Lakehouse | Austin USA | Design Workshop Thu, 13 Mar 2014 15:01:24 +0000 ]]> Seaholm-Lakehouse6
The Lakehouse celebrates the city’s cultural and industrial heritage and redefines what it means to feel like you’re at home on the Lake. Inspired by the sinuous pattern of the Colorado River, the iconic lake edge weaves through the Lakehouse, creating a sustainable community destination where Austinites can relax, unwind, and stay connected.


Public spaces are a reflection of our culture and civic health. The Lakehouse is a place where visitors are able to engage with one of Austin’s greatest amenities, Lady Bird Lake. It allows people of all ages to find their own style of relaxation, reflection and play without ever leaving the heart of downtown. It has the potential to not only nurture the family of Austin today but to also inspire love for the City’s unique character for future generations. A sustainable approach to this vision demands a project that preserves a sense of place, stays relevant to a changing community, leads sustainable development by example, and is economically solvent.

The Lakehouse focuses on the natural amenity: the lake. However, it must first address existing barriers and the diversity of their reasons for visiting. To truly connect downtown with the lake, means rethinking the design of Cesar Chavez Street. By reducing the number of lanes from six to four and applying a more pedestrian sensitive design to the street’s cross section, it is possible to reduce crossing times and distances by 30 percent while increasing the opportunities for safe crossing by 65 percent within a five minute walk of the site. Even after this lane reduction, the street is still capable of handling 10 percent more traffic than it currently carries. After crossing Cesar Chavez, a flexible plaza creates a transitional space for downtown visitors and trail users, and a stairway between the two existing buildings creates a physical connection to the lake’s edge while framing a visual connection to the landscape beyond. At the lake’s edge, floating only a few inches above water level, an architectural “barge” allows visitors to further engage with the water, inviting them to dip their feet into the lake. The “barge” also provides an easy landing for watercraft and a convenient transition for triathletes. 


The Lakehouse is all about people connecting to place and creating resonance with an ever-changing community. The project achieves this by emphasizing flexibility and relevance to all age groups, inviting the visitors to enjoy refreshments at the café in the context of the lake, host a unique event, cool off after a hard run, participate in recreational activities ranging from bocce on the roof to bouldering inside the building or take advantage of a mobile book cart from the library.



The architectural shell approach works with existing building openings for day-lighting, ventilation and egress. Vertical circulation takes advantage of existing openings through floors in an effort to retain overall historic legibility. The overall architectural programming approach is defined by “Kineticism” – the idea that the building can adapt over time. This is best expressed by interior flexibility, dynamic barge features and extended hours of programming. In contrast to the hustle and bustle of use, the proposed knitted art program is the perfect antidote for the developed urban landscape. The work seeks to add softness, familiarity, and objects of nostalgia that will remind us of how important and comforting tangibility and craftsmanship are in an increasingly digital age.


QUEEN OF THE “ECODISTRICT” | The Lakehouse employs multiple strategies to provide sustainability leadership through innovation and enterprise. Inherent flexibility, timeless scenery and design intelligence provide the perfect platform to support a public-private partnership. The project creates opportunity for a range of monetized activity, including optional membership-based access to activities and facility use that could provide much needed year-round cash flow. Café sales, equipment rentals, and special event use would easily round out the operational finances of the facility and provide a downtown-oriented complement to recreational infrastructure provided by Zilker Park. In support of the emerging Seaholm EcoDistrict, our proposal forms a project that could ironically be “off the grid” during most of the year, eliminate the need for almost all potable water use, improve ecologic vitality and create a diverse range of habitats along the lake edge. Changes to the landscape would feature endemic materials, soil enrichment, diverse native plantings, increased access to shade and easily fall within the guidelines of the Sustainable Sites Initiative.

The Lakehouse | Austin USA | Design Workshop 

Location: Austin, Texas

Design Firm: Design Workshop, Inc.  Austin, Texas

Images credit:    Design Workshop, Inc.

