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SCAPE land and design in the Upper Midwest

spring

08

The AWARDS ISSUE Minnesota’s best landscape architecture

PLUS: Interior Landscapes and Outdoor Play What’s going on with Peavey Plaza? Become a “Planetizen” a publication of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects


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On the Cover:

Each year, MASLA gives awards for the best works of landscape architecture by Minnesota designers. This year, thirteen projects were honored in five categories. The

Minnesota River Trail, by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Changing Landscapes, received this year’s top prize: the Award of Excellence.

Every winner is here in __SCAPE, beginning on page 34

image courtesy Center for Changing Landscapes


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SPRING 08

issue #9

feature

32

MASLA’s Annual Design Awards

Recognizing excellence in landscape architecture

topics

:nature

8

Let’s Get Dirty

14

:art Brave New World

An outdoor play area strives to combat Nature Deficit Disorder

The Walker Art Center mounts an exhibition of work inspired by the suburbs.

by Karyn Luger, ASLA

by Regina M. Flanagan

whips The Forest for the Trees

3

Update

4

Architecture for Humanity in Sri Lanka

In Other Words

:law Historic Character and the March of Time

20

Peavey Plaza is being documented through the Historic American Landscapes Survey. What’s next?

by Frank Edgerton Martin

6

:Website www.planetizen.com

Design Inside

The basics of interior landscape architecture

by Bruce Lemke, ASLA

__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 www.masla.org 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 adam@treeline.biz issue #7

26

:business

MASLA Executive Committee Joni Giese, president

Ellen Stewart, past president

Gina Bonsignore, president-elect Karyn Luger, secretary

Jean Garbarini, treasurer Jim Hagstrom, trustee

Diane Norman, director of public relations Kate Lamers, director of programs

Chad Buran, director of academic affairs

Bruce Lemke, co-director of awards and banquet

Frank Fitzgerald, co-director of awards and banquet Chris Ochs, director of communications

1


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The Forest for the Trees

whips

editor’s note

It’s that time of year again. Yes, after one of the seemingly

longest winters on record, Minnesota is fitfully lurching into spring. That means it is time for the annual announce-

for Ashland Ore Dock Park were produced by SEH, Inc., in three weeks.

ment of award winners in landscape architecture.

If anything is notable from this year’s goup, it is the preva-

They are all here in these pages, so I won’t bore you with

category garnered the most submittals, and the Unbult

detailed synopses, but I would like to share a couple things.

This could be the most competitive year for

awards the state has seen. There were 43 submittals, a near record number, from which the Prairie Gateway

Chapter of ASLA chose only 13 winners. I like a jury

to be that stingy, because it increases the validity of the awards program as a whole. I think a jury should always ask itself whether a particular project rises above the fray

and communicates something special. Being a “very nice project,” in my view, is just not enough.

The winners this year are beyond “very nice.” The Center

for Changing Landscapes, for its Minnesota River Trail project, produced exquisite graphics that grace at least half the plates in a 166 page book. Mill Ruins Park, by

URS Corporation, tiptoes simple walkways through the

lence of non-built projects. The Analysis and Planning

Works category has as many winners as Residential

Design and Private Landscape Design combined. Could this be indicating landscape architects’ more prominent

involvement in the early phases of projects? Or is it an indicator of a slowing economy (less money = less built

works)? Either way, these 13 projects, built and unbuilt, represent an amazing cross-section of what landscape architects are up to: from residential designs in Marine on

St. Croix (two of them) to a corporate campus in Mounds View, from possibly the best trail guidelines resource in

the nation to a pack of cards about stormwater manage-

ment, from two interpretive landscapes that draw their inspiration from the ancient ecological and social history of Minnesota to a simple garden showcasing the native Midwestern prairie. Excellent projects, all.

half-buried history of downtown Minneapolis. Damon

Oh, and how do you like _SCAPE’s new look?

for 10 years, creating amenities from devastation. At the

Read on!

Farber Associates toiled on the Grand Forks Greenway opposite end of the time scale, the truly innovative ideas

Adam Regn Arvidson, ASLA adam@treeline.biz

Write for

SCAPE

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. 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: issue #9

adam@treeline.biz 612-968-9298




whips

Update New information on topics we’ve published before.

A Visit to Sri Lanka by Cassie Neu, ASLA The Fall 2005 issue of _SCAPE documented a design

visited Sri Lanka last August to see the learning center for

Minnesota chapter. Here’s what happened next….

last of three progress reports as a final grant requirement

In January of 2005, seven founding members of the

themselves. The intention of the trip was to prepare the for AFH International. It became much more.

Minnesota Chapter of Architecture for Humanity (AFH-

This project was an experience of many rewards: the

Coffee shop. Their first discussion: “how could we use

Lankan community members to share ideas for a learning

MN) joined together for monthly meetings at Anodyne our design knowledge to help those affected by the

South Asian tsunami?” A connection was made with the

Minnesota Sri Lanka Friendship Foundation and their first project began: a learning center for displaced victims of the tsunami.

In 2007, the Shimek Learning Center in Sri Lanka opened its doors. AFH-MN members Jeffrey Swainhart, Maureen

Ness, Rich Koechlein, ASLA, and Cassie Neu, ASLA,



reward of gathering a group of designers and local Sri

center across the world, the reward of seeing the hand-

sketched concept drawings come to life in e-mailed photographs of the construction and then the finished building in person, the reward of seeing the children’s faces as they

opened up their bags with school supplies in their new

schoolroom, and the reward of hearing their laughter as they played on the new outdoor equipment adjacent to the learning center.

SCAPE spring 08

RICH KOECHLEIN, BOTTOM; CASSIE NEU, TOP

charette organized by Architecture for Humanity’s


whips

The Minnesota Chapter of AFH spent a weekend in 2005 designing a community center for a tsunami-ravaged Sri Lankan community. Last year, some members traveled there to see the completed building, left. They met children excited to attend the school, top left, which features a simple landscape of concrete walkways, open lawn, and rain chains, above, which feed a small rivulet.

The learning center is a two-story building with a library,

of Agriculture, and a famous Buddhist monk. The days

made of local jack wood, walls of concrete, and roofs of

Director of Tourism in Sri Lanka’s capital city, preparing

computer center, and Montessori school. It has windows clay tile. The landscape gardens and narrow concrete

walkways surround a lawn that is used for play and ceremonies. Grated channels below the drip line of the

building collect water from rain chains, sending it to a small rivulet that runs parallel to the building.

preceding the event were also filled: dining with the

bags of school supplies for the children, and meeting with

the project’s local clients. But the greatest gift was seeing the community members’ pride in their new learning center as they entered the doors for the first time on July 27, 2007.

The four AFH MN members (Ness and Neu outfitted in traditional saris) spent the day of the dedication ceremony

with the community members who live in the 50 homes in the surrounding village. Also present was the First Lady

CASSIE NEU

of Sri Lanka, a U.S. Embassy representative, the Minister

issue #9

To read the original article, go to www.masla.org and click _SCAPE. Browse the back issues for Fall 2005.




whips

a reminder of your favorite ‘pet’ topic via the website’s

In Other Words

Items of interest in the broader printSCAPE...

bi-weekly auto-alert e-newsletter.

In the left column,

I found the “browse” option immediately useful. One can select “landscape architecture” to see only headlines

in that category. Also interesting is “humor” which is a

tounge-in-cheek dose of reality that may or may not make

you laugh out loud (found here: a ranking of the most lustful US cities).

The right column displays, quite visibly, the site’s WEBSITE

premium sponsors, as well as Planetizen Interchange;

www.planetizen.com

releases; and new forum topics. Planetizen Interchange

featured consultants and jobs; announcements and press

review by Stephen Wesley Goltry, ASLA, AICP

is an important section in today’s over-blogged internet.

Planetizen is a public-interest information exchange

– visionaries in urban planning and design blog irregu-

Abhijeet Chavan and Christopher Steins at Urban Insight,

Inc., it contains up-to-the-moment knowledge on the field.

What these two men envisioned in the late 1990s is now a useful, high content product that daily averages over 26,000 users. According to Google, at least 3,720 websites link directly to Planetizen.

On first visit one’s eye is likely to fall on the home page,

which is crammed with text: categories, headings, and

subheadings abound. After several visits, however, one is likely to discover that, other than the headline features, the top menu bar with its 20 categories is a better place

to explore. From that menu bar, one can find planning and development trends, news, and, most interestingly,

larly about their particular topics. The effect is that while there are postings nearly every day, the experts differ. In

addition, these are trained and experienced professionals, something not all blogs offer.

Visually, the site is functional, and perhaps a little

cluttered. It may be difficult to navigate for first timers. The mostly two-color, text-heavy format makes the multicolored sponsor banners tug at the reader, drawing atten-

tion away from the content (though perhaps this is the intent). The best navigation advice I can give is to scan the

headlines right down the middle, then rely on the menu

bar at the top for particular sections, or use the “browse” feature to zero in on the topic you want.

the opinion, blog, and podcast sections. These latter three,

Overall I appreciate the content, news, opinions, and

exploring the highest limits of Internet technology and

an important knowledge resource to landscape architects

I personally feel, show that the creators of this website are want to allow their

audience to experience not just the written word, but

audio media and interactivity.

Planetizen presents its “headline news”

in a center column

bracketed left and right by secondary

info-features. This column

changes

constantly and you

can opt to receive



research featured on Planetizen. Its founders have brought

and other planning and public-minded individuals who are

creating the built environment. I feel

that this high-tech tool represents one of

most

efficient

sources of planning

and urban design news and information. I believe it will

even continue to improve. Planetizen

is definitely worth bookmarking.

