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Twirly trees, an off-the-wall education program, European designers get back to their roots, and a blast from the landscape past. Edited by Linda Mcintyre


Parks Under Siege

Encroachments are becoming tbe rule. By Peter Harnik


Civil Union

A fledgling landscape architecture program once partnered with a landscape deo,ign program for mutual advantage. Now that they need each other less, what bas been learned? By Daniel Jost, Associate ASLA

EDUCATION 142 Landscapes of Horne, Landscapes of Escape

Landscape architecture students design and build gardens in health care settings.

By Da.niel Winterbottom, ASLA


Decked Out

A hunch of architecture students designed and built this deck in a semester. Landscape arcbttecture students, heads up!

By Angus McCullough


A /arid bridge ill W",/J'-rlglon state make< crossilJg the street an experience, page 90. PhQt~gJ'apb UI1U'IeJJ jqne.f & jrwer AuhiJlH;J5 ilj~d Lami5c:"pt' Aectrit ect s

21 Landscape Architecture fEO P U A~Y 200 ~

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Walking Light]y on the Planet

Digital tools can make it possible to decrease carbon footprints By James L. Sipes, ASLA


Striking Stems Provide Winter Interest

Kick the appeal a/your winter landscape up a notch with shrubs and small trees that offer colorful stems, arrestingforms, or exquisitely textured bark. B,y Rita Pelczar'


Landscape Planning:

A Historv of Influential Ideas

An eminent la'nd.lcape planner look; at the key Ideas 0/ planners who preceded him.

By Carl Stelnitz, Honorary ASLA


In Wasbmgton state, a higbway overpass becomes an experience.

By Clair Enlow 90


A Place for Sculpture

NeW England's largest sculpture park if trans/armed.

By Jane Roy Brown


Bar codes grow hig In a llbrary)s sculptural lanterns.

By Marty Carlock 9&




Critical Eve

Setup impet/ect}or Pope John Paull! Prayer Garden.

By Edward Gunts

41 Landscape Arthitecture FEB~UARY 2009

the POSS! B! L! T! ES are EN DLESS!


61 Land se a pe Archile ciu re FE B R U A II Y 200 9




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Jane Roy Brown; Lake Douglas, ASLA Diane Hellekson, ASLA; Peter Jacobs, FASLA Frank Edgerton Martin; Linda McIntyre James L. Sipes, ASLA; Kim Sorvig

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ANTICIPATION QUICKLY TURNED to disappoincrnent on th .. at. Baltimore srreer as the Pope John Paul II Prayer Garden came mro full view. "Ir's next co a parking garage!" exclaimed my companion,

Yes, and the garage's looming presence is more than an aesthetic Issue, The potential for garage customers, as well as office workers in surrounding buildings, to peer down at the garden is part of the reason it may fail as a place ro pray (see this month's Critic at Large, page 120).

But people of faith can pmy anywhere they happen to be, regardless of surroundings, can't they? Not exactly, "When thou prayest," said Jesus, "enter into thine inner chamber, and having shur thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret" (Matthew 6:6)_ J ehinkJesus was pretty dear: You need a solitary spot for all but the most perfunctory prayer_ So how does a site next to a parking garage at the corner of Charles and Franklin streets sound?

Regardless of your religious persuasion, Pope John Paul deserves to be remembered as a dynamic and coLlrugeous world leader. But this is specifically a prayer garden, not a memorial garden, and Cardinal William Keeler stated thar people of all religions are invited to pray here. Would John Paul's srarue help Catholics, much less non-Catholics, connect with their Creator in this setting?

One oddity of the garden is that it's locked up tighter [han Fort Knox on major religious holidays-at least it was on Christmas Day, when photographer Mike Tim went there. (He had to shooc the phocos hanging over the security fence.) It wasn'c open on New Year's Day, when I went, eieher, but I understand why. Baltimore, this grand, culturally rich old city, is plagued by crime. Downtown parks become venues for drug deals or worse unless they're only open when the surrounding busi-

nesses are open and can provide some informal surveillance. 5tiU, I wonder

outdoor spaces have )'OU found conducive to m.ed itatio n 0 rpraye r?

E-mail thoughts to

if the security fence around this tennis-

court-sized space doesn't create the feeling of being in a cage. Would anyone even wanr to eat lunch here, much less pray? I would love to see someone do a postoccupancy evaluation to determine if anyone uses the garden and, if so, for what.

I'm reminded of another new prayer garden of sorts in the region-the Pentagon Memorial (see "The Pentagon Memorial Story," Landscape Architecture, January), which, despite its equally hemmed-in site, may be an effective place for prayer because of its scale: There are enough memorial benches that a visiror can find a spot where he or she can enjoy some solitude.

As we ended our visit to the Prayer Garden, my companion, who happens co be a praying person, gave her final verdict: 'Til bet nobody ever prays here."

Who chose this site for the Prayer Garden, anyway' The site was by no means a given-in fact, the Archdiocese of Baltimore had to tear down a historic building to create it. Even so, It'S not directly connected to the Baltimore Basilica; you have to walk around the block to get there. So why couldn't the garden have been sited in some empty lot within walking distance?

I do hope it wasn't the landscape architects who chose this site.

That raises a bigger issue, however-that designers often have no part in choosing the sites they design. How can landscape architects better position themselves to be on site selection teams'


_.~ \' J. William "Bill" Thompson, PASLA, Editor

HBRU IlRY 2009 Landscape Architecture 113

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landscape Arc~itects! t~e Obama Administration, and t~e Environment

YES, LET'S PREVENT DRIlLING in Utah, and I'm sure you were also referring (Land Matters, December) to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Thar will help out our economic and energy situations immensely. But at least landscape architects will be able to say that they saved another acre of pristine parkland in the name of aesthetics. Forget about the economy and jobs.

I think landscape architects as a whole need co open their eyes and see what 1S going on with people. Not JUSt people who enjoy living communally in these ut0PJas rhar landscape architects love to opine about, but real people. People who work in the ener-

gy industry, the American auto industry, the housing industry I think the concerns of this COlmtry reach farther than saving another acre of parkland or insisting chat people live the way that you have dreamed up in the name of "smart growth."

We as landscape architects have a duty to create beautiful, livable communities, and yes, we need to be good stewards of the land. But we also need to keep in mind that its not just "us" using this land. There ate more than 300 million other Arnericans, and our utopian approaches to land planning aren't JUSt unrealistic. In some cases, they are just wrong.

I know that in the world of landscape architecture I am an island, as most landscape architects have a very liberal view of things. But I don't wish the government to come up with solutions (i.e., the Kyoto Protocol) to all our problems, and I believe that we as Americans, with our ingenuity and pride of country, can come up with solutions without government dictating it.

Oil is the lifeblood of this country whether you like it or not. Denying the right co ever drill for another drop will cause this country to spiral downward OUt of control-all in the name of saving an acre of parkland.

JENNI THOMPSON, ASiA St. Patd, Minnesota


anlOng many others. We met the ladies at rwo of them-Mrs. Gardner and Mrs. Ford.

I met Thomas Church in the late 19505.

I had written to ask ifhe would mark a city map with some of his garden designs for me to visit and photograph. Church invited me to visir his office ar a break time to meet his staff, then he asked if I would like to visit with him some gardens under construcrion and some completed ones .. Would 1.;; I felt like what Moses must have felt like with God. At one garden I gOt to watch him show a contractor how he wanted a rock placed by picking it up and placing it.

EDWARD C. MARTIN JR., FASIA Black Mountain, Nonh Carolina

Site-S p ec i f i cArt M isi n terp reted

I ENJOYED READING Roberta Smith's article "Public Art, Eyesore to Eye Candy" in your December issue (as I enjoy much of her writing for The New York Times), but I found it quite misguided regarding the most crucial aspect of public art of the past decades, site-specific art, of which she makes shore shrift as "an amorphous category."

I agree with Smith that late modern public aft (e.g., of the 19605) was deadly, and that Anish Kapoor's shiny MilJenium Park Cloud Gate and Jeff Koons's giant flower PHPPY, or his polished Balloon Dog, are wonderful examples of new "plunk" public sculpture. (Koons's combination of Marcel Ducharnps "found object" forrnula with Constantin Brancusi's high polish works much better when he is inspired by toys and childhood imagination than when he copies kitsch artifacts or imitates pornography.)

Smith seems to have missed totally the major innovation of site-specific art-that iris inspired by its location or context, if not fully derived by them, which explains its variety of forms and materials. This diversity and the fact that most site-specific art was created for public competitions all over the country (rather than just New York or Los Angeles), as well as its affinity co landscape architecture or designing of public spaces, confuses most art critics.

FE BRUA H Y 2009 Landscape Architecture 115

FUNDING FOR GREEN ROOFS would go a long way toward incorporating green roofs inro federal, state, and local buildings that are coming on line in the next rew years.


O· ESPlTE ALL THE UNEMPWn.,(ENT in our profession, there is a lot to be optimistic about with the upcoming Obama administracion. With the 2.5 million Jobs

" The concerns of this country reach farther than saving another acre of parkland.

planned by Obarna, landscape architects will have the opportunity to lead in the economic recovery as the profession did during the Works Progress Administration era. Perhaps a historical piece about the important role the profession served in the WPA. would be a valuable article for the readers of che magazine.

RANDY BROCKWAY, ASLA R nenide, Illinois

Chip Sullivan! s Exa mple

THANK YOU FOR Daniel JOSt'S excellent Shared Wisdom profile of Chip Sullivan (December). It was inspiring to get more insight into his personal journey after enjoying his art and books over the years.

Sullivan is many things: artist, incellectual, teacher, and author. But above all he is a model of I iving a lire absolute! y true co your vision. That's perhaps the greatest shared wisdom of all.


I Met the Church ladies

II:t.iMENSElY ENJOYED the December issue, which may be one of the best ever. Of part icular in teres t was "The Church Ladies." On a rourofThomas Church's gardens with Robert McPherson as guide in 2007, we visired those three gardens,



161 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009


Site-specific art was born from "land art" bur turned basically to urban spaces, thus often assuming a social responsibility. It was mosrly generated by less-known artists, rather than by fashionable art world stars promoted by dealers-so most aft critics turned a blind eye to I t even when they saw it. Moreover, the most productive artists in this new "movement" that emerged in the early 1970s were women (another reason it

Site--specific art was born from "land art" but turned to urban spaces, thus often assuming

a social responsibility ..

passed in silence). Patricia johanson, Nancy Holt, Alice Adams, Alice Aycock,Jody Pima, Mary Miss, Cecile Abish, Elyn Zimmerman, Ann Healy, Jackie Ferrara, Joyce Kozloff, Agnes Denes, Michelle Smart, Harriet Feigenbaum, Mags Harries, and myself are an10ng the numerous site-specific women arcists; comparatively there are many fewer male Stars in the field, such as Claes Oldenburg, Siah Armajani, Bob Irwin, and Richard Serra.

I agree with one point of Smith's: Serra's controversial Tilted Arc, disregardful of the public, was probably the nail in the coffin of permanent site-specific art and encouraged a rerum co more acceptable, objectoriented "plunk" sculpture, such as Koons's endearing Puppy.

ATHENA TACHA Wa,hington, D, C.

Design with Divinity

I SUPPORT BETH MEYER's Manifesto, "Sustaining Beauty: the Performance of Appearance" (Occober), which gives equivalent weight to aesthetics in evaluating sustainabiliry. While she cites contemporaries for inspiration, I'm more intrigued by the teachings on the divinity of nature from Western philosophers.

The protection

of Earth's vitality, diversity, and beauty is a sacred trust.

Plato asserted ll1 Timaeus that nature was the active principle presiding at the birth of things, whose operations gave organic form to a universe endowed with order and beauty, embellished through mathematic proportion. Plotinus wrote that the One Principle from which all the Beauty of the world draws grace, showing itself in material form, comes by Communion in Ideal-Form through the thought of reason flowing from the Divine. Thomas Aquinas asserted that aesthetic theory begins with Divinity, with beauty a transcendental attribute grounded in form having three formal characteristics: claricy, integrity, and proportion. George Santayana wrote of beauty as the clearest manifestation of perfection, a pledge of conformity between soul and nature, and a ground of faith in the Sllpremac), of the good.

The preamble of the 1992 Rio de] aneiro Earth Charter states that the protection of Earth's vitality, diversity, and beauty is a sacred trust. The spirit of human solidarity and kinship with all life is strengthened when we live with reverence for the mystery of being, gratitude for the gift of life, and humility regarding the human place in nature. Sustainabiliry, spirituality, and aestherics=-spoken with the same breath.


Due Credit

WE WERE PLEASED to find HrO mentioned on page 29, "Reshaping Toronto's Waterfrom" (December). However, the design of HtO is credited solely co Janet Rosenberg + Associates when in fact it should also be credited to Claude Cormier Archicecces Paysagisres and Hariri Poncarini Architects. The design was a collaboration between our three firms.



fEB RU ~RY 2009 Landscape Architecture 117

A slightLy irregular look a


HAPPYIREES Fonner Brownfield Now Verdant, Vertiginous

In Liverpool, the trees turn, turn, turn.

INA RECENT I:NSTAlLATION for the Liverpool Biennial, a quiet walk: in the park became a challenge to the equilibrium impaired. Arbores Lute, the latest brainceaser from architectural tricksters Diller Scofidio + Renfro, comprised a grid of 17 hornbeam trees, three of which traced a slow, swinging arc as subterranean turntables rotated them conscantly on their axes. Vertigo sufferers were best advised to keep an eye co the horizon.

ArixJreJ" Laetl'-Latin for Joyful Trees-was among IS Merseyside works commissioned for the 2008 Biennial, whose theme was "Made Up---an Exploration of the Ecology of rhe Artistic Imagination." The adventur-

ous work played tricks with basic elements like light and time; leaves and shadows shirred constantly, responding to the movement of the trees rather than the sweep of the sun. This manipulation of our expectations of nature has shown up in other fantastical diversions from the New York-based firm; 2002's Blur Pavilion for the Sixth Swiss National Expo staged a platform hovering eerily above Lake Neuchatel, permanently enshrouded in an opaque nimbus of machine-generated fog.

Arbom Laete~ rransformacion of the former brownfield site on Parliament Street officially ran from September 20 co November 30, though the trees were planted over the summer to allow them time to mature. Rick Scofidio formally presented (he piece at its opening, describing it as "beautiful, wonderful, and a little bit frightening," echoing the sentiments of many bemused and slightly dizzy Liverpudlians.


Conhcl Linda Mcintyre at l m e i n t t r e o s s i s s e r g .

181 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

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Midnight Forum's Murals project has jazzed. up sites throughout Washington, D.C., including schools, here, streets, below,

and alleys, bottom. Most of the artists

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lAG TEAM Graffiti 101

In the nation': capital, kids learn life skills with a rattle can.

GRAFFITI IS A FAcr OF URBAN LIFE, bur in Washington, D.C, a unique after~school program IS usmg graffitI as a reaching aid and empowerment tool for young people.

20 I Land sea pe A reh itectu re FE B R U A RY 2009

Midnight Forum Collective takes a multidisciplinary approach, upliftmg kids from elementary to high-school age with courses in Dj-ing , poetry, and rhyme as well as graffiti art techniques. Working with the D.C government, Midnight Forum also has implemented a mural-painting initiative to help control illegal tagging.

"Teaching music and visual arts was the hook to get kids in to learn about entrepreneurship, community organizing, and life skills. We were able co get a number of murals up throughout the community, and statistics started going down on illegal tagging," executive director Dominic Painter, who also answers co DJ Tru, told Landscape Architeaure.

While these young trainees may not grow up co make careers in the arts, Painter sees a greater long-term benefit for his charges and for their communities. "If you give a young person the opportunity, and on-site training in something that they care about-if they know there are other options-they're also not running around doing something illegal."


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Into the (Interdisciplinary) "\\foods

Spanish artists get in touch with nature.

~RT' NATURE, AND SITE specificity brought together a diverse group of landscape architects, artists, architects, and other designers in a recent workshop in Cadiz, Spain.

The NMAC Foundation's Monrenmedio Contemporary Art space, nestled in a Mediterranean pine forest, hosted the "Art and Nature: Ephemeral Landscapes" workshop, organized by Assiculture, a nonprofit that promotes cultural exchange among international artists. Led by Patricia Meneses and Ivan Juarez of Barcelona's, the group produced NeszPa.Hages, a transitional sculpture defining space with maritime cordage, a material produced 111 rhe region. The designers sought to transform rhe site into a place to be discovered and traveled, creating a place of trans it, mutation, and reflection.

Light passing through the conductive threads, as well as the brightly colored cordage itself, added new levels of texture to the space and defined a rome through it.


History in Storage

Basement declsatering yields link to early days of AS LA.

WHEN NOELLE FURFARO, wife of 2008 St. louis ASlA Chapter President Brad Furfaro, was cleaning out the couple's basement recently, she found an old steamer trunk they had purchased at a thrift shop almost a decade ago.

On closer namination, Furfaro noticed the trunk was stamped "Charles W. Garfield,. Grand Rapids, Michigan •. " Internet research revealed the trunk's surprising landscape pedigree: Garfield, whose name graces Garfield Park in Grand Rapids, was a horticuHurist, philanthropist, and state representative with a passion for trees. His legislative efforts helped to establish Michigan's state forest system and the agency that became its Department of Natural Resources.

This affection for the landscape ran throughout the branches of the family tree-Garfield's first cousin, Ossian Cole Simonds, was a charter member of ASLA and served as president in 1913. A contemporary of Jens Jensen, Simonds was also a devotee of the midwestern prairie landscape and naturalistic design. In addition to designing projects such as Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, Riverview Parkin Hannibal, Missouri, and Fort Sheridan north of Chicagolsee "Balancing Acts," Landscape Architecture, January 20041. Simonds wrote the semi.nal book LandscapeGardening (1920), which is still read today.

