Landscape Architecture Magazine January 2021

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United States
American Society of Landscape Architects
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min

AMANDA SILVANA COEN, ASLA, (“The Road from Inhotim,” page 98) is a landscape designer and a recipient of the 2019 Deborah J. Norden Fund from the Architectural League of New York. You can follow her on Instagram @amandacoen. “The people I met throughout the course of my research, who shared their stories and invited me into their worlds, really deserve a whole other story as part of the living evidence of Inhotim’s impact.” KAROLINA HAC (“Better Care for the Town Square,” page 26) is a Boston-area writer exploring art, culture, and the built environment. You can reach her at “If only there was room to explore Boston Common’s rich legacy in such a brief article—the master plan team is juggling a dizzying array of perspectives, histories, and needs.” THAÏSA WAY, FASLA, (“Writing Race…

4 min
off the books

Lately my mind keeps returning to a session I saw at reVISION ASLA 2020, “Perpetual Adaptation: The Design Business in 2020 and Lessons from the Great Recession.” The panelists—René Bihan, FASLA, of SWA Group; Molly Bourne, a principal at MNLA in New York; and Chris Hardy, ASLA, and Michael Grove, FASLA, of Sasaki—proposed it for the in-person Conference on Landscape Architecture in Miami but ended up delivering it virtually. The pandemic had done more than dictate the new format; it fundamentally revised the session’s context. Rather than offering lessons from the recession on how to grow in an expanding economy, the panelists addressed how to use those lessons to survive one that had shrunk radically and unevenly. I was drawn to the session for the lessons but also for the candor.…

3 min
mountain time

When Susannah Drake, FASLA, first began splitting her time between Brooklyn, New York, and Denver, she was astounded by the amount of potential work for her firm, DLANDstudio. Outside of design-saturated New York City, there was less competition and a growing appetite for well-crafted, walkable urban environments. “There was just work,” she says. “And I didn’t have to compete with 12 firms for a $50,000 fee.” It appears the word is out. In October, Sasaki, which has offices in Watertown, Massachusetts, and Shanghai, launched a Denver outpost under the leadership of Anna Cawrse, ASLA, and Joshua Brooks, ASLA. The S/L/A/M Collaborative, which has nine offices grouped mostly on the East Coast, recently opened a Denver office to be led by Jessica Petro, ASLA. And Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, which currently has…

3 min
a monumental task

In 2017, Karyn Olivier, a Philadelphia-based artist and associate professor of sculpture at Temple University, wrapped a 20-foot-high monument to a minor Revolutionary War battle in her neighborhood park in mirrored acrylic. It reflected back the image of whoever walked past it. It amplified a nearby sculpture of the 17thcentury abolitionist Francis Daniel Pastorius. At certain angles, it disappeared altogether. Olivier was hoping the project would help her neighbors see the park in a new way, and that it would say something about “the fragmentary nature of how history is revealed to us.” “How do we make monuments porous? How do we make them malleable?” Olivier asks. “What does it mean for me to become the monument?” Olivier’s piece was part of a citywide exhibition, curated by the Philadelphia-based public art and…

3 min
making the best of the least

If all goes according to plan, over the next year a forest will spring up in South Central Los Angeles on what today looks more like a desolate traffic island than a buildable city lot. The woodland is a vital part of Isla Intersections, a 54-unit supportive housing development designed by Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects with the landscape architecture firm Superjacent. The dense plantings are intended as a “living lung,” strategically designed to reduce air and noise pollution by 25 and 40 percent, respectively. “Because we’re dealing with a site that’s super urban and a freeway that is elevated, the design strategy is really to create kind of an umbrella over that site, a dome of green that will catch particulate matter before it goes into homes and people’s lungs,” explains Claire…

2 min
better care for the town square

From its establishment in 1634, Boston Common has been at the core of life in Boston. What was centuries ago a site for grazing cows and military exercises is now a place for social gatherings, protests, public transit, and memorials. In a typical year, the 50-acre park hosts an average of 400 events, most of which are concentrated on the Parade Ground or around the Parkman Bandstand. Some portions of the park receive as many as 40,000 users a day. In 2019, after announcing the sale of the neighboring Winthrop Square Garage and a subsequent $28 million in funding, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department and the park advocacy group Friends of the Public Garden launched a new master plan with the multidisciplinary firm Weston & Sampson at the helm. A…