SCAPE spring 08

COURTESY PLANETIZEN.COM

website for urban planning and development. Created by

The interchange is what might be called an expert blog


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issue #9




topic: nature

Preschoolers enjoy the fort they built in the “messy” play area at the Forest Lake Family Center’s new Nature Explore Classroom, here, as well as some of the permanent play structures, opposite.

Let’s Get Dirty

A new play environment in Forest Lake draws on the principles of “No Child Left Inside” to combat Nature-Deficit Disorder. It’s also a whole lot of fun. by Karyn Luger

Driving home from the store early last fall, my two-and-a-

an evening ritual during the balmy summer months. In

backseat of the car. We pulled over and quickly discov-

behind our housing development and eagerly keep track

ered the source of her fear was a bug crawling on her

seat. Of course, it turned out to be an Asian Lady Beetle, a

nuisance, non-native species (and a topic of discussion for a different article), but nonetheless a small bug.

After calming my daughter down with words like, “It’s

only a bug,” “It’s not going to hurt you,” and “It’s a cute lady-bug,” I realized that my daughter is growing up in

a mostly bug-free world! This tiny multi-legged creature was foreign to her and subsequently quite frightening.

As a kid I remember finding rolly-polly bugs under

rocks and touching them so they would roll up in a

ball. Catching fireflies with the neighborhood kids was



early spring we would seek tadpoles in the wooded creek as they morphed into full-fledged frogs.

What happened to those childhood times of spending all summer day outside and most of the evening as well? Do

you have your own similar memories of such experiences? Why is it so different for our children in current times?

M

ost of us have heard of or read about possible

explanations. Safety issues of modern times have required we keep closer eyes on our kids.

The lure of television, video games and computers keeps

most of our kids inside. MP3 players allow us to tune into

our favorite music and tune out the world around us. The instant gratification one gets with electronic toys has left

SCAPE spring 08

MARIANNE MATLON, TOP; ROBIN BIGELOW, RIGHT

half-year old daughter started to frantically scream in the


nature’s slow pace in the dust. We have turned our backs

What is Nature-Deficit Disorder?

because plugging in or tuning out is easier, more conve-

The term “nature-deficit disorder” was coined by author Richard Louv in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder (Algonquin Books). In the book Louv does not claim this disorder as medically diagnosable, but instead, drawing from his own research and observations, he offers this term as a condition that reflects the lack of nature experiences in children’s lives today.

on nature, and what nature can offer to our children, nient, more comfortable, and seemingly more gratifying.

Unfortunately, these quick solutions for passing the time

do not offer much toward the creation of long-term childhood memories most of us from older generations likely

possess. Which do you think would be more memorable to a child – a stroll in the woods to collect colorful, fallen

leaves on a sunny, crisp autumn day or the day that a child reaches the next level on the latest fad video game? The answer seems obvious once we think about it.

L

uckily, there is hope for our children because individuals and organizations across the nation are not only recognizing this disconnect between

children and nature, they are taking action to reverse the trend. Such actions can be found at the federal government level, as well as in local Minnesota communities.

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has joined the No Child Left Inside Coalition to urge

the passing of the No Child Left Inside Act of 2007. This Coalition comprises several educational and environ-

mental organizations such as the North American

Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), National Audubon Society, Sierra Club, and the Arbor

Day Foundation (a listing of the full coalition can be found on the website of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation at www.cbr.org).

The Act recognizes the importance of school children

obtaining outdoor recreational and educational experiences, and includes objectives to reduce the risk of naturedeficit disorder by increasing field experiences as part of the regular school curriculum.

The No Child Left Inside Act would provide grant funding

for

environmental

education at the state level in

elementary through secondary schools. In addition, this bill

would provide funding for ongoing development of environmental knowledge and skills for teachers.

Currently, the No Child Left Inside Act has been referred to

committee in both the House and Senate. The status of this

bill (and others) can be tracked on The Library of Congress website

(http://thomas.loc.

gov/).

See “No Child Left

Inside” on the next page for more information.

A

nother

example

of

bringing nature back

into children’s lives is

happening here in Minnesota at

the Forest Lake Family Center. The Family Center provides issue #9




topic: nature

No Child Left Inside Gail Braccidiferro, writing in The New York Times on April 9, 2006, indicates that the term “No Child Left Inside” originated as an initiative led by Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection in April, 2006, to encourage families to recreate in the outdoors and to reconnect with nature. In recent years federal education funding has focused on meeting achievement standards as part of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. According to the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), environmental education, especially in-the-field learning, has been eliminated in many schools across the country due to insufficient federal funding for these types of programs. With the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act in November, 2007, several legislators and organizations recognized the opportunity to bring back environmental education to primary and secondary school curriculums. The No Child Left Inside Act (H.R.3036 and S.1981) was introduced to Congress in the summer of 2007 by Representative John Sarbanes (D-MD) and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI). The amount proposed for grant authorization is $100 million for fiscal year 2008 and for each of the following four years.

Early Childhood and Family Education (ECFE) programs to children from birth to 5 years of age and to parents

as part of the Forest Lake School District’s community education program. Many school districts across the state of Minnesota have similar ECFE programs that are

typically supported through state and local funding. The Forest Lake Family Center is also home to a new Nature

Explore Classroom, which celebrated its grand opening in the fall of 2007.

Nature Explore Classrooms are part of a program by

the Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation to help young children learn through experiences with the natural world. The program focuses on children two to nine years old, but also offers training

sessions for educators at the Arbor Day Farm near Omaha, Nebraska, as well as workshops across the country. (Visit www.arborday.org/explore/ for more information.)

One blustery day last November, I bundled up my two bug-averse little ones and we trekked up to Forest Lake

to check out the new outdoor classroom. As we entered the Family Center it was impossible to miss the exuberant

sounds of preschoolers running around the new play area, despite the rapidly falling temperatures and fierce wind.

According to Cindy Saarela, the Forest Lake Family

Center’s coordinator, the Nature Explore Classroom began as a pilot project in 2004 and was partially funded by

from

grant

money

Dimensions.

At that time, the decided to improve its

visual-spatial

learning techniques for preschoolers by providing

nature

play opportunities.

The treehouse and platform area, left, allow preschoolers to build with wood materials that can be stored away for next time’s play.

10

SCAPE spring 08

CINDY SAARELA, LEFT; JAMES WIKE AND DIMENSIONS EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION, RIGHT

Family Center had


This “program diagram” was sketched by Memphis-based landscape architect James Wike after collaborating with Forest Lake Family Center educators.

Saarela says that “block building” activities help promote

paver terrace marks the gated entry into the play area.

thinking -- critical skills for landscape architects, archi-

sure, willow mats have been woven into the fence in

visual-spatial

understanding

and

three-dimensional

tects, and engineers. Children who spend most of their

recreational time indoors tend to move away from such

activities, ecpecially girls between the ages of four and five. By strengthening visual-spatial abilities at an early age through outdoor play, children (both girls and boys)

may develop more interest in the design professions in the future.

Although a pre-existing chain-link fence provides encloplaces and climbing vines will be planted along the fence

in the spring for more texture and softness at the edges. Perennials, shrubs, and grasses make up undulating

planting beds along the fence and are arranged to define the different play areas or rooms. Six trees planted within

the play area will provide another layer of texture, shade, and source of natural materials as they grow.

By strengthening visual-spatial abilities at an early age through outdoor play, children may develop more interest in the design professions in the future. Dimensions Educational Research Foundation and the

There is a “messy” area strewn with branches, logs,

Nature Explore Classrooms in the “Learning With Nature

by preschoolers, sometimes with the help of teachers,

Arbor Day Foundation outline ten guiding principles for

Idea Book” (2007). This book, which was co-authored by Memphis-based landscape architect James Wike, ASLA, provides descriptions of the recommended areas that may comprise a Nature Explore Classroom.

Even on a cold and gray November day, these different areas are apparent at the Forest Lake classroom. A small issue #9

pieces of wood, and other “natural” materials movable wherever their imaginations take them. The day we visited, the kids had gathered wood pieces to make a pretend campfire for roasting “marshmallows” on the

end of sticks. It was wishful thinking as my fingers and

toes were quickly numbing up, but for a moment, through the rustling sound of dried leaves, I could almost hear the crackling of the fire.

11


A

s parents, relatives, friends, educators, and design

topic: nature

professionals, we are challenged to encourage

the children in our lives to get unplugged and

The music area, defined by a marimba nestled in subtle

reconnect with nature. Perhaps it is a seasonal outing with

preschoolers to participate in music and movement activi-

walk at a state park or the arboretum. Perhaps it is a visit

grass mounds, makes a great gathering space for ties. The nature art area consists of a table made of wood

and slate with “pockets” to hold goodies such as smooth

stones, pine cones, sticks, seed pods, and other materials

family and friends to explore the changes of the year – a to an interpretive center or organizing a neighborhood scavenger hunt for things found in nature.

used for creating nature-inspired art by preschoolers.

Perhaps simply rethinking or enhancing our children’s

A “treehouse” structure serves as a platform and storage

nature back to our kids. After visiting the new play area

area for wood materials that can be moved around, stacked up, and put away for next time’s play. And, yes, there is a tree planted next to the structure, which is small today

but will grow, eventually becoming a larger presence in the treehouse area.

get creative with natural materials in our own small, urban backyard by creating a mass of native shrubs for

a “hideout,” arranging rocks as a stepping stone course (and a good source for not-so-icky bugs), placing logs for

an existing tree. These

carefully

types

integrated into the Family Center’s existing dynamic

Wike,

structures. also

a

met

play

taking advantage of them

James

has been exciting for me

consul-

and the kids.

tant for Arbor Day and Dimensions,

nature

staring us in the face, and

play area and traditional play

of

opportunities were truly

with

On another level, we

to sketch out what he calls

tions and legislation that

Family Center educators

can

a “program diagram.” By

Wike was able to sketch

organiza-

provide opportunities to

listening closely to the needs of the educators,

support

explore nature in formal Preschoolers create nature-inspired art with stones, sticks, seed pods, and other “goodies” kept at the nature art table.

up the initial concept by

educational

settings.

