Page 1

SCAPE land and design in the Upper Midwest



The AWARDS ISSUE Minnesota’s best landscape architecture

PLUS: _SCAPE Goes International

European waterfronts working abroad valued places inspired by Germans and Finns

a publication of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects

Additional Framers Modern™ Series models* available.

MN_Scape_Spring10.indd 1

3/19/2010 11:05:33 AM

1:05:33 AM

On the Cover:

Each year, MASLA gives awards for the best works of landscape architecture by Minnesota designers.


year, eleven projects were honored in five categories.

Silverwood Park, by SRF Consulting Group, Inc., received this year’s Award of Excellence.

Every winner is here in __SCAPE, beginning on page 26.

image courtesy SRF Consulting Group, Inc.


issue #13



MASLA’s Annual Design Awards




Valued Places

A travel fellowship in Europe sheds light on recreational waterfronts

by Daniel Carlson

Going Hungary


Floating Worlds




Embarrass German Park

In Other Words

: Book Hard Work and a Good Deal

4 5 8

What are the benefits and pitfalls of working overseas? An experienced voyager lays out the particulars.

by Laura Baker

__SCAPE is published twice each year by the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (MASLA). __SCAPE is FREE (in limited quantity). To subscribe, go to and click on _SCAPE. Then, type your information into the subscription box. Send general MASLA inquiries, including sponsorships to: MASLA International Market Square 275 Market Street, Suite 54 Minneapolis, MN 55405 612-339-0797 FAX 612-338-7981 Send general __SCAPE inquiries, letters to the editor, and article queries to: Adam Regn Arvidson, editor 4348 Nokomis Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55406 612-968-9298 issue #13

MASLA Executive Committee Richard Murphy, Jr., ASLA, president

Gina Bonsignore, ASLA, past president Bruce Lemke, ASLA, president-elect Dana Schumacher, ASLA, secretary Ted Lee, ASLA, treasurer

Mike McGarvey, ASLA, trustee

Carrie Christensen, Assoc. ASLA, director of public relations Matthew Koclan, Assoc. ASLA, director of programs

Anna Claussen, Assoc. ASLA, director of education and prof. dev. Cindy Zerger, Assoc. ASLA, co-director of awards and banquet Chris Behringer, ASLA, co-director of awards and banquet Karyn Luger, ASLA, director of communications

_SCAPE Editorial

Adam Regn Arvidson, ASLA, editor Kalle Butler, associate editor



Recognizing excellence in landscape architecture







Eric Swanson Minneapolis 800.430.6206 x1333 | |

_SCAPEnote Years ago, I essentially began my writing career preparing

worry me so much; after all, we are a chapter publication.

Director of Communications, Steve Roos, wanted to

printed chapter newspaper Common Ground and which

articles for the MASLA newsletter InCommon.


provide more information -- both to the general public

and to design professionals -- on what landscape archi-

But I wonder if we’ve lost the root idea that dates from the Steve Roos brought back now nearly ten years ago.

tects actually do. At his request, I grouped the yearly

I wonder if we’ve lost the in-depth exploration of our

with water, projects that used rigid geometry, etc.) and

design themes, and, yes, differences in practice between

award winners into general categories (projects dealing wrote articles about those principles -- using the projects as the key examples.

That content-driven approach soon morphed into _SCAPE Magazine, which put the articles in one package and all the chapter news in the other. A little later, we started

publishing the annual awards survey and the directories

top projects, which often found interesting correlations, those projects.

And, frankly, it’s harder to manufacture content from scratch, despite the great ideas our writers come up with

(note there have been only two “topic” articles for a few issues now).

in the magazine. So, today, you get this (still content-

I think it boils down to this question, which I‘d love your

(more frequently) the goings on of the chapter and the

tions of projects (specifically award-winning projects), or

driven) magazine and an e-newsletter that lets you know larger design community.

But, we have stopped covering the award winners beyond

help answering: should _SCAPE bring back the explorashould we just do a better job at finding other thoughtful content?

their appearance in the awards issues. The content you

So what’s it gonna be?

firms themselves. Sure, we edit and condense a little, but

Read on!

see in the spring installments of _SCAPE comes from the the language is theirs.

To be blunt, that means we have a major marketing section

Adam Regn Arvidson, ASLA

right in the middle of our content magazine. That doesn’t

Write for


We need • media reviews: websites, magazines, books, lecture series.... • topic articles: business, law, nature, art, design • new ideas for columns and recurring features.

Contact Adam Arvidson, editor: 612-968-9298


We are always looking for article ideas and motivated writers. See your name in print. Take an in-depth look at something you’re interested in. Share your expertise.


Valued Places In 2001, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects published Valued Places: landscape architecture in Minnesota. This glove-box sized guidebook profiles 52 sites in the Land of Lakes, each of which has benefitted from design, care, or stewardship by landscape professionals. In keeping with this issue’s


international theme, here are two spots with deep European heritage.

Driving along Saint Louis County Highway 21, eighty

miles north of Duluth, you could easily miss the town

of Embarrass as you pass the curve where Lamppa’s store

sits. Perhaps it’s the Finnish modesty of the community’s founders



campaigns. cultural




relations among



historians of vernacular architecture, Embarrass is nationally recognized for its historic structures.

The town of

Embarrass holds Minnesota’s highest concentration of log

construction by a single ethnic group, Finnish-Americans. In 1990, more than twenty struc-

tures in and hear the town were placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Finns first moved to Embarrass as the Mesabi and Vermillion iron ranges were opened. The countryside

has many similarities to the Finns’ homeland. The birch,

and finally the hay barn. The buildings were usually clustered a short distance from each other, at the end of the drive. The buildings were built from the trees which were cleared to form fields for agriculture.

spruce, and pine forests were familiar, as were the rocky

Farming was not easy. The clearing of the land required removal

were not daunting to the Finns, who made their own skis

suitable for crops. Today, little farming takes place in Embarrass.

soil, bogs, and lakes. The climate was also similar. Winters to travel over the snow.

When a new family arrived in the area, it created a COURTESY ANDREA WEBER

time. The house was built next. After that came the cattle barn

homestead, carved out of the forest in a typical clustered farmstead pattern. The first structure built was the sauna.

It typically had two adjoining rooms, for dressing and bathing, and a stove that made habitation possible for a issue #13

of stumps and boulders, and afterwards, the soil was not the most

The population is aging, as are the beautiful silver log structures with some of the finest wood construction of any in Minnesota.

The community is a testament to the culturally-based skills and

appreciation of the land that Minnesota’s immigrant groups continue to bring to the state. Andrea Weber

whips whips

Valued Places German Park German Park is the City of New Ulm’s town square and

By the late 1970’s, however, the park and its outdated

Bohemian heritage. This seven-acre park has served as

process evaluated existing facilities, examined complex

a community focal point for concerts, community events,

and gatherings since the early 1900’s. Punctuated with the tiled roofs of stone pavilions, German Park slopes away from downtown towards the Minnesota River Valley, a constant backdrop for the city.

facilities had deteriorated. Beginning in 1993, a planning programmatic issues, and identified potential activities. Extensive public participation helped to foster critical financial support for the plan and associated capital improvements.

SCAPE spring 10


a monument to the community’s strong German and






landscape architects, created a consensus vision through creative design solutions for the renovation of German Park. By alluding to historical context and forms

and shaping spaces for contemporary public recreational activities and cultural

performances, the design respects past

precedents while also including such alluring updates as the Kinder Castle, a creative play structure appropriately

scaled for the active and curious child. The master plan also preserved the

historic bandstand as the focus of the park, along with a newly designed Formal Garden.

