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SCAPE land and design in the Upper Midwest

summer 16

The Awards Issue Best in Minnesota landscape architecture

PLUS Advocacy on the Hill Water Agents of Change Rainwater Harvesting Maintenance Conservation

Publication of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects

from the

CHAPTER PRESIDENT Gina Bonsignoire, ASLA | ASLA-MN President


have a simple message with this issue of SCAPE. To be an award winner and featured in _SCAPE, you need to submit projects to our awards program. We typically send out our request for awards submittal in the dark days of winter. Our award submittals are judged by professionals from another state chapter. What does that all mean? The jury will be going on only what is written and shown for each project. Now is the time to get your projects photographed to show your site in the full glory of the growing season. Some of you may remember the photography workshop we offered a number of years ago. Our instructor was Steve Silverman of Silverman Be Remarkable. I asked Steve what guidance he would give to landscape architects working with a professional photographer. Steve suggests you “supply the photographer with drawings, pre-shots, and even in-progress photos of a project in advance of shooting. Communicate the challenges you overcame, the elements you found the most inspiring, and the story about how the project was

conceived. Schedule a walk-through with the photographer prior to shooting so you can show him/her the project through your eyes. Don’t be bashful about sharing your favorite angles of view. If your photographer is trying to serve you in the best way, they will be sensitive to how you see the project. Introduce the photographer to the project’s owner so they can hear from them what they love the most about the project or the process.

Going through the process of putting together a submittal is good for your portfolio, regardless of the outcome. We all need to do a better job of documenting our work. I’m not just talking to people in firms. Solo practitioners, public practitioners, academics – all of you are welcome to submit projects. I encourage you to capture your work this summer - and adding in gorgeous fall and winter pix are not a bad idea, either!

On shooting day, stage, stage, stage! Make sure all of your hardscapes and softscapes are in perfect condition. Depending on the type of project, add elements like fresh flowers and fruit baskets, candles, wine and cheese, and even better - furniture. Those details add immeasurably to the final images.” Having your site photographed now, or photographing it yourself, also starts the important process of figuring out how to tell the story of the site to a jury that will be judging your submission. Now is also a good time to do some post-occupancy interviews with clients and users of the site. Some great tidbits could emerge. There’s nothing like quotes from someone else to give credibility to your claims for how well the site functions.

from the

Gina Bonsignoire, ASLA President ASLA-MN



t is with great pleasure that I introduce the new _SCAPE Editor who will be assuming this magazine’s publication with the winter issue. Madeline Peck joins the ASLA-MN team after recently returning to Minnesota after five years in Stockholm, Sweden where she received her Masters of Science in Sustainable Urban Planning and Design (she also has a BLA from Iowa State). Madeline is currently employed at Bolton & Menk as an Urban Designer, where she works on various municipal projects

including streetscapes and master planning documents. While not working, you can find her running, reading, strolling through a Twin Cities neighborhood, or planning her next trip. Please show Madeline your ASLA-MN support by submitting an article proposal during the next solicitation round. This magazine depends on your creative writing talents to celebrate local projects, professionals, and accomplishments within the landscape architecture and design community.

Madeline Peck, New_SCAPE Editor Thank you for the opportunity to serve the ASLA-MN community for the last 4 years. Our paths most definatly will cross again, most likely at a Twin Cities regional park location - until then, happy trails!

Summer 2016 | Issue #23


ASLA-MN is the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) which represents nearly 300 professionals in the landscape architecture profession through advocacy, education, communication, and fellowship. ASLA, the national organization, has more than 18,000 members and 48 chapters, representing all 50 states, U.S. territories, and 42 countries around the world. As a licensed profession in the state of Minnesota, landscape architecture encompasses the analysis, planning, design, management, and stewardship of the natural and built environments. Landscape Architectural projects range from academic campuses, conservation and natural areas, historic landscapes, parks and recreation, transportation corridors, urban design, water resources, and commercial and residential properties. To learn more about landscape architecture visit or ASLA-MN offers a variety of service projects, social events, networking and continuing education opportunities. An elected Executive Committee typically meets monthly on the first Thursday from 4-6pm at its International Market Square meeting space within AIA, to discuss, organize, and facilitate chapter activities. All ASLA-MN members are invited to attend these meetings.

_SCAPE Editorial

Executive Committee & At-Large Members

Editor Ann Rexine

Gina Bonsignore, ASLA President

Ann Rexine, ASLA Director of Communications

Carmen Simonet, ASLA President-Elect

Liz Hixon, Assoc. ASLA Director of Public Relations

Matthew Rentsch, ASLA Past President

Jake Coryell Director of Programs

Ellen Stewart, ASLA Chapter Trustee

Andrew Montgomery, Associate ASLA Co-Director of Awards & Banquet

Copy Editor Jason McGrew-King Publisher JS Print Group Duluth, Minnesota

Nicole Peterson, Assoc. ASLA Secretary


Kathy Aro Executive Director

Chris Behringer, ASLA Treasurer

Jodi Refsand, Assoc. ASLA Co-Director of Awards & Banquet Todd Wichman, FASLA Fellow Representative

Graham Sones, ASLA Director of Education & Professional Development

Michael McGarvey, ASLA Government Affairs Committee

Jody Rader, Assoc. ASLA Student Chapter Liaison

Kevin Tousignant Student Chapter President

Send general ASLA-MN inquiries, including sponsorships, to:

Send general _SCAPE inquiries, letters to the editor, and article queries to:

Lone Poppy

Without the visionary foresight to acknowledge some of our current and future social, economical and technical challenges - the lone poppy becomes metaphor of Cityscape pragmatism, survivalism, and creative wisdom. Photo Contributor: Morguefile

_SCAPE is published twice each year by the American Society of Landscape Architects - Minnesota Chapter (ASLA-MN). _SCAPE is FREE (in limited quantity). To subscribe, go to and click _SCAPE.

ASLA-MN International Market Square 275 Market Street, Suite 54 Minneapolis, MN 55405 PH: 612.339.0797 F: 612.338.7981

Ann Rexine, Editor 9722 106th Place North Maple Grove, MN 55369

Summer 2016 | Issue #23


from the

UNIVERSITY OF MN Student Chapter & Advocacy Day 2016 By Maria Grina and Leslie Johnson


xciting things are on the horizon for the Minnesota ASLA Student Chapter at the University of Minnesota. Over the last year, our group has reorganized with a focus on making professional connections. Throughout the year, we will be hosting lectures and workshops for students to expand their skills. With these goals in mind, we hope to create opportunities for fellow students to work together and get to know each other. As a kick-off event last spring, we worked with the local ASLA Chapter and UMN Department of Landscape Architecture to host a Spring into Summer event celebrating capstone completion and welcoming our new faculty member, Karen Lutsky. Additionally, we will “match” incoming students with current MLA mentors to help facilitate a smooth transition into their graduate school experience. Our hope is that we establish a self-sustaining organization that becomes a vital facet to the UMN Landscape Architecture program. As student chapter representatives, we were fortunate enough to participate in the 2016 Advocacy Day on May 19 in

Washington, D.C., thanks to the generous support of the local ASLA Chapter and UMN Landscape Architecture Department. Upon arrival, after several webinars and an “Advocacy Day Bootcamp,” we were ready for our meetings on Capitol Hill. In the good company of Carmen Simonet, Ellen Stewart, and Andrew Montgomery, we spent Advocacy Day meeting with Minnesota Congressional and Senate office staff. Our two main topics were to urge support for the National Park Service Centennial Challenge legislation and illustrate green infrastructure’s benefits in transportation projects. Attending the Advocacy Day Conference was an incredible experience. It demonstrated the important role citizens must play in the healthy workings of our government by voicing their concerns. We are fortunate in Minnesota to be represented by individuals who know and understand the importance of the natural environment, public parks and green infrastructure. For example, in the meeting with Senator Amy Klobuchar’s legislative aide, we learned Klobuchar’s mother taught an annual unit in school educating students about monarch butterflies and pollinator health. Our representatives also understand the role landscape architects play in promoting these systems and structures. Unfortunately, this is not the case for all states across the country. We spoke to many ASLA members from other chapters whose visits to Capitol Hill were much more difficult.