This will help expand nature

education

not

considering the space available, access and drainage,

only to children close to us but to those in a wide range of

Wike also encouraged the Family Center to involve

By encouraging connections between children and nature

For example, the final design and planting was done

the environment that will continue to strengthen as those

construction limits, and constructability.

local designers and community members in the project. through efforts by a local design-build professional, Dan Winkelman (who is also a third-grade teacher in the

Forest Lake School District), master gardeners, and other community volunteers.

communities.

we can foster a long-term relationship with the land and

children reach adulthood. Today, let us try to teach them how to occasionally set aside the digital realm so that they

may “tune in” instead to the whole earth. After all, these children are the earth’s stewards of tomorrow.

The Nature Explore Classroom is a work in progress.

Karyn Luger is a landscape architect based in the Twin Cities area. She currently is spending time at home with her three children and is Secretary of MASLA.

tions are some ideas that have already been discussed.

Resources

evidenced as the overall design transforms and shifts as

Dimensions can be found at www.dimensionsfoundation.org

Elements such as a growing garden and art installaThe dynamic quality of the play areas will further be

The Forest Lake Family Center is on line at www.forestlake.k12.mn.us

new opportunities arise over time.

The Arbor Day Foundation is at www.arborday.com

12

James Wike can be reached at www.kerseywike.com

SCAPE spring 08

CINDY SAARELA

were

in Forest Lake, I have been inspired to make our family

sitting and climbing, and hanging a swinging rope from

The Nature Explore play areas

play areas in our own yards is a way to bring learning with


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13


topic: art

Brave New World

Benjamin Edwards, Immersion, 2004

An exhibition now open at the Walker Art Center displays suburb-inspired artwork. by Regina M. Flanagan The Walker Art Center has a long tradition of exploring

Art Center design director Andrew Blauvelt; rather, it

recent shows have tackled design subjects, with the notable

that burden, have imaginatively considered the subject,

exceptions of “Some Assembly Required: Contemporary Prefabricated Houses” in 2006, and now “Worlds Away:

New Suburban Landscapes,” on view until August 17. Though the title might be immediately intriguing to designers, proceed with caution. If you are expecting

features the work of artists and architects who, without

drawing inspiration from it, provoking discussion about it, and casting an appreciative or critical eye on an environment that, for better or worse, constitutes an ever-larger portion of our world.

an examination of the sustainability or ecological impact

I recently toured this exhibition, which features the

smart growth, you might be disappointed. The exhibition

It occupies 5,000 square feet: “a space,” quips Blauvelt,

of suburbs, or a discussion about The New Urbanism or is not intended as a primer on the latest statistics about suburbia or as a history of it, explains curator and Walker

14

work of 30 artists, landscape architects, and architects. “slightly larger than your typical McMansion.” Blauvelt

assembled the exhibition with Tracy Myers, curator of SCAPE spring 08

COURTESY WALKER ART CENTER, ALL.

complex issues related to society and landscape, but few


architecture at the Heinz Architectural Center at the

Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. Both Blauvelt and Myers have an affinity for this subject because they were raised in the suburbs.

The exhibition presents a series of innovative “interventions” by designers, along with work by artists who focus

upon suburbia as their primary subject. Earlier (1970s)

work about the suburbs seems to take a more critical eye,

says Myers, whereas more recent work, by many who grew up in suburbia, is less probing and judgmental. The

exhibition, she continues, “is not like the movie American

Beauty where suburbia is crazy and all this evil stuff is going on, and it’s not with an air of bemusement; but

[artists and designers have] more of a willingness to

engage suburbia on its own terms and find something of interest in it, rather than something to be derided or critiqued in a negative way.” Blauvelt adds that these

artists and designers find suburbia an inspiring environ-

ment and a place of engagement; parallel to how the 19th century city was inspiring to artists.

It’s not like the movie American Beauty where suburbia is crazy and all this evil stuff is going on, and it’s not with an air of bemusement; but artists and designers have more of a willingness to engage suburbia on its own terms and find something of interest in it....

T

he exhibition is organized into three sections:

the residential tract home; car culture and the infrastructure for automobiles; and the retail zone

Though the exhibition itself is primarily a visual affair, the topics of sustainability, ecology, urbanism, and others are examined in the scholarly and engaging book that accompanies the show. Essays, videos, and a blog are available on the exhibition’s website design.walkerart.org/worldsaway. all painted in faded tones. The entire assemblage floats

up into a blue sky. It depicts, says Blauvelt, what might happen ten seconds after gravity is lost in suburbia.

composed of the strip mall, shopping center, and big box

Work generally addressing residential life is exhibited

and projects from England, Canada, the Netherlands, and

graphs from St. Paul artist Chris Faust’s Suburban

store. International in scope, it features designers, artists Mexico, as well from as across the United States, including many from Minnesota.

The tone for the show is set from the moment one enters

the gallery down a ramp from the main lobby that faces

Hennepin Avenue. (There is a second entry point off

in the first long and narrow room and includes photoDocumentation Project of the 1990s, and a digital slide presentation of Mayo Plan #1, Reinventing a Midwestern

Suburb, 2002/2007, by Minneapolis landscape architecture firm Coen + Partners.

In an adjacent room, Manufactured Sites: Tijuana, Mexico,

the Cargill Lounge, but the exhibition unfolds in a less

2000/2007, a photographic mural by Estudio Teddy Cruz

and rising up almost two stories in height in the cramped

icles how this border town, thirty minutes away from

satisfactory manner from that entrance.) Straight ahead

space is a huge painting by Adam Cvijanovic. Same Day Delivery, 2007/2008. It is a jumble of suburban detritus including tract homes, lawn chairs, automobiles, clothing,

branded products, and even a bathtub Madonna statue, issue #9

in a cartoon style that is a riot of color and activity chron-

some of the wealthiest real estate in California, is recycling materials from the suburbs of San Diego. Photographs

show modest bungalows that have been trucked south

and set up in rows on stilt-like foundations. People are

15


topic: art

patterns. Cruz acknowledges the ways that people

busy in workshops and other businesses at street level,

generational families and the elderly. Life in Mexico often

houses are situated on dusty hillsides stabilized by retaining walls made of rubber tires that have been cut

into bands and woven together. The mural’s composition is divided horizontally through the center by a strip of

photographs of the rusting border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

Laura E. Migliorino, Chicago Avenue, 2007, LEFT Laura E. Migliorino, Egret Street, 2006, RIGHT

revolves around the church, which Cruz has placed at the center of the design, surrounded by an open-air market and residences that celebrate communal living and the

outdoors. Interviewed in the exhibition’s accompanying book, Blauvelt says that what is remarkable about Cruz’s

work is that he is ceding control; he creates a structure and

a strong framework, but allows the project to evolve and develop on its own terms. Cruz’s pragmatic and visionary project is presently under construction.

The mural by Cruz, a San Diego-based architect, is not the

Nearby are a series of color photographs by Minneapolis

about process. A photograph of a man (the architect?)

college in the northwest suburbs, and while driving to

usual inventory and analysis document – it is a manifesto with a word balloon over his head declares, “develop-

ment at the scale of the parcel, making the neighborhood a site of exception.” The word balloon of an unidentified

woman in business clothes facing him (likely the director of Casa Familiar, the social service organization involved in Cruz’s project) says, “bottom-up rather than top-down agency.” Aphorisms such as “density = amount of social

and economic changes per acres” and “the power of social capital, sweat equity” are scattered throughout.

In project models that are on display for a development in

artist Laura E. Migliorino. She teaches at a community and from work, Migliorino began to wonder about the people who live in all of those beige town homes and

new single-family dwellings, and her curiosity sparked a documentary project, The Hidden Suburbs: A Portrait (this page). Egret Street, 2006, shows a handsome family of

African descent superimposed on an image of immaculate and orderly tract houses. Perhaps this proud immigrant

family escaped the chaos of their country and found safety and respite in the American suburbs. Migliorino’s photographs lend themselves to this kind of reading.

San Ysidro, CA, Cruz combines these vernacular impro-

The staged photographs by Gregory Crewdson from his

and assembles the units into meaningful urban design

another story. One particularly disquieting image is of a

visations with contemporary architectural techniques,

16

Dream House series, also in the residential life section, tell

SCAPE spring 08

COURTESY WALKER ART CENTER, ALL.

underneath the houses. These vertical, double-decker

really want to live, and his designs accommodate multi-


steaming, crumpled automobile overturned in the street,

Michael Vahrenwald, Straw Hill, Wal-Mart, Bloomsburg, PA, 2005

with its trunk gaping open and belongings scattered all

tones, but, looking closely, you observe the oil slick stains

from the trunk, crouches next to a suitcase.

or the tire-tread ribbon of the worn roadway looping

over the pavement. A young girl, illuminated by the light

T

hroughout the exhibition, photographs, particu-

larly those including people, are a counterpoint and relief from the more didactic and often text-

laden images and models that require closer study. The photographs directly engage the senses, and are openended and evocative.