The first phase of the 1.5 million dollar renovation project was completed in 1996 with the remaining phases done in time for the City’s sesquicentennial in 2004.


Getting There New Ulm is about two hours south of the Twin Cities. Take Highway 169 south to St. Peter, then county road 5 west to Klossner, then county road 15 south to New Ulm. German Park is right downtown. While in town check out Flandrau State Park, which is literally right on the edge of town, and the Hermann Monument. Located in Herman Heights Park, “Herman the German” (as locals call it) is a 102-foot structure that you can climb for stunning views of the city and river valley. issue #13


In Other Words

Items of interest in the broader printSCAPE...

Hard Work and a Good Deal:

The Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota

The CCC was popularly known as “Roosevelt’s tree

army” for the millions of evergreen and deciduous trees it planted in forests and shelter belts across the country.

Less known, however, is the fact that the program not

only gave jobs and training to young men, it also helped to keep their families back home alive through hard times.

by Barbara W. Sommer

Every enrollee earned $30 a month, a princely sum at the

review by Frank Edgerton Martin

beneficiary -- usually parents and younger siblings -- who

Although it’s tempting to idealize a “simpler time” before

urban sprawl and industrial agriculture, the truth is that by the 1930s, Minnesota rural ecological systems were

becoming a mess. Barbara Sommer’s highly-readable

history of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in Minnesota is essential reading for landscape architects

because it exposes the consequences of near environ-

time, but they were all required to have a designated

would receive $25 of that paycheck. One of the reasons that the enrollees, who still hold reunions today, have so

much gratitude for this program is that once, at a very young age, they took immense pride in taking care of

their families. The title, “Hard Work and a Good Deal” is taken from the words of one of Sommer’s interviewees, now perhaps in his eighties.

mental catastrophe and how a government program

Yet Sommer’s book is also revelatory in showing that

Great Depression tried to avert it.

African-Americans who, following army policy of the

aimed primarily at avoiding human suffering during the

The Civilian Conservation Corps was Franklin Roosevelt’s first fully operational New Deal employment program

and, by far, his most popular. It was also badly needed.

Sommer describes the shocking conditions of the ravaged landscape of northern Minnesota’s cutover forests, the

dust bowls of the hot 1930s summers, and the fact that 43% of Minnesota’s land was affected by erosion. Indeed, soil loss was so severe that it threatened to impair the newly built lock and dam system on the Mississippi River.

Yet, there was the simultaneous social crisis of unemployment, especially in rural areas. Between 1933 and 1942,

the CCC employed 77,000 young Minnesota men, many

the CCC was not a good deal for everyone, especially

time, were segregated in living and social conditions. For

many blacks from northern states, this harsh treatment from the day of their induction was their first exposure to

formal segregation. Minnesota communities such as Tofte also complained about having “mixed camps” with both white and black enrollees in proximity to their borders.

At Tofte, the CCC camp was actually moved further into

the woods to mitigate conflict. Also little known is the history of the CCC-Indian Division camps for Native Americans, of which there were several in Minnesota

working in soil conservation, forestry, and historic site

restoration, most notably at what is now the Pipestone National Monument.

of whom showed up at Fort Snelling for processing in a

In bringing money and manpower to everything from

with past “enrollees,” Sommer tells their stories of hardship

habitat areas, the CCC also transformed landscape

malnourished state. Quoting directly from oral histories

at home, the social life of the conservation camps, and the

long-term growth, learning and pride that the young men took away for the remainder of their lives.

environmental inventories to the creation of wildlife architecture and the profession’s enduring role in

public agencies. At the height of the Depression, federal programs employed numerous landscape architects—and

SCAPE spring 10




they were often required to be among the foremen leading

work crews. The designs of Minnesota’s CCC projects MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY PRESS

were guided from a central office of architects, engineers,

at state parks such as Whitewater, Itasca, Jay Cooke, and Gooseberry Falls.

and landscape architects located at the top of Saint Paul’s

Overall, this book brings to light fascinating new stories


removed from today’s. It’s an engaging and worthwhile

old federal courts building (now known as Landmark

Sommer’s book is also sure to inspire landscape architects

to visit CCC projects throughout the state. Some of the best is the stonework, constructed paths, and entry gates issue #13

from an economically depressed era perhaps not that far read.

Minnesota Historical Society Press. $27.95.

Available at bookstores or at

topic: design

F l o a t i n g Wo r l d s A travel fellowship in Northern and Central Europe sheds light on the development of recreational waterfronts. By Daniel Carlson


hile it might be hard to believe today, most

of heavy industry (reflected in abandoned infrastructure

urban waterfronts were used for recreational

around urban centers), an increased concern for the

purposes through the early part of the

environment (reflected in improved water quality), and

twentieth century. Swimming beaches and floating barge

a demographic shift back to the city center (reflected

pools were common in major cities across Europe and

in new developments near waterfronts). The changing

elsewhere. Even in Minneapolis, Halls Island, just north

distribution of our urban structure has contributed to a

of Boom Island, was a popular swimming hole up to the

marked increase in the publicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interest in natural water

1950s when the water was deemed too toxic for human

bodies; we have turned our attention to using waterfronts

use. In the land of 10,000 lakes, we have literally lost

for much more than mere scenery. As this interest

touch with one of our greatest assets, the Mississippi

grows, barge pools have been resurrected, beaches have

River. While urban recreational waterfronts are hardly

been re-established, and nightlife has sprung up along

innovative, they remain distant in our collective memory,

numerous waterfronts.

and for many, they are still perceived as distant in the future.

As these changes are occurring at an increasingly rapid

Even as the mid-century growth of industry and suburbia

them if waterfronts (including the Twin Citiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; riverfront)

caused many cities to neglect the potential for waterfronts

are to be successfully reshaped. During the summer

to be social and environmental assets, the beginning of

of 2008, on a fellowship from the Metropolitan Design

a new millennium has brought about many changes in

Center at the University of Minnesota, I spent two

the structure of cities. Among these changes is the decline

months visiting waterfronts in Basel, Bern, and Zurich,

The changing distribution of our urban structure has contributed to a marked increase in the publicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interest in natural waterbodies; we have turned our attention to using waterfronts for much more than mere scenery. 10

SCAPE spring 10


pace, there is a need to carefully plan for and anticipate

Switzerland; Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, and Munich, Germany; Copenhagen, Denmark; Stockholm, Sweden; and Vienna, Austria.

I interviewed local experts,

documented waterfront activities and studied the built environment around these waterfronts. My findings, while far from comprehensive offer some lessons for the Twin Cities as it continues to establish a new, recreational identity for its riverfront.

River Swimming With miles of historic paths and steps that lead right into the Rhine, Basel’s centuries-old waterfront is being used

Above: Newly renovated waterfront steps leading into the Rhine River.

for a new purpose: swimming. Since the main port has

Basel, Switzerland

moved downstream and the water has been cleaned, this

Opposite page: View of Islands Brygge park & surrounding

tradition is now extremely popular. The preferred method

neighborhood. Copenhagen, Denmark for swimming in Basel begins by going for a run, hopping into the water, and then floating back to one’s starting place. The city is currently carrying out plans to renovate the waterfront to facilitate this pastime. Showers, benches, lockers, bathrooms, safety signs, and new stairs are being placed along the length of the waterfront to accommodate swimmers. An annual event, called the Rheinschwimmen, is now the primary way for the city to both celebrate its clean water and educate its citizens so they can safely swim in a river shared by barges and boats.