Delighted with the find, Furfaro tracked down a descendant of

22 ] land sea pe A reh itectu re FE B R U A RY 2009

Garfield's sister, Jayne Pawlisa, who is now the proud owner of the trunk. And in addition to a tidier basement, Furfaro now has a new appreciation for her husband's vocation. "The trunk being connected to these two men felt like Brad getting a handshake from two of his role mod.els, telling him, 'We believe in your work. Keep striving to make a difference.'"

(kraftsJman), n 1. One who performs with skill and de gri y in the manual arts and crarts.' "

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O NeE A PARK, always a park. Right? WeB, not in Miami. Or in St. Louis, Kansas City, New York, or Los Angeles. In fuct, virtually no city in the country has been able to preserve and protect every acre of its parkland from being developed in some way.

Highways, police horse stables, SPOrtS arenas, shopping centers, hospitals, schools, parking lots, museums: The list of encroachments into, on, over, and under urban parkland is almost endless.

For some people, the loss of even a square foot of grass is an outrage; for others, it's just normal operating procedure in the world of urban real estate. After all, they say, many great urban parks and plazas-from Post Office Square in Boston co the Westward Expansion Arch in St. Louis to Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon-were creaced on properties wrested from rhe wreckage of former uses. Why should parks be any different?

241 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

Encroachments are becoming the rule.

By Peter Harnik

For many years, the worst threat co urban parks was from highway construction. Scores of parks from Providence and Philadelphia to Los Angeles and San Diego were grievously damaged by roads, cloverleafs, smog, and noise. The U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 1971 rul ing in Citizens to Preseroe Overton Park v. VOlpe, a Memphis, Tennessee, case, slowed the carnage bur didn't stop it. Even now roads threaten some parks.

But today the culprits are not those crying to get out of town; [hey are those trying to get into the action. Museum direcrors, team owners, shopping center moguls, hospital presidents-all are looking for

Green space has shrunk by a third in Miami's Bayfront Park.

prime locations at bargain prices, and parks frequently cop their lists.

"The land IS often available for free, and it's controlled by politicians rather than by businessmen," notes Greg Bush, a professor of history at the University of Miami. "If you know how to use-s-or manipulatethe political process, you can circumvent the real estate market and save yourself a lot of money."

But that situation doesn't necessarily make for good public policy.

"Building on parkland is like eating the goose that lays golden eggs," says Alexander Garvin, former member of the New York City Planning Commission and author of The American Cit)': \flhat \flm"ks, What Doesn't. "We don't want co consume the goose; we want co feed it-improve the park so that it conveys ever greater value to the surrounding land."

He adds: "Unforrunacely, when some people look at a park (hey see an empty

site that is ideal for their project because it IS in a location that has become extremely valuable as a resul t of the park. These parks should not be In play. They should be for play and continue to payoff surrounding property owners."

In long Beach, California, a controversy over a police department building being located in Scherer Park, above and below, has led 10 more protections tor park spaces.

garage and a museum devoted to the Bay of Pigs invasion.

The polar opposite of Miami is Portland, Oregon. When it comes to parkland acquisition, deacquisition, transfer, lease, trade, and development, Portland scrupulously follows the rules. However, despite clear and fair procedures allowing the sale or conversion of parkland, it just doesn't happen.

"In theory we can, but in practice we can't," says Zan Santner, director of Portland's parks and recreatron agency. "Our residents Simply don't allow it. In Portland polir ics, parks come first. Frankly, my department sornecimes has trouble even getting a restroom futility built in a park."

Complete Reversal

The transition from Miami's "anything goes" to Portland's "no way" can be seen-sIII real time-Ill Long Beach, California.

Long Beach, an economically challenged, densely populated city of 500,000 in tbe shadow of Los Angeles, has a well-run park system but is short of parkland. One of its larger neighborhood fucilities, 27 .5~acre Scherer Park, for many years conrained several temporary trailer offices for the Long Beach police department. In the late 1990s, because 0 f problems with mold, safety, and space, the police proposed replacing the trailers with a building. There was opposition, but no alternative site emerged and a formal proposal to build on a corner of the park went to the city council.

When opponents investigated cheir legal rights, they discovered that the city had no law against building a nonpark structure in a park. In fact, legally speaking, the entire park system was a mirage. Long Beach had no abili ty to formally dedicate any land as a "park," meaning (hat virtually every acre was potentially open to proposals from city agencies or private interests. (The only slight protection for

Polar Opposites

The "parks-in-play" capital of the United States is Miami. Although Miami bas only 3.4 acres of parkland fur every 1,000 residents (the sixth lowest among the nation's 75 largest cities, according to a 2008 study by the Center for City Park Excellence), developers as we.l1 as other city agencies seem to have an endless number of alternative ideas for almost every park in the city. In Bayfrom Park, the subject of thousands of picture postcards in the 1940s and 1950s, only 26 acres of the original. 62 acres have not been developed in some way, whether as a waterfrom shopping and dining complex or a partially gated performance area.

Lummus Park, the city's oldest, lost half of irs chree-quarrers of an acre when the police department needed land to relocate its horse stables. Watson Island, once all parkland, was first reduced by the creation of the private Parrot Jungle and is now slated to be further privatized by a large

261 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

yacht marina and a hotel. Bicentennial Park, 29 acres and shrinking, is being eyed for the placement of twO museums, each with a four-acre footprint.

And, on the last remaining open parcel on Biscayne Bay, on a property leased to the city by Dade County, the owner of the Miami Heat basketball franchise overpowered the opposition and constructed what is called the American Airlines Arena. As part of the deal, a tiny parcel between the arena and the water was to become a promenade, but now a Cuban American group is seeking approval to build a parking

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Scherer Park was rhe fact that federal land and Water Conservation Funds were in~ volved in its acquisition, but rhar merely required the city to replace any land that might be 10SL)

As with every police-versus-parks controversy, the citizenry was split. Residents of the immediate area generally favored the police station; residents farther away were concerned about setting a bad prece~ dent. Following a bitter debate, in 2000 the city council approved the construction.

Scherer Park shrank by 2.5 acres, but the outcry stimulated Long Beach to institute a rop-eo-borcom overhaul of its park procedures. All existing parkland in the city was formally dedicated, and a new ordinance required future park additions to be immediately dedicated as well. The city's park and recreation agency was directed to update its master plan (unchanged for 25 years), and the ensuing

document recommitted Long Beach to adding parkland. It also for the first time required the city to rectify neighborhood inequality by identifymg park-deficient communities.

Most stunning, the council passed a law requiring that any lost parkland must be replaced with twice the acreage takenhalf of It in the VlCLOlty of the loss and the other half in a park-deficient neighborhood elsewhere 111 the city.

"J t was a painful episode, but at the end of the day it was a watershed rnomenr," says Phil Hester, director of the parks agency. "It proved [he importance of parks to all om residents, and it really solidified our policies. It made my Job better. And not a single acre of parkland has been sold or lost since 2000."

TradIng Up

Some park agencies rake a distinctly entrepreneurial attitude toward their parkland. In Kansas Ci ty, Missouri, when parks and recreation director Mark McHenry was offered a land swap by a developer, he

took it, and he was backed up by his park board, the city council, and the voters.

"We had a 13-acre park along a commercial strip Out by the airport north of


281 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

downtown," McHenry explains. "In 2000 a developer came to us wanting to add the northern half of it-51X acres-to a project he was planning. In return he offered us a

75-acre tract of farmland about a mile north and a 49-acre tract of wooded, hilly land about a mile west. Six acres for 124. I thought it was a good deal. We did tWO

long Beach's Davenport Park was created to compensate for lost parkland elsewhere in the city.

appraisals and he did one. They were all over the place, but all of them carne out positive for the city. There was opposition and we took a little heat, but every time it came to a vote we won handily. Today the six acres have been developed commercially, the 75-acre farm is a $75 million aquatic center and ball field complex, and the 49-acte forest is a natural area with trails."

The Kansas City Department of Parks, Recreation, and Boulevards IS far from a run-of-the-mill park agency, which may explain its entrepreneurial attitude. Established in 1890 and separately chartered as an independent entity, the department has an elected board of commissioners and receives funding not from the city council but directly from the city's property tax. McHenry has the authority to lock in parkland through dedication, but he doesn't always exercise 1 t. Ifhis agency owns a parcel that isn't ideal, he somerrmes leaves it

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undedicated and rn play. And sometimes he even initiates the action.

"We have a park in our Crown Center area that has a small, acresize 'tail' across a busy street from the main section," McHenry says. "No one used the tail; no one even knew it was a park. It also contained a run-down building. Meanwhile,

Getting to Win-Win


, solved cMc debate over converting

parkland took place in St, Louis in 2007. The outcome might set a precedent nafio na lIy.

The "victim" was a nlne-acre corner of beloved Forest Park. The "aggressor" was the equally beloved Barnes-Jewish Hospita I. a civic pilla rand one of St. louis's great institutions. To the public, the story seemed simple; Powerful hospital needs more space, mayor quietly offe rs pa rkla nd, story leaked to the press, con servationists rise up in outrage, huge debate ensues, complicated compromise reached.

The true story was much more nuanced" The chunk of land known as Hudlin Park was separated from the main, l,293-acre Forest Park by an eight·lane road that was realigned in the early 1970s. In 1973, Barnes-Jewish signed an agreement with the city to lease Hudlin for $150,000 a year. The hospital then buill an und ergrou nd pa rk ing ga rage and re built Ih e park, adding tennis and handball courts, a play· ground, and a picnic area. The lease required the hospital to maintain the park. The deal was set to run for 77 years.

At the time, Forest Park was run down and lacked an effective advocacy group. Most St. louisians didn't know about the agreemenl, and those who did had no problem with it. Soon a 1m 0 sl everyo ne forgot that H udUn ha d even been part of Forest Park; it was used mostly by hospital staff and patients' families.

A few years ago, Barnes·Jewish (now called BIC HealthCare) proposed an expansion-into Hudlin Park. "We're landlocked," explains BIC vice president June Fowler. "As we thought about remaining a viable institution for the

30 I Landscape Architecture HBRUA R Y 2009

we needed money [Q fix one of our fountains. We decided to sell that little piece of the park and use the money for the Women's Leadership Fountain. We got authorization to put it out for bid and end-

next 50. 60,. 70 year.;, there was really no other parcel to use. Other hospitals in our situalion have moved out of the city, but we're committed to remaining here," BIC sought to restruct ure th e Hu d Ii n lease.

By this time, Forest Park had become a much more formidable player in city land politics. O¥er the previous decade, it had been led through a $100 million upgrade by Forest Park Forever, a conservancy formed by many of St. Louis's movers and shakers. BJC's proposal was greeted with howls of public indignalion, hut the conflict was not a typical Da.vid·versus-Goliath scenario. Both sides entered the negotiations with consid· erable strength but, more important, with the overall greater good of the city in mind. Every time an impasse was reached, one side or the other sweetened the pot rather than demanding a concession.

In the final agreement, BJC gol tlte land in reo lum for an annual payment beginning al $2 mil· lio n a yea rand rising ove r time (sign ificantly higher than any of four appraisals of the land's value). Under prodding from forest Park Forever, the city agreed that the annual payment would go specifically to projects in Forest Park rather than las previouslyl to the city's general

ed up selling It for $1.2 million." As it turns out, the children's hospital bought the parkland, tore down the building, and has plans to use the site for green space. "Can you beat that?" asks McHenry.

fund. In return, Forest Park Forever agreed to raise and donate an additional $1.8 million per yea r for the pa rk, as a match 10 the BJ C fu nds.

In addition, the city agreed to make available six acres of land for a replacement Hudlin Park, directly adjacent, as soon as it completes the reconstruction of a cloverleaf on Interstate 64. (BJC will develop the park.1 And, to top it off, SL Lou isia ns voted to req ui re that a ny future parkland disposal be submitted to a vote of the residents.

"In general, parkland should not be sold," says James Mann, former executive director of Forest Park Forever. "That's why we have an agreement that no matter what gets built there will never be a net loss of green space. But we'.re also talking about parks thai go back as much as 150 years. To not engage in modernday politics doesn't make sense. If we can help rei nvigorate our city by s hitting a few acre s, it's worth having the conversation."

BIC's June Fowler agrees. "It was an emolional issue but a respectful debate," she says. "Honestly, one of the things we appreciate most is having Forest Park as our next-door neighbor. And getting a view of the park even he Ips ou r patie nts get well faster."

What It Takes to Save Parkland What are the differences between Kansas Ci ty, St. Louis, and Miam i? All three cities gave up some parkland, but Kansas City and St. Louis did it from a position of strength (and came out ahead), while Miami did it haphazardly, with rhe park agency relegated almost to onlooker status while poli ticians did the deals. If you cornpare Miami's park system to a chessboard, the city seems to lose a more valuable piece every rime there is an exchange.

The strength of Kansas City's park agency stems from rigorous procedures, dear decision making and accountability, and a long tradition. The department doesn't always make the right decision, and the populace doesn't always agree with every action, but the process is transparent and there is widespread trusr in it.

In St. Louis, we see a bit less park system transparency and a bit less public trust, bur there is also a very snong private-sector parks advocacy group fur Forest Park (see sidebar, opposite). ThIS alert, energized constituencysimilar to groups in New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and a few other cicies=-cen make all the difference when it comes to defending parkland from questionable uses, or at least making sure that the city gets the best possible deal.

Miami has neither rigorous institutional policies and procedures nor a powerful park advocacy group. There are outstanding individuals who rise up in eloquent concern, bur without an organized base they are regularly outmaneuvered by developers, vested interests, eager politicians, and the city's powerful newspaper.

The lesson is that in cities the competition for space is often so incense that not even the strongest scaternenr about the inviolability of parkland is sufficient withOut the protection of well-defined regulations and an ever-vigilant private park constimency.

Peter Harnik is director of tbe Center for City Park Excellence at the Trust few Public Land in NiJW York. He is the author of The Excel[em City Park System: What Makes It Great and How to Get There.

This article was reprinted with permission from Planning, the magazine of the American Planning Association.

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fEB RU ~RY 2009 Landscape Architecture I 31

WASHINGTON, D.C., HAS sam .. e of the nati on's most famous landscapes, bur for years there was no master of landscape architecture eMU) program within an hour's drive of the Washington Monument. That changed in

1998 when Virginia Tech established an MLA program at the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC), its urban ex-

tension in Alexandria, Virginia.

Virginia Tech has had a landscape architecture program for many years, but it was difficult co expand the MlA program 270

miles from its parent campus in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It didn't have the faculty necessary co duplicate its core classes ar the WAAC, and distance learning can only go so fur wich courses like grading. So Virginia Tech made an unusual partnership; ic worked with the esrablished landscape de-

Special Sea ion:


2007, the WAAC jumped at the chance to add a foundation year within its own program.

The changing relationship between the schools is only a small part of each school's story The incerdisciplinary narure of the WAAC,

che way it takes advanrage of surrounding institutions, and che oprions it provides students to learn various crafts make ir stand out

from other landscape architecture programs_ Meanwhile, GW has continued to expand its options, adding a sustainable landscapes certificare that is helping to bring knowledge of sustainable design

to small-scale projects.


A fledgling landscape architecture program once partnered with

a landscape design program for mutual advantage. Now that

11 need .. :h h I Ley nee eacn oteress,

what has been learned?

By Daniel Jost, Associate ASlA

sign program at George Washingron University (GW) to provide the firsr year of study for students who wanted co spend all three years in the Washingron, D.C., area.

How well did rh is partnership work out?

It was effective, but probably not ideal. So when the funding became available in

A Changing Relationship

GW is nor the only landscape design program that has a relationship with a landscape architecture program. Some bachelor of landscape architecture (BlA) programs

321 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009


C r.lsti na Lewa n dowski, Stnde nt Affi liate ASlA, discovered her i nte rest in la nd sea pe arc h itectu re while taking landscape design classes at George Washington University (Gwl. An agreement between GW and the WAAC allowed her to enter the WAAC's MLA program with advanced standing.

allow studenrs from junior colleges to enter with advanced standing. Additionally, for the past four years, the Conway School of Landscape Design has had an agreement with the University of Massachusetts Amherst's MLA program to provide advanced standing for its graduates, though only one person has taken advaneage of it so far. But GW may be the only landscape design program that was ever fully integrated into an :rva.A. program at another university. And unlike Conway, over the years it has successfully steered many students into the field oflandscape architecture.

Virginia Tech and GW's partnership was formed at a rime when there were more landscape architecture jobs chan people to fill them, says Adele Ashkar, ASLA, who heads the landscape design program at GW.

Virginia Tech has offered both BLAs and !l.1LAs in Blacksburg for many years. However, Blacksburg is a small town in southwestern Virginia, and few landscape architecture firms are nearby. Having the MlA program near D.c. provides grad students more opportunities to intern.

The 1998 agreement between GW and Virginia Tech allowed stud ems with no previous design experience to spend their first yearstudying landscape design at GW and then finish their MLA at the WAAC.

341 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

Originall y, students could choose to spend their fitS[ year in Blacksburg rather than at GW, but Blacksburg's first professional degree program was discontinued in 2004, and for two years, all students entering the MiA program without previous design experience bad co begin at GW or some other program approved by the Virginia Tech faculty.

To make sure that graduates from GW's .landscape design program would be ready to enter a second-year graduate studio, faculry members from both schools sat down and compared their curricula. "We had to screngrhen a few rhings," says Ashkar. "Our site engineering and construction classes were improved. Bur we agreed there would be some areas our students were overqualified for and some areas where they would need more instruccion." Due to its focus on small-scale landscapes, GW does not provide a solid background in regional site engineering and hydrology. Theseclasses would need co be provided at the WAJ..C. However, GW is stronger on plancing design than many landscape architecture programs.