The transportation and car culture section of the exhibition

uses photography extensively, but in a directly illustrative

fashion. A series of black and white photographs by Ed Ruscha from 1993-1997 shows aerial views of parking

lots. The images exhibit a formal beauty in their gorgeous issue #9

indicating the parking spots in an outdoor movie theater,

around a big box building. From the air, Ruscha demon-

strates the literal marks that automobiles make upon the landscape. Another series of aerial images by the

Center for Land Use Interpretation, an organization that

maintains a databank of the human interventions in the landscape, depicts vehicular test tracks.

Perhaps the most enigmatic work in the show is a large

color photograph (this page) by Michael Vahrenwald

hung in an alcove in the transportation section. From a distance, the work has the character of an abstract painting,

with subtle and intriguing textures that appear to emerge

from the darkness at the top of the piece. But upon closer

17


topic: art

Various voices: the designer, the artist, the mall itself

inspection, it is a delicately beautiful but ultimately banal

land use. According to curator Myers, interviewed in

parking lot in Bloomsburg, PA. Vahrenwald photographs

the artificial landscapes around parking lots at night with a 4 x 5 camera. The image is at once haunting and memorable but rather empty.

The highlight of the retail zone section and the most

the exhibition’s book, Interboro doesn’t have the typical attitude that drove modernist planning. They are saying, “okay, the status quo might not be great, but this is what it is. What can we do with it, rather than trying to transform

the attitudes that led to this situation?” Myers finds this pretty radical.

engaging work in the exhibition is a video narrative in

Support for improvised uses is also found in two photo-

mall in Fishkill, NY, and a proposal for its rebirth. In the

Box Reuse series documents how non-descript build-

three acts about the unfolding story of a fading strip

Meantime, Life with Landbanking: An Autobiography of the

Dutchess Mall by Interboro, a design collaborative based in New York City and Dusseldorf, Germany, consists of

a video projected onto a low-relief outline of the mall

set on the floor (see “A Strip Mall Speaks,” this page).

graphic series in this section. Julia Christensen’s Big ings surrounded by acres of parking lots have become megachurches, schools, Asian supermarkets, and even a

Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota. Sixteen photographs by Paho Mann depict re-inhabited Circle Ks in Phoenix,

Arizona (facing page). The photographs are taken head-

on of these medium-size single-story buildings that origi-

A Strip Mall Speaks

nally must have been supermarkets. Although they share

In the Meantime, Life with Landbanking: An Autobiography of the Dutchess Mall by Interboro depicts the rise and fall and rise of a typical strip mall. It is a video production in three acts. In Act One, the mall speaks to us in the first-person, telling us about its own history as a regional shopping center built in 1974 in the developing suburbs around Poughkeepsie, NY. But it was in the wrong location at the wrong time and in 1998 it officially closed its doors. Now the mall is land-banked by its developer until the surrounding area, which is undergoing revitalization, turns around, and the property can be sold or redeveloped. In Act Two, the narrative shifts and we hear the designers’ voice. From this point forward, medical metaphors describe the mall’s health. It has a “faint pulse:” a flea market energizes the mall and its parking lot on weekends; truckers from nearby I-84 use it as a rest stop and a hotdog stand has moved in to sell them fast food; and a few lone businesses, including a dry cleaner that doubles as a bus terminal, keep an eye on the mostly empty mall.

individual character as a dollar store, Mexican grocery,

Act Three analyzes these activities, and finds that they have a strange but informal logic. Interboro goes on to advocate small, cheap, and feasible interventions that continue these improvised uses. They suggest short-term projects: “adrenalin shots” that use one of the mall’s larger spaces for a night club, or the loading dock for a summer music stage; or a fitness center or day care center that will “get the blood flowing” by establishing the mall as a node for community life. Interboro sees “dominant strains” emerging for future scenarios that include possible uses of the site for a subdivision or offices, but their preferred scenario is that the mall should continue to host its improvised uses.

18

the same architecture, now each building has an entirely camera store, tuxedo rental store or tattoo parlor.

Completing the circuit, located between the retail zone

and residential life section, is Immersion, 2004, a muralsize painting by Benjamin Edwards (page 14). The work has a composition that is seemingly derived from an

airline flight simulation; but we are landing in a place that is neither city nor country. A roadway transitions from

a highway to a boulevard, and proceeds to a vanishing point dead center. Along the horizon, faint outlines of residences and multi-story buildings are visible, and in

the foreground, geometric forms layered over the ground plane resemble paving, and several circular green disks

appear to be floating patches of lawn. Other geometric forms hover over the landscape and coalesce into digital bar codes, plus signs, and other pseudo-universal symbols,

just this side of recognizable logos. This world is at once familiar and alien.

T

he work examined here represents the exhibition’s

range. While the show features predominantly

contemporary work by young innovators, it also

gives a nod to their forebears. Several archival videos of James Wines and SITE (Sculpture in the Environment)

from the 1980s are included. As Wines oversees construc-

tion of a Best Products showroom with a façade that looks like a ruin, and music by Philip Glass pulses on the

soundtrack, he remarks that he designs with the ingredients of consumer culture; the strip is the culture of America

SCAPE spring 08

COURTESY WALKER ART CENTER.

image of a hillside covered with straw next to a Wal-Mart

relive the past and envision the future of this ubiquitous


– it’s our marketplace. The influence of architects Robert

how the designers and artists make complex relationships

pop culture and ruminations on vernacular architecture

ideas. The suburbia that emerges from this exhibition is

Venturi and Denise Scott Brown and their celebration of

also loom over the exhibition, and they are interviewed in the accompanying book about a seminar, “Remedial

Housing for Architects or Learning from Levittown,” that they taught at Yale in 1970.

S

o what conclusions may be drawn from Worlds Away? If the majority of the buildings in suburbia

are designed by developers and contractors, not

visual, and how they give a compelling voice to these new a complex and dynamic place in a state of constant re-

invention by both designers and the people who live and work there.

Regina M. Flanagan, artist and landscape designer from Saint Paul, writes about the intersection of art, landscape, social issues and new technologies for journals including Landscape Architecture, Public Art Review and Fabric Architecture. She works in the Urban Design and Planning section at HNTB Corporation in Minneapolis.

architects, as the curators assert, then the only ways that designers actually can have an impact on suburbia are through the kinds of interventions shown here: by

imagining new urban forms inspired by existing social relationships, or by inventing new uses later. But while

the show may not directly address issues of greater

interest to landscape architects, it is worth visiting to see

issue #9

Resources The Walker Art Center is on line at www.walkerart.org “Worlds Away” will be on view in Minneapolis through August 17,

then will travel to the Carnegie Center of Art in Pittsburgh. Paho Mann, Re-inhabited Circle K’s (Phoenix), 2004-2006

19


topic: law

Historic Character and the March of Time Peavy Plaza is one of few midwestern landscapes being documented by the Historic American Landscapes Survey. Will that help it stave off poor maintenance or outright redesign? A design sketch by Peavey Plaza landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg, FASLA, above, shows that the space was meant for active use by “all residents.” A similar view in the present day, below, shows how the site has matured. Though it is largely intact, threats to the plaza’s historic character loom.

20

SCAPE spring 08

CHRIS FAUST, BOTTOM; PAUL FRIEDBERG AND PARTNERS, TOP.

by Frank Edgerton Martin


Cultural geographers such as the late J. B. Jackson remind

Landscapes took another three generations to merit

landscapes are as much social as visual compositions.

historic research and their ephemeral essence as intersec-

us that no landscape is ever permanent, and that cultural Going back to the linguistic origins of “landscape,”

Jackson shows how the concept in medieval Europe implied an economic unit, a “sheath” of lands that

functioned as a greater whole. This living economy as seen in the land changed with new technology, global warming and

cooling periods, and the emergence of industrial cities. American is

also

historic

preservation

ever-changing—only

recently discovering the importance of landscape preservation. The

landscape

preservation

“movement” began in the 19th

century and was often supported by women’s groups such as the

Mount Vernon Ladies Aid Society

systematic documentation because of a smaller base of tions of intentional design and ecological process. Yet, the

same cycles of fashion and the urge to “update” prevalent in architecture and interior design also pose real threats historic landscapes across the country.

Because they are subject to change, the challenge in preserving designed and vernacular landscapes is to document their “character-defining” features in topography, spatial patterns, vegetation and water features. Although not everything can be saved, systematic documentation of a site’s defining elements can lead to new treatment regimes for improved sustainable practices, safety, accessibility, and changing user needs. It is possible to determine the “tipping point” where too much change to space or vegetation would damage a site’s original character, mood, association, and tone.

and the Daughters of the American

Revolution (DAR), the latter working to save historic

Because they are subject to change, the challenge in

twentieth century. Of course, the fact that DAR gener-

document their “character-defining” features in topog-

sites across the country throughout the first half of the

ally preserved sites related to their own Anglo-American ancestors and the legacies of rich and powerful leaders

expresses the narrowness of the funnel out of which American preservation continues to expand.

I

n 2000, sixty-five years after the creation of the Historic

American Building Survey (HABS) -- a methodology

for documenting the character, details, and struc-

ture of individual landmark buildings -- the National

Park Service, in partnership with the Americal Society

of Landscape Architects (ASLA), launched the Historic

preserving designed and vernacular landscapes is to

raphy, spatial patterns, vegetation, and water features.

Although not everything can be saved, systematic documentation of a site’s defining elements can lead

to new treatment regimes for improved sustainable practices, safety, accessibility, and changing user needs.