Waterside Nightlife Like Basel’s waterfront, Berlin’s is characterized by a physical link to the past. In this case, the Berlin wall carries even stronger physical and cultural connotations. During the Cold War, the divisive boundary between East and West ran across parts of the Spree River, making the waterfront a veritable no-man’s-land with abandoned lots and derelict buildings. Upon reunification, Berlin’s “creative class” reinvented its waterfront, snatching up vacant lots



otherwise turning




nightlife hotspots with beach bars Above: Overview of the newly renovated waterfront steps leading into

and clubs. Although the Spree is

the Rhine River, which incorporates docks, showers and bathroom

still too dirty for swimming, its

facilities. Basel, Switzerland

Right: Waterside restaurants and seating across from the new central train station. Berlin, Germany Far Right: New beach bar across from Museum Island (Berlin) issue #13


topic: design

potential is inspiring the creation of a waterfront culture that is most evident in the city’s nightlife. If current plans are successful, the Spree will be clean again in 2011 through the use of a new stormwater catchment system and people will finally be able to enjoy its waters during the day.

Restored Waterfronts In Stockholm, naturally restored waterfronts are being used

Above: Waterfront along Norr Mälarstrand showing recent

to counteract the busy and artificial urban environment

lakefront restoration between the city streets and Lake Mälaren.

surrounding them. The city government has used restored

Stockholm, Sweden

waterfronts to amend regrettable urban-planning projects that left much of the city center segmented by bigger,

Riverside Bluffs

busier streets. The restored waterfronts, located between

While the restoration of a waterfront creates a more

some of these large roads and the water, have created


places that are again accessible and comfortable for

preservation is sometimes a purely common-sense move.

pedestrians. With trees muffling the noise of the streets

This is the situation in Bern, where forests remain in the

and a lower elevation inviting people to walk close to the

city center because they are needed to protect the integrity

water, the new waterfronts along Norr Mälarstrand and

of the steep slopes that lead to the river Aare. Outfitted

Klarastrandsleden are essentially filtration systems that

with trails, stairs and paths, the area relieves the density

also double as functioning parks. Offsetting the negative

of the city center and connects neighborhoods along the

effects of these busy corridors, the areas have also become

river. The city has also taken advantage of the isolation

home to expensive residential developments close to the

of the riverside by building schools, a senior center,

city center with waterfront views and accessible beaches.

two zoos and sports fields that benefit from their serene





surroundings. A similar situation occurs in Munich, Left: School along waterside across from parliament. Bern,

where flights of stairs lead down from street level to a


picturesque park and an extensive network of waterside

Center: View of the Swiss parliament on the river bluffs (Bern)

sandbars popular for sunbathing and picnicking. Since

Right: One of the many pedestrian bridges that cross the river Aare


SCAPE spring 10


at water level (Bern)

Rendering of the Luritec platform system. Berlin, Germany Source: Luritec Watersystems little of the landscape is altered, the riverfront experience is distinct from the city. At the waterside, the noise of the

Pedestrian bridges also function as emergency escape

street is muffled by forests and cascading water from

routes during floods. Hamburg, Germany

nearby waterfalls.

Sewage Overflow

Flood Protection

In Berlin, where a combined sewage system plagues the

Hamburgâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s city center occupies land immediately adjacent

Spree, a swimmable river seems unimaginable. However,

to the water, practically on top of it. Because of this, many

with the financial and political support of the city

of the buildings in severe flood zones require special

government, a small company called Luritec Watersystems

attention and new developments, including HafenCity, are

is working to implement its proposed solution. Without

legally required to address this. The most time-honored

attempting to rearrange the existing system to separate

and common-sense solution is to simply raise a building

rainwater from sewage, the company proposes a system

to a safe elevation. This logic is employed in HafenCity

that would store the excess water until a cleaning plant

where elevation changes not only address flooding, but

could take it. Unlike other citiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; similar systems, which

are used to create a variety of public spaces adjacent to the

are usually expensive underground water tanks, Luritec

water. Here, buildings are raised above several levels that

has uniquely designed a series of modular water tanks

are built to take floods. Below the offices and apartments

that can be anchored to the riverbed. Conveniently, the

are garages and streets. These lead down to waterside

storage tanks create a versatile above-water platform that

boardwalks and plazas that culminate in the water, with

can become anything from a bathing dock to a restaurant.

marinas and a ship museum. This arrangement creates a

The proposalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inventive spirit lends itself to the creation

functional system with flexible spaces that offer a variety

of a strong waterfront culture by addressing problems

of ways to experience the waterfront.

with pollution while simultaneously creating a public avenue to interact with the water.

Above: The elevation changes to accommodate floods in HafenCity inform the program and function of its buildings and public spaces. Hamburg, Germany Left: Construction of ship museum platforms in quay with adjacent apartments and offices sheltering a boardwalk (Hamburg) issue #13


topic: design

View of Islands Brygge park and neighborhood from

View of Islands Brygge park and harbor swimming structure from

across harbor. Copenhagen, Denmark

above (Copenhagen)

Planned Developments In a broader sense, a governmental body can play a

locating these bridges above the pedestrian waterfront.

role in the way the waterfront takes shape by simply

Streetcars and trams can conveniently bring people to a

developing plans and codes to determine the physical

stop right above the water without disrupting the quiet

form of a development. In Copenhagen, this has become

boulevard below.

the easiest way for the city to ensure a publicly accessible waterfront. While a wide variety of projects ranging from the national library (known as the Black Diamond) to the waterfront district of Islands Brygge have been designed to incorporate public plazas and parks by the water, other privately-funded waterfront developments incorporate





boulevard located below

government regulations. In essence, private investors

the level of vehicular traffic.

have been strategically tapped to redevelop and pay for

Basel, Switzerland

most of the new public waterfront. However, these new


developments lack an overall design consistency and a

spanning over waterside

well-serviced transit system, causing many to criticize the

pedestrian zone (Basel)





local government as incapable of leading these changes.






bridge with a tram stop

Raised Thoroughfares For many waterfronts, vertical elevation changes can





be used to maximize the effectiveness of public transit corridors. By using traditionally busy roads to its advantage, the city of Basel vertically layered its transit infrastructure to create a solution that addresses many of the challenges posed by busy waterside streets. Along most of the riverfront, a pedestrian zone was established in what was once its harbor. Spanning this area are five bridges, which connect the two halves of the city with most of its tram lines and much of its traffic. Basel has achieved an ideal balance by


SCAPE spring 10

Above: Map of swimming zone and surrounding parkland on the Limmat River. Zurich, Switzerland

Multipurpose Dams Along the course of the Limmat River in Zurich, a number of hydroelectric plants have harnessed the river’s fast current and controlled the water. Despite the dangers, many in Zurich have taken to swimming in the calmer waters created by functioning hydroelectric plants along the Limmat River. To better accommodate this pastime, the city established waterside parks along the length of these kilometer-long “pools” by building bathhouses, grassy lawns, restaurants, volleyball courts, and a skateboarding park. To make swimming safe and convenient, a recreational infrastructure was built that incorporates stairs and railings leading to the water and directions, warning signs, and safety nets to keep swimmers out of danger zones near the dam. Placing a recreational infrastructure within that of an existing hydroelectric plant, the city was able to marry the utilitarian role of the dam with the recreational desires of the people.

