Landscape architecture, once the “parsley on the pig”, must be all things to all people

Ray Edgar of has written a feature article about landscape architecture. Edgar interviews some landscape architects in Victoria, Australia for the feature and they have some key insights into the role of landscape architecture in society. Here are some of the key statements and encourage you to read the full article.

“Landscape architecture used to be the ‘parsley on the pig’, the token decorative garnish around the building,” says RMIT research leader Dr Sue Anne Ware.

“Landscape architecture is sociology and what interests us is how people use space, feel a sense of ownership over that space, and appropriate it in a socially responsible manner,” said Chris Sawyer of Site Office.

Read the full article at the [SOURCE: The Age – New Park Life]

Urban Garden inside Bank of America

WRT Urban Garden, Bank of America New York

WRT’s New York office have installed living sculptures in the Urban Garden Room at Bank of America Tower’s 60-foot high street-level atrium space at One Bryant Park, New York. The Durst Organization, the building’s owner and developer, commissioned WRT to create an appropriate – natural – signature for New York City’s first LEED Platinum office tower. The designers created a sculptural solution: four monumental landscape sculptures, ranging in height from a 7-foot monolith to a 25-foot archway. They have been carefully positioned in the light-filled space at the building’s entrance to create an immersive experience. The WRT team included lead designer Margie Ruddick and sculptor Dorothy Ruddick. The Montreal-based firm Mosaiculture Internationale fabricated the sculpture from scale models using galvanized steel frames. Created in multiple pieces, each sculpture contains an internal irrigation system that was wrapped with porous fabric, then hand-composed with thousands of ferns, mosses, and lichens. When completed, the living sculptures were loaded onto three 52-ton trucks, transported from Canada and carefully assembled on site by a professional installation crew over a 42-hour period. Now known as the Urban Garden Room, the new living green space is a daily pleasure for building users and a delightful urban surprise for busy passersby, offering a welcoming, soothing reprieve from the clamor of everyday city life.


Canada’s biggest green roof was technically challenging: LA

Journal of Commerce reports

The biggest living roof in Canada is surrounded by water on three sides, and the marine deck on which the building sits is supported by stilt-like piles. It also features slopes of up to 53 per cent.

Bruce Hemstock, of PWL Partnership, a Vancouver landscape architecture and consulting firm that worked on the project, said the roof portion of the job was one of the most technically challenging assignments his firm has taken on in its 35 years in the business.

Read the full article at the SOURCE: Journal of CommerceCreating Vancouver Convention Centre’s green roof no simple task

WPA 2.0 & WPA 2.0 SE winners announced


Carbon T.A.P. // Tunnel Algae Park

PORT, Andrew Moddrell and Christopher Marcinkoski, from Chicago and New York for their project, Carbon T.A.P. // Tunnel Algae Park. The jury of Elizabeth Diller, Cecil Balmond, Marilyn Taylor, Walter Hood, Stan Allen, and Thom Mayne was unanimous in its decision citing two primary qualities: The floating, carbon-capturing bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan would be an index for the otherwise invisible tunnel below, and the periodic rotation of the parkway across the river had the power to reshape the image of the city.

In addition to the professional prize, the jury selected two first-prize winners from among the student finalists: R_Ignite by four graduate students of the Manchester School of Architecture – Peter Millar, Jamie Potter, Andy Wilde and Stuart Wheeler, and Aquaculture Canal_New Orleans by Fadi Masoud, a Master of Landscape Architecture student from the University of Toronto. From the recycling of ships and oil rigs to create vital port districts, to a New Orleans aquaculture canal, the jury noted that the winning submissions were ideal as a pair, representing the range of innovative ideas relevant to WPA2.0.

In his keynote address, White House Director of Urban Affairs, Adolfo Carrion, praised all the finalists for imaginatively engaging the future of American cities. His words were echoed by HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims who called on designers to “Take us places where we have never gone before.” cityLAB at UCLA is committed to doing just that, so stay tuned for new collaborations among universities, professionals, and policymakers in federal government who will devise WPA 2.1 and beyond.

Animations by the finalists, along with more information on the winning schemes, the symposium, and WPA 2.0’s prospects will be available shortly at




Aquaculture Canal_New Orleans

MVVA selected for northern end of Grant Park

Chicago Journal reports

A Brooklyn-based landscape architecture firm has been recommended to lead the revamp of the northern end of Grant Park, one of the most prominent — and, in recent times, most contentious — public spaces in Chicago.

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc. will plan an area that includes the Grant Park site of the Chicago Children’s Museum, according to a letter park district staff posted on the agency’s Web site on Tuesday.

read the full article at the SOURCE: Chicago Journal- Grant Park contract going out

What makes a riverfront successful?

Recently Landscape architect Roy Mann was interviewed by KERA (Public broadcaster in North Texas) about River fronts as apart of a series of Features about rivers and plans for river-front development in Dallas, Fort Worth and Irving along the Trinity River.

Roy Mann spoke about how access, blending the built and natural environments together and the pleasures of stopping at a cafe or restaurant on the river create successful waterfronts.

To read or listen to the full feature report go to the [SOURCE: KERA – Banking on Rivers: Part 1]

London to invest £220 million in public spaces

View Larger Map

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson announced recently his vision to transform London’s public spaces and create beautifully designed oases throughout the capital’s urban jungle. Over the next three years, in excess of £220 million will be invested in over 50 public space projects, ranging from redesigned streets to reclaimed green spaces and waterways.

The Mayor stated that “If you Google our city with a satellite map you will see how the world beneath you is divided into two categories. There is private space – that is, homes and gardens occupied by individuals and their families. However, more than half of the London landscape is shared space including roads, parks, canals, rivers, squares, piazzas, malls and monuments. This shared space is a vast and complex environment in which millions of perfect strangers must move, meet and negotiate. It is, therefore, critical that we invest in them so that London’s great outdoors is fit for the future.

Continue reading London to invest £220 million in public spaces

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