It is possible to determine the “tipping point” where

too much change to space or vegetation would damage a site’s original character, mood, association, and tone. Once a landscape’s essence is determined, it is actually

surprising how much change in lighting, materials, and plantings is possible to make a landscape more functional

Landscapes took another three generations to merit systematic documentation because of a smaller base of historic research and their ephemeral essence as intersections of intentional design and ecological process.

for contemporary needs.

Shortly after HALS was established,

the National Park Service (NPS), ASLA, and the Library of Congress

agreed to collaborate on developing and maintaining HALS.

Today,

NPS is responsible for the daily

operations, policies, and guidelines,

American Landscapes Survey (HALS), which would do

while ASLA provides technical advice via the Historic

the gap in time? One reason is that the earlier appreciation

chapters.

the same for cultural and historic outdoor spaces. Why

of buildings as historically “significant” because of their

Preservation Professional Practice Network and its state

object-like nature more closely resembled the artifacts already cared for by museum and book conservators. issue #9

21


W

hen

something

goes

“out of style,” whether it’s a necktie or plaza,

it is amazing how we can find good

excuses to get rid of it. Because of

rapidly changing tastes and styles, even

relatively

landscapes landscape

new

Modern-era

architects

including

designed

by

noted

Peavey is one of very few remaining Modernist landscapes in Minneapolis, and one of few landscapes in the Twin Cities designed by a nationally-recognized landscape architect.

cast concrete steps, fountain walls, and water features are intact despite Minnesota’s ravaging freeze-thaw

cycles. Such durability may reflect both the preference for raw, almost

Brutalist concrete in 1970s design,

along with Friedberg’s early career experiences designing solidly-made adventure playgrounds and parks for New York City neighborhoods.

A

s MASLA completes its HALS report, two clear

Daniel Kiley, Lawrence Halprin, and

threats to Peavey’s future

Charles Wood face extinction through neglect, misguided “improvements,”

are becoming apparent. The first is

ment.

nance. Much of Friedberg’s original

general neglect and poor mainte-

or outright demolition and replace-

In

poor

response

to

maintenance

the in

staggered locust canopy over Peavey

Plaza’s reflecting pools survives,

continued

the trees now at full maturity.

downtown

Unfortunately,

Minneapolis’s beloved Peavey Plaza,

the City of Minneapolis Department

survey of that half-block sunken

of Public Works, which is charged

plaza designed by M. Paul Friedberg,

with the care of the space. Over the

FASLA. For ASLA’s centennial in

last decade, changes have included:

1999, the Minnesota Chapter awarded

Peavey a medallion for excellence in

design, part of a nationwide ALSA

characteristic of the original

this reason, as Jean Garbarini, ASLA, a local landscape architect and propo-

nent of the Peavey HALS documentation, explains, MASLA feels some obligation to be an advocate for

Peavey Plaza’s preservation.

“Peavey is one of very few remaining

Modernist landscapes in Minneapolis, and one of few landscapes in the

Twin Cities designed by a nationally-

recognized landscape architect,” she

says. “As a space, it is an example

The use of asphalt to replace original colored pavers and to patch damaged areas,

The application of poured concrete slabs into areas of original pavers,

The removal of trees and the

covering of their planting wells with concrete, and

The introduction of falsely historical acorn lamps to the

Such changes, along with the lack

plaza, where groups and individuals

22

design,

plaza.

of a successfully designed recessed

nearly 35 years old, much of Peavey’s

juniper berms with landscape

of ornamental shrubs not

of American designed landscapes. For

unmatched in the City.” Although

The replacement of Friedberg’s timber walls and the planting

program to recognize the top echelon

cated and graceful water features are

slowly

cuts,” due to maintenance practices by

(MASLA) began the state’s first HALS

views are plentiful, and the compli-

is

experiencing “death by a thousand

the Minnesota chapter of ASLA

can feel comfortable in the space,

Peavey

These photographic thumbnails of Peavey Plaza show some of the site’s “character-defining” details, such as the concrete and metal fountains, top and bottom, as well as some of the unsympathetic alterations, such as new modular block retaining walls, center.

of new appropriate plantings to replace those that are aging, drain

the space of its vitality. “The bones of the space are still good,” Garbarini

says, “but the modifications have SCAPE spring 08

CHRIS FAUST, ALL

topic: law


contributed to its decline. Luckily these modifications

years of deferred maintenance to impede a building’s

survey documentation effort may lead to greater public

doors open or meeting accessibility codes seem to loom

are largely cosmetic and can be reversed.” The HALS awareness of Peavey’s fragility. But recent developments

with the Orchestral Association’s desire to renovate and

expand Orchestra Hall bring a new level of threat to Peavey Plaza’s survival.

Early this year, MASLA learned of the Orchestral Association’s understandable desire to renovate its

somewhat cramped lobby spaces and visitor service facilities.

But, as referenced

in local news stories, the renovation poses serious

implications for Peavey. When the plaza opened

in 1974, it was owned and maintained by the city. Current early planning

by the Orchestra includes the possibility of “privatizing” Peavey through

functionality. Then, as the rising costs of keeping the large, the argument can be made to University trustees that the program space “would cost more to renovate than replace” and hence, should be demolished. Such a case

happened at the University of Minnesota a decade ago

when five buildings listed on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places were slipping towards demoli-

tion, an unfortunate fate averted with the arrival of a new University president.

Current early planning by the Minnesota Orchestra Association includes the possibility of “privatizing” Peavey through a land-transfer to the Orchestra. The Association has also suggested the removal of concrete water features and plantings along the Nicollet Mall frontage, in order to improve inward views.

What really happened here?

Was it truly the

decaying acoustic tiles and windows that facili-

ties staff shared with the University Regents in a slide show?

Or was it

perhaps more a question of taste, a sense that the

Romanesque

and

A view from Nicollet Mall shows the large multi-use sunken plaza, an oasis in the city flanked now by mature trees.

a land-transfer to the Orchestra. In a meeting with a

Neo-classical style buildings did not look “modern” and

of this year, the HALS team also learned of a desire to

on assumptions) is made for replacement versus renova-

member of the Orchestral Association’s Board in March

create a new performance stage connected to the building, which would fill in some of the recessed depth of the

pool and plaza. Perhaps most potentially damaging to Peavey’s existing design character, the Association also

“efficient?” When a cost-benefit argument (often based tion, does it take into account the quality of new versus

old materials? Is there a calculation for the value of institutional tradition and memory?

has suggested the removal of concrete water features and

The truth is that all buildings and parks age and need

improve inward views.

and institutions always turn toward the lure of the new

plantings along the Nicollet Mall frontage, in order to

I

n preservation battles, whether over buildings or landscapes, the rationalizations offered by owners often mask the real motivations for change.

For

example, a university’s facilities department may allow

issue #9

updating, usually after about 20-50 years of use. If cities and current technologies, we will eventually, through the constant churn of change, forge communities that have no historic museums, parks, schools, streetlights, bridges, restaurants, or post offices. Either they will have been replaced or altered beyond recognition.

23


priate and sensible; indeed, that is the way the block was

topic: law

originally conceived in the early 1970s: an urban oasis

True, it is visibly run-down, but the underlying arguments

for significant alternation need to be carefully examined. In a city of drive-in-and-park cultural facilities such as the

new Walker Art Center, the new Guthrie Theater, and the

throughout the region. The early sketches and comple-

tion photographs show a place that is cared for, occupied, and programmed throughout the year. If a design team is hired to work with Peavey Plaza, they should become

fully versed in this site specific history, as well as The

Weisman Art Museum, there seems to be a growing desire

Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of

problems or surrounding neighborhoods. For this reason,

Cultural Landscapes, the document meant to guide historic

for insulation from the urban conditions and perceived

a softly spoken concern about Peavey Plaza is the number

of homeless people who spend time there in the summer, as well as instances of

prostitution

and

other crimes. It is this

underlying fear, and the assumption that the

Plaza’s

sunken

form and concealment from

Nicollet

Mall

encourage these intru-

Historic Properties and the Guidelines for the Treatment of landscape renovation and stewardship.

If cities and institutions always turn toward the lure of the new and current technologies, we will eventually, through the constant churn of change, forge communities that have no historic museums, parks, schools, streetlights, bridges, restaurants, or post offices.

preserving qualities?

its

best

How can

Peavey be updated to

while

the country? How can

architect

worries about safety, accessibility, and the

design, the Orchestral

liability issues of the

Association is thinking

precipitous

downtown

Peavey Plaza still functions as intended by Paul Friedberg three decades ago: as a public gathering place for the city of Minneapolis.

Contributors to the MASLA Peavey Plaza HALS project: Jean Garbarini, ASLA, CLOSE Landscape Architecture+ (Project Manager) Chad Moffett, ASLA, Landscape Historian, Mead & Hunt, Inc. Charlene K. Roise, Historian, Hess, Roise and Company Andrea Kampinen, Historian, Mead & Hunt, Inc. Frank Edgerton Martin, Landscape Historian John Slack, ASLA, Dahlgren, Shardlow & Uban Tony Siebenaler-Ransom, CLOSE Landscape Architecture+ Tom Whitlock, ASLA, Damon Farber Associates

24

the tipping point for

downtown plazas in

hired to create a final

appro-

but rather, where is

the finest Modernist

plan is in place nor

perfectly

Plaza,

tial character as one of

Although no design

is

Peavey

still keeping its essen-

up” Peavey Plaza.

their

nate

performances,

sion about “opening

block as a whole. This

statement can rejuve-

as ticketed outdoor

much of the discus-

of

what Big Idea design

meet new needs, such

sions, that are driving

landscape

The real question is not

fountain

drop-offs be addressed without

losing

the

Current Status and Benefits of HALS

MASLA is currently assembling the HALS document and will be submitting it to the National Park Service in April, 2008. There are no legal guarantees associated with a HALS survey—nor any assurances that a property will be further protected because of the documentation effort. The benefit is that there is a permanent record of the original design if the site is demolished or further degraded. The only real legal protection for a landscape such as Peavey Plaza is local historic listing, which would have to be approved by the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission and by the Minneapolis City Council.