Warehouse Neighborhoods Coming as no surprise, abandoned warehouses have become popular lofts and apartment buildings in many cities. In Copenhagen, this trend began after the city funded the regeneration of a derelict neighborhood inhabiting the buildings of former factories and warehouses in its harbor. Known as Islands Brygge, the neighborhood’s initial success was compounded with the incorporation of a waterside park of the same name. Employing water as one of the main attractions worked well, spurring the additional construction of projects on adjacent waterfront properties and the regeneration of its city center. Copenhagen’s more recent projects are similar to other examples in Stockholm and Hamburg (and of

Top: Sun-bathing lawn busy with businesspeople after a typical

course the Twin Cities), where waterside industrial sites

work day. Zurich, Switzerland

close to the city center are being retrofitted as urban

Middle: View of swimmers floating down the river above the


hydroelectric plant (Zurich) Bottom: Dam and swimming dock at the end of the safe swimming

issue #13

zone (Zurich)


topic: design

Above Left: Waterside boulevard in HafenCity. Hamburg, Germany Middle: Housing development on a former industrial site. Stockholm, Sweden Right: New business district on Copenhagen’s harbor (Denmark) The modern waterfront is rich in its uses, marked by a

and downtown beaches are full of businesspeople on

history of cultural, environmental, political, economic,

their lunch hours. In fact, some of these European case



studies already have correlations here in the Twin Cities:

between these elements continues to change with the




a barge used as an entertainment venue at Harriet Island

shifting role of waterfronts in urban centers. In order

in Saint Paul, steps leading right into the water at both

to more successfully address these new challenges, our

Harriet Island and Raspberry Island, an ad hoc kayak

views on how we interact with water must also change.

course below the hydro-electric plant in Minneapolis,

In Northern and Central Europe, these changes have

and a walkway cantilevered over the water at the base of

brought about the revival of waterfront recreation, a

the bluffs near the East Bank campus of the University of

transformation that has defined how many of these cities


address their waterfronts. By transforming how their citizens experience water -- allowing people to explore it

While identifying potential interventions is important, it

in a variety of conditions -- these cities are promoting a

is necessary to point out the need for a comprehensive

renewed appreciation for nature.

and far-reaching approach to establishing a successful waterfront. Simply building connections or creating new

In Minneapolis and St. Paul, the riverfront faces many

attractions is not enough to stimulate a vibrant river; the

similar challenges to these European cities: steep bluffs,

area needs to be approached holistically in the broadest sense. The seeds of this are being

Simply building connections or creating new attractions is not enough to stimulate a vibrant river; the area needs to be approached holistically in the broadest sense.

sown, in the form of the Great River Park in Saint Paul, which envisions that city’s entire river frontage as a massive recreational area. It builds on the work the Riverfront Corporation has spearheaded for years, but it may very well bring the degree of holistic thinking

an industrial skeleton, sparse access points, and polluted

necessary to truly capitalize on this amenity. As this and

waters. However, it is easy to point out the Mississippi’s

other projects progress, perhaps the designers can look

obvious advantages: a publicly-owned waterfront, a

beyond our own borders and find unusual, evocative case

protected ‘natural’ environment and a strong cultural

studies for riverfront use. _S

heritage surrounding the water. It is not so far-fetched to imagine a future riverfront in which parks are built around existing industrial complexes, hot water from power plants is used to warm thermal baths, descending the bluffs is dramatized by elevators and funiculars, transit stops are established on bridges above the water,

Daniel Carlson is a soon-to-be graduate of the University of Minnesota B.S. Architecture program. He is currently working with a group of six peers and two professors to create a proposal for the St. Anthony Falls Riverfront area. The project, titled: Imagining the Mississippi, will be published over the summer of 2010.

a network of schools are built in the lowlands beside the river, stormwater runoff and former creeks are re-exposed, unused locks are converted into new swimming pools,


SCAPE spring 10


>ZOgW\U]cbaWRSWa\¸bXcabTc\Wb¸a\SQSaaO`g =c`\Obc`SW\a^W`SRB`SS6]caSPZS\RabVS e]\RS`]T\Obc`SeWbVW\\]dObWdS^ZOgU`]c\R RSaWU\BVWaW[OUW\ObWdS^ZOgab`cQbc`SZ]]Ya YWRS\UW\SS`SRO\R]TTS`aS\RZSaaV]c`a]T ]cbR]]`ORdS\bc`S:SO`\[]`SOb^ZOgZaW Q][OR^ZOg\Obc`OZZg]`Q]\bOQbg]c`Z]QOZ ^ZOgU`]c\RQ]\acZbO\b

AS`dW\UOZZ;W\\Sa]bOhW^ Q]RSaSfQS^b#$##$%

&%%##%&$ %$!##%&$ W\T].ÀOUaVW^^ZOgQ][

AS`dW\U;W\\Sa]bOhW^ Q]RSa#$##$%

&% $"$" % !%$& ^ZOg.ROY]bOTS\QSQ][ eeeROY]bOTS\QSQ][

– :O\RaQO^SAb`cQbc`Sa7\Q


issue #13




topic: business

Sidewalk cafes line many of Budapest’s streets and plazas. The Danube River, seen here in the background, divides the hills of Buda from the more urban Pest.

Going Hungary What are the benefits and pitfalls of working overseas? An experienced voyager lays out the particulars. by Laura Baker and downs of my new surroundings, all the while wishing

I got when I told people that I was moving to Budapest

someone had given me some basic advice about foreign

to work at a landscape architecture firm was usually

employment before I began my journey. My hope is that

something along the lines of the question above. While

I can shed some light on a few of the more mysterious

previous international adventures equipped me with a

aspects of working in a foreign country and encourage

strong enough grasp of world geography to know the

others to consider this challenging and rewarding

difference between Budapest (Hungary) and Bucharest

endeavor for themselves.

(Romania), I now realize that I was otherwise largely unprepared for the challenges of working in a foreign design office.

The Benefits and Challenges of Working in a Foreign Country My adventure began in January, 2008, while I was still

During my six-month tenure at a design firm situated in

bleary-eyed and neck deep in final project research during

the heart of Hungary’s largest city, I weathered the ups

my last semester of graduate school at the University


SCAPE spring 10


“Budapest! Um...that’s in Romania, right?” The response

of Minnesota.

That same semester, my husband was

international employment that I discovered on my own

offered a one-year position at an art and media lab in

journey that might be helpful if you are considering a

Budapest. After reading all of the travel books I could

similar move.

get my hands on and watching Rick Steves’ PBS travel documentary on Budapest I figured I was culturally

Landing the Job

prepared and began researching my own job prospects.

Let’s say you have decided that you are ready to sail

By August, I had narrowed down my search to two firms

the high seas of international employment. Finding a

that were interested in my work but wanted to meet me

job when there are so many angles to consider can be

in person before making a final decision. Though I landed

an intimidating task, but persistence is the key. In many

in Hungary in October of 2008 without an actual position

ways the process is the same whether you are looking to

in place, I was offered both jobs within two weeks of

move across town or across the International Date Line.

my arrival. I happily joined Ujirany (which means ‘new

These suggestions may not pertain to every situation, but

directions’), a firm well known for some of Hungary’s

they are a good place to start.

most progressive landscape designs. I was excited about the small size of the firm and the warm reception I received from my coworkers.