Landscape architecture encompasses a diverse range of disciplines and skill sets. Its wide scope is one of its most valuable attributes, but that fact often makes it harder for those unfamiliar with the field to understand. Much of the resistance other ASLA members met was due to the limited awareness of the unique contributions landscape architects make in improving our environment. In order for the landscape architecture field to grow and expand, we need to advocate for the profession both on the local and national levels. Our time spent in Washington, D.C., was only our preliminary initiation into this life-long endeavor.

“We didn’t have any fun,” said no landscape architect ever.

L to R: Ellen Stewart, Carmen Simonet, Leslie Johnson, Maria Grina, Andrew Montgomery on Capitol Hill, Washington D.C.


Columbia Golf Club, Minneapolis Tuesday, September 13th Visit for details

ASLA-MN Golf & Foot Golf Event

Ellen and Leslie prepare to meet with Minnesota Congresswoman Betty McCollum.

Summer 2016 | Issue #23



water management Nonprofit/Public/Student collaborations as an agent of change Christopher Tallman


s we move into an uncertain future of climate variability and nontraditional design collaborations, we face an expanding need to convert traditional modes of thinking and design response to how we design the process. Coupled with new public/private funding dynamics for city scale park development, we are challenged to make the cityscape of 2050 one of resiliency and vibrance. At the heart of the matter is how students are transitioning from the academic setting into practice. A Student’s View of Practice Dynamics in the 2050 Cityscape The link between professional design practice and academia in Landscape Architecture is not always a fluid or mutually beneficial one. Not that it should be, but the mechanisms of the designer-client interface, the economics of the design industry, and the time buyin required to activate student participation are such that it takes dedication and structural adjustment to achieve a synergistic flow of student to professional to student interaction. Furthermore, when a student steps into an office he or she is no longer a student but an intern, a professional first. The freedoms and opportunities available in the two spheres are starkly different. A student’s exposure to professional practice is often experienced as a schism. On the one hand, the academic environment can provide the development of new modes of thinking, speculative research, and exploration of novel solutions where the only risk attached to failure is a lesson learned. These priorities, which are available to students and the pragmatics of a market-driven design office, stand in contrast to each other. In professional practice the realm of exploration is limited by client need, budget, and policy, to name a few of the primary constraints. These two conditions are not something we should consider upending anytime soon, though the need exists to develop modes of marketplace level interactions that carry with them the investigative freedoms of the academic environment. Enter the non-profit.

For the past two years I have been a research assistant in practice (RA) with the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. The research assistant in practice program in place at the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota is unique in that it is not an internship placement program, but rather an opening of doors between professional practice and the academy. The traditional internship model is unidirectional; the student leaves the academic environment and enters into a proto-professional condition. The RA relationship opens the opportunity for public sector agents to engage with students on projects that can benefit from the umbrella of academic explorations. The bi-directional nature exposes students to much-needed professional development while liberating the partner organization to explore scenarios and research that may not typically be supportable in the marketplace. I have had the opportunity to spend extensive time studying the history and current state of planning and development in North Minneapolis, particularly those areas affected by or adjacent to the Mississippi River. The work has included public and partner engagement in workshops and events with residents and community institutions. My work has more recently been focused on the premier project of the RiverFirst initiative, Minneapolis’ downtown Water Works Park. Water Works Park is the threshold to Minneapolis, both spatially as the gateway from the city to the Mississippi River - and in efforts to boldly face the new era. Perched on the edge of St. Anthony Falls at the end of the Stone Arch Bridge’s transition to grade and tucked into the pocket formed by the Third Avenue bridge and the river, the Water Works Park land represents the last opportunity to capture and infiltrate rainwater before it enters the Mississippi. Since development of the falls for milling in the 1830s, rainwater has been a waste product that threatened bank stability; it was summarily captured and piped to the river in the most expeditious manner possible. Summer 2016 | Issue #23


When we survey the scope of issues, landscape architects find the vast majority demand a systems-level intervention. This is what places landscape architects at the forefront of the effort to integrate systems knowledge (be it ecological or engineered, social or behavioral, etc.) into our creation and maintenance of human habitat: cities, rural developments, and resource mining and harvest sites. Consider the items topping the urgently-need-a-solution list: topsoil loss; surface and subsurface water pollution and depletion; the acrimony that surrounds the native verses invasive debate; inequitable access to city and rural amenities. The list is daunting in scope and scale.

From fall 2015 through the spring 2016 semester and working directly with Bruce Chamberlain, the team of three graduate RAs (Jonathan Fillmore, fall 2015; Kelly Watters, spring 2016; Han Do and Christopher Tallman, fall 2015 and spring 2016) developed a suite of communications tools. Included in the suite are a professional set of display boards and informational pamphlets that serve to graphically represent the rainwater collection system - its performative qualities and the technical aspects of capacity and infrastructural organization. These served to facilitate communication between consulting system engineers (Pentair) and the collaborative research team.

City-scale thinking, and how we treat rainwater systems, opens up costly concerns. Our modern level of health and prosperity are directly reliant on high functioning sanitary and rainwater systems. However, the current state of policy and practice in most municipalities in the United States is to treat rainwater as a waste product and a liability. From this paradigm we inherit inefficient and aging storm water infrastructures that present chimera states of being too small for emergent rain volumes and too large for average loads. At the infrastructure level we are balancing our needs using the wrong kit of parts. At a policy level, rainwater is viewed as a liability that must be contained and have ownership attached in order to perpetuate cycles of remuneration. Such concerns relating to liability are what have created the current rainwater management system of site containment and rapid disposal. We know that a shift in this thinking is occurring. We also know that many opportunities are passing us by. Each built project that doesn’t push the envelope of rainwater management is a site that will require future retrofit or redesign in order to be compliant with the ethic of stewardship. The partnership of academic resources, public institutions, and non-profit groups is a new and powerful way to increase the scope of what can be addressed. Water Works Park: A District Approach to Rainwater In the case of Water Works Park and the efforts undertaken by Minneapolis Parks Foundation (MPF) Bruce Chamberlain (PLA, principle LOAM Inc.) to develop a schema for adaptive rainwater management, the integration of this new form of collaborative design is demonstrated. It’s a big idea: take roof catchment and surface runoff from privately-owned adjacent lands, convey them onto publiclyheld lands, and utilize the harvest for site services and amenities. It pushes on convention, shifts the value of rainwater from liability to asset, and suggests that our responsibility to stewardship requires a revisiting of our relationships formerly defined as private or public. To sell an idea, to gain complicit partners and stakeholders in an endeavor that seeks to revert decades of policy and practice, requires sophisticated communication tools. This may be one of the primary hurdles in the marketplace to adopting and implementing innovative solutions, the research and communication investment. As an organization founded to provide visionary leadership, philanthropic investment, and private sector expertise to the mission of maintaining the world-class Minneapolis parks system, the MPF facilitated the relationship between the private sector expert and the resources of the academy. What resulted is a team that responded within the larger vision of the MPF to a big idea with the flexibility to push the idea further and achieve professional levels of communication in order to further the development of new paradigms of public and private rainwater management.

