Philadelphia Celebrates ASLA Day

Olmsted or Freud?
Philadelphia celebrated ASLA day with guest speaker Mayor Michael Nutter.  Braving the elements, tens of people turned out for the party in John Collins Park where the OLIN, LRSLA Studio, and Temple University presented some boards on Landscape Architecture.  Temple and Philadelphia University provided cakes with the latter taking home the Super-Cool-Cake-in-the-Shape-of-Olmsted's-Face prize.  Everyone loved it!

See some action photos of Mayor Nutter in action:


Urban Prairie

Photo Courtesy of www.worldlandscapearchitect.com
The Canadian Museum of Civilization, designed by Canadian architect Douglas Cardinal and inaugurated in 1989, is comprised of two pavilions, their architecture a startling embodiment of the country’s distinguishing geographical features. The public display wing replicates the dramatic effect of the glaciers; the contours of the curatorial wing symbolize the majestic Canadian Shield; and the open Plaza simulates the vast Great Plains. The layout and sheer size of the Plaza were planned in such a way as to visually incorporate the Museum buildings and the Parliament Buildings perched across the Ottawa River. However, the Plaza’s lack of appeal had left it empty of visitors for much of the year. To remedy the situation, we extended the Museum’s original conceptual metaphor, bringing to life what had long remained latent: the swaying grasses of the Prairies. (1)
Photo Courtesy of www.worldlandscapearchitect.com

Photo Courtesy of www.worldlandscapearchitect.com

Photo Courtesy of www.worldlandscapearchitect.com
Photo Courtesy of www.worldlandscapearchitect.com

Photo Courtesy of www.worldlandscapearchitect.com
On first glance we thought it looked similar the Native American Museum in DC...

Photo Courtesy of www.whereisdarrennow.com

(1) All text from: http://www.worldlandscapearchitect.com/?p=8632


Johns Hopkins Hospital Healing Gardens

Photo Courtesy of Huffington Post
Four years ago, the Johns Hopkins Hospital began one of the nation's largest hospital construction projects: the Sheikh Zayed Cardiovascular and Critical Care Tower and The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center. The 1.6 million-square-foot facility includes 560 private patient rooms, 33 operating rooms and new adult and pediatric emergency departments.  (1)  More than 1,000 people were on hand to take part in the dedication on April 12, 2012 with speakers that included United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. (2)

The Sheikh Zayed Tower is named after the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was the founder and first president of the United Arab Emirates. Johns Hopkins Medicine and the UAE are in a partnership in which Johns Hopkins provides operational management of three UAE hospitals. The tower houses the Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute, advanced neurological and neurosurgical services, transplant surgery, trauma care, orthopedics, general surgery and labor and delivery. (1)

The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center, located in a separate tower, is named in honor of the late mother of New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Marjorie Tiven. The center includes a 45-bed neonatal intensive care unit, a 40-bed pediatric ICU, a playroom and kitchen and laundry facilities for parents. Mayor Bloomberg, a 1964 graduate of The Johns Hopkins University, is the largest donor of the Johns Hopkins Institutions, having donated more than $800 million since 1965, according to the release. (1)

A key design feature of the building, created in collaboration with Brooklyn-based artist Spencer Finch, is a shimmering glass curtain wall that covers much of the building's exterior. Perkins+Will worked closely with Finch and the project partnership over many months to integrate the architecture with the artist's concept. The result is a multi-colored two-layered fritted glass façade that incorporates Finch's unique approach to color. Its effect moderates the Baltimore light by day and transforms the building into a glowing composition of color and light by night. (3)

Art is a fully integrated into the building and surrounding landscape so that the entire site becomes a healing museum.  Through OLIN, Ben performed design and construction observation and worked with Robert Israel to conceive and develop a paving scheme that eliminated the need to create a railing around the Cubed Rhino at the Hospital Entry. 

The gardens, including the Entry Court Gardens, the Western Courtyard Gardens, the Phipps Courtyard and the Little Prince Garden, along with the soaring lobbies, a handpicked art collection and cheerful-light filled patient rooms are designed to provide a welcome and caring environment to advance the healing process.  

