CONSTRUCTION UPDATE | Final Stage of the High Line


Final Stage of the High Line | Image Credit Timothy Schenck courtesy of Friends of the High Line.

The third and final stage(known as the Rail Yards) is currently under construction and the Friends of the High Line have told WLA via email that most of the High Line’s signature planking has been laid. The interim walkway (where the High Line curves north at the intersection of West 30th Street and 12th Avenue) is all in place. Planting will begin in spring and continue throughout the summer whilst also installing additional construction elements. No date has been set for the opening of the final stage but is expected to be open to the public in the Fall of 2014.

Continue reading CONSTRUCTION UPDATE | Final Stage of the High Line

University of Kentucky Landscape Architecture students learn practical skills [VIDEO]

University of Kentucky Landscape Architecture students - Shade Structure

During a week when most college students are focused on barreling through their last final and heading home for a holiday break, fourth-year landscape architecture students were spending an unseasonably warm December day building a shade structure for preschoolers.

When Ryan Hargrove, a faculty member in the University of Kentucky Department of Landscape Architecture in the College of Agriculture, started teaching the methods and materials course four years ago, he redesigned it to include more sustainable and service-learning projects. Each year, the class works with a client in the community to design and build some type of structure. This year, they worked with UK’s Early Childhood Laboratory, which provides a teaching tool to early childhood learning majors and is one of the highest-rated childcare facilities in the state.

Continue reading University of Kentucky Landscape Architecture students learn practical skills [VIDEO]

Matthew Urbanski Interview about BBP by PLACES

PLACES has published a recent interview with Matthew Urbanski of MVVA about the design & construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park. The interview goes into detail about the materials used and some of the design elements. An interesting interview that gives good insight to the design and construction process.

Read more at the SOURCE: PLACES -Building Brooklyn Bridge Park: An Interview with Matthew Urbanski via Planetizen

Queens Quay get go ahead – WEST 8

The plan to redesign Queens Quay, the backbone of Toronto’s waterfront revitalization plans, finally has the go-ahead.

The provincial government approved an environmental assessment yesterday for a pedestrian-friendly promenade. Construction of the first phase, an 800-metre section, should begin early next year.

The plan involves cutting the lanes of traffic from four to two, creating a wider boulevard for people to walk on, adding grass in between the streetcar tracks and extending the Martin Goodman Trail through the busiest stretch of Queens Quay.

The TTC’s light rapid transit lines will remain where they are. The three-kilometre project extends from Parliament Street to Spadina Avenue and will be completed in three stages.

An initial $48 million has been set aside by Waterfront Toronto. That will go towards reconfiguring the entire three-kilometre boulevard and building the first section, which is expected to take 18 months. The remaining phases are dependent on funding.


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The New Bund in Shanghai

With only 12 days to the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai you have probably seen images of the new Expo site with its amazing pavilions. But there is more going on in Shanghai in the last 2-3 years than the construction of Expo. Last month the main promenade in Shanghai known as the Bund or Waitan was recently reopened after a two years of renovation which involved removing the main elevated expressway onramp and constructing a new traffic tunnel under the fill length of the road and the pedestrian promenade was widened and extended.

The Bund is a historical piece of the city that has dramatically changed from in the last century from a mud flat riverbank with wooden planks for baording boats and ships whilst overlooking the opposite bank of farmland to becoming a thriving pedestrian promenade in front of buildings dating from 1880’s to 1930’s now overlooking a modern metropolis of contemporary architecture; most of which was built in the last decade.

The renovated Bund is 2000 metres long (1.25 miles) with three levels – roadside, promenade and lower level plazas beside the river. The new Bund has done away with the concrete upstand walls replaced with a curved balustrade which is more comfortable to lean against and watch the ships, barges and ferries go by whilst looking across at Lujiazui, the modern financial district.

The new expansive bund is accessed by long ramps that  create dramatic sense of arrival to the promenade which is paved in light coloured large unit granite paving and timber paving replacing the small sized pink ceramic tile (installed in a 1993 renovation). The new design also includes some new wave like glass sculptural roofs that give a different architectural dynamic although they are placed at the south end to ensure an unobstructed view of the historical buildings.

The renovation of  the Bund also includes renovated and new ferry terminal & jetties, a renovated weather station, thematic lighting and water sprays into the river. The lower roadside promenade and plazas are to include commercial shopping and restaurant areas.

The slideshow above can be enlarged to full screen by clicking on the four-arrow button (right side)

If you are coming for Expo or the 2010 IFLA Congress in Suzhou – the Bund is an interesting place to visit and take in the city. We will be featuring other posts about the changes that Shanghai has undergone in the last few years including Expo.

by Damian Holmes (Resident of Shanghai for almost 5 years)

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KCAP wins Keqiao Water City competition in Shaoxing, China


KCAP Architects & Planners has won the international competition to design a masterplan for Keqiao Water City in Shaoxing, China. The 45 ha site, which is currently occupied by redundant textile industry and residences, will be redeveloped for residential use with community functions and sport and commercial facilities in a landscaped setting of waterland, parks and gardens. KCAP’s masterplan design has been chosen as winner out of 3 international entries.

Keqiao is the major development area of Zhejiang province, occupying a strategic location between Shaoxing, a city of 3 million inhabitants, and Hangzhou, close to Xaoshan airport and along the highway to larger local cities and further to Shanghai. With its unique landscape of lakes, canals and rocks it forms a setting of scenic beauty. The area will become a recreational centre and will give new development impulses for the entire region.

KCAP’s masterplan introduces a landscape framework formed by different conditions found on the site such as the two lakes with their waterfronts, the canal and road system, the green spaces and the bridges. Enriched with carefully designed elements like public squares, parks, roads and paths a continuous landscape fabric is established which ties the entire development together.

KCAP will elaborate the winning masterplan scheme throughout 2010 in close cooperation with Shaoxing developer Gemdale and the local authorities. The first projects are estimated to start construction in 2011. ‘Working on this project is a great opportunity for us. It is an important stepping stone for our growing portfolio in China,’ says Markus Appenzeller, director of international projects of KCAP.




Cracknell appointed to SmartCity Malta

Cracknell Landscape Architects based in the UAE, UK and Oman have been appointed the landscape architects for SmartCity Malta – ‘a premier ICT and media park, showcasing Malta to the world as the region’s new destination for high-tech industries…..With the Government of Malta as a partner, local, regional and international companies can be assured of the country’s long-term commitment to knowledge-based opportunities.‘.

Cracknell’s scope of work extends from the strategic and master plan level through to the detailed design and construction. Key landscape elements of SmartCity Malta include the entry gate and Main Boulevard, urban ring road, coastal promenade, lagoon, and cascading terraces. The streetscape and lighting scheme will further set the ambiance and enhance the built environment.

Read more at the [SOURCE: Malta Independent Online – SmartCity Malta appoints landscape architects]

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