Don’t be afraid to contact offices you admire even if they haven’t published job openings. Situations can change quickly in a business, so don’t

My first week at Ujirany turned out to be a crash course

automatically eliminate your dream firm just because

in the art of working in a foreign environment. I had been

they haven’t updated their online job listings. Contact

under the impression that European employees worked

them anyway, express your enthusiasm for their work and

fewer hours than their U.S. counterparts, but I discovered

include portfolio samples. If you know people located in

that my coworkers had been told similar stories of short

or traveling to a destination of interest, ask them to act as

working hours in the United States. After a brief shared

your “agent” and hand deliver your portfolio to the firm.

mourning period I joined in on my first project: a palm

You will be much more memorable if they can see that

house on the rooftop of Budapest’s largest thermal spa.

you’ve taken the initiative to make a personal connection from such a great distance. Alternatively, capitalize on the

One of the most difficult but rewarding aspects of my job

opportunity of an upcoming vacation to visit the firm for

was the challenge of explaining my ideas in very clear

yourself. You’ll only miss a few hours of site-seeing or sun

terms to non-native English speakers. While this took time


and patience, I began to step outside of my professional jargon and focus on developing refined concepts and designs. I worked on a number of projects involving clients from around Hungary and Europe and enjoyed the

Look into countries beyond the darlings of design journals.

If Europe is the first place you look for work, chances are

challenge of communicating with people from a variety of

that your competition is doing the same. While London,

backgrounds and cultures.

Berlin, and Amsterdam may be hotbeds for design right now, there are many other places – from South

There were times, however, that our communication

Korea to South Africa – engaging in radical work that

struggles became a real source of stress. I made a number

is challenging the status quo. For instance, cutting edge

of mistakes because I didn’t fully understand what my

firms in Hungary like Ujirany frequently had projects

coworkers were asking of me. Even the computer filing

derailed due to political issues and lack of funds. To make

system was initially daunting because all the file and folder

up for this instability, they actively searched for other

names were written in Hungarian. Feelings of loneliness

types of unconventional projects. They regularly applied

and isolation were common for me the first six months we

for public art grants and held workshops for landscape

were there. But over time I became more confident and got

architecture students. It was a great learning experience to

involved in new activities that allowed me to interact with

see the industriousness of a small firm working in tough

both Hungarians and other expatriates. By the time we

economic conditions.

left Hungary in November 2009, we had made a number of friends and shared many tearful good-byes.

Use the internet to your advantage. Many





While every person approaches the process and experience

job postings. Sites such as the American Society of

of living abroad differently, there are several avenues to

Landscape Architects (, Land8Lounge

issue #13


topic: business

accommodating to a 3-6 month appointment rather than a year or more if they are worried about budget constraints. At the same time, some firms might be hesitant to hire

(, and the American Institute of Architects ( all regularly list international job openings.

internationally without a one-year commitment.

Broaden your search beyond design firms.

There are numerous avenues into international work. It is just as important for potential employers to be able

For instance, many universities are interested in having

to find you as it is for you to be able to find them. Sharing

international teaching staff. Working as a teacher could be

a link to an online portfolio is not only less costly than

a good way to make the legal aspects of working overseas,

mailing out dozens of portfolios, it is a very convenient

such as obtaining a visa, a little easier. Keep in mind,

way for international employers to see your work. You

however, that you will most likely need to have a master’s

don’t have to be a web designer to create an effective

or doctorate degree to teach at a university. Non-profit

website. There are many websites that allow you to

organizations may also have opportunities for landscape

download customizable templates. Just remember that a

architects. One of my graduate school classmates recently

simple, clean design is best, especially in the international

began a position with the Peace Corps.

When I began my job search, I cast out a wide net of interest emails to individuals working in all aspects of

Make sure you understand the legalities of working internationally.

It’s important that you have the proper documentation to

the Budapest design field. By contacting everyone from

work legally in a foreign country. Some employers will

university professors to architects to blog writers, my

help with this process, but others will require you to do

goal was to gain an understanding of how the profession

this on your own before they hire you. Rules vary as much

operated in the city so that I was an informed applicant.

as the cultures themselves and most countries regulate

In the end I was able to establish some great local contacts

how long you can legally work and how you pay taxes.

that ultimately helped me narrow down the number

Some countries allow foreigners to work for short periods

of potential firms to approach, set my expectations for

of time (often 90 days) without applying for a residency

the design scene, and even introduced me to my future

permit. However, if you stay longer than the allotted


grace period, make sure you bring copies of important

Consider suggesting an unconventional working arrangement.

documents, such as a birth certificate, when you apply for residency.

If you are having difficulty finding a standard full-time

Consider talking with a professional such as an accountant

position, you may be able to negotiate an alternative

or a lawyer or even an experienced friend to ensure that

agreement with a firm. They could take you on as

you understand your responsibilities. They will help you

an intern while paying for your room and board, for

navigate common issues like how to leverage tax-treaties

example. If possible, be flexible with the amount of time

to avoid double-taxation. While cryptic at times, the

you are willing to commit. Some firms may be more

IRS does actually offer some helpful information about

Left: Baker (left) in the Ujirany studio

international tax laws and regulations. Sifting through piles of international tax treaties and visa applications can be daunting, so ask for help.

Don’t forget the obvious.

Your responsibilities in the U.S. don’t end when you leave the country. If you have school loans, credit card debts, or other regular bills, consider keeping your U.S. banking account and setting up automatic payments. Make sure you are clear on what your health


SCAPE spring 10



insurance options will be while you are abroad. Some companies will offer you a plan but if you are on your own, there are a number of private companies that specialize



medical insurance to citizens working internationally.

Getting the Most Out of Your Experience Finding work is actually the easier part of an international career. The real adventure starts when you step off the plane and realize that you are about to be challenged in ways you didn’t think

Above: Eger, Hungary. Weekend excursions are a great way to

possible. Whether you end up in Belgium or Bangladesh,

explore a country on a budget.

actively investing in your experience will lead to a greater return on that investment. This principle can apply

important to learn. Pay attention to how your coworkers

beyond your professional endeavors. My successes, as

approach projects and find out what elements they often

well as my failures, offered me a chance to reflect on some

incorporate into their designs. What works in one country

means of getting the most out of working abroad.

may not in another; being open-minded will help you

Do your research.

make a smooth transition into your workplace. Ask your coworkers to take you on site visits. This is a great way to

Learn about the history, people, politics, and culture of

familiarize yourself with their work and also to see parts

the country you’re moving to. Look for jobs in countries

of the country you may not ever see as a tourist.

that really interest you and don’t accept a job just because it’s international. If you don’t have a keen interest in the culture, then you may find it difficult to assimilate into your new surroundings.

If you don’t know the language, start learning it.

People will appreciate your attempt to communicate in their language. Even if your coworkers speak English, they may default to their native language when they are not speaking directly to you. You will miss out on valuable

Go into your new job with confident humility.

If you make it clear that you are there to learn from your coworkers and not the other way around, you open the door for meaningful dialogue and exchange. This doesn’t mean that you can’t share your knowledge with them; part of the reason you were hired was because your employer believed they could benefit from your perspective.

Ask “dumb” questions.

Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as it takes to

learning opportunities if you are unable to understand

understand what is expected of you. When communication

the conversations around you. Consider taking a course

barriers are a factor, it’s better to ask twice.

before you depart or signing up for classes once you’re there. At the very least, use a self-guided system such as Rosetta Stone to learn the basics. In addition to the benefit of understanding your coworkers, you will minimize the

Understand that it will take time to feel comfortable at work.

You will be dealing with a new culture and possibly a

number of embarrassing blank stares exchanged with the

new language. Give yourself time to adjust. Don’t stress

cashier at the grocery store.

out by putting a time frame on when you ‘should’ be

Remember that design is culturally-based.