Jonathan Fillmore (l) and Christopher Tallman (r) finalize the digital model before milling the laminated wood base. Photo credit: Han Do

Expanding on the articulation of the district rainwater system, a site model was developed as a three-dimensional diagram of the system and its relationship to the hydraulic amenities and services that have been integrated into the Water Works Park design. Through the work with students and consultants, it was determined that the rainwater collection system did not have to be a linear one; a lossless closed loop would permit an even higher degree of rainwater utilization as well as provide for less dependance on additive source water from city potable systems. The model development and construction was able to leverage the maker facilities at the College of Design’s W.L. Hall Workshop and the expertise of students who have years of digital and analog modeling experience. Utilizing computer modeling software to create a landform, the model was then milled from a laminated wooden slab using the four-axis CNC capabilities of the Workshop’s FabLab. It goes without saying, but is worth reiterating: the power of a site model in facilitating discussion and activating interest and investment in a project is huge. The model is now on display at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board in their planning office and continues to be a tool for fundraising and design development of the Water Works Park. With the integration of a ground-breaking public-private relationship with rainwater stewardship firmly embedded in the future of Water Works Park, the research team has turned its attention toward expanding the narrative understanding of the system that has been designed to a greater audience. The latest work of the team has focused on taking graphic skills to the level of animation. Developing Summer 2016 | Issue #23


a narrative that reveals the workings of the rainwater recycling system, the video communicates the experience of water at the park and the relationship of a city park to the regional and national watershed of which it is the threshold. The video will serve as a communication tool to increase public awareness and interest in such projects now and in the future. Water Works: A District Approach to Rainwater is featured on the MPF website at Nonprofit-Public-Student Collaborations as an Agent of Change Cities and their aging infrastructure are placing enormous burdens on municipal budgets. The scenarios for growing budgets aren’t readily apparent in many locales. Students, immersed in developing design thinking capabilities and absorbing the wealth of knowledge related to landscape architecture (history, theory, technology, representation, etc.), are in a transitional state and offer a flexibility of thinking and talents that can grow the scope of potential solutions to such problems. In distilled form, it is important that we acknowledge that project pragmatics often limit the majority of built projects to best practice compromises. The student experience is one that merges integration of new knowledge with a process of repeatedly seeking ways to use that knowledge. Though this organization can be found in the marketplace, it is not a primary motivator of design investigations due to time factors of what amounts to bench science—repeatedly defining a series of tests, carrying them out, and evaluating their veracity. This leads us back to the pressure that exists in a market-driven economy wherein deployment of best practices is by far the most efficient and cost-effective way to achieve predictable (read: budget-able) outcomes. However, application of significantly accepted schema, forms, technologies, and materials to a design problem does not demand a high degree of applied design practice. Rather, the design work in such a scenario happens at the intersections of these best practice elements. What follows is a slow evolution - an incremental adoption of theory deployed in practice. This is significant when we examine what lies ahead of us - a time when no opportunity can be missed. Schooling in landscape architecture is not an isolated endeavor and it must take place synchronously: within the sanctuary of the academy and in the professional realm. Of equal importance is developing an acceptance that the inverse is true; professional practice in landscape architecture is an isolated endeavor and too often the vicissitudes of the marketplace deny professional design the freedom to reveal and realize the hidden big ideas. It is only through the dynamic interface between the potential ideal (the utopian) that is possible in the academy and the hard pragmatism of professional practice that we will develop solutions to the myriad issues we face. Water Works Park was the epicenter of milling, an industry that concentrated the Midwest’s wealth. The Minneapolis milling district was an early harbinger of the shift in our domestic economy’s dependence on industrial types. Most recently, the milling district has set a national precedent for adaptive reuse as a venue for commerce, heritage, and living. In light of this historical sweep, we can, with some confidence, see that we stand in charge of systems and services that we are only beginning to catalog and comprehend - both our human constructs and the far more complex emergent ones found in nature. Our design solutions and management strategies must adapt to respond even more rapidly if we are to be effective and enduring stewards of our habitat.

One conclusion can be that the manifestation of a dynamic nonprofit/public/academic interaction is yet another legacy benefit of the unique funding and visioning that the establishment of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation provides. This is certainly one facet of the Water Works Park rainwater story I have told. However, the model must have application with other non-profit entities, given the two prime ingredients necessary: (1) professional leadership from within an organization that is goal oriented beyond market forces; (2) the presentation of a human need. Our future cities depend on holistic, systems-driven responses to how we retool and redesign our relationship with water. If this collaborative model holds true, opportunities to research and test unconventional design solutions become an affordable and expansive paradigm, which is well placed to be a key component in forming the 2050 cityscape. _______________________________________________________ Christopher Tallman holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental design and planning, minor in architecture and is currently in pursuit of a master’s in landscape architecture.

Summer 2016 | Issue #23


rainwater harvesting The two-year effort to bring rainwater harvesting to CHS Field Mitchell Cookas, ASLA, LEED GA


ainwater harvesting has a long history, dating back to 1002 AD, when the foundation was laid at the Brihadeeswara Temple in ancient Tamil Nadu (India) for what would become an impressive water storage structure. An ancient emperor led his village to build the Viranam tank at the temple to store water for drinking and irrigation. The Viranam tank, which took 25 years to complete, is 16 kilometers (9.9 miles) long and has an enormous storage capacity of 1.465 billion cubic feet (more than 10 billion gallons). While it did not take a quarter century, it did take the same kind of combined “village effort” to include a rainwater harvesting system in the creation of CHS Field. Owned by the City of Saint Paul and operated by the Saint Paul Saints, the 7,200-seat ballpark in the Lowertown neighborhood is situated on a 13-acre site, which was a brownfield (now a greenfield). Since the beginning of the project, the City of Saint Paul, the Saint Paul Saints and the entire project team shared a vision: make CHS Field the “Greenest Ballpark in America” by incorporating various innovative and sustainable features. The ballpark was projected to host more than 500,000 visitors annually, so the facility had the potential to provide an exceptional opportunity to showcase sustainable development on a regular basis. Solution Blue was the engineering firm responsible for the design of the stormwater management systems at the ballpark. The stormwater management practices that include tree trenches, rain gardens, bioswales and underground filtration basins.