SCAPE spring 08

METROPOLITAN DESIGN CENTER IMAGE BANK, USED WITH PERMISSION OF THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA

This is the inevitable crossroads at which Peavey Plaza sits.

for musical performance that could draw people from


greater whole?

Most Twin Citians, and especially

been “privatized” in their management while remaining

memories of looking out over it and of having lunch there

Bryant Park in New York City. A similar future is possible

downtown workers, value Peavey Plaza. They have fond

over the years. When it was in its prime, Peavey did not seem brutal, dangerous, or uninviting. It was, instead, one of the few truly

public outdoor places in this metropolitan region

that invented the indoor shopping

mall

and

unfurled the skyway. When

we

think

of

historic preservation for

for Peavey Plaza, but it will take honest discussion about

the site’s real problems and a plan for the activities and

When it was in its prime, Peavey did not seem brutal, dangerous, or uninviting. It was, instead, one of the few truly public outdoor places in this metropolitan region that invented the indoor shopping mall and unfurled the skyway.

a designed landscape such as Peavey Plaza, we should return to J.B. Jackson’s notion that landscapes are not just

visual designs or paintings, but places of gathering and exchange that are essentially social. For this reason, as a

city-owned space, preserving open access for the future

is an important discussion to have. Other troubled urban sites, through the creative stewardship of landscape archi-

tects and non-profits such as Project for Public Spaces have

Introducing

broadly welcoming. The best known example of this is

events that, as Jane Jacobs observed back

in the hyper-demolition days of the 1960s, are the real building blocks of city life.

Frank Edgerton Martin holds a landscape architectural degree in Cultural Landscape Preservation and History from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is is a landscape historian who works on large-scale planning and preservation projects. He recently completed a Campus Heritage Plan for the University of Kansas and is currently at work on the Managment Plan for the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area in Missouri and Kansas.

Resources Historic American Landscapes Survey is at www.nps.gov/hdp/hals/index.htm The Cultural Landscape Foundation website is www.tclf.org National Park Service Historic Landscape Initiative can be found on line at

www.nps.gov/history/HPS/hli/index.htm

neoliviano

from Santa & Cole and Landscape Forms

®

issue #9

Eric Swanson, Minneapolis Sales Office 888.374.2792 952.974.1396 952.937.5728 fax

25 erics@landscapeforms.com


topic: business

Landscape architects are not just working outdoors. So how is interior landscape architecture different?

Design Inside by Bruce Lemke, ASLA

Landscape architects have had more involvement with interior spaces over the last few years.

While there

are some design and construction similarities between

interior and exterior landscapes, a considerable number of elements are unique to the indoors.

Although most interior landscapes involve live plants,

there are circumstances that dictate the use of replica plants exclusively or in conjunction with live plants. When dealing with live plants, the environmental conditions of the space are the primary factor to consider. Not

unlike in outdoor landscape architecture, the environment will determine where plants can be located, the variety factors.

Even with skylights, interior spaces tend to have less light than outdoor ones, which significantly affects plant selection and maintenance. Sometimes, the use of â&#x20AC;&#x153;replicaâ&#x20AC;? plants can improve aesthetics in particularly difficult environments.

26

SCAPE spring 08

COURTESY PLANTSCAPE INC., ALL.

of plants that can be used, the size of plants, and other


Light

230 or more foot candles is considered a high light environ-

In an ideal world artificial light could be added to any

ment. Ficus benjamina, Alexander Palms (Ptychosperma

species. In reality auxiliary lighting is expensive, visually

Black Olive (Bucida buceras) are examples of high light

interior landscape to provide adequate light for any plant obtrusive, and relatively ineffective.

The amount of

natural light available is the largest determining factor for

elegans), Mexican Fan Plams (Washingtonia robusta) and plants.

the success of large-scale interior plantscapes.

Temperature

Although there are plant varieties that will survive in

is 55 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit with a minimum of 30

generally smaller plants that are used for ground cover.

for a relatively short period of time, can stress or kill the

The recommended temperature range for tropical plants

low light environments (40 to 80 foot candles) they are

percent relative humidity. Temperature extremes, even

Examples are Snake Plant (Sanseveria trifasciata), Peace

plants.

and Pothos (Epipremnum aureum).

Accessibility

Some medium light plants (80 to 230 foot candles) are avail-

tant. If service requires special equipment (ladders,

(macrocarpa ‘Nitida,’ binnendijkii ‘Alii,’ and ‘Amstel King’),

there may be alternative products, such as replica plants,

palms (Ravenea rivularis, Livistona rotundifolia) will do well

of access doors can limit the size of plant materials that

Lily (Spathiphyllum), Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata),

The physical accessibility of a plant or planter is impor-

able in larger tree sizes: 10 to 20 feet. Certain Ficus varieties

harnesses, etc.) or the area has limited times for access,

Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla), and some

that will provide a better solution. Additionally the size

in medium light conditions.

can be brought into the building.

issue #9

27


topic: business

Weight The initial weight of a live plant is only one component of the total planter weight. Water, planting medium, planter

construction, and drainage materials all contribute to the total weight. The consideration if weight is important because most interior plants will be on structure, either on a floor over a basement, or on higher floors of the

building. Structural evaluation may be necessary when dealing with very heavy plants and planters.

Utilities In larger planters the availability of water (tepid, unsoftened water), electrical service, and drainage are important design considerations.

Once the environmental conditions are well understood, it is possible to begin design detailing. There are five major

Planting Medium The preferred planting medium, commercially available

through a number of suppliers, is a soil-less medium consisting of 1) a component that will retain moisture,

such as peat moss or coir (ground coconut husks); 2) peat moss or rice hulls, which act as a filler and help reduce compaction; and 3) perlite, dolomitic limestone, or haydite that will increase the soil porosity and also reduce

compaction. Soil nutrients are not as important as in exterior plantings. The main goal is to not produce much growth in the plants.

Ground Cover Common ground covers include shredded cedar or cypress

mulch, bark chips, synthetic plastic or rubber mulch, moss, and gravel. Potential problems that can be encountered are odor and lack of fire resistance with rubber products,

mold and lack of fire resistance with wood products, and difficult plant replacements with gravel.

Irrigation

elements to consider during the design detailing process.

Although sub-irrigation and automatic watering systems

Many of the design principles for interior landscapes are the same as for outdoor ones: massing, scale, and texture all come into play. However, nutrient and water regimes, in particular, are very different. Maintenance plays a key role in plant selection and design.

monitored regularly, and require re-calibration depending

28

are possibilities, they are expensive to install, must be

upon the season. Water requirements can vary depending

SCAPE spring 08


upon the plant variety, size, season, and amount of available light. Weekly watering or at least weekly monitoring

of a watering system is critical to the health of most plants.

Maintenance Regular maintenance by a professional interior plantscape service is extremely important. In addition to weekly

watering of the plants, typical maintenance tasks include pruning, trimming, cleaning, insect control, and disease

control. Regular replacements are also part of most interior horticultural services. In a low light office environment

replacement rates on plants can vary between 12 and 30 months.

Plant Services Options Most plant programs that are commercially available

involve initial costs of installation and planting medium. The plants can either be purchased or leased. In both

cases, the building manager purchases pots and planting

medium and typically pays for monthly plant service. With leased plants, initial costs can be lower and plants can be â&#x20AC;&#x153;returnedâ&#x20AC;? if no longer wanted. The monthly plant

service for either program is identical and includes weekly maintenance and regular replacements. The fees will vary

based on the variety of plants, sizes, quantity, available light, accessibility, and other factors

In some cases the site conditions - lack of adequate light, floor load restrictions, accessibility, temperature, or lack

of planter depth can restrict design options. In these cases replica plants, used exclusively or in conjunction with live

plants can be one solution. Replica plants can also increase the palette of design tools when a themed environment is desired.

Sizes Replica plants can be built up to 30 feet in height. Larger

trees are usually built in pieces, which allow them to be installed in spaces with limited access. The weight of an

artificial tree can be substantially less than that of a live tree. This, along with various mounting options that are generally smaller than a natural root mass, will permit large replica trees to be installed in locations that would be questionable for live trees.

Interior planting design can take many forms. It can be very naturalistic, bottom right, augmenting other naturalistic features like waterfalls and pools; or it can be simple and serene, top right, stressing the architectural quality of the indoor space. issue #9

29


topic: business

Costs Although the initial cost of a replica plant will be more

than a live plant, once the maintenance costs are calculated, the artificial plant will generally pay for itself in 12 to 18 months.

Fire Retardancy One major concern with artificial plant installations is product fire retardancy. Two techniques are used to

meet fire codes - inherently fire retardant foliages and foliages that receive topical treatment. Topical treatment is generally applied after the tree is built. This method can wear and may require re-application of the chemical. The treatment may also leave a residue on the surface of the leaves, which can alter the aesthetic of the plant and

act as a dust collector. Inherently fire retardant foliages

have the chemical impregnated into the plant fabric when it is manufactured, effectively eliminating the problems

associated with the topical application. Test results and fire rating certification should be provided by the manufacturer for all projects requiring fire retardant plants.