Every country has a design and aesthetic heritage that is issue #13

acclimated. The process of learning a new computer program or designing in the metric system may slow your usual pace for a while. Even simple things like a different


topic: business

The 1956 Uprising Memorial makes for an impressive entry into Budapest’s largest public park.

computer keyboard can add to the stress of your day. On

gelatinous meat stew served by our Hungarian friends

the Hungarian keyboard, the letters y and z are switched,

with a wink.

so I was typing words like “yone” and “zou” for a month before I finally made the shift.

Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Make it happen. My opportunity to work abroad came at a time when jobs here in the U.S. were (and still are) scarce, and going

People are much more likely to cut you some slack and

elsewhere enabled me to stay active in the profession

help you if you are willing to laugh at yourself and

while learning a unique set of skills. Working abroad

acknowledge your need to learn.

has its challenges: Culture shock, feelings of isolation,

Get involved in activities outside of work.

and language barriers can be stressful. However, the experience of foreign employment will help set you apart

It’s important that you make friends and socialize outside

as a designer. Every job well done is another person in

of a work environment. Don’t be afraid to join a new group,

your network of contacts to call upon in the future.

whether it’s a class, sports team or cycling club, even if

With planning, persistence and an open mind, working

you aren’t completely comfortable with the language.

internationally is a wonderful way to expand your

Non-verbal communication can go a long way. Organize

cultural and professional horizons. _S

activities yourself if you’re having trouble getting into an established social group. Invite new friends to participate in one of your own traditions or recreational activities. One of my favorite memories in Budapest was when we coworkers. Sharing our traditions helped our new friends feel comfortable with sharing some of theirs as well. One of my favorites was Kocsonya – best described as a


Laura Baker is a landscape designer based in Minneapolis. She worked in Budapest until September 2009 and is currently enjoying time at home with her daughter.

SCAPE spring 10


celebrated Thanksgiving with a group of friends and

Enhancing the Value and Beauty of your Properties

MASLA _Scape 10 outl 2.indd 1

3/18/2010 3:29:17 PM

Bringing Scientic Tree Management To Landscape Partnerships Throughout The Twin Cities

*We Now Offer*

Tree Inventory Management Using the Latest GIS/GPS Technology Call Today To Discover How This Can Benet Your Business!

Contact us at:

issue #13


Commercial Service Division 23

Innovative Tree Care Since 1976


Minnesota Landscape Architecture Awards


SCAPE spring 10

What would Aliens see? Edie Weiner in her book Future Think relays the story of

social lots for the cars to communicate in isolation away

two Aliens from another planet who traveled to earth to

from the humans.

was like. The Aliens, after four weeks on earth, concluded

Coming back to the

cars, each of which owned at least one two-legged servant

see the value landscape architects bring to our Minnesota

human in order to be sure they delivered their owner to

Aliens clearly would have caught the spirit of what we

so the car could hang out all day with other cars while the

winning projects. The 2010 Awards highlight the high level

explore and report back to their home planet what earth

earthling’s perspective, what is

that earth was inhabited by four-wheeled vehicles called

fantastic for us is how the Aliens unbiased outlook would

called a human. Each morning a loud noise woke the

environments, whether rural, suburban, or urban. The

a social club, something the humans called a parking lot,

today view in this issue of _Scape: MASLA’s Award

human went into a building to work to support it.

of excellence and quality design and planning emanating

I sometimes like to think about what the Aliens would

us proud for the leading-edge thinking implicit in their

from our community of landscape architects. They make

have found had they visited Minnesota. They would


the clutch of the car. Being curious they would search to

Minnesota landscape architects are silently making major

that humans called landscape architects.

our families. All landscape architects understand that

The Aliens would report how impressed they were

aware of their invisible touch, especially in much of the

actually creatively handled the cars’ social needs while

projects intellectually stimulate the public’s imagination

have witnessed many efforts by the humans to escape discover who was behind this revolution and find a group

impacts on the environments in which we live and raise often their talents are experienced by a public not even

that this group of Minnesota landscape architects had

environmental and native planting projects. While other

also designing rich environments for the humans to live

due to strong design elements, lines, forms and colors.

owners. Urban designs and communities that fit both the

Landscape architects live on both sides of these extremes

humans called sustainable environments were designed

planning professionals in our world. They are profes-

would be healthy and vibrant. The cars much appreci-

impact. Enjoy the subtlety and impact in this collection of

in, raise their families in, and recreate away from their

car’s and the human’s needs flourished. Something the

and this makes them unique amongst all design and

and built to ensure that the cars servants (i.e. humans)

sionals who are artists at subtlety as well as artists of

ated keeping their humans healthy!

thought provoking and visually stunning solutions for the

Parks -- places these human landscape architects designed

architect friends and colleagues.

betterment of our human environments by our landscape

to help other humans escape temporarily from their owners -- were everywhere. They were often connected

by trails for walking, jogging, and something with usually

Warm regards,

(a bike). The green lushness in the parks and trails gave

Richard Murphy, ASLA

two-wheels that required the humans to sit upon and pedal meaning and joy to the humans while creating wonderful

issue #13

MASLA President


Award of Excellence - Public Landscape Design

Silverwood Park Saint Anthony, Minnesota

SRF Consulting Group, Inc.

Silverwood Park is a special use park focused on providing a stage for the

arts in a natural setting. Developed by

Three Rivers Park District, Silverwood successfully reuses a historic Salvation Army




elements, such as deep-tilling on the

great lawn, permeable paving in the

2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

parking lots, and geothermal heating and cooling for the building, carefully knit




program into the site to create a strong sense of place.

Park amenities, shown in the plan, opposite bottom, are placed to minimize grading and natural resource impacts while maximizing views to Silver Lake. The performing arts amphitheater, top, can host both smaller and larger performances in an intimate setting, while outdoor plaza areas adjacent to the visitors center provide the opportunity to display artwork created by park visitors, above. An existing island boardwalk crossing, opposite top, was restored and retrofitted with recycled railings.


SCAPE spring 10

2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture


issue #13

Merit Award - Public Landscape Design

Lavin Bernick Center for University Life New Orleans, Louisiana

2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

Coen + Partners, Inc.


SCAPE spring 10

The Lavin Bernick Center for University Life landscape is a

planes of climbing vines from the building into

newly renovated structure into the existing campus fabric.

of custom vine screens. These screens create soft

vibrant center for campus life that successfully knits the siteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s The design is an exploration in conveying the lushness of the

semi-tropical New Orleans climate through refined form and texture. The landscape architect proposed extending vertical

the surrounding landscape through the creation divisions between passive and active spaces, providing filtered privacy for adjacent reading areas and variable levels of shading.

issue #13


2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

Custom vine cables string up the facade of the building to soften the facade and provide cooling for the building, opposite. Bands of monkey grass provide a green carpet for the reading rooms, top left, while jasmine vines offer a wonderful sense of smell while in bloom, top right. The vines wrap around a steel cable network that is similar to the buildingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parasol structure.