The partnership between GW and Virginia Tech had benefits for both progtanlS. It helped Virginia Tech establish a new master's program quickly. In the early years, "it provided a significant source of students for both programs," says Laurel

George Washington University: Small-Scale Sustai nabi I ity

The landscape design program at George Washington IGw)l:Iniversity is not a trad itio na I gradn ate prog ra m, and its stud ents are not traditional students •. Most are working professionals coming from completely different ea reers who sit for on e or two courses at a Ume and often take three years to finish their landscape design certificate.

Not far into an open house Landscape Architecture attended, Adele Ashkar, .ASlA, the program's director, tells .incoming' stu· dentspoint·bla n k thatth isis n ota land· scapearchitecture program. The program focuses on small-scale landscapes-small residences and commercial project.s.Jhere is no "usual" career track for graduates, given their varied backgrounds. Many go on to do freelance landscape design. Others work for designibuild fifllls. One graduate, who had a background in joumalism,is now the garden writer for The Washington Post. And of course a few go on to another uni· versity to study la ndsca pea rc h ite ctu re,

Students at GW are taught many of the same skills taught to landscape architecb. Th ere are cl asses on site ana lysis, site eng!neering,. tbe histo ry of ga rden design, and cOllstructio n methods. But the re 'is a stro ng mcus on plants. An introdUctory class teaches stude IIts basic plant sc ien ee (on e e red itl , two co re c lasses focus 0 n de.sign with plil nts (two credits eachl, and fiye woody p'lant identification cou rses (on e c red it eac h J ta ke advantage of the U.S. Botanic Garden and other local landscapes to study plants during d iffe rent sea 50 ns.

While the program recently added. a digi· tal representation elective, in studio, classes students do all their de.sign work by hand. Ashkar believes it. is particularly important for her students to be able to draft and draw, given the types of clients they will have. "for a small-scale designer, AutoCAD is overkill," says Ashkar, and so far there is no single design program being used by the majority of landscape deslgners,

For many years, the landscape design program did not offer any sort of master's degree. It only offered a certificate for students who complete a 28·credit track. How·

ever, recently the program a dde d a s eee n d (1.5·c red ill

ee rlificate insn sta i nable land· scepes, andstudenls who com· plele bolheerlificates ca n earn a rna ster of p rofesslona I stu dies In landscape design.

The suslainable landscapes ce rtificate is being marketed to both la n dsca pe d esigll grad u' ates and practicing profession· als. The program focuses on snstainable ideas fhal can be implemented as a pari of smaU· scale design. "As tar as I know, this hasn't been done anywhere else," says Ashkar. The re are cia sses 0 n design ing with native plants, techniques for removing exolic invasives and restoTing native plant communities, and approaches to wate.r conservation. Students learn about the lechnologies and .planls used for green roofs, and fhey are introduced to rating systems for sustainable design.

The sustainable landscapes certificale is a one-year program-beginning in August and ending in April-that is designed to accommodate the work schedule of practicing landscape designers. It consists of seven classes, each approx'imately a month in length, and uses a blended delivery format, which means that it combines distance learning classes Ihal can belaken over the Internel with intensive weekend classes thai meetal! day. The final class is a sustainable design charrette, where students work alone or in grou ps to create p roj ects th at exp ress susta i na b Ie design pri nc iples.

"Our mission is really to make sure our local designers are prepared for home owners who want 10 use sustainable practices in their home landscape," says Ashkar. "II's a real community·based 'missilln for us."

The landscape design classes at GW focus on small-seale design,. top and right. Adele, ASLA, critiques her student's design for a church courtyard',

below right. G,W's planl identification classes are held at the U.S. Bllta".c Garden, Brllokside Gardens, below left, and olhe r nearby la nd scapes,


George \\lashington University

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landscape clfchitectllre. its amrses can count f(}ward the MLA prDgram at Virgmia Tech.

FE BRUA R Y 2009 La,ndscape Archilecture I 35

McSherry, who now heads the landscape architecture program at the WAAC. It was also a way to provide plant identification and other core courses for the WAAc's 1fl.A candidates. The planes classes in Blacksburg are provided in conjunction with Virginia Tech's Department of Horticulture, which does not offer classes in Alexandria.

ForGW, the partnership offered a chance co improve the landscape design program and extend new opportunities to its graduates. "The big attraction for. me and the program was that we would have a fraction of students who would scare at GW and chen discover the field of landscape architecture," says Ashkar. Under the new agreement, "they wouldn't have to forfeit all the work [hey had done and start somewhere fresh .. · Additionally, GW students would generally benefit from having an 1-fL\. program nearby. "So many of our srudenrs are career changers," Ashkar explains. "They have families here, roots here. They can't JUSt get up and leave town." It is unlikely they could continue their studies in the field oflandscape architecture jf there were no program in the D.C. metro area.

Sarah Strunk Couchman, Associate ASLA., a former econornrc consultant who graduated from the WAAC in 2007, was already considering a career change when she began taking classes in landscape deSlgn. "GW was a great way for me to get my feet wet," she wnres, "Classes were in the evenings and on weekends, which meant that I could continue to work as a consultant while I figured Out whether I wanted to change careers."

In e-mail questionnaires, many graduates of the crossuniversity program said they valued the planes courses they took at GW and the progr-am's strong connection to roo-world construction issues. "At GW reachers were typically practicing as well as teaching, so they often had useful advice that stemmed from close cootact with contractors and suppliers," says Rob Holmes, Associate ASiA, who graduated from the WAAC in 2008 and currently works for Michael Vergason Landscape Architects. "Since working with contractors and suppliers is such a major part of professional practice, I've come co appreciate that aspect of GW a great deal."

However, the partnership had disadvantages as well, particularly in the years that students were all but required to begin at GW_ The biggest is that since GW is a night school and studenrs do not have their own desks on sire, it lacks the Studio culture char is traditionally the backbone of a design education. Studio environrnenrs encourage students to share ideas and critique one another's work. "{That} can't be duplicated in once-a-week

Cristina Lewandowski, Student Affiliate ASLA, now a second-year student at the WAAC, discovered landscape architecture as a part-time student at GW. "When I started at GW, I had been a software developer for 15 years, and I wanted something creative to do in my spare time," she says. "At first, I wanted to learn how to design a flower bed. And then I said, 'What's larger than a flower bed) I wane to do that."

3 61 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

MLA students at the WAAC present their projects w both architecture and la nd 51; ape a rl;h ilecture faculty, top and opposite bottom.

Care!! Yglesias, a full·time adjunct professor, critiques a stud eDt's work, left.

All students at fhe WAAC are reo quired to own a laptop computer with asoflware package provid· edby the university, but a small computer lab is available, right.

pinups as we had at GW," says Holmes.

Being immersed in the studio environment suddenly in their second year was also a bit of a culture shock for some students. "It was an adjustment to come to the WAAC and have studio three days a week for four hours each day," says Couchman.

Additionally, many Students found the focus on small-scale design during their first year overly limiting. lindsey Heise already had a background in landscape design when she entered the program, but her degree did not allow her to receive advanced placement at the WAAC. While she found the GW program to be very well run, it was redundant for her. "It would have been more advantageous for me to have three years at the WAAC," she says.

Others thought there were benefits co beginning on a small scale. "Having no previous design experience or (education), small-scale design may be less intimidating and perhaps a good way to get the basic fundamentals," says Irene Mills. But even Mills thought the amount of time spent on small-scale design was tOO long.

larger-scale design was not introduced at GW. The Stu- I" dents planning [Q continue U on in landscape architectureeven at the height of the parmership=-rnede up only a third of the landscape design graduates in a given year. Most students went there to learn small-scale design.

Finally, running a pcogram in two different universities can be a bureaucratic nightmare for both students and administrators. For the two years that Virginia Tech lacked a

foundation year, students needed to sirn ultaneously apply to GW or somewhere else when they applied to the WAAC. "From the students' perspective, that was really cumbersome," says McSherry. "The students had co go through tWO different application processes, and both schools needed to accept them."

Given these challenges, it is not surprising that the WAAC decided to add a foundation year in 2007. Yet, during the period

when the WAAC could not teach all three years, the program still managed co thrive. It was accredited twice by the landscape Ardurecture Accre-ditation Board, and in 2008, Virginia Tech's MLA program ranked lOth in the publication Designlntelligence'J" annual rankings.

"It is a viable model," says Ashkar, "especially if we are looking for nontraditional ways to bring students into landscape architecture programs. I think the challenges--the fact that these career changers are not used to a studio environment and the JWTIP in scales-are both surmountable, as .long as the MLA program is sensitive to it and designs a studio chat helps them to bridge chat gap." Such a transition studio was offered at the WAAC in the summer of 2006 as a substitute for the final studio at GW.

GW graduates can still receive advanced standing in the Virginia Tech program, though many students have recently chosen not to finish their certificate and to transfer after one semester's worth of course work. GW is currently working with the University of Maryland's young (and as of

FE BRUA H Y 2009 Landscape Architectore I 37

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ter, the faculty hangs a banner in the main entry of the W AAC with the names and descriptions of the 12 studio projects being offered. Students select their top three choices, unaware of which £'1Cwry member is teaching each studio, and they are assigned to one. Lemuel Hancock, Student ASLA, a second-year landscape architecture student, IS in a studio called "Polis and Demus-c-Exploring Democr-atic Space," and most ofhis classmates are architecture students. He says that the landscape architects and architects are each taking a different approach to the problem, based on their discipline, Many of the architects are creating buildings that interact with public squares, while he IS more intensively focusing on outdoor space and how it can be designed to facilitate interaction and elevate people who have been cast aside.

Another unique aspect of the studio environment is that students are eucouraged to schedule desk cries with landscape architecture and architecture faculty who are not teaching their studio. While many schools have professors who go beyond the call ofdury, helping Students who are not in their studio get our ofa rut, what IS unusual about the WAAC is the way that seeking om multiple opinions is inscirutionalized, All professors have a sign-up sheer on their door that shows the times they are free for desk cries listed in half-hour increments.

This sort of freewheeling studio environrnenr requires some kind of grounding structure, and that's why the WA.AC scages kickoff meetings every Monday. It is at these meetings thar students learn their reading assignments and when rheir studio will meet for pinups and dis-

this writing not yet accredited) MIA pro~ granl ro create a similar partnership that would give students graduating from G\Xf another option in the region.

The WAAC > Architecture + Landscape Architecture

It's 1 :30 PM on a Monday afternoon, and everyone at the W AAC is crammed into a single classroom for the school's weekly kickoff meeting. The chairs fill quickly, so latecomers must sit on the floor or lean on the walls. Architecture and landscape architecrure students, first years, and thesis students all sit side by side, conversing as they wait for the meeting to begin.

Interaction between architecture and landscape architecture srudenrs is uncommon in many universities. At the main campus of Virginia Tech, for example, the landscape archirecture and architecrure studios are in separate buildings, and students rarely interact. But at the WAAc"s small campus, the students are integrated in a variety of ways.

The most obvious form of integration is the seating arrangemenc in the studio. While many programs separace students by discipline, year, or studio class, the WAAC does the opposite. Architecture students sit next to landscape architecrure students, and firsr years sic next to third years. Students designing a boatbuilding museum sit next to students deslgnlOg a cemetery.

Originally, the faculty tried grouping the first-year scudencs together so chey wouldn't be overwhelmed, "bur no one was ever breaking our," says McSherry. "Ic was like playing tennis with people at the same level as you."

Students of various ahilir ies and disciplines are likewise integrated through the studios themselves. Second- and third-year students are co-taught by boch architecture and landscape archirecrure faculty, and landscape architecture and archicecrure students are mixed in the same class. At the beginning of each sernes-

Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC)

Landscape Architecture Program

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Cniversity (Virginia Tech)


Alexandria, Virginia Students:

45 landscape architecture .ltlld.ent.l ( 17 3rttldentl' total in \lfAA C) Full·time landscape architecture faculty positions:

3 ill Alexandria (2 resident and 1 adjunct); 7 additional famlty ba.led ill Blackrbllrg are able to serue as the major projexwr frw a thesis studen:

Landscape architecture faculty holding PhDs: 1 in A lexalldria, 2 ill Blackrburg

Degrees offered:


Cost for 2008-2009 academic yea :

Virginia reridentJ-$4. 892. 50lwmerter ($4,386 tnition + $506.50 feer)_:

Ollt-afstate resident»: $8,5(iOhetll£Jter ($7,9(i8.50 tuition + 591.50 feer) (doer not include wood), plants WIlner that TlUI)! be taken outside the lmwenity) Acc~ed·ted:

by Landscape Anhitecflit"f Accreditation Board Profile:

The jim master of landscape architecture I!.)'tabiilhed in the Capital Region, this progt"dm takes advantage of nearby resources to tea£h desig» at a '//ariety of sceles. Its unnsual interdisciplinary studio environmeni facilitates discussion between anhitectureand landscape architectut'e students and students with different levels of experience Eleane: ind"de a dnerse array o/art. natural resouras, and planning classes.

cussions, Also, since the students are getting advice from more than one studio professor, it is necessary co group-grade students' work. The entire faculty participates in all final reviews as jury members. The tWO primary studio instrucrors begin the conversation about the StUdent's grade. Then, "the faculty as a

whole discusses the work and their interactions with the student, and a consensus grade is reached," says McSherry.

Sitting near architecture students who are more experienced in drawing and model building "helps to push the landscape architect's work forward because the architects tend to be more meticulous," says Annalisa Miller, a PhD candidate in archi tecture and design research who caught the foundation studio last fall.

The architects also learn from interacting with the landscape architects and caking landscape architecture classes. "Before, rhe professors would have to prompt us to draw 10 feet past the building," says Ornni Morse. "Since coming here I understand that it should be a lot more than that,"

While the WAAC experiments with many ways of integrating


fEB RU ~RY 2009 Landscape Architecture I 39


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40 I Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009


architecture and landscape architecture students, it avoids having architecrs and landstape architects partner on studio projects. Most of the architecture students at the WAAC are pursuing their second professional degree, so making them work with second-year landscape architecture students would be unfair,

Arts + Crafts

It IS not just the WAAC's connection to the field of architecture but its connection to the fine arts that makes the program stand Ollt. \W"ht:re else can you learn printmaking alongside the head of your program?

"I think it opemres as a guild here," observes McSherry. When she first arrived, she rook the intaglio printmaking class, a class where students etch copper plates with tools or acid and then create prints, with her Students. "Anywhere else, you'd have to be in a master of fine arts progmm or wait until there was space," says McSherry. "Here yon can take that class with other people in your field. "

In addition to the printmaking class, the architecture department offers classes in photography, screen and block printing, bookmaking, and watercolor, which can be taken as electives. The WAAC actually has its own darkrooms and a wood shop. "Even jf you're not in the photo class, the darkroom's always open and you're encouraged to use it," says Allison Thurmond. And the same goes for the wood shop.

The students don't use the shop JUSt for models; they often design interventions within the building itself. Students designed and built all of the bookshelves in the library and a second-floor bakony that holds a piano, and they are currently working on a corkscrew staircase.

Of course, there are also ecology classes.

The natural resources department of Virginia Tech offers classes in Northern Virginia, and all II-fl..A students are required to take at least one. A class called field ecology takes trips to various ecosystems throughout the mid-Atlantic scates-visiting landscapes such as a salt marsh and a cranberry bog. "J t provided me with a [aid y solid understanding of plant communities and their relationship to fauna," says Holmes.

Other departments where students can take courses include an urban planning program and the Metropolitan Institute, which "conducts research on development patterns and metropolitan growth" according to its web site. Landscape architecture students can pursue dual degrees with many of rhese programs.

However, the WAAC still doesn't offer basic plants courses. Though the MLA Students are paying full-time tuition, they must shell out additional funds to take their required plants courses outside the program. Locally, they can take the courses at GW or the USDA Graduate School. Recent- 1y' most students have chosen the USDA, where the courses are relatively inexpensive.

One thing the W AAC does very well is take advantage of ltS location within Washington, D.C. So that students have opportunities to intern within the community, all classes are nm in the afternoon (after 1 :30 PM) and in the evening. Many students are working 15 to 20 hours a week for a local firm by the time they finish their second year at (he WAAC, and some continue working fur the same employer once they graduate.

Cultural opportunities also abound .. At the weekly kickoff meetings, students are informed about lectures taking place at locations such as the National BuiJ.ding Museum and Dumbarton Oaks.

Within the WAAC itself, Civic Citings, a new class being taught by Caren Yglesias, uses the city as a textbook. Students take 10 tnps within the city, visiting both cultural institutions and important landscapes. The class is being caught to firsrsemester fOundation srudenrs in an effort to encourage critical thinking about landscape architecture.

"You cannot have students graduating who have never been to the National Gallery of Art," says Yglesias, "who have never looked at the work of Andrew Goldsworthy versus Chrism, who have not compared Olin's work at the Washington Monument to Van Valkenburghs work at che White House." One of the highlights of the class is the trip to the Library of Congress, where srudenrs are introduced to the library's collections and how to use (hem. Imagine researching your thesis (here. That's the sort of opportunity char makes studying so close to the nation's capiral unique. ~J_J,J


fEB RU ~RY 2009 Landscape Architecture I 41

S{)('(:io{ Section.


Landscape architecture students design and build gardens in health care settings. By Daniel Winterbuttom, ASlA

HE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON Landscape Architecture Design/B uild Program recently completed two undergraduate capstone projects in health care settings. The first project

is a rherapeuric play garden at a scare residential school for individuals with developmental disabilities, the second an urban rooftop garden at a residential treatment

facil ity for advanced-stage cancer patients. Both user groups cope with the cumulative effens of relocation to unfamiliar environments, separation from supportive networks, and feelings of isolation, depression, and fear. Student designers were confronted with these feelings in planning meetings with residents, scaff, and volunteers. Om of such meetings they evolved

the tWO main organizing concepts: "familiarity" and "escape."