Cleaning Most artificial leaves have a smooth surface that minimizes dust build up. Like live plants, replica plants will require

periodic cleaning. Dusting two to three times a year in most situations will be sufficient to keep the plants clean. In extreme situations, such as restaurants, more frequent

attention may be necessary. Water, mixed with a mild dish washing liquid and rinsed with clean water, can be used in extreme conditions. The use of replica plants is unique to interior landscapes. They can be lighter and easier to maintain than living plants, and are a crucial element in the interior landscape designerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s toolbox.

Though many of the goals of an interior landscape are similar to those of an exterior landscape, there are some

Realism Most artificial trees are built with real tree stems. The foliages are in most cases botanically identical to live plants. These details, combined with live plants in a large

scale planting, will help achieve a display that will be virtually indistinguishable from a totally live design.

unique considerations. In both environments, plants can help to create a calming, interesting atmosphere, and can

contribute to mental well-being. In both environments, a designer must consider the size, scale, character, color, and

light and water needs of the plant material. Environmental conditions inside, however, can be quite different than

outdoors, namely due to the lack of natural rainwater and

ample sunlight. Due to these unique design and environ-

mental considerations, as well as because of an increasing emphasis on themed environments, interior landscape

For a directory of Minnesota landscape architecture firms, including those that specialize in interior landscape architecture, visit www.masla.org and click on: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Are you looking for a landscape architect?â&#x20AC;? 30

companies are turning to landscape architects more often

to help creatively solve complex design problems in these unusual planting situations.

Bruce Lemke, ASLA, is a designer with Plantscape, Inc. a Minnesota-based interior plant ing design and service company. He also serves on the MASLA Board as Co-director of Awards and Banquet.

SCAPE spring 08


R.L. MLAZGAR ASSOCIATES, INC. REPRESENTING QUALITY ELECTRICAL PRODUCTS AND ENGINEERING STERNBERG LIGHTING is the premier manufacturer of traditional and architectural lighting luminaires, poles, coordinating bollards, site amenities and landscape furnishings. HUNDREDS OF PRODUCTS TO CHOOSE FROM: „ Architectural Luminaires „ Traditional Luminaires „ Poles „ Bollards „ Custom Installations „ Roadway & Traffic Signal Structures „ Residential Fixtures „ Site Amenities R.L. MLAZGAR ASSOCIATES, INC. is a representative of Sternberg Lighting with satisfied clients in Minnesota, the Dakotas and western Wisconsin. Call for more information.

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issue #9

31


Award of Excellence - Planning and Research

Minnesota River State Trail Redwood Falls, New Ulm, and Saint Peter, MN

Center for Changing Landscapes, University of Minnesota

Recreation, natural and cultural resource protection, tourism, and community livability are promoted for the

Minnesota River State Trail by designs produced through a community-engaged process. Working at the regional,

district, and site scales, these environmentally sensitive designs celebrate and interpret natural and cultural resources in a large segment of the Minnesota River Valley.

The plan considers highways, county roads, off-road trail

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

segments, trailheads, interpretative features, and signa-

ture trail elements such as contemplative places, signs,

and kiosks. Community leaders, citizens, and state and local governmental officials were all actively involved.

The project focused on the middle segment of the Minnesota River State Trail, above, and the communities of Redwood Falls, New Ulm, and Saint Peter. Contemplative rest areas, including kiosks and seating, below, are to be made of native materials and shaped by Dakota symbols.

32

SCAPE spring 08


Land forms, land ownership, amenities, and cultural and landscape features informed the creation of alternative trail alignments, below. Detailed analysis was performed on each of the river communities, such as Redwood Falls, above right, and Saint Peter, above left.

33

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

issue #9


Merit Award - Planning and Research

Lake Elmo Village Area Master Plan

Lake Elmo, MN

CLOSE Landscape Architecture+ The proliferation of suburban sprawl has engulfed

numerous small towns and villages throughout the country. These communities face the daunting challenge

of preserving their character and authenticity in the face of this swift transformation.

This Master Plan provides an innovative blueprint

for accommodating growth within a small village. A

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

landscape architect-led team facilitated public workshops

34

and stakeholder round-tables to develop a creative framework for new development.

Owners of vacant land surrounding the village also

participated. This unique public / private collaboration

produced a development strategy that targets city goals, resident and business expectations, and the real-world financial models of builders and developers.

SCAPE spring 08


Life-cycle housing, one of the planâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Guiding Principles, includes market-rate and affordable, singles and families, first home and move-up, senior and special-needs, traditional and low-maintenance, small studio and luxury condo -- all with an emphasis on character, quality, scale, and fit. Representative images and plan thumbnails, above, further communicate the idea. The Master Plan, below left, responds to the appeal of rural living and describes the various systems, below, (working in concert, not in isolation) that shape the physical form and aesthetic quality of cities.

35

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

issue #9

Specially highlighted areas of the plan include the Highway 5 corridor, below, which is the proposed main street for the community; and a community services facility, bottom, which would include a Wellness Center, an Arts Center, and a Public Library.


Merit Award - Planning and Research

Trail Planning, Design, and Development Guidelines Minnesota

Brauer & Associates, Ltd. The primary purposes of this project

were to create a manual to set forth a common classification system for local, regional, and state trails, and to create a

set of guidelines for site-level planning and design of each type of recreational

trail. The manual also provides information on developing sustainable trails

that balance trail development and ecological protection.

The manual defines principles for

planning and designing high quality, sustainable trails of all types.

It

includes state-of-the-art techniques and technical standards for construction

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

and maintenance of trails state-wide.

36

SCAPE spring 08


The manual includes, among other things, guidance on trail classification categories, below; trail widths and spatial requirements, left; trails in riparian management zones, opposite bottom; and various approaches for trail alignments along edges of ecotonal environments, above.

37

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

issue #9


Merit Award - Planning and Research

Water Quality:

Best Management Practice Cards Saint Paul, MN

SRF Consulting Group, Inc.

The

Water

Quality

Best

Management Practice (BMP) Cards

present water quality concepts,

treatment strategies, and design approaches

in

an

illustrative

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

and easy to understand format.

Providing stormwater treatment expertise, the landscape architect

worked with Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation staff to develop an

interactive tool to educate policy

makers, city staff, developers, other design professionals, and the general public on the important

relationship between stormwater and wastewater quality and the

health of the Mississippi River. Each user-friendly card introduces one best management practice and directs users to additional technical resources.

38

SCAPE spring 08


issue #9

39

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

A total of 44 BMP cards were developed, samples left and opposite, divided between four development scales (site, block, neighborhood, city), opposite top. Photographs or graphic illustration of the highlighted BMP are used on the front of the card, top left, to draw users in, provide a visual example, and raise userâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s curiosity to learn more. The backside of each card, top right, provides a brief introduction to the BMP.


Honor Award - Public Landscape Design

Mill Ruins Park Minneapolis, MN

URS Corporation Mill Ruins Park is the centerpiece of the redevelopment

of the Minneapolis riverfront from an area of declining industrial uses into one of the nation’s premier urban waterfront park systems.

The park showcases the

excavated and stabilized ruins of mills and canals that, drawing on the power of St. Anthony Falls, made

Minneapolis the world’s flour-milling capital. Sensitively-

designed circulation features and amenities offer visitors close access to and interpretation of the riverfront’s unique

and richly-textured historic features while protecting the National Register-listed resources. The park also serves

as a recreational destination on the river with spectacular views and facilities for community events.

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

Walkways are carefully placed within the ruins, below, allowing for an immersive visitor experience. Water in the tailrace passes over adjustable weirs, right, before returning to the river at the downstream end of the site.

40

SCAPE spring 08


A catwalk structure on compact footings provides close visitor access to stabilized ruins, above and left, while minimizing impact to buried historic features and permitting further archaeological investigation of site. The alignment of the walkways, bottom left, was carefully selected to avoid impact on the many historic features in the area. Visual clutter is minimized by using railings only where necessitated by adjacent drop-offs. Due to the high cost of steel during project construction, the bridge and catwalk decking material was changed from steel to fiberglass, resulting in significant cost savings without compromising the desired industrial character. The site plan, below, shows the relationship between walkways, tailrace, and landscaped areas.

41

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

issue #9


Merit Award - Public Landscape Design

Capen Prairie Garden Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen, MN

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

Savanna Designs, Inc.

42

SCAPE spring 08


The garden is comprised of a circular stone â&#x20AC;&#x153;terrace,â&#x20AC;? opposite top, surrounded by the wild native prairie. Extending into the circle are raised planting beds for formalized prairie plantings, opposite bottom. A water feature spills through the garden wall, below, conjuring a quiet prairie seep.

The various planting methods formalize the prairie, top, showing that the design principles found in classic perennial gardening can also be used with native plants, to similar but more sustainable effect, even in winter, above. The terrace and walls are composed of local Kasota limestone, while the benches and arbor, below, are peeled native cedar logs.

Arboretum is an introduction to the prairie aesthetic. The garden site shows the difference between the wild,

untamed native prairie and a deliberately designed prairie

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which can actually have the feel of a classic perennial border, but more sustainably so.

