In October 2009, Seattle Parks selected SvR Design + Hewitt as the primary design consultant for four Belltown blocks, from First to Fifth Avenues will be turned into Seattle’s first park boulevard with swales and natural landscaping. Last month SvR Design + Hewitt presented two different design options for Bell Street in the Seattle neighbourhood of Belltown to the community to receive feedback.
The design team presented two options for the first area of the project between 4th and 5th Avenue. The design team walked the audience through a comparison of the options requesting input on the “Sluiced Surface” option and the “Measured Movement” option.
The community offered positive feedback and direction for the design of the park. The community encouraged the designers to look into a combination of the two designs emphasising the importance of safety, activation, lighting, and using green / recycled materials.
Nate Cormier, senior landscape architect at SvR, said the two designs are meant to represent “bookends” of the area’s history. Bell Street and the area around it have changed dramatically in the past 100 years. Tons of rock and soil that originally formed a steep hill there were removed and the land was regraded.
After receiving the communities feedback the team will come up with a single design and present it at a public meeting in April. Construction should occur in 2011.
Over recent years video and digital animation have become another design tool for landscape architects and education and professional institutions.
For landscape architects digital animation and 3D rendering has become cheaper and cheaper to produce with tools such as Sketchup, 3Dmax, rhino, and maya allowing design firms to give clients another perspective and sense of place. Some of the amazing videos that are now produced are using a mixture of pure animation, still renders and imagery are stunning to watch. With the recent advances with VRL and 3D its a matter of time that the only limit will be the imagination of designers.
Recently education and professional institutions have started promoting their events and courses with the advent of cheap digital video cameras and the ability to publish cheaply with sites such as Youtube, Vimeo, Viddler, Metacafe, Youku. Recently professional institutions such as ASLA, AILA, Landscape Institute have used Youtube and self published video to increase the profile of landscape architects.
Below are some examples of how video is being used in landscape architecture. I would love to hear and see how you and your organisation are using video in landscape architecture. Drop me an email at email@example.com.
Architecture for Humanity in partnership with San Onofre Foundation and The Surfrider Foundation are staging an open design competition. This is a two-phase open competition to generate visionary ideas for a safe trail and railroad crossing that provides access Lower Trestles. After the eight-week Phase 1 period, 4-5 finalists will be selected to develop their designs in Phase 2 with a $2000+ stipend each.
Access to Trestles, one of North America’s most celebrated waves, is under threat due to safety and environmental concerns. Currently, over 100,000 people each year follow informal trails through wetlands and over active train tracks to gain access to the surf breaks at Trestles. These impromptu manmade paths present a safety hazard with passing trains and threaten the fragile ecosystem of Trestles.
In response, a coalition of concerned groups organized by the volunteer non-profit organization Architecture for Humanity, are launching “Safe Trestles,” an open-to-all, two-stage design competition to create a safe pathway to serve surfers, the local coastal community and day visitors to San Onofre State Beach.
Registration Deadline: March 17, 2010
Submission Deadline: April 17, 2010
Entry Fee: $20 USD
Event sponsored by Nike 6.0
WORLD LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT is not involved with organisation, registration, entries or judging of this competition for all correspondence and information please contact the competition website Open Architecture Network
Recently the contest organisers of the Gateway Arch Design Competition announced the shortlist for the second round of the competition and it reads like a who’s who of built environment design from around the world. This competition is shaping up to be one of the most interesting for 2010 and the jury will have a hard job on their hands picking a winner.
The lead designers and design teams are:
Behnisch Architekten, Gehl Architects, Stephen Stimson Associates, Buro Happold, Transsolar, Applied Ecological Services, Limno-Tech, Herbert Dreiseitl, Arne Quinze, Peter MacKeith, Eric Mumford
FIT (Fully Integrated Thinking) Team – Arup, Doug Aitken Studio, HOK Planning Group, HOK
Michael Maltzan Architecture, Stoss Landscape Urbanism, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Richard Sommer, Buro Happold
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Steven Holl Architects, Greenberg Consultants, Uhlir Consulting, HR&A Advisors, Guy Nordenson and Associates, Arup, LimnoTech, Ann Hamilton Studio, James Carpenter Design Associates, Elizabeth K. Meyer, Project Projects
Weiss/Manfredi, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Mark Dion
The nine design leaders and teams now have five weeks to complete their teams and present full qualifications to the competition jury, Stastny said.