Home is a safe harbor, a

personal domain serving the needs of the resident. But patients also need a place to escape when the rourine of treatment and institutional life feels too limited and controlled. Our strategy was to build familiarity and escape into the design through the creation ofspecific places commonly found in the domestic landscape: gardens for cultivation and sensory stimulation, paths for wandering and exploration,

Students Bridget Darrow, Associate ASLA, and Ronald RoveHo, Student ASLA, and Associate Professor Daniel WinterboHom, ASLA, shovel concrete into the forms for a water runnel in the healing garden at Fircrest School. other students on the left are applying a sleel finish to a seat wall.

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The tool shed at Fircrest School is adjacent to the raised beds,. above, The bed on Ihe right is designed to accommodate wheelchair gardeners. SI.udent Janette [by attaches plywuod to the twu·by·four framing, top right, to create the cireular form. The cireular raised bed in the middle of the illustrative plan, right, marks the center point cf the radial organilalion u·f the site. The ,~ tool shed and raised planters are on the left, the swings and rubber surfacing at the_~ ~L~ top, and the meandering path and lawn area are located on the left and bottom of the pian. Students Emily Carlson Ion the leftl, Matthew M1arienson, Student ASLA lin the centerl, and luke Anderson, Associate ASLA Ion the right) fill the seat wall with concrete, below.

and specific elements such as swing sets, water feacures, and shade arbors.

The Healing Garden At Fircrest School

One garden we designed and built was at Fircrest School in Shoreline, Washington, the only residential center for the state's most severely developmentally disabled residents. Residents suffer from autism, mental retardation, physical disabilities, developmental regression, and cognitive im pairmen ts. Add to these poor or no rno-

441 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009



~ I! _l_


This project was ambitious in scale and complexity for our third-year undergraduate students.

bility, frequent seizures, difficulties with social engagement, and compulsive or violent behaviors.

In 2001 the undergraduate capstone studio designed and built a garden for the elderly residents residing at Fircrest. The garden has been a well-used and loved amenity by the residents and care providers, and last year the Friends of Fircrest, a fund-raising group, inquired if we would be interested in participating in a collaborative design/ build studio to create another garden for

younger residents at the same facility.

I toured the site and met WIth the Friends to discuss the objectives and explain the process we use in our program. The project offered the students interesting challenges and a unique opportunity co design a garden for those with disabilities. Washington state requires that facilities housing youth provide appropriate recreational facilities, which initiated the idea for a therapeutic play garden .. The Friends of Fircrest raised $30,000 to fund

the garden, and the project was undertaken through the 10-week 2008 undergraduate capstone studio.

During the first week the class toured Fircrest; met with therapists, Staff, and administrators; conducted a site analysis; and compiled a resource library of precedent projects. Few of the students had interacted with those suffering from autism, bipolar disorder, or violent tantrums. We typically lise a parricipacory design process engaging many of the users, but this project differed in that many of the potencial users had difficulty communicating and their active participation was limited. Only a few attended the public forum and were able to participate, offering their ideas and sharing their needs with the students. Some of the residents watched from a disranee but did not interact.

Many of the students were shocked and a little stumped as to what to design. They

The finished garden, top, has a wandering path in the foreground, swings and a pumpkin pate h to the left, and a ra iDwate r l1"un n el, too I sh ed, a II d ra ised bed SOli the right. The tool shed, shade structure, and worktable, left, are in close proximity to the r a isedplantillg beds-each residenti a 1 "f a mily" has its own planti ng bed.

FE BRUA H Y 2009 Landscape Architecture I 45

relied on care providers, parents, residents, and their own research to gain a deeper understanding of the population they were designing for. In the second week they divided lOW five teams of three students each and were given rwo weeks to prepare schematic master plans and models for a play garden designed for a menu of activities that can be chosen by individuals or groups and their caregIVers. The therapeutic program and the characteristics of the site suggested that a "backyard" that would function at times as a "village green" would be the workmg narrative.

The results were then presented to scaff, administrators, and the few residents who could communicate and provide feedback. Participants were asked to vote for their favorite design and to choose elements from the other plans they would like to see incorporated into the preferred alternative. After reviewing the cornmenrs a team of five students synthesized the designs in one week and presented the result to the F fiends of Fircrest, staff, and parents. The plan was adopted

future. That left JUSt one week to prepare construction documents.

The remaining eight weeks were devoted to construction. The students worked on site 20 hours per week, with additional time allocated for development of the color schemes, refining the planting plans, and adjusting elevations as inconsistencies in the field emerged. The facility's personnel also contributed to the project, lending their time and expertise as backhoe operators, in transporting fill, and in digging and salvaging existing trees and large shrubs. Concrete finishers were hired to work with the students to ensure the quality of the concrete pathway. The swings, parallel bats, and rubber paving tiles were purchased from a playground manufacturer and installed by the student team. Meanwhile, many of the residents were attracted to the construction of the garden and continued co spend significant partS of their days sitting and observing rhe garden and the activities there.

This project was ambitious in scale and complexity fur our thirdyear undergraduate students. Most

with minor changes. Some elements were deleted due co time and COStS; others, including a tree house, will be added in the

461 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

Water is pumped into the runnel during the dry season for use by the residents, above. Students Rovetto, left, and Julian

Ch ri stodou Ii, ce nter, and tea ch i ng assistant

Benjamin Engelhard, Student ASLA,right., install a steel- sculpted tree form, right, that conveys water from the roof into the runnel. StudentShu·Yu liIuang applies a steel finish

t.o the seat wall, belolll.

had little experience in construcrron. When drawing the construction documerits, they were able to fall back on lessons learned during their construction classes, bur when they faced decisions during the construecion process most were unsure of how to form the concrete walls, how to build a curved glue laminated beam, how to lay pavers, or how to form and pour a concrete rat slab. Plumbing a column, assembling a board and baton shed wall, framing a roof, or laying drainpipe were still mysteries that the students hadn't considered, although many had designed them in plan and section. The class was certainly pushed co its limits, bur in the end the students were quite amazed with the result and touched thar they had created a garden so valued by the residents.

The residents were excited, claiming ownership of (he beds. Many were saddened to see the team leave, having developed relationships with students and having enjoyed the construction activities in their backyard. The sraffar Fircrest is enthusiastic about the garden design and

makes use of it on a regular basis. One Staff member has a group of the youth growing vegetables in the raised garden beds. The parents of the residents feel it is a critical addicion to the care Fircest provides their children. Residents are very engaged in the gar-

den, and on each visit to the site residents can be seen using the garden for work, play, and socializing. Many ofrhose who are nonverbal use the Walking paths, preferring those in the garden to others within the campus. These users view the garden as "their backyard" and seek the calming solace that the garden and nature provide. Some residents use the garden independently, though most are accompanied by one or more stair For those users with very low social skills-severe autism, for example-parallel play or gardening may represent the highest level of social interaction they can manage. For ochers, swinging side by side may inspire social interactions not stimulated by more passive activities. For the minimally social, observation is an importanr pare of their daily routine.

The garden provides an accessible means of escape both for the reg. idents and significantly for the care providers. Many of the residents are prone co stay in their rooms, watching TV or sleeping. The narrowness of opportunities to engage the residents is an issue among care providers, and the garden is acouncerpoint to the monotony of their routine. As a place of stimulation, enrercainrnenc, play, and diversion,

FE BRUA R Y 2009 Landscape Architecture I 4· 7


the circular paths contrast with the rectilinear layout of rhe main campus and enable residents to increase their muscle mass, improve coordination, and gam confidence. The water runnel provides fascination and engagement as it courses down the channel, changing texture and encouraging manipulation, which improves fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination. The motion of the glider and swings is soothing and reduces stresses and anxJety that many of the residents must cope with. Gardening allows residents to have ownership of a bed, plant a seed, watch it grow, and harvest its pro~ duce, It's an imrnersive experience ror some residents JUSt to touch the soil, dig, and water. For those who become serious gardeners it is one of [heir primary daily focuses, and it helps them build a work ethic, sense of responsibility, and discipline. The brightly colored concrete walls, the flowering vines and herbs, the natural wood, and the sculpted rain tree that conveys the water into the runnel are dynamically tactile and expressive and provide a place of COntrast and enticement that allows residents for a brief while to be in a special place that provides a seasonally changing aesthetic, opportunities for play, and conscruccive physical and mental engagements within a safe environment.


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Pete Gross House Healing Garden As director of the landscape architecture design/build program, I was approached in 2005 by the development director at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, who was familiar with a previous Cancer Lifeline project completed by students in 2001 and was interested in building upon the success of that project. We agreed to use our capstone studio to design and build a garden for pacienrs undergoing cancer treatment at the Pete Gross House, which provides apartment -sryle accommodation ror up to 70 patients receiving stem-cell crearrnenr for advanced-stage cancer. The wide range of ages accommodated at the house offered an additional challenge for the students. At any time a third of the residents can be children and most are joined by a parent, so intergenerational needs were considered.

These patients are uprooted from famil-

481 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

iar home environments for long periods and are coping with exhausting and invasive treatments. For most, traditional cancer treatments have been unsuccessful and stem-cell treatment offers a last chance. Patients arrive with a companion, parent, friend, or parmer who lends support during the treatments. The garden was to be designed to SUpfXJrt both patients and care providers. Parients' energy level is affected by

the treacments, and mobility is limited to their rooms, hall ways, and the garden. Many feel uncomfortable in public settings, and the garden becomes a place of respite and escape. Care providers, by COntrast, are often bored and stircrazy. For them, the garden provides an ouder and setting for social interaction and peer support.

The 1 ,500-square-foot garden located on the seventh-floor rooftop was to be designed

At the Pete Gross House Healing Garden, a deck featur~s· glass sentinels a nd a "living room" spa ce to the re af, above. Youngerresidenls leave notes, poems, and images on the chalkboard

at the end of th e wo od la ndpath, be/o IV left. The a rbo r posts wer~ ti ed into the deck framing, beloll' right, to provj de re s isla nce to the win d.

FE BRUA H Y 2009 Landscape Architecture I 4·9


and constructed by 14 undergraduate students 111 just one 10- week quarter. The first week was

devoted to community engage~ memo Meetings were held with the younger residents and Staff; older residents were less involved

since they were at greater risk for infection. Their wishes were con-

veyed through written com-

ments collected from the staff.

Many of the students had little experience with cancer and were reserved at first. Over the course of the first week, most were drawn in by stories told by the younger residents (ages 8 to 15) who, despite the severity of their sirua-

cion, displayed a deep inner strength and were blunt and deeply moving when asked to tell of their journeys. During these discussions many themes emerged. The young patients wanted spaces to talk and socialize, to watch the stars and moon, co be away from adults, to write, and to disappear. On a lighter note, they wanted game tables and a "deck like my backyard" The adults' wishes were somewhat similar. They asked for a place for meetings, spaces to calk and socialize, a place to


MeditOition Room

Pete Gross House Site Plan

501 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

The 1,500·square·fool garden, top, is on the roof (If the Pete Gross House. StudenlslWan Storkman and Kara WeaVer, ASLA,

cut con crete pavers 10 r installalion on the woodland walk. left. Stndent Travis Scrivner i ostalls th e arbo r

rafters, abo V'e. Te ac hi ng assistant Zack Thomas and Storkman run Ihe arbor rafte rs th rough a

planer, right, before they're ere cted on site.

be alone, a place to see the sky and to relax in the sun, places to write letters, and, most heartrending, a place to cry.

Based on this input the students developed a program and were then divided into five teams who were given three and a half weeks co develop a schematic design proposal. Each team created plans, sections, elevations, and scaled models. The

Residents often use the garden for passive act'iYities such as reading, above. Storkman, left, and KJ}'stal Lowber, right, install one of the s.alvaged Japanese maples into a raised container, belolll left. Thomas, left, and Jacob Millard, right, install new Trex plastic lumber decking, below right,

wh ic h oHe rs a wa rm color a nd a no ntox'ic and slip·resista nt surface.

models were most helpful in communicating the scale, color, and spacial relationships of their proposals. An advisory committee of patients and Staff reviewed the plans. Comrnirree members placed a single pink Post-it note on their preferred design and three yellow Post-its on elements from other schemes they would like incorporated

into the final proposal. Two designs garnered the majority of voces; these were merged with several components from the remaining designs into the preferred alternative. Next, construction documents were complete-d by half of the class in JUSt one week, while other students completed COSt and material estimates. A structural engineer was hired to size the arbor members and connections.

Because of the righr time frame, only a week was available for permitting. This presented a significant challenge and, in the end, one determined student camped out at the

Department of Planning and Development for three days, stewarding the drawings through the permitting process.

The remaining six weeks were devoted to construction. The class was divided into several teams: walls and screen, arbor, and planter and metal fabricacion----each with a student leader and guided by me or one of two teaching assistants. As each task was completed, team members were reassigned to other teams. The students fabricated rhe garden components at the university, where they could use the wood and welding shops.

The components were transported to rhe site and carried up seven flights of stairs for installation. All organic material had to be doable bagged in plastic bags to prevent inhalation by residents. The 14-foot arbor beams presented a unique challenge, as the radius of the stairwell offers a two-inch clearance. Despite the intensity of the labor, which averaged 20 hours per week per studenc, the students rarely complained, and as the physical forms emerged, their excitemenr galvanized their efforts and helped them work through their exhaustion. Students then erected walls, screens, planters, and arbors, framed for and attached the decking, installed the vent screens, irrigation, soil, and plants. Some elements went quickly; the arbor did nee, Its post-to-the-floor-joist connections were complicated by an effort to salvage the existing decking. We had to remove the decking, add members to the framing, and bolt the POStS to the beefed-up beams. We also added cross framing to increase the rigidity of the floor. A structural engineer helped us with the details.

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Finally, the garden was complete. A planted pathway connects three garden rooms-"Iiving room," "porch," and "study." Bright and contrasting colors, plant textures, and geometnc patterns provide an escape from the muted browns and beiges that define the interior spaces of the resrdences and lend a sense of uplift for those facing the unrelenting stress of the illness.

The "living room" is the heart of the garden, and as the first space visitors experience it feels very domestic in scale, character, and use; it is similar to a backyard patio and offers enclosure and privacy with an arbor supporting vines above. With its inward focus, this outdoor living room is used by residents and Staff for reading and homework, for meetings and conversation. Lightweight lounge chairs can be arranged for rest, contemplation, visiting. or playing h>al11es and alter a degree of selr-dererminarion for the patients, whose decision making has been usurped by medical Staff. The west side of the living room opens to the "porch," the largest space, triangular and open to the sky. A parapet wall offers sweeping views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, and Lake Union. In response to requests by the young residents of tile Pete Gross House, a telescope is mounted above the parapet wall to bercer view the boats plying the sound and lake. Wide ascending stairs lead to the "study," the most private space, canopied wi rh vines and enclosed on rhree sides by the building and a wooden screen dividing wall. A glider offers a comforting motion for those seeking escape or privacy in which to grieve. The stairs are etched with poems by the children who stayed at Pete Gross House and wanted ro leave something behind. At the end of rhe connecting walkway just below the raised platform are chalkboard squares salvaged from an old school and used by residents co leave notes and draw pictures.

To date a pOSt-occupancy evaluation bas not been adrninisrered at Pete Gross; however, my visits and discussions with residencs and anecdotal informacion provided by staff indicate that the project has had positive results. The casualness of the garden

and the range of textures, colors, and scale of spaces seem ro accommodate the needs of this user group. Children respond enthusiastically to the chalkboard, the poetry, and the brighr colors, and they lounge in the "deck" area as they get to know and share experiences with their peers. The older users find the "living room" to be a comfortable space and often use this space for meetings and to call and update their families. They frequently use this and the "deck" ro cornplete paperwork and correspondence. Both groups enjoy the telescope, the views, the flowers, and meeting others who are using Pete Gross House fur the same reasons. Residents have repeatedly mentioned that, when using the rooftop garden, they felt they were in a different place and, for the moment, left: Pete Gross and the unrelenting focus on their cancer treatmenrs. Meeting people who were struggling with similar issues in the garden helped build connections to those undergoing a similar fate. The Staff has reponed that the garden had a great influence for those choosing Pete Gross House over competing facilities because it resonated so deeply with their needs.

"E.·· SCAPE" AND "HOrvIE" are two irnpor. • tanr concepts that can help to guide .. the design of a therapeucic garden, particularly for those displaced by illness or circumstance. When combined with other principles including wayfinding, accessibility, and interactions with nacure, the stress common among residents of medical and institutional facilities can be reduced and qual iry of life enhanced.

But the issue of dislocation is not limited to those facing a medical diagnosis. Immigrants forced to relocate because of conflict, natural disasters, and economic devastation, the elderly relocated into retirement homes, and the incarcerated removed to detention facilities represent an expanding population of those displaced" Evaluation of the environments designed for those displaced due co illness may offer some applicable theories and lessons when designing environments for those suffering the effects of environmental change for other reasons. ~J"J"

Daniel WinterboulJfll, ASLA, is an associate profesor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of WaJhington.

AMfRICAN SOmTY Of LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS 636 HE SIRHl NW, WASHIN610N, DC 20001-3736 202·090·2444 • FAX 202·898·2205 • WWWASLA.DH6

fEB RU ~RY 20U9 Landscape Architecture I 53

S{)('(:io{ Section.


A hunch of architecture students designed and built this deck in a semester. Landscape architecture students, heads up! By Angus McCullough

WHEN THE MATTABESECK Audubon Society commissioned a group of srudents from Wesleyan U niversiry who were only a few weeks inca cheir second college-level architecture class to design a bird-viewing platform, the projecc involved several goals:

- creating a site-appropriate structure for a former cranberry bog covered with three feet of water

- using durable and sustainable materials and construction technologies as extensively as possible

- working within a budget

- making it optimal for observing red-winged

blackbirds, scarlet tanagers, Canada geese, hooded mergansers, and the occasional great blue heron

"We had been struggling with a way to provide an optimal experience at our sanctuary," says Mattabeseck Audubon Society President Alison Guinness, "especially si nce a colony of beavers had

541 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009



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changed the sire to such a degree that access was a senous challenge."