Simple massings of

native species share the viewshed with 30 acres of restored

prairie, and are complemented by rich local materials. The garden offers alternatives to the perception that prairies are messy and uninteresting, by offering a showcase of native plants in more intentional arrangements. To walk

into the Capen Prairie Garden is to experience both faces of the prairie: the wild and the refined. issue #9

43

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

The Capen Prairie Garden at the Minnesota Landscape


Merit Award - Public Landscape Design

Grand Forks Greenway Grand Forks, ND; East Grand Forks, MN

Damon Farber Associates Ten years after the “Flood of the Millennium,” Grand Forks and East Grand Forks have rebounded and rebuilt with

incredible sacrifice, courage, and determination. To have experienced the cities then, and to see them now, imparts a powerful insight into the human spirit and our ability to

deal with incredible adversity and tragedy. The Red River

Greenway is one of our nation’s first bi-state greenways and is the showcase for a Federal flood control project of

vast size and engineering complexity; but it is the influence of landscape architects that provides the project with

an identity and a soul. It was their planning, design, and

The prolonged winter of 1996-1997 led to record high water, which covered both cities, above and opposite top, for several weeks and started a fire in downtown Grand Forks that burned six city blocks. The flood led to the evacuation of over fifty-two thousand people and damages exceeding $2 billion dollars.

determination that transformed an engineering project of extreme pragmatic capability into a useable, attractive

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

amenity for these great cities.

44

SCAPE spring 08


The final greenway concept, right, comprised of 2200 acres, uses the floodplain of both rivers as a single, large recreation area linked by a comprehensive trail system, here, and including numerous parks and green spaces creatively incorporated into flood control levees and dikes, bottom and oposite far left.

45

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

issue #9


Merit Award - Private Landscape Design

Medtronic

Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management Campus Mounds View, MN

CLOSE Landscape Architecture+ This new 87-acre corporate campus is home to 4800 employees requiring 1.2 million square feet of office and lab space and an additional 1.2 million square feet of structured parking.

The landscape architects were

responsible for site planning and design of the campus.

Work included several water features; a planting plan that heals a previously damaged landscape and recalls the native landscape once present on the

site; a state-of-the-art child care exterior play environment; and outdoor facilities

for employees, including a dining terrace and jogging trails connecting to and routing through adjacent preserved natural areas.

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

The master plan, below, is based on a landscape typology diagram, right, which suggests a variety of native Minnesota ecosystems.

46

SCAPE spring 08


The campus is comprised of three rectilinear towers, here. Elements include the main entry arbor, above center, with seasonal plantings; reflecting pools, above left, which recirculate water used for irrigation; and a child care center with exterior play environment, above right.

47

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

issue #9


Honor Award - Residential Design

St. Croix Valley Retreat Marine on St. Croix, MN

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

LHB Inc.

48

SCAPE spring 08


The St. Croix Valley Retreat

immerses visitors into an

artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s world of light, color, detail, and form. The contem-

porary design fits seamlessly into its rich natural context.

Each building was carefully

positioned by the landscape architect

and

the

spaces

between were shaped to create timeless, experiential landscape element,

rooms.

from

the

Each

dark,

lagoon-like pool to a wall built from salvaged rubble,

is expressive, functional, and sensitive.

Each experience

evokes a connection between the landscape and the people who inhabit it. An artist studio was carefully sited as the gatehouse to the property, with an adjacent wall defining the outdoor work room. That wall, above, is constructed of an eclectic mix of materials including demolition concrete and construction mock-ups from the site. A material composition of ironwood platform, lawn, steps, and wall highlight the architectural character of the sauna, right, and immerse it in the environment. Many passages, left, connect from lawn terraces to the slightly elevated pool area. The hearth room, below, is defined by concrete columns, a pergola, a bluestone rug, and a finely stacked bluestone fireplace. The space transitions seamlessly to the adjacent pool house and mimics the column patterns of the architecture.

49

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

issue #9


Merit Award - Residential Design

Cosgriff Residence and Courtyard Marine on St. Croix, MN

Coen + Partners

The Cosgriff Residence is located in Jackson Meadow, a residential community east of St. Paul, Minnesota. The parcel is defined by its unique

topography and visual connection to the community village and St. Croix River Valley. The Cosgriff

residence and courtyard is a study in topography,

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

proportion, and scale. Guided by a spiritual

program set forth by the owner, the placement and detail of both residence and courtyard allows it to live in the land, not just on it.

The site plan, left, shows how a restored prairie envelops the site, blending neighboring property lines. The site, above, was minimally graded to elegantly meet the finished floor elevation of the main level before sloping down towards the backyard. Lawn frames the Cosgriff home and the contemplative courtyard in the north yard, opposite bottom. The simple palette of materials and vegetation conveys a sense of peace and calm. The fire ring, opposite top, is set flush with the grade of the lower terrace, and the walls provide seating areas.

50

SCAPE spring 08


2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

51

issue #9


Merit Award - Unbuilt Works

Ashland Ore Dock Park Ashland, WI

SEH, Inc.

Unused since 1965, the Soo Line Ore Dock in Ashland, WI,

has fallen into disrepair and is becoming an increasing liability for both its owner, Canadian National Railroad

(CN) and the city. Several proposals for reuse of this

historic Lake Superior icon have surfaced in recent years, but none have proven workable. With CN set to demolish the iconic structure, the city convinced them to delay the

project in October of 2007, and hired the consultant team

to explore options for reuse. CN gave the city one month. This entire project, therefore, represents three weeks or

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

work by a multi-disciplinary design team.

Projecting over 1800 feet into Lake Superior, the historic Soo Line Ore Dock, photos, this page, is visible for several miles in either direction. Built between 1916 and 1924, it is the defining element for the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waterfront.

52

SCAPE spring 08


The project re-envisons the Ore Dock in two possible ways. “Ore Dock Energy Park,” below, imagines a restored section near shore that would house a variety of uses; an open middle segment that would include wind turbines, vendor kiosks, a perimeter trail, and numerous fishing locations; and an enclosed event space at the outer end. “Historic Ore Dock Park,” bottom, imagines a completely restored structure filled with activity-generating, yearround uses and a green roof park extending into Lake Superior.

53

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

issue #9


Merit Award - Unbuilt Works

The Bell Museum of Natural History Minneapolis, MN

CLOSE Landscape Architecture+ Immersion, inspiration, and education - the design for

the new Bell Museum blends indoor and outdoor spaces to transform a flat site into a contemporary learning lab,

provocative exhibit garden, and destination for special events.

Fire and ice, as the primary design informants, remind us of the natural processes that shaped the Minnesota landscape. Glacial activity left its mark, interpreted here

as kames, eskers, and kettles. Water features throughout the site will be sustained by rain water harvested from street, parking, and roof.

Site plan and design elements express commitment to sustainability through LEED Gold certification and Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines.

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

Rain water and ice fall from the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Wedgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; roofline into the Cauldron, below, creating a sculptural feature and functional component of the stormwater management system.

The Concept Master Plan, above, is the result of an exploration of materials, land form, landscape typologies, and other design elements, below and opposite lower left.

54

SCAPE spring 08


Sketch studies illustrate a variety of site elements, such as the primary pedestrian walkway, above, to the main building entrance; the lower plaza (the ‘Outwash Plain), above left, which supports multi-purpose use including individual sitting areas, small classroom spaces, and large receptions; and the ‘Moose and Wolves’ outdoor diorama at the existing Bell, which will be rebuilt as the primary gateway feature of the bus drop off staging area and group entrance, left. A sketch plan, below, illustrates organization of site elements.

55

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

issue #9


Merit Award - Unbuilt Works

Schaarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bluff:

Visitor Center and Interpretive Site Hastings, MN

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

CLOSE Landscape Architecture+

Humans have lived along the shores of the Mississippi

which reflects a major theme of the Cultural Interpretive

on integrating architecture with interpretation through

looped walk near the edge of the bluff, 120 feet above the

River at Schaarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bluff for 8000 years. This project focuses design on the land. The 8000 Year Walk connects a new

Gathering Center with three interpretive alcoves, each of

56

Plan for the site. The alcoves are located along a dramatic

Mississippi River. Each alcove explores a different story about the natural or cultural history of the site.

SCAPE spring 08


The Sunny Spot, above, offers visitors a place of refuge behind a curved concrete wall that is oriented to block northwestern winds and capture solar heat.

The 8000 Year Walk, noted on the site plan, left, contains three educational alcoves that describe the cultural and natural history of Schaarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bluff. The alcoves, described in three panels at right, provide places to gather, rest, and learn.

issue #9

57

2008 MASLA Awards for Landscape Architecture

A preliminary plan of the Map Court, below, which allows visitors to find their physical location in relation to the major rivers of Minnesota.


watch the video www.hunterindustries.com For more information, contact our Hunter Sales Manager Steve Pallas at (651) 216-8652

58

SCAPE spring 08


Tarrant County Family Law Center Steve Hall ©Hedrich Blessing

Electric Power Board Dan Reynolds Photography

Milwaukee Streetscapes Photos by Cold Spring Granite Company Fresno Federal Courthouse Fountain ©Hollis/Murch 2005

The Cold Spring Granite Difference Whether integrating natural stone into a design for sustainability, safety and security reasons, planning an important civic memorial, or matching colors on a historic renovation project, Cold Spring Granite’s team of experts will partner with you through every step of the project. From selection through fabrication and delivery – our team expertise ensures quality, consistency and control of lead time. Not only does Cold Spring Granite stand behind our granite and limestone materials, but also our level of services. Your dedicated team of Cold Spring Granite professionals will work diligently on collaborating with you for your project’s success.

Harbor Boulevard Parkway Port of Los Angeles, CA ©EDAW 2005, Photography by David Lloyd

issue #9

(800) 328-5040 contact buildingdivision@coldspringgranite.com

www.coldspringgranite.com

59


Mill Ruins Park, which offers a walk through downtown Minneapolisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; grain-driven history, was designed by URS Corporation. It is one of thirteen landscape architecture award winners profiled in this issue, beginning on page 32. Photograph courtesy URS Corporation.

THISPUBLICATIONISBROUGHTTOYOUBY

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:

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