Green Varnish by Nomad Studio at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis


Image Credit | Laura Santin

Green Varnish explores the necessity of hiding inconvenient realities with polite beauty. A green fabric elegantly covers all the inopportune facts. 

We ignore inconvenient information. It is admirable how reactionary we are toward information that brings implicit changes; obviously, we have lost perspective of our role within this large system of life of which we belong. Life is change and we forcefully reject impermanence.Flexibility, adaptability and diversity are key aspects of a resilient system; a system in a dynamic equilibrium.  Our landscapes, the intricate relationships between culture and territory, speak of rigidity, in-adaptability and fragmentation. Hence, they are unbalanced landscapes, condemned to intensive restructuring.


Image Credit | David Johnson

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Don River House | Toronto Canada | Scott Torrance Landscape Architects


The Don River House Garden represents a new form of luxury: a sustainable, holistic and bio-diverse environment that fosters long-term wellness. The landscape architect restored the site’s ecology by remediating the riverbank and replacing a residential lot with a series of connected outdoor rooms planted with diverse indigenous species. The Don River House fully integrates the architecture with the landscape and re-envisions a typical residential lot to engage the clients profoundly with their setting.

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RHAA creates innovative inclusive playground


The Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto, California is one of the nation’s most innovative inclusive playgrounds — allowing every child and every parent the opportunity to play. Children can move through the trees on an elevated walk and swing, sway, spin and slide, all on surfaces and equipment without barriers. The Magical Bridge Playground is about bridging the physical and social barriers which prevent children of all ages and abilities from uniting together in play. Here children are powerful, not passive, able to take risks, climb higher, think harder, and foster friendships through play. By meeting the diverse developmental needs of children through universal design, the bridges we are building are physical, intellectual, communicative, sensory, and social; to embrace a truly inclusive place where all children can experience equality of opportunity, full participation, and independence in play.


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18° Off North | Green in the City | Design Workshop

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Defined by its undulating topographic mounds, expansive plains, natural bluffs and the meandering Missouri River, Omaha’s original settlement patterns responded to this picturesque landscape and gave way to the native translation of “city of mound dwellers.” When abstracted within the boundaries of a 7,000 square foot public plaza these four landscapes – mound, plain, river and bluff – unite to create an innovative public space indicative of its greater region, and one which provides numerous benefits for the new Bluebarn Theater, the residents of Little Italy/Near South Side and the greater community of Omaha.

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WWI Memorial Design Competition receives over 350 entries


Earlier this month we posted the call for the World War One Memorial Design Competition which recently closed. The organisers have announced that they received over 350 entries for the competition. There is a wide variety of design submissions – the classical memorial,  literal, architectural forms, anti-memorial, landscape intervention and others drawing upon other memorials (intentional or otherwise).

The overall design quality of  the submissions designs is high with many submissions providing great representation of the overall design intent many outstanding examples of architecture and landscape architecture design.

I encourage you to review some, if not all the designs to see the encouraging signs that landscape architects are able to create many high quality designs. I think the judging panel will have a hard time selecting a shortlist and winner from the some 365 entries. The competition organisers have posted all submissions on the World War One Memorial Design Competition website with the finalists to be announced in mid-August.

Image Credits | Top Row (L to R) Entry No. 355, 24, 90, 123 | Middle Row 74, 217, 255, 203 | Bottom Row 31, 39, 170, 40

Garden City Lands Legacy Landscape Plan | Richmond, Canada | PWL Partnership Landscape Architects


The unique character of the land, its ALR designation, and input from the community provided the basis for the Garden City Lands (GCL) Legacy Landscape.  After being used as a rifle range in the early 1900’s and housing National Coast Guard communication towers in the later part of the century, this extraordinary 136 acre site located in the heart of Richmond, B.C. has remained predominantly unused.  City Council made a landmark decision to purchase the site from the Federal Government in 2010 to serve as a community amenity.  The resulting Legacy Landscape plan combines: sustainable, small-scale agro-ecological approaches to crop production; engaging, research-based approaches to conservation; community uses that promote intergenerational health and wellness; and the creation of a cultural landscape identity.  Rather than compartmentalizing these potentially divergent land uses, the Legacy plan and framework blend them, with each enhancing the other towards the creation of a truly dynamic and multifunctional landscape.


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Hocker Design Group creates a textural private garden


This landscape design is an example of harmonious relationships between structure and site. The project emphasizes a desire by the client to master plan the site to enhance the landscape surrounding the existing house and incorporate a new studio, sited for long vistas to the adjacent pond. The holistic approach allowed the design to focus on lush flora to create a unique inner-city panorama. The contemporary buildings and garden relate to one another gently through the careful manipulation of architectural elements that are intentionally eroded by the introduction of lush plant material. The resulting patina created along the hardscape elements ties hard to soft, architecture to garden through subtle, ethereal connections.

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