The result of the srudio--SplitFrame, a bird-viewing platform in the Helen Carlson Wildlife Sanctuary in Portland, Connecticutcapped an intensive semester-long process involving student research, design, and client presenrarions.

This project was undertaken during rhe university's 2008 spring semester by sophomores, juniors, and seniors enrolled in Architecture II, caught by Elijah Huge, assistant professor in the university's arc department and a licensed, practicing architect. The class is the highest level undergraduate design studio in architecture at Wesleyan, where the architecture program is part of the art studio major.

The architecture research/design/build studio is a new initiative for \\7esleyan. "The class was basically an academic triathlon comprised of design research, realworld testing of conceptual work developed in the studio, and community-based learning," Professor Huge explains, with the intention of "going from sustainable materials and site research to project construction within a single semester."

The studio's process was broken up into three parts: research, design, and build. Throughout the process,

collaboration was emphasized so that no one studio member was more or less responsible for what ended up being built. The stud io took place over a 17 -week semester.

During the first few weeks of the class, the studio was split up 111to teams of four to research possible materials, technologies for Implementing them, precedents for design, and the history and topography of the site. The research phase lasted about three weeks. 1111S research was augmented with trips to the site with ornitholOglsts from Yales Peabody Museum ofN arural History, time spent in the open collections of the museum itself, and trips to bird hatcheries around Connecticut. The studio learned about the migratory patterns of species of birds 011 sire, as well as the architecture of birds' nests, which both influenced the final design of the project.

The design phase of the studio involved three stages:

1. Site Strategies. Each srudent developed an overall plan over the course of about a week focusing on ways visi tors would experience the site.

2. North Team (six students) vs. South Team (seven students). Based on ideas developed in the site strategies, tWO teams were formed, and each was assigned the task of making a sitespecific proposal for a location at the northern or southern edge of the site . .After a round of model presentations, the two reams switched locations, building on the design work of each other's proposals. This phase of the ptocess was allotted two weeks, in which each team would complete two models and create drawings for external critique. All four models were presented fora errtique with art and art history professors from Wesleyan and Yale.

3. Studio (13 students). Drawing on the work of both reams, a single site location was selected for the project, and over the next tWO weeks the studio members worked together to develop a final proposal co present co the client. Mock-ups of specific construction elements were built and tested. Once a final model was constructed, materials secured, and a budget finalized, the whole package was presented to the Marcabeseck Audubon Society.

The final design, titled SplttFrame, consisted of floating platforms connected to an upper observation platform. The clients were very happy to see how much the studio had done on such a

The studio chose sealed polyurethane floats to support the lower platform, above, minimidng the impact on the

site and proyiding a flexihle system to deal with flQctuating water leyels. The studio presented mQltiple models to the Audubon Society over the course of the design process, settling on

SpfitFrame, here, as the final model.

561 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

tight deadline and budget and gave the go-ahead on the construction phase, which took about five ro six weekends.

In an effort to keep on-site consrrucuon time to a numrnurn, many components of ::''plitFrame were built on campus (including the aluminum frames, the guardtails, the benches, and the stair) before being brought our to the sanctuary to be secured in place. The major pieces ofaluminurn framing that support the upper deck and the floating platforms were professionally fabricated off site to our specs. The guardrails were designed and assembled on campus by [he studio, using quarter-inch aluminum T brackets designed to fit OntO the frames. We designed and fabncared all other elements of the cleek.


The actual on-site construction time for the project was limited to four weekends, with the main structure erected the second weekend. Professor Huge spent most ofhis free time on site, inspiring the entire class

to work harder, The process was incredibly time-consuming, with every student, on average, spending about 25 hours a week for almost the entire semester. Bur not one would say it was toO much time or not

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worth the effort. It was an incredibly rewarding experience and one we're very proud of.

SplitFrame consists of two integral pieces-s-a floating observation deck and an elevated viewing srarion-c-connected VJa a hinged staircase. It is situated at the end of a long weir, a vestige of the wildlife sancruary's former use as a commercial cranberry bog. All on-site construction was completed by the students with handheld power rools; no heavy equipment was used.

Students chose an innovative ptecast concrete pin-foundation system for the elevated viewing station and a floating aluminum frame assembly for the observation deck on the water. The project was designed to minimize its impact on the Site, both in construction and over the projected life of the structure. Together, the tWO platform components provide an irnrnersive site expenence, bringing visitors Out onto the water and offering an overview of the sanctuary from the maple tree canopy above.

SplitFrame was officially unveiled on Oc-

tober 19, after weathering a summer and gaining a silvery patina. From what we've heard, the local kindergarten classes love that it allows them such dose access to the water. Many local residents showed up at the unveiling to thank us for the project.

Martabeseck Audubon Society's Guinness is also pleased with the project. "When other students were enjoying the spring season, the architecture class was knee-deep in mud and water, swatting mosquitoes, and dripping with sweat or rain. We were impressed by their architectural skills, professionalism, and dedication to the project, and we are very grate~ ful that our sanctuary is once agam available for a unique environmental

experience." I " I

AngiLl MI.Cllltottgh ts an art st1Jdio/an-hitectflYe majm; class of 2010.

PROJECTCREIHJS DesIgn team: Wesleyan University's 2008 spring semester Architecture II class, Middletown, Connecticut (Elijah Huge, instructor; Zachary Bruner,

teaching apprentice; Jason Bailey, Hunrer Craighill, Henry Ellis, Nicole Irizarry, Yang Li , Angus McCullough, Megan Nash, Rebecca Parad, Arkadiusz Piegdon, Derek Silverman, Julia Torres, Renae Widdison, and Yale Ng- Wong, students). Clients: Martabeseck Audubon Society, Middletown, Connecticut (Alison Guinness, president; Lorrie Martin, education committee chair; MaK)1 Klanenberg, District 13 outdoor education program director). other invotved groups: Wesleyan U niversiry Center for Community Partnerships, Middletown, Connecticut (Suzanne O'Connell, director). Feet to the Fire Project, Wesleyan, Middletown, ConnectJCut (Pamela Tatge, Center for the Arts director; Barry Chernoff, Robert Schumann Professor ofEarrh and Environmental Sciences), ConSUltants: Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticur (Patricia Brennan, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Brology/ Animal and Plant Sciences; Kristof Zyskowski, collection managervertebrate zoology).


fEB RU ~RY 2009 Landscape Architecture I 59

J £ L}J 1~ 0 1 U G ¥

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS have long been leaders in sustainable practices. These days, there IS a lot of discussian about reducing our carbon footprint, which is the measure of the amount of carbon dioxide that goes into the atmosphere as a result of our activities. Carbon dioxide is the major manmade greenhouse gas causing global warming, so reducing our carbon footprint is one of the most effective ways to reduce global warming.

A carbon footprint consists of two parts: a primary footprint, which is a measure of our direct emissions from the fossil fuels we use for energy consumption and transportation, and a secondary footprint, which includes indirect emissions from the production of materials we use. landscape architects can have an impact on reducing both types of carbon foorprinrs.

Reducing travel, switching to hybrid cars, using public transportacion, unplugging electron-

ics, adjusting the thermostat, switching to energy-efficient

bulbs, using energy-efficient appliances, and switching co green

power are all ways to reduce car-

bon footpri nts. As landscape architects, we can design low-carbon projects char use recycled materials and sustainable practices. We can also help establish policies chat change society's carbon footprint.

A number of digical tools are available that can help landscape architects in this quest co reduce carbon footprints.


Professional Travel

One way [hac landscape architects can reduce our carbon footprint is by changing our transportation habits. Using alternative means of communication, driving less, and using more energy-efficient vehicles are alI ways to show our commitment to sustain-

60 I Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

flighr from Australia is more than rhree times that amount ..

A more sustainable approach is to reduce the impact of business travel by using remote meetings technologies such as audio releconferencing, web conferencing, or video conferencing,

When air travel is absolutely necessary, a carbon offsetting ap~ preach is one option that landscape architects may want to consider. In the past couple of years, ASLA has encouraged meeting attendees to reduce their carbon footprint in an effort co "demonstrate its stewardship of the environment." By parrnering with TermPass, ASLA provides annual meeting attendees a convenient option to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as they travel to and from the meetings. By using the ASLA link, ASLA was able to track the total carbon offset number from attendees using TerraPass.

Computer Efficiency

From a design standpoint, we can reduce carbon footprints by using "green" materials, alternative

energy sources, recycled matenals, and advanced photovoltaics. Even caking simple steps such as turning off computers can signif-

icantly reduce our carbon footprint, since computers account for almost 6 percent of this COUntry's electricity consumption.

Generally, laptop computers use less energy than desktop computers, and LCD monitors use less energy than CRT screens. Companies such as NComputing are producing u.ltraefficient technologies that can reduce the carbon footprint of your computers by more than 90 percent.

Another approach is to use a program like Carbon Control Software (CCS) to manage the energy efficiency of your computers. CCS is an energy usage monitoring cool that regulates IT systems co help reduce energy wastage, CO2 emissions, and energy

DiWtal tools can make it possible to decrease carbon footprints.,

By Janes L. Sipes" ASlA

ability. Recently I worked on a major "green" planning project in north Georgia, and the civil engineer drove onto the site every day in an H2 Hummer that gets something like six to eight miles per gallon. So much for practicing what we preach.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, air travel accounts for about 3.5 percent of the human contribution to global warmi ng. It is somewhat ironic, then, that when EDAW conducted a Low Carbon workshop in Atlanca this fall, people from as fur away as Australia flew in to attend. TerraPass estimates that one round-trip Bight from San Francisco co Adama emits 2,010 pounds of CO2, and a

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costs. It is designed to be nonintrusive, so it is completely transparent dunng norman work activities. To reduce energy waste associated with computers, CCS Home Edition monitors activity on your home Pc. If it senses a period of inactivity, it switches your computer into power-saving mode. CCS also records a computer's energy usage and produces a report showing how much electricity and carbon emissions can be saved. CarbonEarrh is a web site where you can share your efforts to reduce carbon footprints, and CCS Home Edition is designed specifically to run in conjunction with CarbonEarth.

Calculating Your Carbon Footprint As individuals, we can reduce our carbon footprints by changing simple things in am day-to-day lives. According to statistics compiled by the United Nations, each person in the United States is responsible for about 22 tonnes, or metric tons, of carbon dioxide emissions every year. In comparison, the world average IS less than 6 ronnes per capIta.

The first step to reducing your carbon footprint is co establish a baseline of existing activities. There are numerous

carbon calculators available via the

web that can be used co determine how much carbon dioxide gas we are putting into the atmosphere as a result of our daily activities. Primary carbon footprint calculations are typically based on annual emissions from the previous 12 months. Carbon Footprint, for example, can figure our your carbon footprint by evaluating the following: house, flights, car, motorbike, bus and rail, and secondary activities. StopglobaJ has a carbon calculator that enables you to establish your carbon footprint and then offers suggestions for reducing this foocprint,

Another way to calculate your carbon footprint is co use a program such as Carbon Diem, which uses the GPS in your phone to track your carbon footprint. The GPS tracks the speed you're moving at, and from that inform at ion, the software figures out if

a carbon calculator called Ecorio that will be available for the company's Android range of phones.

The map above, which was created as part of the Vulcan Project., shows the total emissions of carbon d ioxi de in th e II n ited States du rl ng 2002. The dark red areas, which are assoCiat· ed with major urban areas, indicated the high-

est levels of carbon dioxide emissions. With TerraPass'sCarbon Footprint Calculator, below, you can caleulate your carbon footprint and then evaluate different carbon offsets to determine which would be most appropriate.

Carbon Footprints for Businesses AndCillies

The convergence of rising energy costs, increased power consumption, and a global focus on sustainabiliry is providing businesses with a strong incentive to reduce

their carbon footprint. For landscape architecture firms, being carbon neutral is one way to establish our commitment to sustainable practices. For example, some utility companies offer "green power" options in which you pay a little extra fur power generated by wind or solar technology. It makes sense thac landscape architecture firms would be using this type of green power.

A number of digital rools can help landscape architecture firms develop a better understanding of their carbon footprints. Verisae Enterprise Emissions Tracking provides real-rime carbon foor-

print reporting, including an inventory of Greenhouse Gas (GI-IG) emissions. Earthcheck is aC02 benchmarking software tool that has been in use internationally since 2002. The Canadian Standards Association launched the GHG CleanS tart Reg-

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621 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

isrry to help organizations measure, monitor, and manage their carbon emissions.

Planer Metrics IS a web-based system built on the Sofrware-as-a-Service model. With this approach, an application is host ~ ed as a service provided to customers across the Internet. There is no need [Q install software, and any user who has Internet access and is authorized can use the application. The benefit of chis model is that information can be easily updated, and this data is available to all users.

Planet Metrics also allows companies to track indirect emissions from suppliers, employees, and products over rbe course of their life from manufacturing to disposal. If a landscape architecture firm wanted to establish its carbon footprint, It would meet with Planet Metrics over a rwo- to fourweek period to help create a base model. Planet Metrics's staff then would sec lip a modeling progranl and perform an initial analysis of the firm's carbon impacts.

Planet Metrics has an extensive data repository of publicly available economic data, scientific data, and carbon data chat can be used to model carbon use. The Planet Metrics services are not cheap, though. An annual subscription to the beta offering, which includes a set number of users and professional services bundled wirh the software, can COSt anywhere from $25,000 to $75,000 for a more complex setup. The landscape architecture firms that can afford such a service should be able co use this information from a marketing standpoint.

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) IS an independent, not-far-profit organization that acts as an intermediary between shareholders and corporations on climatechange-related issues, CDP includes 385 institutional investors chat collected data on corporate greenhouse gas emissions since 2003, and as a result it has created one of the world's largest reposirories linking data about greenhouse gas emissions to climate change.

CDP suppOrtS a number of programs that focus on eli mare change, including the CDP Cities program. At least 30 urban centers will use the CDP system to assess their carbon foorprinr and determine alternatives for reducing that impact. This is important because more than 70 percent of toral global emissions are generated by cities. New York, las Vegas, Denver, West Palm Beach, SL

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641 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009


Paul, and New Orleans are Just a few of the cities that have signed up for the program.

TI1e Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) Campaign assists cities in adopting policies and implementing quantifiable measures co reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and enhance urban livabiliry and susramabiliry More than 800 local governments participate in the CCP. TIle Internarional Council on Local Environmental Iniriarives (ICLEI) is an association of governments from more than 1,000 cities worldwide, and they produce "Clean Air and Climate Protection" software that has been used by cities to measure emissions since 1995.

Landscape architects involved with city and urban planning projects should consider the impact our decisions have on carbon footprints, and programs like CDP Cities, CCP Campaign, and fCLEI simplify that process.

Carbon Mapping

In recent years there have been mapping projects mat seek co provide a more accutate picture of our-existing carbon footprint. The Vulcan Project, which is funded by NASA and the Department of Energy, has produced a detailed map of the United States mat shows carbon emissions from fossil fuels. The project was led by researchers at Purdue University, Colorado State University, and the Lawrence Berkeley NationaJ Laboracory and is part of NASA/DOE's Noreh American Carbon Program. It took more than two years to complete and shows a compilation of data from 2002 about carbon dioxide originating from power plants, roads, factOries, businesses, and homes. This type of mapping shows the distribution of carbon emissions at a much greater level of detail than previous efforts.

We will soon be seeing maps with a level of derail that helps locaJ decision makers determine the best policies and land-use patterns to control the impact of carbon emissions. In late 2008, the Orbital Carbon Observatory sarellice was launched. Its mission is to collecr data about carbon in the Earth's atmosphere and is intended to give us a much greater understanding of the problem than ever before.

The team that produced the Vulcan map is now focusing on what ir calls the Hestia Project, a global mappmg project that is intended to model all processes that produce carbon dioxide. Hestia will provide rhe models, data sets, and decision-support tools needed [Q design and implemem carbon management strategies. The project is launching a prototype of the city of Indianapolis where electricity, gasoline, coal, and natural gas are combined with emission &erors from existing databases to create a detailed image of the city's carbon fOotprint.

With these digital tools, it is easier for landscape architects ro have a better understanding of carbon footprints and how we, as stewards of the land, can reduce carbon emissions both in our day-to-day lives and in our work.

James L. Sipes, ASLA, is a senior assoaese for EDA U7 in A tlanta and founding prim:ipal of Sand County Sf1idios in Seattle.


• Carbon Control Software, wwuuarbon mutTo/software. com

• Carbon Diem, UlWW. caroondiem. com

• Carbon Disclosure Project, www .•

• Carbonliarrh,

• Carbon Footprint, UJWUI. carbonfootprint.aJllz

• Cities for Climate Protection Campaign, wwu!.idei.orgko2

• Earchcheck, UlWUJ. eartlxheck. org

• Ecorio, WUJUi. «orio. org

• GHG CleanS tart Registry, UlWW,(Sa. calcarbonpl!liormam."C

• Hesria Project, www.purd1Je.edulcLimate! hestia

• Inrergovernrnencal Panel on Climate Change,

• International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives,

• NComputing,

• North American Carbon Program, unota naca'rbon. org

• Orbiting Carbon Observatory, ocojpl,

• Planet Metrics, 11!Ww. «osynergyinc. com

• TerraPass,

• Verisae Enterprise Emissions Tracking, 11!WW. verisae. com! enterprise-emissionstracking. btml

• The Vulcan Project, '! eaJ/carbon/tm/can



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fEB RU ~RY 2009 Landscape Architecture 165

many shrubs with colorful stems it's best to remove the oldest stems each spring to encourage lots of new shoots.