Design Workshop Team Members:

Steven Spears, Philip Koske, Laura Bryant,  Tim Campbell,  Jason Ferster,  Conners Ladner, Mary Martinich,  Steve Moore, Alex Ramirez

Consultant: BOKA Powell  Austin, Texas

Consultant: Magda Sayeg  Austin, Texas

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Stoss + SHoP rise to the top in Dallas Connected City Design Challenge Mon, 10 Mar 2014 13:13:13 +0000 ]]> stoss_dallas_4

Dallas CityDesign has announced the results of the Connected City Design Challenge. Stoss  + SHoP‘s proposal, Hyper Density Hyper Landscape, has been uniquely recognized as the preferred proposal among the Professional Stream that included finalists Ricardo Bofill and OMA+AMO. A clear and pragmatic approach offers innovative solutions to Dallas’s urban challenges and sets the stage for transformation that will reunite Downtown Dallas and the Trinity River.


Stoss  + SHoP‘s proposal connects the city and its river through an alternating pattern of “grid-green” development. The proposal identifies 176 acres to be developed as three distinct neighborhoods, deployed across 489 acres in a pattern of alternating bands of lush landscape and high density urban development. Each of the three new neighborhoods offers a unique identity, continuing the city’s longstanding development of great neighborhoods.

In the north, DeCCo (Design Crosses Commerce) is a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood that connects downtown with the emerging design district. Residential development is paired with commercial and light industry, drawing the city’s emerging tech and arts sectors. Along the Houston and Jefferson viaducts, The Viaduct extends the central business district towards the river and links Union Square to a new high-speed rail station, a signature office tower, a commercial retail center, a central plaza, a new tech campus, Reunion Tower, and the convention center. Riverfront South bridges the rail corridor to connect Dallas’s South side neighborhood to the Trinity, creating a southern anchor for Riverfront Boulevard with attractive housing, water and music gardens, and two signature institutions.

The Connected City Jury has recognized Hyper Landscape as an innovative approach to activating public land as entrepreneurial urban forests and farms. The proposal extends the natural systems of the Trinity River towards Dallas’s downtown, providing forests for people. Ecologically diverse and programmatically rich, these playful, active forests weave between the highways and interchanges with a new walk that connects Dealey Plaza with the waterfront, offering lush gardens, cafes, and trails along the way. The forests clean the air and water and provide a new habitat.

The heart of these new neighborhoods and landscapes is a revived and revitalized Old River, transformed from lonely flood basins into a beautiful chain of parks and water gardens that reconnect people with the river that was so important to Dallas’s history. The proposal is organized around a productive water system that reimagines life along the Old River, improving its quality and creating new urban amenities, including wetlands, gardens, and an urban beach. It re-works the water systems that move through the current “sumps,” holding more water in place; creating new urban amenities; improving its quality; and reducing overall volumes that enter the levee at flood stage. Storm-water runoff serves as irrigation to the new urban forests.


New public amenities at all scales offer new opportunities to experience the river. Water gardens with lush islands and floating cafes; water amphitheaters, playgrounds, and wet forests; floodable sport courts; and new wetland habitats all create new life from Dallas’s ancestral source. A signature urban beach nestles into the DeCCo district and overlooks the river and a new Pump House Amphitheater provides a new outdoor venue and connects the central business district to the waterfront.

The vision for Dallas is one of many decades, but initiatives and projects that engage the public and disrupt perception now can make way for change. Stoss + SHoP propose to illuminate the river through an artist’s installation, directing Dallas’s attention back to the contours of the river. Tree nurseries and urban gardens can slowly build stock in the future, while providing visual improvements to the city today. With small, key investments in new spaces and new programs, the Trinity River can quickly regain the attention of the city and begin to reinvent itself as a public space.

The proposal is supported by a strategy for connecting DeCCo, The Viaduct, and Riverfront South through well-designed streets and a robust transportation network. A new light rail and pedestrian promenade intensify the growing energy and vibrancy in the heart of Dallas, where people can live, work, and play in a revitalized, connected city. New streets, sidewalks, bike routes, and streetcars will connect the new neighborhoods with each other and with downtown. Along Riverfront, newly designed as a “complete street,” the ride from the Design District to New Riverfront South will be a rich tapestry of urban environments, natural zones, and gathering spaces.

IMAGES & TEXT | Stoss and SHoP

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