Saints baseball players practice on the first day at CHS Field, 2015. Photo credit:



Cityscape 2050

As Tom Whaley, co-owner of the Saint Paul Saints, once observed, “Ballparks are notorious water hogs, and our project team’s consensus was that water waste was a prime target for attack.” Indeed, the typical professional baseball field uses 2 million gallons annually, and reducing potable water use was one of the requirements of state funding for CHS Field. Given the commitment to green building, the acknowledgement of water use as a problem for ballparks, and the state mandate to decrease water use, it may come as a surprise that rainwater harvesting was not featured early in the design process. That is why “it took a village.” Promoting Rainwater Harvesting In 2013, the Minnesota Plumbing Code did not address rainwater harvesting for indoor use. The lack of relevant codes was the stumbling block. Without regulatory guidance, there was too much uncertainty. Nonetheless, a small group of project team members chose to pursue a rainwater harvesting system because it would help to achieve the project’s sustainability goals, make an educational impact, and help conserve water into the future. This rainwater harvesting team was led by John Hink, president of Solution Blue and Wes Saunders-Pearce, water resources coordinator for the City of Saint Paul. SaundersPearce began by speaking with all potential regulators that could become involved with such a system. They included the City of Saint Paul, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Capitol Region Watershed District, and the Metropolitan Council. Saunders-Pearce noted, “As a capital city, we hoped to increase awareness about water reuse, remove barriers to sustainability - real or perceived - and inspire other communities.” In addition, Solution Blue searched for precedent projects in Minnesota to learn what others have done to implement rainwater harvesting for indoor uses. The only sample project the team discovered is at the 17th Avenue Residence Hall at the University of Minnesota. The university gave the design team a tour of the residence hall and shared insights and lessons learned from their design process, internal approvals, and system implementation. Since the university operates independently, their project did not involve all the various governmental approvals that CHS Field was to likely require. However, the tour did help the

team gain confidence that creating a rainwater harvesting system for indoor use was possible. Time and Money Despite confidence that rainwater harvesting would be feasible as well as beneficial, it would take more time and more money than were available given the project schedule and budget. Solution Blue volunteered to provide a series of concept designs and cost estimates at no added cost to the project. The team also engaged Stark Rainwater Harvesting to provide support with schematic plans and cost estimating. Together, they created three preferred alternatives that included rainwater harvesting for both indoor and outdoor uses with a range of water capacities. Saunders-Pearce continued discussions with the Metropolitan Council and the Capitol Region Watershed District about possible grant funding. The Metropolitan Council was interested because their light rail Operations and Maintenance Facility (OMF) shares a wall with CHS Field, which provided a great opportunity for partnership on the project. Saunders-Pearce and John Hink also had several meetings and extensive conversations with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry and City of Saint Paul about the technical details, public health concerns, construction estimates and design coordination – all part of the “village effort” to move the project forward.


the water to potable standards before being used for irrigating the field and flushing toilets/ urinals in the public outfield restrooms.

The rainwater harvesting system includes a combination of vortex filters, bag filters and UV light for effective treatment and disinfection. It also includes a “smart” controller for monitoring the ongoing water levels and water usage, which also has the capacity to display the current conditions on the interactive kiosks. The total cost of the rainwater harvesting system was covered by the grant funds of $425,000. The system is estimated to save more than 450,000 gallons of potable water each year, which represents a 16 percent reduction in total potable water use at the ballpark. Harvested rainwater provides over 10 percent of the water needed for the toilets/urinals and over 20 percent of that needed for turf irrigation. In the end, creating the rainwater harvesting system at CHS Field took more than two years and involved 24 companies and agencies across the fields of civil engineering, water resources, mechanical engineering, architecture, electrical engineering, public finance, public health, plumbing, landscape architecture, public art and public policy. The team learned valuable lessons, including how challenging it is to influence changes to state codes and how to optimize the tank size based on water demands and rainfall patterns. On behalf of the City of Saint Paul, Saunders-Pearce stated, “A key lesson learned was that a high level of treatment for reusing water was not unreasonably expensive, both in terms of upfront cost and after one year of operation.”

After months of design, meetings and technical correspondence, the Metropolitan Council and the Capitol Region Watershed District offered to provide $425,000 of grant funding to support the rainwater harvesting system because of their commitment to sustainable The CHS Field Rainwater water management practices Re-use Team won the “Water and the innovative nature of Conservation Award” in the the project. As Mark Doneux, 2016 Sustainable Saint Paul administrator of the Capitol Awards and CHS Field won Region Watershed District, the “Clean Water Champion” explained: “Capitol Region Award from the Freshwater Watershed District provided Society in 2015. Significantly, funding for the water rethe project accelerated the use system at CHS Field refinement of state and Group tour of rainwater harvesting system. Photo credit: Mitchell Cookas because it was another great local codes for rainwater partnership with the City harvesting. Minnesota of Saint Paul with very high visibility. We especially like supporting adopted amendments to its Plumbing Code to include rainwater projects that include innovative practices that can provide public harvesting for non-potable indoor uses in 2016. education and outreach.” In Minnesota, potable water is undervalued as a resource. The The support and added funding allowed the City of Saint Paul, Solution successful incorporation of rainwater harvesting in the construction of Blue and other team members to proceed with more detailed design CHS Field demonstrates that it is feasible, beneficial and cost-effective. plans and regulatory review to move the system closer to construction. ________________________________________________________ Critically, given the absence of standards in the state Plumbing Code, the design team also continued working with the plumbing regulators Mitchell Cookas, Co-founder and Vice President of Solution Blue, is a landscape designer and project to create acceptable engineering and public health rules that were manager with over 12 years of experience in eventually agreed upon by the city and state regulators. Good Results Based on the location of the OMF’s roof, the available funding and the water demands for irrigating the field and flushing toilets/urinals, the team designed a system that includes a 27,000-gallon storage tank, which captures rainwater from a 33,000 square foot portion of the adjacent OMF roof. The system also includes filters for cleaning

sustainable site design, water resources, landscape design and the creation of multi-functional green spaces.

The author thanks Wes Saunders-Pearce (City of Saint Paul), Mark Doneux (Capitol Region Watershed District), Tom Whaley (Saint Paul Saints Baseball), John Hink (Solution Blue), and David Aquilina (strategic storyteller) for their assistance in preparing the article. Summer 2016 | Issue #23


no more

business as usual Maintenance conservation for future generations Thomas Badon, ASLA


andscape irrigation uses more than 7 billion gallons of water per day nationwide. Even with increased water costs, stricter irrigation laws, and larger fines, the average American family still uses more than 1,000 gallons per week in the summer months. Although Minnesota appears to have a more than adequate supply of water, increasing demand from domestic, agricultural, and industrial water users can strain water resources and city water supply systems, especially during periods of drought. Considering this before the installation of a landscape design or irrigation system can greatly impact the sustainable success of the project. By starting with a balanced horticultural approach, building on a solid foundation of “best practices,” and providing a highlyefficient water management system, a client can achieve “best in class” ecological, environmental, and economic goals. The symbiotic relationship among irrigation systems, landscape designs, and water management can create a sustainable environment both from ecological and economic perspectives, leaving an aesthetically pleasing look, as well as conserving significant water. Irrigation Systems It is not uncommon for the irrigation portion of new projects to be open to the installation bidder or general contractor. Unfortunately, this does not work well from a sustainability aspect in a primarily cost-driven industry. When left to provide a plan, it can be common practice to use the cheapest parts and the easiest design possible. This approach not only does a disservice to the design of the landscape architect, perhaps more importantly, it does a disservice to the environment. Much like landscape designs have evolved over the years, so too have irrigation systems. And although the basic concepts remain the same, newer technologies and best practices have improved both water efficiency and effectiveness. The latest irrigation components from the major manufactures are being designed with the purpose to help increase watering efficiencies and reduce waste.