Several selections of the redosier dogwood tComn: slalom/era syn. C. senaa; USDA Hardiness Zones 3-8, AHS Heat Zones 8-1) display colorful winter stems, and despite the common name, all are not red. While the stems of 'Cardinal' range from brilliant red co yellow-orange, those of 'Flavirarn ea' are bright yellow. Most culrivars grow co about six feet tall, spread to 12 feet, and sucker vigorously. They are great for massing against an evergreen background.

The stems of Salix 'Flame' (Zones 3-8, 7-1) are orange-red. 'This vigorous grower never fails co elicit positive visitor response at the ]C Raulscon Arboretum," says the North Carolina arboretum's

HE SHORT DAYS AND chilly temperamres of wincer have stripped deciduous plants of their summer and autumn finery, exposing their "bare bones" (Q the world. With this seasonal exposure, however, some of the tinest qualities of many garden shrubs and [fees are revealed.

Winter stem colors vary widely. Beyond brown, black, and gray, they include yellow, green, red, pink, orange, and ghostly white. Often it is the young growth that sports the brightest hues, so for

661 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009


Kick the appeal of your "tinter landscape up

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Comus alba !Tatarian dogwood]

Comus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire' Ibloodtwig dogwood cultivarl

Fouquieria splendens


Heptacodium miconioides {seven-sons flowerl

Hydrangea quercifoJia {oakleaf hydrangea]

Jasminum nudiffornm {winter jasmine]

Ke.rria japonica 'Kin Kau' {Japanesekerria cultwar]

Salix' Eryth roflexuosa' {willow cultivar]

Salix irrorata

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Salix purpurea 'Nana'

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SaHxsachaHnensis'Sekka' {fantail willow]

Stachyurus praecox

Vact:.inium corymbosum {highbush blueberTY]

HeighVSpread {feen














681 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009


Winter stems are coral-red and color is best on one- to three-year-old wood.

Bright orange-yellow winter stems provide good fa II foliage co 10 r:

Spiny, erect shrub has cylindrical, white-striped green stems.

Large shrub or small tree has light tan bark that peels to reveal dark·brown inner bark.

Stiff branches have attractive orange-brown, exfoli ati ng ba rk.

Wide-spreading shrub has trailing, bright green stems.

Bright yellow arching stems have green stripes.

Arching, spirally twisted branches produce bright yellow young stems.

Upright, clumping shrub has stems that turn lavender in fall. Cut stems back to ,keep bushy.

Slender purple stems adapt to moist


Twisted r~dish stems are used in flower arrangements,

Upward·arching red-purple stems produce pendulous flowers in late winter.

Multistemmed shrub has arching yellow-green to .red stems in winter.




southeastern us,


southwestern U.S.




Rocky Mountains, southwestern U.S.




eastern North America

USDA Hardiness, AHSHeat Zones


4-7, 7-1

7-11, 12-6











FE BRUA H Y 2009 Landscape Architecture I 69


director, Dennis Werner. "Irs a great alternative to the red- and yellow-stern dogwoods, which often are challenging for us here in the mid-South."

The shoots of coral bark Japanese maple (Acer palmatllm 'Sango-kaku,' Zones 6~, 8-2) are bright coral-red. "It is the newest growth that is the reddest, and only where

70 I Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

Many shrubs and trees with striking formsfrom ri~dly upright to downright twistedare best appreciated in winter.

the winter sun shines on the stems, so plant it where you see it from that angle," suggestS Larry Mellichamp, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and coauthor with Peter Loewer of The Winter Garden.: P tanning and P lantingfw the SOllthemt.

For shrubs with exfoliating bark, it's the older branches that produce the best show,

- Resources

The Garden in Winter: Plant for Beauty and Interest in the Quiet Season, by SUZ}' Bales; Emmaus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Books, 2007.

The Winter Garden: Planning and Plant· jng for the Southeast, by Peter loewer and Lany Mellichamp; Mechanicsburg, Penn· sylvania: Stackpole Books, 1997.

The Winter Garden: Plants that Offer Color and Beauty in Every Season of the Year, by Rita Buchanan; Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1997.

Wonders oflhe Winter Landscape:

Shrubs and Trees to Brighten the ColdWeather Garden, by Vincent A. Simeone; West Chieago: Ban Publishing, 2005.


Ayant Gardens, Dartmouth, Massa· chusetis,508·998·8819, ForesHarm, Williams, Oregon, 541· 846·7269, Gassier Farms Nursery, Springfield, Oregon, 541·746·3922,. www.goss/er

Wayside Gardens, Hodges, South Carolina, 800·213·0379, www.wayside gardens. com

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fEB RU ~RY 2009 Landscape Architecture I 71

so removing low branches or twiggy growth co reveal the patchwork of bark colors or shredding textures will enhance

the winter display in the garden. This same discretionary thinning treatment applies to shrubs with dramatic branching habits.

Ellen Zagory, director of horticulture at the University of California, Davis Arboretum, recommends a manzanita, Arctostaphylos densiflora 'Howard McMinn' (Zones 7-9, 9-7), for western gardeners. It has "beautiful, mahogany, muscular branches with age," says Zagory.

Many shrubs and trees with striking forms-from rigidly upright co downright twisted-are best appreciated in

Fog WH,thtzide €e191t, ~



721 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

Rather than yearning for the warmth and riotous colors of spring, enjoy the variety of winter colors, textures, and forms of your shrubs and trees.

tall and wide. "Its brownish stems are unique in that they fork m threes," says Mellicham p. "They have a reddish cast in winter and are stocky and attracti ve-s-not finely twiggy. The proportions are pleasing."

Suzy Bales, author of The Garden in Winter: Plant for Beallty arid Interest in the Quiet Season, describes Harry lauder's walking stick (CoryblJ ave/lana 'Contorra,' Zones 3-9, 9-1) as "a living sculpture. It is mesmerizing for its tangle of corkscrew branches, each one squiggling and twisting like a madcap doodle," says Bales, who gardens on Long Island, New

winter. The paperbush, Edgeworthta chrysantha (Zones 7-9,9-7), is a multistemmed shrub that grows five to six feet

York. It usually grows to about 10 feet tall and wide. (For more shrubs with outstanding winter stems, see chart on page 68.)

Each season has its strong pOll1ts. So rather than yearnmg for the warmth and riotous colors of spring, enjoy the variety of winter colors, textures, and forms of your shrubs and trees. They impart a stark beauty to the winter landscape, often further enhanced by the muted tones of winter grass, a backdrop of dark evergreens, or a carpet of fresh snow. I

Rita Pelczar is a contributmg editor for The American Gardener.

Reprinted WIth permission from the November/December 2008 issue of The American Gardener.



fEB RU ~RY 2009 Landscape Architecture I 73

Humphry Repton's good id.ea was that each project should be represented by two drawings showing, here, the existing and, below, t~!. proposed landscape.




I AM NOT A HISTORIAN. I am a landscape planner who looks toward the future. Even so, I know that most of the ideas that have shaped my work are old ideas. Recendy, I decided co prepare a lecture to pay respect to people whose ideas have influenced me. In this published version, I will summarize a central and influenrial idea fcom each of about 30 people. This is, of course, a gross simplification. Each person produced a complex body of work, but each did one or two things that have had great influence on landscape planning, on me, and on many others. I have included some work in which I had a cole, mainly ro acknowledge those with whom I have had the pleasure of working.

The best definition of what we do was published in 1.968 by Herbert Simon in a book called Tbe Science of Artificial. He wrote, "Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing conditions into preferred ones." Scale and size matter in how we act as designers. We can work on a small project, such as a house on a difficult site, or we can work on a medium-sized project, such as a new urban development or a new urban park, or we can work on a large project, for exam-

741 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

An erninent landscape plarmer looks at the key ideas of planners who preceded him.

By earl Steinitz, Honorary ASlA

pie on a new town or a regional conservation plan. Bur JUSt because you are skilled at one scale of design does not necessarily mean yon can design at the others. I am particularly interested in the design of large landscapes of ecological and cultural significance that are under major pressure for change. Although I chink small projects are important, I will focus here on ideas that have influenced how we approach the design of large landscapes.

My first tWO examples are from China during the Southern Song Dynasty. The West lake of Hangzhou is important because it is rhe result of a decision made in the eighth century to build a very large lake---adeliberate ace co create a new land-

scape on a large scale. This landscape was made primarily for reasons of defense, water supply, aquaculture, and agriculture. In the Song Dynasty it was rebuilt under the direction of the poet and governor of Hangzhou, Su Shi (1037-1101). Over time, it has become considered "natural," a place of great scenic beauty and cultural importance. Emperor Qianlong's Ten Scenes of the West Lake, poems composed in the l Sth century, is learned by all Chinese schoolchildren today. Too many people believe landscape planning is only conservation and reaction, bur the West Lake shows that landscape planning includes action with foresight. The big idea embodied by the West Lake is that a landscape built for practical reasons can be designed and transformed over time inco a highly valued cultural landscape, and even one that is primarily assumed to have been the result of natural processes_

The second example is Huang Shan, the Yellow Mountains of southeast China. By the ti me of the Southern Song Dynasty, this area had become die symbolic landscape of Song painting and poetry. It was protected by Emperor Quinzong (1100-1161), and now 300 square kilometers are included in

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a UNESCO World Heritage site. To my knowledge, it is the subject ofrhe first major program for landscape conservation and protection. Ir is a very lmportant idea chat landscape be prorecred because of its role as a symbol of a culture. Visitors should realize that they are walking through and seeing not just a beautiful rnountam area but also a landscape of great cultural importance.

From the l-lch through the l oth centunes, the Medici family was the most powerful in Italy. The family's leaders are shown in Botticelli's Adoration of the Magi (1475) as the Magi. They had palaces in cities as well as many villas in the Tuscan countryside. The Medici villas were decorated with paintings that express the idea that the agricultural landscape was the basis of the wealth of the family and also that it was beautiful. This idea, that a productive agricultural landscape was a beautiful landscape, became very powerful,

Many of the great English landscape gardeners and improvers had a similar idea, that the landscape can be both productive and beautiful. A famous example is Stowe, a work by Charles Bridgeman, William Kent, and Lancelot "Capability" Brown (1715-1783). The landscape was productive, with sheep, cattle, and deer grazing among scattered clumps of trees. This sort of English landscape has become idealized as a beautiful landscape and has formed the image that has inspired much of Western landscape design.

Perhaps the most £"Ul10LlS English landscape gardener was Humphry Repton (1752-l818). For the large landscapes I am interested in, he had one very important

good idea: that each project should be described usmg two drawings, one of "before" and one of "after" the design 1S carried Out. Repton's Red Books included watercolor illustrations of his designs with flaps that fold over rhe areas where changes are planned. When you lift the flap, the new design is revealed. Repton used this method to show the effect of proposed changes on the existing landscape.

Edmund Burke (1729-1797) is associated with the idea of the sublime. "Designs that are vast only by their dimensions are always the sign of a common and low imagination. No work of art can be great, but as it deceives. To be otherwise is the prerogative of nature only." I do not believe that working at large size implies low imagination, or that design at any scale must be artificial and aimed at deception.

At almost the same time, in France, Jean-Marie Morel de Kinde 0728- 1810) wrote his book, Tbeone dCJjardim (1776). His basic position was that design is managing the natural processes of the landscape. He designed the famous landscape at Errnenonville, near Paris, where Jean-Jacques Rousseau is buried. This rs a design that respects and takes advantage of the natural processes of the site, its terrain, hydrology, vegetation, and drainage. Thus, as early as the 1770s, there was a great debate between tWO powerful but opposing ideas about the role of landscape interventions, a debate that survives today. Are we creating artificial landscapes or managing natural processes?

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was the third president of the United States. He decided that the then Northwest Territories should be surveyed and subdivided using a square grid. His aim was to encourage settlement, and in the 1780s, he

needed an inexpensive way to define the boundaries of homes reads for new settlers. TIllS idea, that the landscape should be surveyed as a grid, was extended westward as the country grew. It can still be seen today by anyone who Aies over (he country. The shaping of the American landscape owes more to Jefferson than to any other individual. However, he was not the first to use a grid in (his way. The Roman Empire rewarded its most successful soldiers with rectangular farmsteads, creating the gridded landscape called centuriazil)1le still visible in the Po delta of northern Italy.

Prince Leopold III Friedrich Franz von Anhalr-Dessau (1740-1817) inherired one of the many German prmcipalities and was concerned with its improvement. England was then the most advanced and prosperous nation in the world. English literature, economics, government, agriculture, and landscape were regarded as the model for most of Europe. Prince Franz made extended visits to England to study English ways and returned home to introduce English ideas and to remake his lands in the way of the English landscape. The landscape of the Garrmreich Way/in was developed between 1765 and 1817. It functioned both to educate 111 rhe advanced agricultural techniques of England and to exemplify English liberalism and the ideas of the Enlightenment: It was planned to be a didactic landscape. Greek classical architecture was the style for many buildings. Worlitz had a public library, street trees were all fmir bearing, and all bridges were built in a different way. View corridors were carefully planned. This was the first place in Germany where Jews were fully citizens. This is exemplified by the famous view from the Bridge ofTolemnce, which encompasses both the church and the synagogue.


Lancelot "Capability"Brown H Imlphry Repton

Edmund Bllrke

761 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

T homaJ"jeJjer.ron

Many people learned new social, physical, economic, governmental, and landscape ideas from the Dessau-Worlitz "Garden Kingdom." Prince Franz's great idea was not to copy a style, but to use the landscape to teach.

In the 1830s, John Claudius Loudon (l 783-1843) was the most imporranr landscape designer in Britain. He made his reputation by designing parks and gardens and as a thinker and writer on landscape gardening and architecture. Loudon had an extraordinary idea. He made a landscape plan for the entire region of London. He proposed that there should be alternating rings of city and countryside, centered on the Palace of Westminster on the River Thames. Loudon made a series of example designs that showed how a residence and garden could be different in the middle of

John ClaudiuJ London

Peter jOJeph Lenni

the city, in a suburban area, or in the countryside. This concentric diagram was his way of saying that people cannot live only in the city, and they cannot live only in the countryside. Both are necessary. This was a very important idea in the 18305 and is still relevant today.

Peter Joseph Lenne (1789-1866) is undoubtedly the most famous German landscape architect. Lenne said, "Nothing can thrive wirhour care, and the most significant things lose their worth through improper handling." To design is nor enough, and to build is not enough. Withom care) a landscape loses its value very fast. Lenne bad an extraordinary career, which coincided with a period of political revolution. His most famous works are in Potsdam and Berlin. At Potsdam, location of the important German royal palaces, famous architects designed the buildings, bur Lenne organized the landscape structure. His most

Important contribution was the central axis, a line about two kilometers long. Everybody else attached their projects to that line. Lennes big idea is that a clear and powerful concept established at the beginning can organize enormous design diversity in the future. In 1840, Friedrich Wilhelm IV came to the throne. Lenne subrnirted a plan fur the expansion and improvement of Berlin and its surroundings, including the expansion of the Tiergarten, His earlier plans of 1819 and 1832 for the Tierh>arten had drained SwanlPY parts and created winding streams and paths within the earlier geometrical pattern of long, straight

Gifford Pmchot

Horace W S. Cleveland

George Santayana

hunting allees, The new geometry was more appropriate for quiet recreational pursuits, as was the intent of the transformation of royal lands into public parks. Now, Lenne planned the new parks system for the general public, accessible to all.

Americans consider Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) to be the founder oflandscape architecture, and it was he who first used the name to describe his profession. He is perhaps most famous for the 1858 design, with Calvert Vaux, of Central Park in New York City. Bur I consider that tWO others of his many projects represent more important ideas. In the 18605, Joho Muir and Olmsted and ocher people had the idea (similar to the idea for Huang Shan 1,000 years before) to protect the most important landscapes in America. They conducted the studies thac led to the creation of Yosemite National Park, the United States's first national park. And today, be-

cause of the work of Olmsted and other people of that period, many Important American landscapes have been well protected, such as Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon. The second idea associated with Olmsted is related to his work at Biltmore in North Carolina, the estate of George W. Vanderbilt, the richest person in America at the time. The house was set in more than 4,000 hectares of forested mounrain land. Olmsted hired a young man, Gifford Pinchot (1865-1946), to head the estate's Department of Forestry Management. Working under Olmsted, Pinchot guided the earliest efforts at scientific forestry in America. They avoided monoculture and clear-cutting and practiced multiple use of the land. They also established the first school offorescty in the United States. In 1.914, the Biltmore Estate forest became Pisgah National Forese, America's first national forest.

FE BRUA H Y 2009 Landscape Architecture I 77


When the U111ted States government created the National Forest Service, Pinchot became its first director. He promoted two important ideas that were first applied at Bilrmore: conducting research on scientific forestry and promoting the multiple use of forests to sustain animal habitat, provide recreation, protect water and air, and also provide timber.

In 1883, Chicago-based landscape architect Horace W. S. Cleveland (1814- 1900) had a very important idea. Cleveland was the landscape architect fur the twin cities of Minneapolis and Sr. Paul, Minnesota, opposite each other on the Mississippi River. At that time, the cities were small, Cleveland convinced the municipal governments to buy land to create a regional park system, long before many people were living nearby. Because they were planning for several decades rnto the future, the cities were able to buy the land at very low prices. Today, the Twin Cities are large, and land is costly, but they have one of America's greatest park systems. This is an enormously important idea, but it requires action and the investment of money far in advance of actual demand.

George Santayana (1863-1952) was Harvard's most famous philosophy profes-

sor in the early 20th cemury and author of Sense of Beauty (1888). He wrote, "When creative genius neglects (Q ally itself (0 some public interest it hardly gives birth to wide or perennial influence. Imagination needs a soil in history, tradition, or human institutions else irs random growths are not sig nificanr enough, and, like rrivial melodies, go immediarel y out of fashion." Said in another way by the artist Andy Warhol, "isms are wasrns."

