The goal of this project is to connect my clients, an urban family of 4, with the amazing rural land they own in upstate New York as their second home. Simplicity, ease of maintenance and the use of materials taken from the 90 acres are the guideposts that orient the project. This work is a sculptural examination of the subtle traces of cultural history and ecological processes on site.
The soil on the project is horrendous. It is a greasy mix of shale and clay that is prone both to drought and standing water depending on the ambient meteorological conditions. The deer pressure is intense with upwards of 40 deer per square mile. No irrigation system exists, nor can it as the well supplies very little water. The wind and cold conditions are extreme. This site was formerly a high pasture for cattle that had been left fallow as a result of its low productivity for a few decades before my clients bought this land. The clients are not avid gardeners. They are quite busy and they live on this site primarily on the weekends.
Continue reading A Walk in the Woods | Hillsdale New York | Jon Piasecki
Fifth Avenue Steps looking South © OLIN
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has unveiled OLIN’s designs for the four-block-long outdoor plaza that runs in front of its landmark Fifth Avenue façade, from 80th to 84th Streets in Manhattan.
The plan also calls for the creation of new fountains—to replace the deteriorating ones that have been in use since they were built in the 1970s along with the existing plaza. The fountains will be positioned closer to the Museum’s front steps, improving access to its street-level public entrances at 81st and 83rd Streets. The renovated plaza will also feature tree-shaded allées (in place of the current trees that have limited lifespans and low environmental benefits due to their planting conditions), permanent and temporary seating areas, and entirely new, energy-efficient and diffused nighttime lighting. Seasonal planting will be added along the building to provide color and visual interest throughout the year. All of these new features respect and complement the architectural highlights of the landmark façade and the monumental, recently refurbished central stairs. OLIN, the landscape architecture, urban design, and planning firm, has been retained by the Museum as the lead design consultant for the project.
Continue reading Metropolitan Museum of Art reveals Fifth Avenue plaza design by OLIN
The vision of W Architecture and Landscape Architecture (also known for the West Harlem Piers Park), was to create places of interaction that form a lasting connection between people and their environments. The Edge Park emphasizes the confrontation of forces at the water’s edge and encourages public use. Here, the city grid and the river’s ecosystem converge, mingle, and clash: the road turns into a pedestrian greenway, a garage is surmounted with a sloping lawn, piers reach gently into the water from deep within the park and stone riverbank contrasts with concrete bulkhead. This blurring of the boundaries between land and water extends the waterfront benefits inland into the community. The various seating areas within the park are positioned as if they have been scattered by the river’s current. The central seating area directs the entire park towards the stunning view of the Empire State Building.
Continue reading The Edge Park | Brooklyn USA | W Architecture & Landscape Architecture
This weeks round-up of landscape news and views from around the web
Emotional Landscapes: Interview with landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh | Gideon Fink Shapiro | BMW Guggenheim Lab
Michael Van Valkenburgh interview about urban landscapes and what they can do
The architecture meltdown | Scott Timberg | Salon
With the economy still in the doldrums where does architecture go from here?
How should we design urban parks? | The Urban Portal | University of Chicago
A social science look at parks, the important differences and the costs of parks in cities.
Building green cities using public/private partnerships | Matthew Kahn | Christian Science Monitor
Public funding for environmentally friendly urban centers benefits private investors, too
Re-greening the Plateau |Michelle Lalonde | Montreal Gazette
Residents are fighting to save their street trees, even if it means removing parking spots
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Beyond Granite Design Competition for a new temporary outdoor commemorative installation in Washington, DC has been announced by The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) and the General Services Administration (GSA). The design competition and resulting installation are intended to enhance a prominent but underutilized public space in the city’s monumental core while fostering public dialogue regarding the nature of commemoration in the nation’s capital.
“The commemoration of our country’s historic leaders, events and ideas is an issue of national and long-standing significance,” noted NCPC Executive Director Marcel Acosta. “As one of the agencies involved with reviewing proposals for new memorials in the nation’s capital, NCPC is excited to be exploring a new and innovative form of commemoration that has the potential to enrich Washington’s cultural landscape, while relieving pressure on the National Mall to accommodate new permanent memorials.”
NCPC and GSA invite artists and/or design professionals, working as individuals or teams, to propose ideas for an innovative temporary commemorative work that embodies the competition’s commemorative theme—the founding principles and positive impact of Earth Day, the world’s largest civic observance. The proposed site for the temporary installation is the Ariel Rios Hemicycle, a grassy semi-circle along the west side of 12th Street, NW between Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues in the heart of Washington’s Federal Triangle. The site is near the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Continue reading ‘Beyond Granite’ Design Competition announced