Cityscape 2050

When given the opportunity to use the latest technologies available, a site can save a minimum of 50 percent water usage over traditional designs and components. With increased local watering restrictions, higher costs for water use, and strained management budgets, it is more important than ever to take advantage of the best that is available. Whether above ground or in the ground, here are a few of the key components to consider. The controller can be considered the brains of the operation. Controllers have evolved over the years and have ranged from pegs and dials to smart phone apps. A “smart” controller, or “weather adjusting” controller automatically adjusts the watering schedule to take into account both the seasons and current weather conditions. This allows the controller to optimally water plants year round without the need to constantly reprogram the controller. Many can also be set to water different types of plants. For example, trees and shrubs have different watering needs than perennials and turf grass. Much like home appliances, there are WaterSense controllers available. WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers are tested by an independent party and proven to maximize water efficiency. By using local weather and landscape conditions, these controllers customize watering schedules to actual conditions of every different site. Instead of irrigating using a controller with a set schedule, WaterSenselabeled controllers constantly monitor conditions and adjust watering schedules to better match the water needs of every environment. Many local municipalities will actually offer a rebate for installing a WaterSense controller and/or weather sensors. Working cohesively with the controllers are a variety of sensors to help make the necessary adjustments for local weather conditions. An onsite rain and freeze sensor can simply save water by turning the system off when it is raining or has rained enough in a given period of time. The next generation of sensors are the Evapotranspiration or ET. ET is a measurement of the water lost from the soil surface by evaporation


and the moisture lost from the plants by transpiration. This is calculated using a number of weather factors such as date, wind conditions, sun exposure, and humidity. An ET System uses a sophisticated method (ASCE Penman-Monteith) model that calculates the temperatures, wind, humidity, and solar radiation for a given site. Given the availability of this data, some large corporations such as Wal-Mart have required the installation of ET controllers and they have linked them to a central control center. This allows every one of their stores to be constantly monitored for maximum efficiencies and standardized practices. One more sensor to consider is a flow sensor. By installing a flow sensor and a master valve, a “smart” controller can shut down an entire system if it detects a break in the line, a stuck valve, or any irregularities in the routine running. Given that if a small leak in the underground mainline pipe goes undetected for a season the total water loss could be over 1.5 million gallons of water, flow monitoring can have an instant return on investment. In states like California, it is required by law to include these components into the design of a system. The in-ground components to consider are the actual sprinkler heads. Like with controllers, there are variety of types and manufactures all claiming to be the best and the newest. Determining which is right for your site can be open to interpretation. It is important to work with a trusted and non-biased consultant for maximum results. There are different types of heads, like rotors, sprays, and pop-ups, and each one can serve a different purpose. Depending on a number of factors - such as low or high pressure, steep slopes, high wind areas, with non-potable water, even areas where vandalism could be a problem - different components can be installed. Running a system with too much pressure creates misting and excess flow, which can waste up to a gallon per minute per spray or rotor. Adding pressure regulation to your sprays and rotors is just like adding a low-flow shower head. High water pressure is a common problem in many communities throughout the nation, including the Twin Cities. Again, some states like California require these measures. Lastly, as subsurface irrigation continues to evolve, it may become the most common and effective method for future designs. Studies show that subsurface irrigation can save as much as 70 percent of water usage over traditional systems. The “dripline” delivers water right to the base of the plants through a system of flexible irrigation tubing. In addition to better water uniformity, other advantages can include reduced runoff, reduced overspray, and reduced vandalism. Some states, like Texas, are beginning to mandate subsurface irrigation as the only option. In some cities, running above ground irrigation can lead to large fines. Whether designing a new irrigation system or re-designing an existing system, many factors such as water availability, water pressure, size of property, and location of water source must be taken into consideration. Unfortunately, there is not a one-size fits all approach as every site is as different as every design. However, specifying the right components and including an irrigation design into the project documents can insure best practices, water conservation, and plant health and vigor.

Landscape Designs The landscape industry is a very visual industry and places much emphasis on visual appearance. This can, at times, force the hand of the designer towards less sustainable concepts or in some cases be at the mercy of local building codes and requirements. However, it is possible for the desired curb appeal and a sustainable healthy environment to coexist. Driving design are LEED, the Sustainable Sites Initiative, and the Green Building Initiative. A well-designed sustainable landscape reflects a high level of selfsufficiency, saves energy and reduces supportive resources. Soil testing and a thorough evaluation of site conditions provide the basis for proper plant selection. Careful design of turf areas decreases the need for mowing, fertilization and irrigation. Soil – Knowing the existing soil types allows the landscape architect to specify necessary amendments to help maximize the soil-air-water balance. Plants thrive and water management and irrigation use become more efficient because good soil structure maximizes the soil’s ability to balance the combination of soil, air, and water. Plants – Incorporating water efficient (drought-tolerant) plants that are either native or adapted and purposefully placed can reduce the need for supplemental watering and increase survivability. In other words, the right plant, in the right soil, receiving the right amount of water leads to sustainable plant health and vigor with a reduced demand on supplemental water. Water Management – The overall goal of designing irrigation system with the goal of applying water only where it is needed, when it is needed, and at just the right amount. Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, this is typically not the case. Ironically, this initial foresight can not only save substantial water, but can save on the client’s bottom line through a reduction in plant replacements, water damage, and future re-designing. Water Management Although water management begins in the initial design phase, it is the ongoing component often overlooked. This can be overlooked for a number of reasons, including management/ownership change, lack of knowledge of need, and lack of interest, to name a few. Regardless, one could argue that ongoing water management is the most important component. Writing specification for future maintenance and incorporating water management and auditing to ensure best practices and newest technologies can help to overcome these factors. Auditing deals directly with the issue of intelligent water management through the analysis of the actual landscape design and watering needs. Although auditing often refers to reviewing something that already exists, it is possible to review a proposed landscape and irrigation design using these same criteria. Through consistent oversight of site operations, functionality, and site management efficiencies, it is possible to improve long-term water management. This can be done in four steps. Analysis – Create a “baseline” that reports on the existing irrigation system operations, looking at what is functioning well, where it might need improvement, and how deficient, outdated, or misused items can be addressed. Again, this can be done with a proposed irrigation and landscape plan as well.

Summer 2016 | Issue #23


Documentation - The measurement of the actual performance related to water use efficiencies, such as uniformity of coverage, precipitation rates, issues related to run off, overspray, and poor head and nozzle selections can provide insight on trends to drive necessary adjustments. Understanding – Breaking down the relationship to understand the use of water compared to the existing landscape. Looking for opportunities to change the landscape to reduce water use needs. Clarifying site issues related to the soil, plant and water use and identifying solutions that will align with the desired design and landscape. Solutions – Creating plans for irrigation system and landscape improvements that will gradually or rapidly move towards a more sustainable and viable design. These solutions can be both short-and long-range plans that can be accounted for during planning and budgeting.