Charles Eliot (1859-1897) was a famous landscape architect who lived in my city, Boston. At the end of the 1890s, the people in Boston knew that other cities were building important park systems, but Boston was an older Clty that was already built up, with Iitrle land available. Eliot had the idea of developing a park system from the city's leftover land, the land that nobody wanted for development. He took the wetlands, the steep areas, the rocky areas, the unsanitary pares of the city and used them to design a connected landscape network. Later, other people, including Olmsted, transformed these areas into attractive and valued parks and recreation areas. Today, when you look at the park system of Boston, you see a park system that looks much like others but was made from what had been considered to be useless or spoiled land. Eliot's big idea was to get control of the land regardless of condition, because it could be transformed inco something wonderfill later.

Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) was a biologist, a philosopher, an educator, and a planner. Geddes traveled and practiced allover the world, in areas of Brie ish influence, notably India and Palestine. He had three big ideas.

The first he called the Valley Section. As an evolutionist and a global thinker, he was interested in the incerrelat ionsh ips between people, their activities, and their environment. The Valley Section diagram expresses timeless relationships rhac are seen everywhere. It begins in the mountains and extends to the coast. At the highest elevations in the mountains, it is natural and usual ro find miners; in lower areas to find forests and woodsmen; even lower to find hunters and shepherds; still lower, peasant farmers and gardeners; and finally, along the shore, cities, and in the waters, fishermen. Failure to respect these humanlandscape interrelationships either doesn't work or requires too much energy and too high a risk and will ultimately not be sustainable. Geddes's second idea is expressed in the title of one of his plans, City Det;e/opment: a Study of Parks, Gardens, arid Culture Institsaes. He believed that the primary structure of urban form lS shaped by the landscape and by the planning of parks, gardens, and culture insritures. Transport routes and industrial, commercial, and residential areas are secondary and should be guided by the landscape strategy. Geddes's third important idea is that people need to know about their landscapes. He created the Outlook Tower in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1892. It was an "index museum," beginning with the universe and concluding at the top of the tower wi th a camera obsaera; providing views of the actual daily life of the ciry and its setting in the larger landscape. It was also the center of courses and cultural activities for the public. Geddes's objective of an educated public is still a vety important idea.

Ebenezer Howard (1850-1928), Raymond Unwin (1863-1940), and others reacted against the terrible housing

781 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

cond i rions 111 19 th -century indus trial England. In that period, for the poor and working classes, housing was overcrowded, dangerous, and polluted. Several inrellectuals who thought that people should not live like that formed the Garden Cities Association in 1898. They proposed many ideas, the most imporranr of which was Howard's Garden City concept in 1902. The idea was to reduce the size and lower the densi ty of a major ci ty by surrounding it with a band of countryside and relocating people to smaller new towns. All the areas were to be connected by efficient public transportation. Letchworth was begun in 1903 and is still an attractive suburban town. In the early 20th century, the Garden City became the most important concept for urban development 111 England, America, and parts of Europe. The idea, a concern for efficient suburban developmenr, is reflected rn today's New Urbanism movement.

Warren H. Manning (1860~1938) worked for Olmsted as a horticulturist befate establishing his own landscape architecture practice. By about 1910 electricity had become widespread, and light tables (drawing tables with translucent glass topS illuminated from below) were

ed a few hundred maps of soils, rrvers , forests, and other landscape elements and had them redrawn to one scale. By using overlays on a light table, he made a landscape plan for the entire country, which was published in Landscape Architecture in June 1923. His plan contained a system of future urban areas and a system of national parks and recreation areas. It mduded major highways and long-distance hikmg trails and contained everything that a comprehensive regional Iandscape plan

wi th complex elements that are connected (0 one another. If you make one big change, you will inevitably change the other parts of the system. Landscape planners must have a broad and complex understanding co make an effective plan. One cannot be only a specialist.

Also rn the 1920s and 1930s, modern landscape planning began as a profession. Courses were begun to train the people who were responsible for the bureaucracy of planning. Regional Planning, by 1. B. Es-

would have today. It is remarkable that Manning did this chen, and for the encire COUntry. It IS one of the most important, boldest, and most creative undertakings in our professional history

In the 19205 and 1930s, important changes were made to landscape planni ng methods. These changes were led by the British, including G. E. Hutchings and C. C. Fagg, who were nor landscape architects but were surveyors and geographers. In 1930, they published An lstrodsaionto Regional Surveying, one of the first texrbooks on how to make regional landscape plans. The most irnporrant new idea was the recognition that landscapes are systems

Warren H. lvIarming

Dwight David EiJenhou'er

invented, initially to simplify the tracing of drawings. In 1912, Manning made the first study that used map overlays as an analysis method, much as we do today. He laid selected maps together co produce new combinations of information and made a plan for development and conservation in Billerica, Massachusetts. Around this time, national maps of resource-based information for the V ni ted States were being produced and made available to the public for the first time. Manning collect-

Keoin Lynch crirt, published in 1943, is about one centimecer thick. If my beginning students would read this book, they would know much of what rhey need to know. For example, they would learn how to make overlays and how to use them to analyze the landscape for particular purposes. The techniques are simple and effective. In 1947, after electing a socialist government, the British nationalized planning control of all land. They were able to implement a very good planning system very quickly because they had the textbooks and methods to teach the landscape planners.

In the 1950s, President Dwight David Eisenhower (1890~1969) decided that the United Scates needed to have limited access highways to connect all the state capitals. He gave the task of designing these

FE BRUA H Y 2009 Landscape Architecture I 79


interstare highways to engineers. It was both a good and a bad idea. We have gen~ erally straight highways that are fast and safe. But they have often caused serious damage to the ci ties and landscapes through which they pass. Perhaps most important, they have led to the widespread destruction of America's rail transport system.

J. B. Jackson (l909~1996) was not a landscape architect, but he caught culrur,'11 landscape studies at the U niversity of California, Berkeley, and at Harvard. He was a landscape geographer who founded the small but influential magazine called LanoiJwpe. His big idea was that the ordinary landscape was valuable. He explained to Americans the beauty and interest of their commonplace landscapes. Most landscape architects focus on what they think of as special places and undervalue the usu,'11 activities of ordinary people 1I1 making landscapes. Jackson began what now is a very powerful movement to value and protect what we now call the culrurallandscapethe ordinary landscapes that have coherent character. He began the magazine in the

many topics, but his first and most irnporranr work is The Image of the City For the first time, interviews were done to learn how ordinary people perceIve and understand the city. Lynch believed that design could make the city clearer and stronger and more understandable. He assumed that a good city form should have an undersrandable structure and Image that are not an imposition by designers and planners, but derive from the perceptions of the people who use the place.

Philip Lewis, FASLA (l925~) of the University of Wisconsin has spent most of his life studying the northern part of the American Midwest. He made many plans for this area. The most influential was his plan for a system of parks for the state of Wisconsin in 1964. His big idea, suppOrted by his analysis, showed that the corridors along the state's rivers and streams were the most lmportant places to protect. He was the first to shape a landscape plan around the idea of environmental corridors.

Ian McHarg (l920-200l) published Design with Nature in 1969. It is probably the single most influential book in the field of landscape planning. In it he ourlines ways in which natural processes can guide development. The book includes

Philip Leuns

H ()ward F isber

1950s, when America was expanding so rapidly that it did not cake time to protect places chat stood in the way. It was not until 1986 that the United Scates established a system to identify and protect cultural! landscapes.

My teacher, Kevin Lynch (1918-1984), said that planners should understand and consider the way ordinary people perceive their environment before proposing changes. Lynch wrote many books on

80 I Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

Design with Nature is probably the single 1110st influential book in the field of landscape planning.

several projects at several scales. T1Je one I think is the most important is the "Plan for the Valleys" In the 19605, Baltimore was expected to expand into the area known as the Valleys. McHarg and his colleagues recognized that there were many possible patterns of development and studied four alrernarives shaped by differing patterns of sewer alignment. They knew that you don't make just one plan-it is better to make several plans and compare

them to help decide which IS best. Development was not proposed on the bottomland, so that agriculture could be protected, and not on steep slopes or on hilltops. Development was distributed 10 compact groups on the gender slopes and uplands. McHarg and his colleagues understood the relationships among landscape, engineerlng, the sciences, and development.

There was a big change in technology in the middle of the 1960s. Howard Fisher 0903-1979) invented SYMAP, the first practical and publicly available computer graphics program. In 1963, he came to Harvard to set up the Laboratory for Computer Graphics, the first of its kind. I was among the initial members of the laboratory. In 1965, when I was a very junior professor, four graduate students and I made the first regional plan using a compLlter'"---the Delmarva Plan. We studied an area near Washington, D.C., that included the entire scare of Dela ware, part of Maryland, and part of Virginia. It is a very large area, and the cask was very difficult. The maps we produced were not as legible as maps that could be drawn by hand. They were

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Earth scientists understood the landscape and realized it was likely to undergo major change, but they didn't know how to propose changes to the landscape.


criticized for their graphic quality,

but not for the analyses that created them. By 1967, we had computer techniques for drawing terrarn, vegetation, and buildings in perspective. Again, these Images were cricicized because a capable draftsman could draw better than the computer. But we knew that techniques would become better and better. We understood the potential power of com pLlters in landscape planning.

In the late 19605, with Peter Rogers (1937-) and our students, we made several more landscape planning studies. These studies included complex analyses that modeled the often-seen conflicts between the attractiveness for development and the vulnerability of landscape. Our work was published as A Systems Ana/pis Model of Urbanization and Change zn Landscape PlannirJg (1969). Today, I still think that there are five principal things to consider in landscape planning: systems, analysis, model, urbanization, and change.

One of the early Harvard graduate Studenrs.] ack Dangermond (1945-), found-

nificanr idea that changed the appearance of a large part of the United Kingdom. Crowe spent much of her career advising rhe Forestry Commission of England on its forestry practices. She condemned monoculrure and the ugly rectilinear block planting that went with it. She advocated planting a diversity of tree species, in patrerns that acknowledged the natural ground form. She wrote a repon called The Landscape of Forests and Woodr (1978). In it, she gives examples of how to approach reforestation with consideration ror ecology, economic production, recreation, and aesthetics.

In 1969-1970, the Congress of the United States led by Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson (l912~1983) passed the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). This revolutionary law for the first time required open public participation, landscape preplanning, mitigation of detrimental impacts, and public review of all significant planning actions. Lady Bird Johnson (1912-2007), wife of President

methodology. Each American federal agency that managed land was required ro develop methods to assess visual impact. R. Burton Litton (1918-2007) of the University of California, Berkeley, and Edward H. Stone II, FASLA, of the U.S. Forest ServICe, influenced by the work ofSy lvia Crowe, responded to NEPA for the U.S. Forest ServICe, the first federal agency to produce a methodology. In 1974, the Visual Management System was introduced. The Bureau of Land Management and other agencies followed with their own visual management systems. As a result, the U.S. government has several different systems that are otien confusing. However, the primary benefit is that, in America, every major project is evaluate-d for its visual impact.

In 1986, a very influential book, Landscape Ecology, was written by my colleague Richard Forman 0935-) and Michel Godron (1949-). The decade of the 19805 was a period when biological scientiscs and earth scientists began to work closely with

jack Dangermond

Sylvia Crowe

ed the company that made the first commercially successful computer graphic mapping program. Today his firm, ESlU, is the largest in the field. By making and discribucing tools for others to use, Dangermond has probably contributed far more to landscape planning than any professor, researcher, or professional landscape planner.

Sylvia Crowe (1901-1997) was oue of the great English landscape architects. She had a long and varied career in landscape architecture and was responsible for a sig-

821 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

Henry "St(){)p"jackJon

Lady Birdjohnson

Rtdmrd Forman

Lyndon Johnson, had made beautifying the American landscape her public issue. She was in many ways responsible for add ing "aesthetic" to the concepts of "health, safety, and welfare" that underlie NEPA. These ideas have influenced the creation of similar policies and legislation in many other countries.

The new law raised a very serious question. How do you study environment-al impact in aesthetic terms) It could not be simply personal opinion. It had to be a

planning and design professionals. In general, the earth scientists understood the landscape and realized it was likely to undergo major change, but they didn't know how to propose changes to the landscape. Today, landscape ecology helps to understand the effects of past and potencial change by looking at the spatial structure of landscapes in ecological terms. It is an enormously powerful theoretical basis for landscape planning. (And it is inceresring that ics descriptive model bears dear

"The profession of landscape architecture stands at a critical fork in the road. One fork

(1926-). Sasaki hired me as a young assistant at Harvard many years ago, and Harris encoumged my early academic development along somewhat unorthodox paths. Harris is the best real "educator" I have ever known. In the early 1960s, Sasaki wrote: "TIle profession of landscape architecture stands at a critical fork in the road. One fork leads to a significant field of endeavor contributing to the betterment of human environment, while the other points to a subordinate field of superficial embellishment."

These are wise words.

Unforrunarely, much of the landscape architecture profession still stands at thar fork.

Over the more than 40 years I have been active in this field, I have observed that we are getting better at understanding the landscapes we are planning. We have much better data and models. In democratic processes, environmental politics are getting more open and complicated, and landscape plans are also getting more complicated. This makes it very difficult for the ordinary person to understand what 1S going on now and what might happen in the future. One can imagine a future of global warming, desertification, overpopulation, water crises,

leads to a significant field of endeavor contributing to the betterment of hU111311

environment while the other


points to a subordinate field of superficial embellishment. "

-Hideo Sasaki

similarities to Lynch's in Image afthe City.)

In November 2001, the 47 member countries of rhe Council of Europe signed a new international tteaty, the European landscape Convention (see sidebar, below).

This new treaty has now been rarified by many, but not all, of the member states. It is having a profound effect on the practice of landscape planning, as it requires these activities as part of the treaty obligations. This, in tum, is also having a major impact on landscape education throughout Europe, and indirectly on the rest of the world.

I will conclude this article on a personal note. Two people have earned my particular gratitude. They are the late Hideo Sasaki (191 ~2000) and Charles Harris, PASLA,


lile European Landscape


Some excerpts from the text adopted at the _ European Landscape Convention in November 2001:

Chapter I-General Proyisions Article 3-Aims

The aims of this Convention are to promote landscape protection, management and planning, and to organize European cooperation on landscape issues.

Chapter II-National measures Article 4-Division of responsibilities

Each party shall implement this convention, in particular Articles 5 and 6, ac-

cording to its own division of powers, in conformity with its constitutional princi· pies and administrative arrangements,

a nd res pecti ng the pri nc iple of s ubsid ia rity, taking into account the EUropean Charter of Local Self-government. Without derogating from the provisions of this convention, each party shall hannonize the implementation of this convention with its own policies.

Article S-General measures

Ea ch pa rty u nde rtakes:

a. to recognize landscapes in law as an e.ssential component of people's surroundings, an expression of the diversity of their shared cultural and natural heritage, and a foundatio n of their identity

and ocher porencially catastrophic changes. If we are at the brink of an increasingly serious environmental crisis, it is very important for people to understand the situation and their options, or they will not make vital changes.

This may be our next major challenge-to make more complex landscape planning more readily understandable to broaden public participation, and to improve decision making in support of a more eqUl table and sustainable future. r- 'I

Carl Steimtz, Honorary ASLA, is the Alexander and Viaol7a Wiley Research Professor of Landscape Anhita"tureand Planning at Harvard Graduate S,hool of Design.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT: I thank especially Tess Canfield. Many others have also conrribuced, both directly and indirectly, including Mirka Benes; Peter Bol; Ethan Carr, FASLA;Joseph Disponzio, ASLA; and Juan Carlos Vargas-Moreno. I also thank those whose work I have cited and used herein, often without permission. I thank especially the many persons who had these influential ideas in the first place, and upon whose work we have all built.

Originally published in thejoumal of Landscape Arcbitectllre, Spring 2008.

b. to establish and implement landscape policies aimed at landscape protection, management, and planning through the adoption of the specific measures set out in Artic Ie 6

c. to establish procedures for the participation of the general public, local and regional authorities, and other parties with an interest in the definition and implementation of the landscape policies mentioned in paragraph b above

d. to integrate landscape into its regionalland town planning policies and in its cultural, environmental, agricultural,. social, and economic policies, as well as in any other policies w.ith possible direct or indirect imltact on landscape

FE BRUA H Y 2009 Landscape Architecture I 8.3

IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE a more , elegan. t. sen. i ng fOf. a. rt .in. t.he. landscape than the DeCordova

Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Massachusetts. This mUSelUTI of regional contemporary art occupies 35 acres encompassing the former estate of Boston industrialist Julian DeCordova, dating from the early 20th century. A mixed-hardwood and pine forest laps against an amoeba-shaped pool of lawn. Stands of Norway spruce and other mature specimen trees punctuate rhe open spaces, casting deep shadows onto the grass. A steep hill with rough outcrops of ledge adds a dash of the sublime to this picruresgue landscape, which IS home to New England's largest sculpture park. TIle museum displays abour 75 large-scale sculptures at any given time, using the dark wooded edges, rolling rerrain, and sunlit lawns to striking effect.

But the landscape, although modified to serve as an exhibition space since the museum began

New England's largest sculpture park is transformed. By Jane Roy Brown

841 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

displaying sculpture outdoors in the 1980s, was not designed as a sculpture park. In particular, it was not planned to accommodate a hefty percentage of the museum's 1. 25,000 annual visitors exploring the property on fooc. Over time, people roving the grounds, sometimes simply searching for che museum entrance or a way to get up a hill, created desire lines and erosion. Crossing back and forth across the main entry drive, pedestrians also put themselves at risk of being hit by cars.