Merit Award - Public Landscape Design

Rochester Peace Plaza Rochester, MN

Bryan Carlson Planning and Landscape Architecture Yaggy Colby Associates The Peace Plaza, created through a public design process,

Spaces and the city crystallized the need to improve the

ming, has become the new heart of downtown Rochester.

prime downtown retail center including the existing 25-

thoughtful design implementation, and creative programTogether with the city and the Rochester Downtown

Alliance, landscape architects led the multidisciplinary team through planning, design, and construction for the

$3.3 million plaza. They were challenged to design a â&#x20AC;&#x153;placeâ&#x20AC;? that would function as the heart of a revitalized

2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

downtown. Initial studies hosted by Project for Public


public space between the Mayo Clinic and the Galleria, the year-old Peace Plaza. It became clear that vehicular traffic

on First Street was an inhibitor to pedestrian movement and consumed space necessary for public gathering and flexible programming. Closure of First Street, already

terminated at the east and west ends by Mayo and the Galleria, became a significant portion of the solution.

SCAPE spring 10

The turf grass area, above, has proven to be a desirable space to meet, eat, play, and relax. The turf utilizes a soil mesh system which allows vehicle access, storm water permeability, and high traffic durability. Custom designed lighting fixtures, right, are aluminum structures holding wire fabric forms, a metaphor for “birds in flight.” Decorative LED light tubes give the city flexibility with light color, sequencing, and intensity.

issue #13


2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

The site plan, opposite top, illustrates the design elements of the plaza space. Colored concrete, custom lighting, native landscaping, turf grass, and a large water feature highlight the unique features and challenges of the project. A cast stone fountain supports the refurbished bronze sculpture anchoring the east end of the Peace Plaza, opposite bottom. A submersible light fixture below the trench grate illuminates the fountain’s sheet flow.

Honor Award - Planning and Research

Morris Affordable Green Neighborhood

Morris, Minnesota


Rowhouses (27 total units in 3 buildings)

Active Park -- play fields -- community gardens -- sledding hill -- trail connections

Arizona Boulevard -- main neighborhood entry -- stormwater management


existing sidewalk

raised berm

community gardens


open field



sledding hill

open field


SIXTH STREET existing sidewalk

stormwater swale

parallel parking (permeable pavement)

overlook stairways university to downtown trail parallel parking (permeable pavement)


2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

lower plaza



new sidewalk

Legend Single-family Homes (3 units)




is ra

asphalt bike trail

new tree

concrete sidewalk

existing deciduous tree

permeable paving

existing evergreen tree

SCAPE spring 10



residential design guides (continued)

open space

“Shared” front yards

This project envisions a community that is contextual,

Front porches

sustainable, and cost-effective. It will look and feel like

the rest of Morris. The houses will cost about the same.

Back/side patios Decks over parking

It may actually be cheaper to develop. Underneath this

“Shared” back yards

seemingly simple extension of the urban fabric, however,

Vegetative screening

is environmentally driven design: prairie restoration,


naturalized stormwater management, sustainable building

“Shared” hard courts

materials, and geothermal easements. This project raises

Enclosed back yards Vegetable gardens

the bar for green site planning and architecture, but also keeps the cost of both infrastructure and buildings low. It

is a critical example of how small towns can go green with new development – without excluding local families.



Nature Park -- restored prairie / savanna -- trails -- interpretation

Morris Elementary School Site Affordable Green Neighborhood Framework Manual


stormwater management

Rain gardens

Rain barrels / cisterns

Low-mow, low-water plantings in difficult to maintain areas


Permeable driveways Shared driveways Garage green roofs ALLEY

Permeable alley Alley vegetation and adjacent trees take up stormwater (evapotranspiration) “Cart tracks” to reduce pavement





is ra

Flex Lots single-family and / or twin homes (18 lots)

prairie gardens




60’ back from 7th Street Curb

lot sizes, 71 build-to lines, and easements

The plan includes between 75 and 93 housing units on 50-foot lots, five acres of park space, two newBuild-to public Line: roadways, and an extensive trail and sidewalk system, see plan, left. The architect worked 22’ backlandscape from 6th Street Parkway ROW with an architect to (sidewalk edge)types specifically for this site and known develop three prototype housing residential needsBuild-to in Morris. Build-to lines and easements, below, will ensure Line: from 6th Street Parkway ROW (sidewalkand edge)allow space for consistency with22’ theback surrounding neighborhood character geothermal systems. The Framework Manual includes series of residential landscape guides, above, including for geothermal easements, landscape Build-to Line: use,Street andCurb stormwater management. 45’ back from 5th EA VE



6th Street Parkway -- divided roadway loop -- trail corridor -- stormwater management -- pedestrian access from 6th Street SIXTH STREET






e pavement)

Build-to Line:








grow house lot

Grow Houses (13 units)


single family lot

flex lot pair (townhouses)

Geothermal Easement (for this lot’s wells)

Geothermal Easements (if needed for adjacent lots’ wells)

Geothermal Easement (for adjacent lot’s wells)

Build-to line (see above)

Yard area for front-facing unit

Side build-to line (5’ from northeast lot line)

Yard area for rear-facing unit

Morris Elementary School Site REDEVELOPMENT PLAN

Build-to line (see above)

March 17, 2009

Geothermal Zones (under driveway)

Side build-to lines (5’ from lot lines) (choose one)


issue #13 City of Morris

2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture


Single-family Homes (14 units)


Merit Award - Planning and Research

A Living Street:

A Landscape Illustrating Five Principles for Greenwich South New York, New York

2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

Coen + Partners, Inc.

This project generates a bold landscape vision for an

underutilized but critical area of Lower Manhattan. The goal of this site-specific vision is to shape future neigh-

borhood development around the concept of a ‘Living Street.’ The resulting landscape concept successfully knits

the World Trade Center site to Battery Park, creating a sustainable and animated neighborhood armature, both

visually distinct and timeless, to guide long-term neigh-

The view of Greenwich Street from Battery Park looking north toward the World Trade Center Site is framed by planted green structures, above. The structures’ shapes are malleable as they take on different forms in response to location and function. They feature different species of vines, steel cables, structural frameworks, and lighting options, opposite bottom, that change diurnally and seasonally. They serve as gateway elements to the Greenwich South neighborhood and are integrated into the design of the new tram stations located along the corridor. The vine structures at Edgar Plaza, see plan, opposite top, are a visual icon for Greenwich Street and connect to a proposed market and park covering the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel.

borhood renewal.


SCAPE spring 10

2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture


issue #13

Merit Award - Planning and Research

Downtown Red Wing Action Plan

Red Wing, Minnesota

Hoisington Koegler Group, Inc. Downtown Red Wing, Minnesota, recently named one

place, the Downtown Action Plan offers the rationale and

with tremendous natural and built resources, but threat-

on active living, sustainability, history, and the celebra-

of the top 25 historic destinations in the world, is blessed

ened by a slow but steady leakage of real estate investment. By illustrating the links between national lifestyle

2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

trends, community values, and inherent strengths of


innovative tools to redirect Red Wingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s future. With focus tion of Red Wingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique experience, the Action Plan is a dynamic guidebook that will direct both public policy and private investment.

SCAPE spring 10

issue #13


2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

The design team performed GIS and on-the-ground analysis in order to determine what roadblocks and opportunities Downtown Red Wing faces, top. The foundation of the Action Plan is its six goals, which are communicated in simple language with distinct colors and memorable icons. Each section of the Action Plan includes numbered actions, above. The value icons associated with each action demonstrate the multiple values undertaken with each action. Occasional maps and case studies further illustrate the actions. The design team also created a variety of tools to assist with implementation of the plan, including a new downtown district map, opposite, to help guide redevelopment and investment.

Merit Award - Planning and Research

Target 2008 Design Guidelines: First Edition

Damon Farber Associates Target is one of Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest retailers, and that status

brings increased expectations from the communities the company serves.