Why does this matter? As mentioned earlier, although Minnesota appears to have an adequate supply of water, that is certainly not the case throughout the country or rest of the world. From an economic perspective, most Minnesotans are still unaffected by the changes to watering restrictions throughout the country. While irrigation water rates still remain relatively low, average $4.00/1000 gallons, in California, Arizona, and Texas water rates are as much as $14.00/1000 gallons. If you take that difference over a large commercial sites that uses 5 million gallons a year, the operating budget needs to increase by over $50,000 a year just to keep a healthy appearance. However, by conducting a thorough audit and investing in new controllers, a prominent shopping mall in Maple Grove was able to reduce its water use by 34 percent after only six months. They are projected to reduce their water usage by 45-50 percent this season. The return on investment for the initial investment will be just over two years if water rates remain the same. From a water saving perspective, the 34 percent savings is equal to almost 1 million gallons of water. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports, “The communities pumping water from the Prairie du Chien/Jordan aquifer may need a new water source in 20 years if water usage continues at its current pace. While there is no immediate threat to our groundwater source, its clear water usage needs to be reduced.” As a proactive approach to water management, a large retail center in Woodbury has taken up the challenge to do its part. After a thorough economic analysis, they found that an initial investment in new controllers and new pressure regulated heads could reduce their water use by 60-70 percent. Not only are they changing these components, but other design considerations are being implemented such as adding drought-tolerant plants, removing high water demand turf from parking lot islands, and removing irrigation where it is not needed. These changes will give them a less than three-year return on investment – which, given the relatively low cost of water in Woodbury, is quite quick. In Summary Throughout the country, organizations like have been popping up and trying to do their part to help conserve water and in a roundabout way bring change to the landscape profession. In California, it is common place to take pictures of people misusing water and post it to social media under #droughtshaming. At this point, in Minnesota, we have the opportunity to help manage our existing water supply in a way can avoid the extremes that some of these organizations are facing. It has been 50 years since Ian McHarg and several other landscape architects presented their declaration of concern on the state of the environment and the crisis it would face if nothing changes. The gauntlet was thrown calling landscape architects to help solve it. Now, 50 years later, we have the opportunity to help shape our future and the future of generations to come. By committing to change utilizing the latest technologies and best practices available, it is possible to avoid the extremes other parts of the country and the world are facing and set the new standard for future generations for the next 50 years and beyond. ________________________________________________________

Examples of mismanaged irrigation. Both are cases of the wrong head and the wrong amount of water in the wrong locations. Photo credits: Thomas Badon



Cityscape 2050

Thomas Badon, ASLA, is Vice President of Sales at MSP Outdoor Services, a company committed to providing innovative and sustainable solutions. He earned his master’s in business administration degree from Keller Graduate School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from Ball State University. Tom is also an ISA Certified Arborist and teaches part-time at DeVry University in Minneapolis.

awards celebration and gala University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis Campus April 15, 2016


Awards Celebration & Gala University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis Campus At its annual Awards Celebration and Gala, ASLA-MN acknowledged outstanding projects that represent the talented work of local professionals and students. In addition to the design awards, the chapter also awarded awards of recognition to recognize outstanding regional professionals that contribute to the local profession. Congratulations to all the award winners your talent is a true testament of your leadership in landscape architecture, your engagement in our communities and your commitment to our environment. The Executive Committee looks forward to another successful year for Minnesota’s creative landscape architecture community.

Service & Recognition

Wirth Award for Excellence in Parks Award William Sanders, FASLA, PLA Lob Pine Award Frank Fitzgerald, ASLA, PLA Women in Landscape Architecture (WILA-MN) Student Leadership Award Mya Kesler H.W.S. Cleveland Award Nicole Peterson, Associate ASLA

General Design

Honor Award HGA Architects and Engineers Surly Destination Brewery and Beer Gardens, Minneapolis, Minnesota Merit Award DAMON FARBER Hanifl Family Wild Woods Nature Based Play Area, Apple Valley, Minnesota Merit Award HGA Architects and Engineers Noguchi Fountain Sculpture Garden, Macalester College, Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, St. Paul, Minnesota Merit Award Coen + Parnters Sky Habitat, Bishan, Singapore Merit Award Coen + Parnters Land Port of Entry, Van Buren, Maine



Cityscape 2050

University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis Campus

Residential Design

ASLA-MN Student Work

Merit Award Coen + Partners Wattermill, Wattermill, New York

University of Minnesota Student Work

Merit Award Coen + Partners Paradise Valley, Paradise Valley, Arizona

Analysis & Planning Merit Award Coen + Partners 9th Street, Lawrence, Kansas

Merit Award LHB, Inc. TH100 Visual Quality Manual, St. Louis Park, Minnesota


Merit Award University of Minnesota Nature 3.x: Where is Nature Now? Symposium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Unbuilt Works

Honor Award TEN x TEN Studio Automata, Chicago, Illinois Merit Award University of Minnesota Made in Kenosha, Kenosha, Wisconsin Merit Award TEN x TEN Studio Rockpile Museum, Gillette, Wyoming

Merit Award Nicole Ponath Restless Waters, Charleston, South Carolina

Honor Award Xiye Mou

Merit Award Bridget Ayers Looby Christopher Lybeck Jonathan Fillmore

People’s Choice

Cunningham Group Architecture Inc. Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary Wetland


Wirth Award for Excellence in Parks Award William Sanders, FASLA, PLA The Theodore Wirth Award for Excellence in Parks Award is presented to an individual, group, organization, business, governmental or non-governmental agency who has been influential in the planning, design, development, administration, maintenance or preservation of a historic site, landmark or cultural landscape in a park, park system or wildlife preserve. William Sanders has been a professional leader in Minnesota for more than 50 years, has won more than two dozen awards and his work has consistently demonstrated the value and power of the profession. He received the 2016 Wirth Award for his more than three decades of public service as Architectural Advisor to the Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board maintaining the high standard of design for public and private projects in the Capitol Area, and for his overall distinguished body of work in park design, including the design and planning work of the Irvine Park Historic District in St. Paul and the Minnehaha Park renovation plan in Minneapolis.

Lob Pine Award Frank Fitzgerald, ASLA, PLA The Lob Pine Award is the highest honor given out by the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA-MN). Recipients have demonstrated exemplary leadership and mentorship for our landscape architecture community over an extended period of time. The award is named after prominent pine trees that were trimmed to create distinct visual reference points for early voyagers in the northwoods. ASLA-MN has been giving this award since 1989. The selection of the Lob Pine Award recipient is chosen solely by the acting President at her or his discretion and is usually kept confidential until the awards banquet. Frank Fitzgerald is a person of many talents and embodies the whole spectrum of landscape architecture. He is a master of both garden architecture and urban design. He is the 2016 recipient of the Lob Pine award for the work he does representing our profession in the public realm. For decades, he has given his time and energy to many groups including serving on the board of: Forecast Public Art for the last ten years, Minneapolis Public Art Advisory Panel from 2006 to the present, the University of Minnesota Design Student and Alumni Board from 2012-2015, the City of Minneapolis Committee on Urban Environment, and as the Awards and Banquet co-chair for ASLA-MN. Mr. Fitzgerald has worked tirelessly to represent landscape architecture in our community, to our students and to our profession.