"The driveway completely bisected the main lawn, and that needed co change for a number of reasons, primarily safety," says Corey Cronin, director of marketing and communications, referring to the original circuitous carriage drive, which climbed to

the 1910 brick mansion-turned-

Halvorson Design Parl:nership museum atop the property's high-

subtly defined a new place in the est point. This part of the campus felt disconnected from rhe lower

landscape, top, by repladng a swale with a gentle swell. At the

museum entry, the new plaza, left, se ryes as a segu ebetwee n building and landscape.

elevations, where most of the sculpture is displayed, Cronin says. To reach this suburban museum, most visitors arrive in cars.



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September 18-22, 2009 at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Chicago

When the museum celebrated its 50th anruversary In 2000, It put the project out to bid and chose Halvorson Design Partnership of Boston to create the plan.

Craig C. Ha.lvorson, PAS. lA, ,says the ., masre.f plan deSign, set our with several clear, broad-brush goals:

- Make the landscape legible so that visitors can explore rhe park on their own without losing their orientation.

- Enhance the experience of the grounds as a series of larger and smaller outdoor rooms.

- Realign the access road so that visitors can see the museum as they drive up to the parking area. - Design the new entry plaza to be an aesthetic rransirion between the modernist character of the museum wmg and the pastoral landscape of the sculpture park. - Reclaim as much of the site as possible for pedestrian use and apply traffic calming to vehicular roads.

- Improve the display of sculpture.

FOf safety, the most significant change Halvorson made was to reroute the looping drive around the museum school. "TIle original drive was disorient-

A Gateway to sculpture
park landscape F Staff parking
B New entrance plaza G Visito rpa rking
C Rep'licated wetland H Museum school and
D New visitor welcome shop complex
station Main aceess drive
E Museum milin entrance Unused amphiitheater After parking in the three-tiered lot located on the southeastern quadrant of the property, they needed to cross (he drive to reach the museum as well as other parts of the grounds.

As the sculpture exhibition program grew and became more widely recognized, museum staff members took notice of these issues and began to envision new possibilities for the landscape.

In addition co the safety concerns, "the park was looking a bit scruffy," adds sculpture curator Nick Capasso, who saw numerous opportunities for improvement and expansion. "We have this varied landscape of meadows, wetlands, gardens, fields, and woods. Ir makes the park a particularly rich environment for showing sculpture. It's like having eight or 1 0 very different outdoor galleries."

around the museum shop and school for improved safety and wayfinding.

8.61 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

desrinarion was, and they entered the museum school complex in the middle," Halvorson notes. Now rhe drive passes the school complex but doesn't go through ir, and drivers can see the parking lot in (he foreground and the main door of the museum straight ahead. This single seep, carried out on a part of the property that was already developed, eliminated most of the potential pedestrian-vehicle conflicts. A segment of me former drive still JXlSses the museum's main entrance, but only pedestrians and delivery vehicles (en route to a service and staff entrance atop the hill)can use it. "We chip sealed the beginning of the service drive co say 'pedestrian' and placed bollards there, which can be removed for deliveries," says Halvorson.

The DeCordova Museum:'s new

entta nee pI ala, abo ve, viewed from the new access to the

sculptu re Pol rk,create s a sen se III arrival for both the building and the landscape. The lormer

scheme, right, was cramped and hazardons.

FE BRUA H Y 2009 Landscape Architecture I 87

The new entry plaza outside the museum's entrance serves, literally, as a pivotal connection to a unified campus. The entire space, partially enclosed by the rising slope and the building's front facade, also doubles as an outdoor gallery. Five bronze Tigers by sculptor Gwynn Murrill crouch and prowl on granite blocks that Halvorson tucked among thick grasses and perennials on the slopes above and below the plaza. (Other blocks jut from the grassy hillside to extend the lines of the plaza into the landscape and provide additional sculpture settings.)

Capasso observes that this environment, while pleasing in its own right, illustrates the fleXIbiliry he was looking for. "Here we had this outdoor space, architectural and circular, perfect for circus tigers, but we arranged them to underscore their abstractness and to create the opportuni ty for visi tors to wal k amongst them," Capasso says. "Placed elsewhere in the park, they would certainly not have the same relationship to the

Roomlike spaces throughout the landscape enhance the experience of the art.

881 Landscape Architecture HBRUA RY 2009

landscape, to each ocher, and to their viewer. Where they are underscores both their personality as animals and their abstract qualities." Similar roomlike spaces throughout the landscape also enhance the experience of the an.

For instance, at the top of the new steps linking the plaza to the main lawn, Halvorson lowered the grade to form an asymmetrical dip that reveals the tOP half of a steel donut (Drmtd with 3 Balls, by Fletcher Benton), just enough to entice viewers up the hi U. When the visitors step onto rhe grass, their eyes, rather than a prescribed path, continue pulling them forward. The circulation is strong between spaces, but within them, it is loose and free-Bowing.

"A lot of our work here is about making something visible in the next passage or space co move the viewer forward, in the way that Olmsted created great outdoor rooms that rransirioned to

each other, drawing the eye to

Site improvements integrate ex- the next space," Halvorson says.

isting features such as this wall "The sculpture park is a series of interlocked rooms, and we deliberately kept views open for orientation and to create a hierar-

incorporating a boulder, top. A

new replicated weiland, teft, is located south of the new road.

chy of space. We aimed for seamless transltJOns. "

From the entl}'plaza, above, vis'itors glimpse Donut with 3 Balls (Fletcher Benton) in the sculpture park. Ilan Aver·

S eanllessness,' is not something that screams "design" to the average visitor, but the deft handling of the passages between the campus's main spaces creates a clarity chat amplifies the landscape's overall beauty as much as the presence of the art. "We tried to work with a collection of finer brushstrokes, more naturalistically than architecmrally," Halvorson says.

He added touches of his own that straddle the line between art and design. Take, for instance, the segment of stone wall added to mark [he edge of the museum school complex. The crisp line of modern stonework incorporates a massive erratic boulder in its

buch's Skiffs and Pants latter Duchampl,

below, overlooks the visitor welcome

station. Halvorson's new entry plaza exten ded th e existing sta irc ase from the

parking lot to the museum entrance, right.

path, visually cleaving it in two. The wall, more symbolic than functional, also passes through a clump of trees next to the boulder, slicing the cluster of trunks into distinct foreground and background planes and creating the illusion of a deeper space. The wall stops at the edge of the drive; opposite, a rough farmer's wall of piled fieldstone picks up the interrupted line. The break calls attention to safety (you're crossing a road, be careful') and signals the threshold to a more mysterious, primitive realm, where organic sculptural forms tangle with the shadows of the encroaching woods.

Planting now screens several unsightly views from the older landscape, including fencing around a private parcel abutting the museum property and a panorama of the parking lor from the entry plaza. A replicated wetland completely fills a former concert amphitheater that no longer fit within the rnuscum's missron.

The project won a 2007 BSLA Merit Award in

Commercial and Instieurional Design. ,I

Jane Roy Brown, a writer in western Massachusetts, is a contributing editor.

PROJ ECTCRE DllS Landscape architect: Halvorson Design Partnership, Boston (Craig Halvorson, FASLA, principal in charge; Stephanie Hubbard, project manager; Bryan Jereb and Pranisa Boonkham, project design). Construction and stonework: D. Schumacher Landscapi ng Inc., West Bridgewater, Massachusetts.

FEBRUARY 2009 Landscape Architecture 189


In Washington state,

a highway overpass becomes an experience.

By Cia u Enlow

HIS IS MUCH, h-fUCH MORE than a highway overpass.

From the air, it swirls and eddies like a stream" From the upland side, it rises like a hill from a grassy field near historic Fort Vancouver, obscuring the fourlane road it crosses. The earth and concrete land Bridge is a wide, dignified path to the Columbia River.

Along the pathway, there are panoramic views of the Pacific Northwest landscape. From midspan, the rushing traffic below seems far away, and the land, shore, and moving water seem very close. Planes that gave the native landscape its character and sustained people for thousands of years are right there, along the path and around the overlooks"

"We grabbed the prairie and pulled it over the highway," says Johnpaul Jones, partner ofJones & Jones Architecture and landscape Architecture and designer of the land Bridge.

Vancouver, Washington, popularion 162,400, lies on the north shore of the Columbia, with Portland, Oregon, on the south side. Meeting the inrerstacealong the north shore is east-west State Route 14, the lewis and Clark Highway, with looping flyovers less than a mile from the project. The land Bridge crosses over Highway 14, reconnecting the upland historic district, which includes a number of old army base buildings and ot:lfn spaces, with the river.

A pedestrian bridge had been planned for the location for decades, a long-delayed mitigation for the 19805 widening of Route 14. But in retrospect, a simple, caged span would have further degraded a historic place that has already been overwhelmed by modern transportation, including a municipal airport right next to the walls of the fore

It took an effurt like the COnfluence Project to dig deeper inco (he possibilities of the site and break through the deadlock" The

... - --

THE Vlll,o\OE


Land Bridge is the largest of seven projects in a collaboration between tribes and civic groups shaped by celebrated artist Maya Lin. Founded in connection with the bicentennial celebration of Lew is and Clark's expedition, the Confluence

Project is dedicated to reconnecting the people of the Northwest with their history along a 450- mile stretch of the river. In most locations, Lin is overseeing and creating site-based works. Jones is an adviser for the Confluence Project. The primary design consultanrfor the project is KPFF, a multidisciplinary engineering firm. Dedicated last August, tbe $12.25 million project was administered by the city and funded

wi th federal transportation dollars, support . '- f- . . , '

from. i rh .. ewashingto. nDepar.:mencofTrans- V l. ~

portatron, and prrvate donations. .rJI¥.N. . J .

To skeptics, ic was a waste of money, a wildly inflat-

ed concept of a highway overpass_ But some of the most vo-

cal critics of the Land Bridge have now come around. It packs a lot of practical and environmental value into a single project. As a bridge, it reconnects a National Park destination, the reconstmcted Fort Vancouver and historic environment, to the shore-s-

based on a eirele motif, shown in concept sketch below.

its river Iifeline=-shortenrng a three-mile drive to about a quarter of a mile stroll. It's also an important trail for walking, jogging, and bicycling, an interpretive landscape, a parklike amenity, and a tourist destination. Finally, it

puts plants over pavement without drawing on city water supplies. "It's really a green roof," says landscape architect Rene Senos, ASLA, who was project manager and landscape architect for the project at Jones &Jones.

The path begins by winding around a mounded earth base and then meandering into a semicircular, 40-fuot-wide bridge span, finally ram ping down and landing on a relatively straight course between the highway and a railroad embankment. A small pre-existing

park is located there, along with all old pedestrian tunnel that leads through the 16-foot-rugb embankment to the river shore.

Along the way, pedestrians are partially enveloped by the Land Bridge, with plancing beds that run along sometimes above waist level. Three rhemed circular overlooks bum p out of the

The bridge's design, above, is

path, and they carry much of the interpretive content of the Land Bridge. The rhernes-c-people, land, and river-c-are celebrated in each overlook with text in English and in the languages of the native peoples who once inhabited the immediate area. Two of the overlooks are marked by circular metal trellis structures. Spirit Baskets, petroglyph-inspired artworks by Native American artist Lillian Pitt, are centered under the trellises; Pitt is also the author of a gateway construction at the southern terminus of the bridge. The story of the si te is wid in a series of interpretive panels at the overlooks and embedded in the walls of the Land Bridge path.

Speaking on the Confluence web site about the vision of the larger project, Lin said, "It is sometimes good (Q understand what's been lost, what is irrecoverable, what is valuable to us, and what we would like to repair."

In Vancouver, repairing the natural landscape would be impossible. Instead, the Land Bridge reframes the history of the site, when the people were vitally connected to the river. The Chinook tribes traveled along the lower Columbia River. The prairieoriented Klickitat and the great Klickirar Trail met the shore

near the site of Fort Vancouver, a place for meeting and trade. The Hudson's Bay Company founded Fort Vancouver, the first large-scale multicultural community in the Northwest. Oceangoing ships of European traders, coming in from the mouth of the Columbia and tYlOg up near Fort Vancouver, added another layer of connection to the river.

Then came the railroad, and finally the highway, severing that connection profoundly.

To proponents and supporters, the Land Bridge is a step toward healing a natural and cultural world that has been broken. "It had to be not JUSt a bridge," says the Confluence project director Jane Jacobsen. "It had to be land. Not JUSt for what it would represent, but for what it could bring."

Jones, himself Cherokee and Choctaw, is known for projects char blur the boundaries between buildings and landscape such as the Museum of rhe American Indian on the Mall in Washington, o.c., for which he led the design ream. Early discussions about rhe Land Bridge settled around the idea of a circle, an im portant trope in both Jones's and Lin's work. It became even more important when the design team began the difficult task of placing the

bridge, because the arcing span allowed rhe Land Bridge co set down gracefully between the highway and the railway embankrnent, nearly parallel to the highway.

The position along the highway had already been determined by a number of immovable factors, including the historic reserve and its sensitive archaeological areas. But there were other factors char influenced rhe design. While the Land Bridge team worried about the remains of the past, the present continued to enccoach. The highway administration was considering 14 different options for rebuilding the 1-5 corridor and rhe bridge over the C{}lurnbia, including the revision of a flyover ramp that threatened to loom over the bridge. While the design team struggled to keep the deck high enough to afford views over the interchange, they had to keep it low enough co satisfy the Federal Aviation Administration so char the planes at the small municipal airport right next to Fort Vancouver could continue to land and rake off.

Engineering the Land Bridge was a special challenge. The bridge features 1) totally different retaining wall designs, including soil-nailed and mechanically stabilized earth (all faced with concrete) along with traditional cast-in-place and cantilevered walls. No radius is the same, and no one had to bend more chan the state highway engineers, who had never before faced an overpass with lateral curves.

To bring the prairie back over the highway, Jones & Jones referred to the notes in the journals of Lewis and Clark, who left

drawings and descriptions of many plants. In all, more than 100 species are included among the plantings on the Land Bridge. All are native to the Willamette Valley bioregion, and many also have cultural significance for Northwest tribes. The landscape plan is divided among four habitat mosaics progressing from upland (north) to shoreline (south). These plantcornmunicies include grassland, with white oak and shrubs like chokecherry, ocean spray, and snowberry; dry prairie, with various grasses and flowers along with shrubs like nootka rose and serviceberry; wet prairie, with lupine, meadow rushes, sedges, and bulbs like camas, an irnporranr food rooc; and bottomland hardwood, with red alder, western red cedar, redosier dogwood, vine maple, and ferns.

The Land Bridge is designed co use only captured rainwater.

Everything that isn't captured by the planting beds runs into a gutter system with channels along the pathway, which feeds into a rain garden on one side and a cistern and pump for irrigation on the ocher. There is a National Parks-owned well connected with Fore Vancouver that supplied water for start-up and stands by in drought conditions. The path itself is surfaced with a locally sourced, tan-colored decomposed granite that is permeable and natural looking.

Almost a million people a year visit the historic fort and surrounding area, according co Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard, and most don't know how to walk to the waterfront. But since the rebuilt fort still turns irs back on the Land Bridge, it may take a

whi Ie for them co learn. The good news is that when they do, they will be passing an increasing number of users of the waterfront trails who now cross over to the historic area. Joggers and bicyclists from the nearby Hudson's Bay neighborhood about a mile away and arhleres from Hudson's Bay High

School to the north are known to frequent the land Bridge.

It seems that most of the pedestrians on the Land Bridge have to leave home and park a car to get there. If this is a pedestrian amenity for a sustainable future, the future has not quite arrived. Bur it's coming, according co Pollard. People already make the one- to two-mile round trip to the land Bridge from downtown Vancouveron foot, crossing under 1-5, he says. A mixed-use waterfront comm unity of about 10,000 is planned for an underused swath of river shore to the west, just on the other side of the freeway. From rbe waterfront itself and the linear park, they would be able to walk to the main pan of the historic reserve, including [he reconstructed fort. At the other end of the linear waterfront park to the east, there is a huge redevelopment opporruniry on the shore in part of the old Kaiser Shipyard, now an industrial park.

For now, the Land Bridge is bringing a rediscovery of the beauty of the Vancouver landscape and water views-not JUSt for visitors, but for locals. The serpentine shape, combined with the many intertwining curves of the bridge structure, has the force and presence of

nature. It reminds LlS of a time when the land was not something to divide up, but something that connecrs us with one another and with the water. I

C lair Enluw is a freelance writer in Seattle.

PROJECT CREDITS Owner. City of Vancouver, Washington. Primal)' stakeholde.r. The Confluence Project, Vancouver, Washington (Jane Jacobsen, director; Bob Friedenwald, project manager; Bob Balaski, project manager). Consulting artist: Maya Lin, New York. Primal)' design consllltant: KPFF, Portland, Oregon (Tim Shell, project manager). Architect and landscape architect: Jones & Jones, Architects and Landscape Architects, Seattle (johnpaul Jones, principal in charge; Rene Senos, ASiA, project manager; Osama Quorah, project arch iteet; lots Luters, ASLA, landscape architect; Wesley Simmonds, ASLA, landscape designer). General contractor. Kiewit Pacific Company, Seattle (Jeff Ellis, project manager).

HE CUENT, A liBRARY, wanted si re-spec ific, landscape-based sculpture near the entrance of its expanded building. What it got from Mikyoung Kim, ASIA, of Boston was Barcode Luminescena; six custom-made, state-of-

the-art lanterns that reference both the function and the technology of coday's libraries,

Kim, who has a background Jl1 sculpture as well as landscape archirecrure, was recommended co the Ocean COUnty Library by New Jersey's arts commissioner, Thomas Moran. He was familiar with her work because he had served with Kim on a committee to draw up an arts master plan for the General Services Administration.

The library, which sits on the main street of Toms River, New Jersey, had finished che shell of a major addition, but when she visited, Kim found "a mound of dirt" outside it. The library staff told Kim chac a number of evencs--parades and old car meets, for instance-s-cake place on Main Street, and they would like something char would draw che attention of passersby.