 “This is an extraordinary project,” said OLIN Partner Susan Weiler. Johns Hopkins is creating a new standard of excellence for patient care and hospital design. The gardens have been designed as places of orientation, respite, rejuvenation and calm, with a visual simplicity that accentuates the aesthetic pleasures of the gardens. The newly conceived circulation pattern allowed us to keep one-third of the enormous football-field-sized site for the courtyard gardens. (4)

The gardens’ visual strength was inspired by the Finch glass patterns, designed to dissipate light.  “We extracted the modulation in the color patterns into the plants,” Weiler says.  “We used the greens, pinks, purples, yellows, blues and violets wherever we could.”
A paving palette of bluestone, brick, quartzite and granite provides visual continuity to both vehicular and garden spaces. (4)

“There’s a visual calmness, a serenity but a stimulus, from the aerial view,” she says.  “To see the gardens from above gives off an ameliorating effect on people’s well-being – you could call it all a healing garden.” (4)

 (1) http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/strategic-planning/johns-hopkins-hospital-unveils-11b-new-facility.html

(2) http://gazette.jhu.edu/2012/04/16/new-jhh-facility-ushers-in-next-era-of-health-care/

(3) http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-building-by-perkinswill-for-the-johns-hopkins-hospital-unites-architecture-urban-design-and-healing-to-redefine-the-hospital-experience-2012-04-16

(4) http://architectsandartisans.com/index.php/2012/04/the-healing-gardens-at-johns-hopkins/


Snow Drawing

Photo courtesy of Cedar Beauregard

Sonja Hinrichsen at Rabbit Ears Pass in Colorado and 5 volunteers walked hundreds and hundreds of steps to get this wonderful snow drawing to spring to life.  Quiet an amazing effort, nothing but a little sweat and a lot of footsteps for this art piece.

If you like this, also check out the beach drawings of Jim Denevan. The photos above are by Cedar Beauregard and you can see many more here (via reddit).  Also, if you are interested in more snow art, check out this dude: Simon Beck.

Text and images from thisiscolossal.com


Burton Street Peace Garden

Photo courtesy of inhabitat.com
Design teams from North Carolina State, Appalachian State, and Virginia Tech seeking architecture, landscape architecture and construction management degrees were asked to help design and build Peace Garden Learning Pavilion over a summer as part of a design-build course.  The interactive Pavilion was constructed with recycled materials and found objects and features an array of the best in low impact design strategies.

For a more complete story, that gets into all of the greatness that is the Peace Garden and the Asheville Design Center please click below:



Text adaptation and photos courtesy of inhabitat.com


Shipping Container House

With sweeping mountain views this off-grid shipping container house in Nederland, Colorado, represents modern structure that in its detailing and attitude, blends with its natural surroundings. Architects Studio: HT, conceived and constructed with two shipping containers straddling a taller common area.

The container "wings" house the bedrooms, bathroom, and office, while the common area houses the kitchen, living room, and loft. The loft deck allows for an open-air snooze surrounded by nature as a bed can easily roll between the interior and exterior areas.

Other low-impact features incorporated into the house include solar orientation, solar photovoltaics, passive cooling, pellet stove heating, and a green roof.  For non-urban greenfield development, this is nearly as good as it gets.

Text adaptation and photos courtesy of www.apartmenttherapy.com


National Mall Entries

Constitution Garden Partial Section - OLIN & Weiss/Manfredi
In not quite a house divided, Ben has worked diligently these past few months on the OLIN & Weiss/Manfredi entry for the Trust for the National Mall's Constitution Garden and the Washington Monument Grounds at Sylvan Theater design competitions while Emily's studio, Andropogon worked on the Constitution Garden entry.

Constitution Garden Perspective - Andropogon

All of the entries are a testament to the breadth and depth of Landscape Architecture as we welcome the field of Architecture's growing interest in park design.  Check out all of the National Mall entries here:


Constitution Garden Full Section - OLIN & WEISS/MANFREDI