Women in Landscape Architecture (WILA Student Leadership Award Mya Kesler The WILA Student Leadership Award goal is to recognize the accomplishments of emerging women leaders in our field. The award competition is open to third year women master in Landscape Architecture students at the University of Minnesota who show extraordinary leadership beyond the classroom to effect change within our community. Mya Kesler is the recipient of the 2016 WILA Student Leadership Award for her leadership in raising awareness about pollinators and the issues facing them today. She founded The Buzz, a pollinator group for landscape architecture students at the University of Minnesota focused on educating future designers and landscape professionals about pollinators, was on the planning committee for the 2015 Pollinator Symposium at the Minnesota Arboretum to continue to bring more people to the table and help spread the word about pollinators and her capstone project is focused on pollinators. Ms. Kesler believes that collaboration empowers, and that creating community is one of the most powerful and effective ways to build a movement and create change across multiple scales.

H.W.S. Cleveland Award Nicole Peterson The Horace William Shaler (H.W.S.) Cleveland Award is given annually to an individual trained in landscape architecture who is not yet licensed. Recipients have shown through their work and service to ASLA-MN that they have the potential to be a leader in the profession. The intent of the award is to help offset the cost of taking the licensing exam. Nicole Peterson is the 2016 award recipient. She is a recent graduate of the masters of landscape architecture program and has shown her willingness to be a leader in the profession through volunteer activities with ASLA-MN, including serving as the current Secretary.

Summer 2016 | Issue #23


Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota Client: Surly Brewing Company


Surly Destination Brewery and Beer Gardens HGA Architects and Engineers

General Design Award The Surly Destination Brewery and Beer Gardens combine a beer hall, brewery and extensive gardens into an industrial area of Minneapolis’s Prospect Park neighborhood. The expanding demand for their products led to the design of a 50,000 SF facility on 8.3 acres that as envisioned, would become a “destination brewery” and put them on the national stage. To develop a fitting character for the new campus, the design team found a balance between gritty and elegant while integrating in-situ materials and a cultural narrative into the experience.

Summer 2016 | Issue #23


Location: Apple Valley, Minnesota Client: Minnesota Zoo


Hanifl Family Wild Woods Nature Based Play Area, Minnesota Zoo DAMON FARBER General Design Award Located in a densely wooded area adjacent to an existing wetland, the Hanifl Family Wild Woods Nature Based Play Area at the Minnesota Zoo takes advantage of existing topography, mature overstory trees, and picturesque wetland views. The play area provides an active recreational experience for children of all ages focusing on nature exploration and education. The design integrates climbing, sliding, running, hiking, fort building and waterplay in a variety of truly unique play features including; tree top walk experience, wetland boardwalk, 12 different whole diameter tree play features, woodland labyrinth, outdoor musical instruments, tube slides and a lazy stream.

Summer 2016 | Issue #23


Location: St. Paul, Minnesota Client: Macalester College

Noguchi Fountain Sculpture Garden, Macalester College, Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center HGA Architects and Engineers General Design Award Exposure to the arts is something Macalester College believes is important for all its students. As a part of the recent renovation and expansion of the 1963 Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, an iconic piece of art created by the renowned Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi found a new setting, connecting the Arts Center back into the campus. The landscape architect’s leadership, from initial research and site design to construction, promoted a collaborative process. The integration of the client’s functional and cultural needs into the greater campus fabric resulted in an artful design, reflective of the institution’s vision. 23


Cityscape 2050


Summer 2016 | Issue #23


Location: Bishan, Singapore Client: Undisclosed


Sky Habitat, Bishan, Singapore Coen + Partners General Design Award Sky Habitat is a new residential tower completed in 2015 within the Bishan neighborhood in Singapore. This residential project elevates the experience of life in a dense urban core by weaving site and landscape together. The project includes a multi-scaled matrix of private terraces, outdoor Sky Bridges, a rooftop pool and lounge, and ground-level contemporary gardens and swimming pools. The design of the towers provides for lush greenery, optimal orientation relative to the sun, naturally ventilated units, and generous views; all without compromising on efficiency or building structures.

Summer 2016 | Issue #23


Location: Van Buren, Maine Client: United States Government

Van Buren Land Port of Entry Coen + Partners General Design Award The Van Buren Land Port of Entry is an iconic United States Border Patrol facility located at the US/Canadian border in Van Buren, Maine. The collaborative team of designers prioritized regional sustainability and site sensitivity through the use of materials and forms that respond to the unique Acadian vernacular of northern Maine while fusing together the essential port operations. The site design is characterized by linear and mounded interventions that recall the ecological, historical, and agricultural context of the site. The seasonality of planting and playfulness of form create an engaging environment for employees and visitors.



Cityscape 2050


Summer 2016 | Issue #23


Location: Paradise Valley, Arizona Client: Private Residence


Paradise Valley

Honor Coen +Award Partners

Residential Design Award This signature home in Paradise Valley, Arizona, unveils a quintessential paradigm for southwest modern residential architecture. The native plant palette is manipulated in unexpected ways to create architectural form that radiates outward from the home into the landscape. A desert oasis of seamless indoor-outdoor living, it is the consummate integration of architectural design, engineering and the natural environment. The landscape consists of a sculptural series of cantilevered terraces, sloped gardens and an expansive pool that fuses the sky and the ground. The geometries, materials, and textures of architecture and landscape complement and reinforce the context in which the house sits.

Summer 2016 | Issue #23


Location: Wattermill, New York Client: Private Residence

Watermill Coen + Partners Residential Design Award Located in the Long Island town of Watermill, New York this residence features simple outdoor spaces to compliment the dramatic architecture. Formal geometry and simple materials combine to create a stunning visual effect, allowing the building to rest effortlessly upon the site. The design of the outdoor areas responds to the client’s interest in accommodating both large social functions and small, family gatherings. The landscape architect’s response to the dramatic, hard facades of the building is a simple, flexible layout that consists of lawn, native prairie roof gardens, concrete plank and wood terraces, and a raised-edge swimming pool. The landscape architect led all site design from concept through construction, in close collaboration with the architect. Intensive research on concrete methodologies drove the study of materiality on the project. Concrete was explored in cast-in-place and precast form and detailed in a way that elevates it to a highly refined material. 31


Cityscape 2050


Summer 2016 | Issue #23


Location: Lawrence, Kansas Client: City of Lawrence

9th Street Coen + Partners Analysis & Planning Award As part of a major ArtPlace America grant, the City of Lawrence engaged a design team to propose a new streetscape plan for East 9th Street connecting downtown Lawrence to the East Lawrence arts district - the seven block stretch that connects Massachusetts Street to Delaware Street. At the core of the project approach is an innovative urban planning model that, through thoughtful public engagement, embeds artists into the planning process of the street itself, allowing art practices to pro-actively shape the way our cities and neighborhoods look, feel and function.