In addition, local contractors, minority, disadvantaged, or women-owned businesses and others are invited to meet Feb. 18 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Old Court House with representatives of the short-listed design groups for potential teaming opportunities.
“This will be an excellent opportunity for these businesses to learn about the project and to begin considering participating,” Stastny said. “We look forward to a strong turnout.”
The final stage, Stage III, to take place over the summer, will include a 90-day design concept competition to explore the finalists’ design approach and test their working methodology.
The public will be invited to two events this spring and summer. A “meet the designers night” will be held in late April. This summer, there will be a public exhibition of the designs. Details will be available soon.
The final jury pick will be announced on Sept. 24, 2010. The project is set to be constructed by Oct. 28, 2015.
The new design is called for in the National Park Service’s General Management Plan, which was developed with extensive public input over an 18-month period and approved Nov. 23, 2009.
The competition is sponsored by the CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation, which includes National Park Superintendent Tom Bradley, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, community leaders from Missouri and Illinois, academics, architects and national park advocates.
A full list of registrants for the competition, “Framing a Modern Masterpiece: The City + The Arch + The River 2015,” has also been released. It can be found with other competition information at www.cityarchrivercompetition.org.
The Scottish Government recently launched a simplified planning document which replaces 17 separate planning policies. The new document sets out planning policy on topics such as housing, wind farms, flooding and the natural and built environment.
Also published today is a circular updating guidance on the criteria and processes when developers are required to make a contribution to the provision of local infrastructure, where a development would create additional infrastructure demands.
New York Times recently published When Parks Must Rely on Private Money by DIANE CARDWELL concerning the struggles of cities to fund the construction and maintenance of parks throughout the USA. Many parks are funded through selling of land or revenues generated by carparks or taxes from new nearby developments and others are funded by residents and companies donating funds in return for naming rights or plaques. Cardwell cites examples of parks that have been constructed with the use some private funding including Millennium Park in Chicago and the Highline and with the tradeoff causing issues in some cities.
The article stimulated a few ideas I have had during my career. I find that funding of new or redevelopment of parks is a often a fine line between private and public funding, which often blurs the line between public and private space. Private funding often causing issues with residents because of naming or commercial activities in the new park that create a private area.
An ever-growing trend for cities around the world is to justify the cost of construction and maintenance of parks through inclusion of private funding or commercial activities such as paid parking garages, retail shops, restaurants, or areas that are commercialised for entertainment(concerts, festivals, etc). How to strike a balance between private and public funding is very complicated process for each city and requires research and consultation.
Many cities find it hard to redevelop parks with the use of public money as it is often controversial as parks are sometimes seen by residents as non-essential. Residents see hospitals, schools, and police as essential services within the community whereas parks are seen as non-essential and that public monies would be better spent on other services. To avoid this cities seek private funding in return for naming rights or a commercial development on or near the park. Now the question is how far to go with private funding and how much is the park compromised by accepting the funding in return for naming right or commercial development?
This issue of public and private funding will become more and more prevalent around the world as developers of retail and residential developments blur the line between public and private space by creating spaces in developments that are town squares and parks that can be accessed by the public. This blurring will cause some confusion with city residents as to what is public space and what is private. It also raises the question – Are developers going to develop parks and maintain them or will it always remain the domain of the local government?
Private development of public parks as apart of residential developments or commercial developments, which are then handed to government after certain period is already occurring in some parts of the world. Will this become a growing trend across cities for small and large parks? Or will it remain only in residential developments?
Industrial-sized dumpsters, mini skips, a shipping container and exotic aquatic weeds are the four key elements in the exhibition garden being designed by Christchurch-based international designer Craig Pocock for this year’s Ellerslie International Flower Show.
“As landscape architects, we should be aiming to create landscapes with longevity that will survive changing demographics, community growth and fashion trends. Our landscapes need to be timeless designs that serve a community well for decades to make the most of the embodied energy costs that comes with creating and maintaining a landscape, especially our urban spaces”.