Target strives to be a responsible

steward of the environment and is showing tremendous

new commitment through a recently completed first edition of its Target Site Design Guidelines. Initiated in 2007, the guidelines have quickly become a valuable resource for the development of new stores and the remodeling of existing store sites.

Today the guidelines are facilitating site planning, civil engineering, and landscape designs that improve

Chapter five in the guidelines, below, was dedicated to stormwater management and the benefits of Low Impact Development (LID). It tackles a topic loaded with technical jargon and misconceptions and presents the information in a straightforward factual manner, opposite top, to bridge the knowledge gap between consultants and Target Development Managers. A â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Site Planting Areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; diagram, opposite bottom, was devised for a typical site, accompanied by specific plant recommendations. This simple diagram is saving Target millions of dollars by avoiding inappropriate plant choices.

branding and the guest experience while reducing future

2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

maintenance costs and improving local ecosystems.


SCAPE spring 10

2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture


issue #13

Merit Award - Planning and Research

Tower Harbor Master Plan

Tower, Minnesota

Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc. When a highway construction project in the 1960â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Lake Vermilion. A vision for the harbor emerged as a

MN, with a box culvert, it effectively severed the navigable

of nearby downtown. This new neighborhood would not

replaced a bridge over the East Two River near Tower, water connection between the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s historic harbor and nearby Lake Vermilion, effectively killing the harbor. In

2005 SEH began to plan for the re-creation of the historic

2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

harbor and the re-establishment of the nautical link with


sustainable, compact, walkable development supportive only conserve energy, it would produce its own energy

while reducing water usage and eliminating stormwater runoff. The Tower Harbor Master Plan is an integrated model for urban design in a northern climate.

SCAPE spring 10

Creating a vibrant pedestrian environment within the harbor area and connecting it with the central business district and adjacent neighborhood is the heart of the Harbor Master Plan, below. The project features comprehensive water and energy concepts that employ LEED standards and reduce its carbon footprint. A mix of retail, restaurant, lodging, and residential uses will surround the harbor, opposite. Between the harbor and downtown is an existing public park that will be reconfigured and enhanced with new walkways, lighting, and a new performance pavilion / band shell, above.


2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

issue #13

Merit Award - Private Landscape Design

Benedicta Arts Center St. Joseph, Minnesota

2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

Close Landscape Architecture +

The opportunity for this courtyard was created when

an addition to a mid-century Modern arts building on a private liberal arts college was constructed. The goal of the landscape architect was to design a solution that

married and complimented two distinct architectural

styles in a graceful way. Using the idea of movement created by music, dance and art, the linear pattern was

broken into forms that dash across the space in the form of

As seen from the theater roof top, above left, the courtyardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s geometry and design elements are visible. The landscape architects sought to reduce the amount of impervious surface by using porous crushed gravel for event expansion space. The courtyardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s benches and fountain are illuminated at night, opposite. The recirculating water feature, above right, has a gentle flow to create a song that echoes off the courtyard walls.

planting beds, granite plinths, and custom wood benches that double as bases for sculptural display. The main

paved terrace in the courtyard reflects the shape of the new two-story black box theater inside the addition.


SCAPE spring 10

2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture


issue #13

Merit Award - Residential Design

Sullivan Residence Minneapolis, Minnesota

2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

Coen + Partners, Inc.


SCAPE spring 10

The Sullivan Residence is a fundamental restructuring of

entertains regularly, to create a dynamic space with a

units in a converted 1920â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s city lake mansion overlooking

for the context that belies innovative solutions and

half of a shared backyard for one of two condominium

Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis. The landscape architect

collaborated with the client, a young professional who

modern approach, a minimal palette, and a subtle respect construction methods.

issue #13


2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

The central â&#x20AC;&#x153;geometry of threeâ&#x20AC;? in the main terrace, in plan, right (a pool with a panel of lawn to either side) reflects the geometry of three at the back of the home, but also works as a larger single form around which the main terrace is organized. The main terrace, opposite, has been elevated to address the finished floor elevation. A floating stair of bluestone treads, above, supported by a steel structure that recedes from view, transitions to the lower terrace which lies at the former grade. A dry stacked bluestone retaining wall fills in behind the stair.

Merit Award - Unbuilt Works

Augsburg College Minneapolis, Minnesota

oslund.and.assoc. The mission of the new quadrangle at Augsburg College

consciously making a physical manifestation of its desire

and a physical crossroads, a place for engagement and

center of faith. Augsburg’s collegiate vision is centered

is rooted in the idea of intersections; it is an intellectual connection. By creating a place that will be seen as the

2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

new “heart” of the Augsburg campus, the college is


to foster a distinct sense of engagement arising from a around this statement: We believe we are called to serve our neighbor.

SCAPE spring 10

issue #13


2010 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

The landscape architect took an indifferent space, comprised of a parking lot and an existing science building, and created nearly three acres of new centralized green space, see plan, left. The design takes the notion of intersection and transfigures it onto the landscape by sculpting landforms into folds and bends that move into, through, and across the space. These undulating landforms are joined by long benches that line the pathways, a central water feature, above, and a bridge on axis with a new central rotunda space, top. The central water feature is a stormwater garden designed to absorb all the rainwater falling on the new Center for Science, Business and Religion, as well as other buildings surrounding the quad.

STERNBERG MLAZGAR ASLA Minnesota chapter AD 2009 FINAL.qxp


11:15 AM

Page 1

R.L. MLAZGAR ASSOCIATES, INC. Representing Quality Lighting Products and Manufacturers for 45 Years LED available

STERNBERG LIGHTING is a premier manufacturer of outdoor decorative lighting. Featuring high performance, controlled lighting products for any application. „ LED: Check out our UNRIVALED™ LED system – the most efficient LED system in outdoor decorative lighting. Available in a variety of styles. „ Hundreds of products to choose from: Architectural and traditional luminaires, poles, bollards, custom installations, roadway & traffic signal structures, residential fixtures and site amenities. „ Continuing education classes available: Classes range from “Architectural Lighting and Protection of the Dark Sky”, “LED’s for Decorative Lighting” to a “Basic Course of Outdoor Lighting” and much more. ASLA, AIA and NCQLP accredited. Call for program schedule. R.L. MLAZGAR ASSOCIATES, INC. is your representative for Sternberg Lighting products throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Western Wisconsin. Call either our Minnesota or North Dakota office for assistance with your decorative outdoor lighting needs. 7154 SHADY OAK ROAD, EDEN PRAIRIE, MN 55344 P 952-943-8080 • F 952-943-8088


3602 22ND AVENUE SOUTH, GRAND FORKS, ND 58201 • P / F 701-746-5407

SCAPE spring 10

The Landscape Architect’s Soil Solutions Team

Soil Sup to the Nplier Minneso ew ta StadiumTwins

P.O. Box 332 • 11555 205th Avenue NW • Elk River, MN 55330 U.S.A. • Tel 763.441.1100 or 1.877.564.8013 • Fax 763.441.7782 issue #13 49

The Benedicta Arts Center courtyard at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota, was designed by Close Landscape Architecture +. It is one of eleven landscape architecture award winners profiled in this issue, beginning on page 26. Photograph courtesy Close Landscape Architecture +.


4HE-INNESOTA#HAPTEROFTHE !MERICAN3OCIETYOF,ANDSCAPE!RCHITECTS for a calendar of events, chapter newsleďż˝er, board members, award winning projects, membership information, and more, visit the oďŹ&#x192;cial website:


_SCAPE 2010 Spring  
_SCAPE 2010 Spring