Cityscape 2050


Summer 2016 | Issue #23


Location: St. Louis Park, Minnesota Client: MnDOT, St. Louis Park, and the Visual Quality Advisory Committee (VQAC)

TH 100 Visual Quality Manual LHB, Inc. Analysis and Planning Award The Visual Quality Manual for Trunk Highway 100 reestablishes the stature of this historically significant beltway while honoring the community-defining connection between travelers and neighbors. Although primarily used to guide the design of the reconstruction of TH 100, it also serves as a reference for work by any entity affecting the public domain of the corridor. The design team’s unique engagement process and creative hand produced a beautiful set of graphic guidelines and supportive content. The VQM provided aesthetic direction to the final designers for major structures including bridges and noise walls and are the basis for construction underway today. 35


Cityscape 2050


Summer 2016 | Issue #23


Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota Client: University of Minnesota


Symposium | Nature 3.x: Where is Nature Now? University of Minnesota, Department of Landscape Architecture* Communications Award The project was the development of a graphic identity theme for an innovative public symposium focused on expanding definitions of nature in the 21st century. Given this theme, the designer photographed landscapes that present seemingly contradictory messages. The images include landscapes that are the direct result of destructive practices or abandonment, but have resulted in spontaneous, novel ecosystems. In lieu of an earth-tone palette, the designer used a non-natural CMYK palette to amplify the neglected, polluted or highly altered landscapes. The designer was responsible for project photography and the graphic design of all materials, including posters, postcards and exhibition design. *Submitted by Matthew Tucker, ASLA

Summer 2016 | Issue #23


Location: Chicago, Illinois Client: Northshore Mining Company

Automata TEN x TEN Studio Unbuilt Works Award

The project proposes an inventive movable kiosk for Chicago Park District’s kiosk program as part of the 2015 Chicago Architectural Biennial. With an entire lakefront as a possible site, Automata was designed with precise orientation to the cardinal directions, framing and activating the opposing forces it mediates - one urban and the other natural. The kiosk creates a structure that is responsive to its context and activates the ephemera and temporality of landscape. Automata will act on its own free will in direct response to the presence of wind, people, and wave action on Lake Michigan.



Cityscape 2050


Summer 2016 | Issue #23


Location: Kenosha, Wisconsin Client: Undisclosed

Made in Kenosha University of Minnesota, Department of Landscape Architecture* Unbuilt Works Award

Made in Kenosha is a context-specific, ecological metabolism approach to a 107-acre vacant automotive plant in Kenosha, WI. Sponsored by a non-profit organization, the urban design ideas competition provoked new approaches to the site’s stagnation. Given Kenosha’s weak re-development outlook, this proposal eschews traditional urban design infill paradigms. Instead, the proposal offers a “grow local” approach of regional identity and slow food/craft goods resurgence. The proposal promotes the integration of business incubation, green economy and infrastructure and local products, forming an urban ecological web of localized, site-based waste-to-product streams with community productive landscapes as the new typology of urban open space. *Submitted by Matthew Tucker, ASLA 41


Cityscape 2050


Summer 2016 | Issue #23


Location: Gillette, Wyoming Client: Campbell County Rockpile Museum

Rockpile Museum TEN x TEN Studio Unbuilt Works Award The Campbell County Rockpile Museum in Gillette, Wyoming holds collections of history, art, material culture, archeology, and natural history centric to northeastern Wyoming. Located in the heart of coal country, the museum sits below a significant landmark, the Rockpile. Three landscape zones: Pre-Settlement, Settlement and Regional Landscape, curate the museum’s collection of farm implements, historic school houses, train cars and rare geological artifacts into outdoor exhibits. An exhibit path weaves through the landscape zones to connect indoor and outdoor galleries, new public amenities, and restoration gardens to create a three dimensional, immersive and dynamic learning experience between architecture and landscape.



Cityscape 2050


Summer 2016 | Issue #23


Restless Waters Nicole Ponath Student Work Restless Waters is a proposal to give the coast of Charleston, South Carolina tools to protect against damaging storm surge and rainfall events. The proposal focuses on strategies to mitigate impact, adapt for evolving conditions, and facilitate storm effects. These strategies range from very small to large measures, creating an interconnected system of water movement. The Charleston peninsula is initially examined as one entity, addressing edge conditions and proposing an overall strategy. Sites are then specifically chosen to integrate ideas about water with historic structures and to demonstrate the effectiveness of connecting measures within a larger area.



Cityscape 2050


Summer 2016 | Issue #23


Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota Client: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board


Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden & Bird Sanctuary Wetland

Honor Award Cunningham Group Architecture Inc. People’s Choice Award

The garden is the star, the design is simple. Within the simplicity of this project exist layers of complexity. Located in the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, the newly constructed boardwalk with its unique curved modular system of 4-foot wide reclaimed wood segments and accompanying bridge blend magically with their surroundings. The design is a thoughtful solution that complements the natural beauty and context of an historic garden while providing a durable, flexible integration of materials – a delicate balance of form and function, offering generations of visitors a chance to discover the mysteries of flora and fauna along its gentle curves.

Summer 2016 | Issue #23



In an effort to reward students demonstrating outstanding academic achievement, each year ASLA invites accredited Universities to nominate a number of their graduating students for the ASLA National Honor and Merit Awards. The University of Minnesota faculty selects four nominees from a list of eligible candidates who have demonstrated the highest level of academic scholarship and have exhibited self-motivation, responsibility, and a willingness to work with others. The nominees present their academic work to a jury of professionals, who then vote to award up to Honor and Merit awards.

Honor Award, Xiye Mou

National Student Awards

Xiye has had a great passion for design since her first wall doodle at two years old. Five years studying both traditional Chinese painting and oil painting helped her gain a very sensitive understanding of space. Born in Chongqing, China, Xiye received a six-year mixed academic degree of both landscape architecture and architecture, in China and in the United States. Critical and system thinking, combined with a sensitivity towards space and materials support Xiye’s interest in making better places for people, while ignoring the boundaries of different disciplines. Her capstone project addresses a shift in city-scale water treatment in Las Vegas to deal with regional water issues, while redefining the “waterfront experience” for people in desert cities.

Merit Award, Bridget Ayers Looby Bridget completed a MLA degree in 2016 at the University of Minnesota and holds a B.A. in Portuguese & Spanish. Her previous work in language and culture has led to the belief that an immersive experience is the most effective way to learn and collaborate, and carries this belief forward in her design ethic. With this focus, she has led diverse teams to indigenous communities in Peru, Washington, and Minnesota, collaborating on locally-led projects as catalysts for cultural exchange. She is also leading a design immersion experience for students to work with a Maasai community in Kenya, which is shifting away from traditional pastoral lifestyles. Bridget’s capstone project addresses designing a dynamic, educational, immersive public realm within St. Paul’s wastewater treatment plant to cultivate a new relationship with critical infrastructure.

Merit Award, Christopher Lybeck Chris grew up with a passion for design, which combined with his love for hiking and exploring, molded into an enthusiasm for landscape architecture. With a strong interest in ecological design, urban planning, and waterfront revitalization, he incorporates these elements into his design projects. His capstone project focuses on creating a space along the Great Lakes for human enjoyment while also providing a model for cultivating avian migration habitats. He looks forward to returning to his hometown, Milwaukee, WI to begin his career.

Merit Award, Jonathan Fillmore Jonathan’s interest in landscape architecture initially started in high school when he was introduced to horticulture through a greenhouse management class. His interest in plants compelled him to pursue a degree in horticulture and work at several retail nurseries before he decided to study landscape architecture at the University of Minnesota. Jonathan’s capstone research explores how spontaneous vegetation found in urban novel ecosystems can be utilized in design to provide resilient, ecological planting designs.



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