Railroad Park | Birmingham Alabama | Tom Leader Studio

Railroad Park-Birmingham Alabama-Tom Leader Studio

Aerial image of the park with phase II amphitheater by Kennedy Violich Architecture

Tom Leader Studio(TLS) spent five years working extensively with a public / private partnership to build this downtown central park and master plan the rail corridor. TLS managed a large team of consultants including multiple architects, local landscape architect, and engineers. Abandoned rail lines are a constant theme in all of our work today. This project celebrates the active participation of 11 tracks of well-loved trains that slowly lumber through this downtown on a viaduct. The park site is a former warehouse and brick-making site and much of the park is formed with materials recovered from historic uses. The park is four blocks long by one block wide and was historically, the lowest point in town. The scheme draws on this ample water in creating a large reservoir for irrigation which also discharges through a stream and series of ponds as a summer fountain. Needed floodwater storage is created by excavating for this water system, using the spoils to create a series of knolls along the rail viaduct. The “Rail Trail”, located atop this little mountain range is a series of on-grade and bridge connections which allow train-spotting up close, views over downtown and of the frequent large music events and parties within the park. The park contains performance venues of varying scales from small to extra large such as the annual “Crawfish Boil” attracting 30,000 music fans. Noisy or quiet, day or night, the park is only completed by the industrial ballet of freight cars slowly rolling in both directions.

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Orientation by Light, Maasstad Hospital | Rotterdam Netherlands Stijlgroep landscape and urban design

Orientation by Light-Maasstad Hospital-Stijlgroep

Seating Elements by Night

Getting lost in a huge building is not only a fear of most users, but happens quite regular. The new hospital of Rotterdam South is one of those huge developments with an enormous building mass. The design team came up with a unique concept for the five patios being located along the central internal corridor with a length of 500 meters. Sustainability means for designers to focus on the need of the users. With the concept of three different themes combined with special lighting elements the right answer in this context was given: The patios are as orientation point the central heart of the new development and meet the demands as part of the healing environment. Special lighting elements emphasize the identity of each patio.
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LAMP & the Low-Line | Chicago Illinois | Moss

LAMP & the Low-Line | Chicago Illinois | Moss

moss was commissioned to formulate the LAMP (Lakeview Area Master Plan) by the The Lakeview Chamber of Commerce to pro-actively plan for business, economic development, and sustainability initiatives in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. The plan creates a hub for urban scale sustainable design innovation and improvements while enhancing the pedestrian environment, strengthening business opportunities, and mending the urban ecosystem.

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Craiglinn Underpass | Cumbernauld Scotland | Bigg Design


North Lanarkshire Council commissioned Bigg Design and Zero-Waste Design to deliver an exciting project that saw the regeneration of an underpass in Cumbernauld with stunning lighting and mural designs.

Working with local school pupils and engaging with members of the community, we developed a design that transforms the experience of using the underpass (previously a dark, intimidating area subject to vandalism) into an inspiring, unique journey that feels bright, airy and welcoming.

Murals on the underpass walls celebrate scenes from the local landscape of Cumbernauld and include a mixture of people, parks, wildlife, and architecture, whilst the LED lighting slowly changes hue over the course of the night to symbolise the colourful lighting transitions from day to night to day. A large group of pupils were involved in the creation of the mural, which has enabled them to have a sense of ownership of the space that they pass on their daily journey to school.
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717 Bourke Street | Melbourne | Aspect Studios


A multi level urban landscape realm wrapped around two buildings drove the design towards a highly architectural outcome. ASPECT Studios was engaged to design and document the streetscape, pocket park, podium forecourt and courtyards for this mixed use development in the Docklands.

ASPECT Studios was responsible for the design to 717 Bourke Street public realm areas on ground floor, level 4 podium and connection to ground floor areas and bridge connection to Southern Cross Station, level 5 podium areas and connections to level 4 and private courtyards on level 4.

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Race Street Pier | Philadelphia | Field Operations

Race Street Pier-Delaware-Field Operations

Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC ) along with Mayor Nutter recently opened the new Race Street Pier, the first new public space of its kind on the Central Delaware River Waterfront to be realized as part of DRWC’s ambitious new Master Plan for the Central Delaware River Waterfront.  The Pier was designed to create a strong physical experience that reconnects the City to the River, activates the water’s edge and establishes the pier as a distinctive new public park for the people of Philadelphia.  Formerly Municipal Pier 11, the pier was renamed as the Race Street Pier to further reinforce its relationship to the City and reinstate its historic name.  In 2009, DRWC Planning Committee awarded the contract for the Race Street project design to James Corner Field Operations. The development of a public space such as the Race Street Pier was an early action recommendation of the Civic Vision for the Central Delaware, an extensive public study conducted by Penn Praxis to re-envision Philadelphia’s Waterfront.

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NCPC Selects Five Firms for President’s Park South Design Competition

*UPDATE* NCPC has unveiled the designs and we recently published the concepts 2011.06.21

The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) has invited five of the country’s leading architecture and landscape design firms to develop proposals to beautify and improve the visitor experience at President’s Park South, the area immediately south of the White House. President’s Park South is one of the most visited locations in the nation’s capital, and represents a unique design challenge that requires sensitive integration of security requirements into a landscape of extraordinary cultural and historic significance. The area includes Sherman Park, the First Division Monument, the Ellipse and its side panels, as well as the associated roadways in the area, including E Street, NW, which has been closed to automobile traffic for the past decade.

Twenty-three firms responded to NCPC’s call for qualifications, the initial stage of a national design competition begun in March. Based on the review and recommendations of NCPC’s selection committee, and with support from the Interagency Security Task Force, NCPC invited five firms to advance to the design phase of the competition.
The selected firms are:

  • Hood Design Studio in San Francisco, CA;
  • Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates in New York City, NY
  • Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architects in Watertown, MA;
  • Rogers Marvel Architects in New York City, NY; and
  • SASAKI in Watertown, MA.

Continue reading NCPC Selects Five Firms for President’s Park South Design Competition

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