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Rhododendron austrinum

Magnolia grandiflora French Quarter Courtyard, New Orleans

Tulane University, New Orleans

Chattahoochee river, Atlanta

Quercus alba

Olmsted Park, Atlanta

Magnolia macrophylla

Trillium recurvatum Paddle Boat on the Mississippi River, New Orleans

Designing across borders Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas, Mexico

INTRODUCTION LSU Landscape Architecture 4251, Fall 2004


wenty-two fifth year landscape architecture students traveled to the town of Ciudad Mier, Mexico to work on a semester long community design project. Mier was founded by the Spanish in the mid seventeen hundreds and emerged as a mercantile center of a ranching region. Working with Professor Bruce Sharky the students developed alternative urban design strategies for incorporating Mier’s historic sites and buildings into a comprehensive cultural tourism proposal. Ciudad Mier was unlike a typical ‘border town’ or ‘tourist city’. Mier was a small town far enough from a major US crossing that it had maintained much of its own original character and traditions. The citizens of Mier took pride in their rich history and culture. How do you implement a new design idea for a city that has seen relatively little change since its founding?


War Memorial Entrance



ite design was an interpretation of the laws of the Indies. The laws were reconstituted to create a community focused city. Common spaces were located equidistant throughout the original plat, allowing every citizen easy access to a park or plaza. Streets with plazas adjacent to them became important pedestrian circulation routes within the city.


he Laws of the Indies have played an important role in the design of many Latin American cities. Interpreting the laws and focusing on the development of public plazas created a hierarchy of roads and pedestrian circulation, while at the same time strengthened the city’s community.

Plaza Coverage Diagram

The redesign of abandoned drainage canals became a secondary means of pedestrian circulation. Citizens were allowed to utilize an existing infrastructure to traverse the city. The lush planting would assist in bioremediation of storm water and provide much desired shade. Riverfront parks were also designed for wildlife conservation and bioremediation

measures for the Rio Alamo river. Mier was an important haven for endangered species, and it is important to preserve as much of the existing vegetation in and around the city as possible.

Mier, Original Plat Map

Law 118 of the Laws of the Indies states that the number of Plazas should be proportionate to the number of citizens within the city. With several new plazas, all the citizens of Mier had access to a plaza to recreate and socialize. Neighborhood plazas served both a social and civic program.

Conceptual Master Plan

Typical Drainage Canal Sections

Mier, Historic Urban Core

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STUDIO EDITORIAL Designing Across Borders School of Landscape Architecture College of Art and Design Louisiana State University



endell Berry writes that a university education should not be about career preparation but rather should “prepare young people for life,� By providing students with the opportunity of working on real projects with clients having real needs, wants, and desires we can provide students with the kind of hands on experience that will better prepare them for life and their professional careers. Each year, at the beginning of the fall semester since 1993, the second year graduate design studio led by Professor Bruce G. Sharky participates in a one-week field trip to the Lower Rio Grande River Volley and Northern Mexico. The purpose of the field trip is to provide the students with on experience of working in a real community, with a history, culture and landscape setting different from their own. From this experience, the students develop a process of learning and problem solving that will prepare them to make significant design contributions for people of other cultures and regions. In effect preparing the students to be good citizens of the world.

Monument Plaza Plan & Section

Twenty, fifth-year landscape architecture students participated in this year’s fall field trip that included Son Antonio and Laredo Texas, and several US and Mexican towns located along the Lower Rio Grande River Valley (between Laredo and McAllen, Texas). The purpose of the first part of the fieldwork was to inform the students of the rich culture, history, and landscape of the region in preparation for their community design project at the Border. The focus of the field trip was the historic town of Ciudad Mier. This two hundred and fifty year old town is located approximately 50 miles south of Laredo, Texas in the Mexican State of Tamaulipas, ten miles across the Rio Grande River from Roma, Texas. Students in the advanced design studio worked with Arq. Carlos Rugerio. The historic architect for the Los Caminos del Rio, a binational heritage corridor commission considering the best strategy of protecting the rich cultural and historical heritage of the town. Their charge was to research and develop alternative plans of telling the story of this once prosperous border community to visitors.

Adjacent Housing

Adjacent Housing



he plaza above was a modified version of the traditional plaza found in the Laws of the Indies. The square (based on traditional Islamic gardens) was divided into four quadrants. The plaza was located on a natural slope that reveals a lovely view of the historic city (from across the Rio Alamo). The Mesquite trees at the upper level are planted in a denser formation then those at the bottom. This allowed shade in the morning over the steps and allow for a better view of the afternoon sunset.

ntrance murals were used to denote the city limits. The mural occurred along the walls of perimeter buildings along the two major thoroughfares of Mier. These streets serviced the city like a modern day Roman cardo and decumanus. Murals were chosen as entrance markers because they relate to the history and character of Mier. The Murals will depict scenes from the battle of Mier on the western front, artists at work on the northern entrance, and a depiction of the black bean incident along the southern gate.


The eagle monument was a tribute to the Mexican American border. The reclaimed architectural column featured statues of two eagles in flight. One eagle held a serpent in its mouth and represented Mexico. The other eagle was a bald eagle and it represented the United States. The column sits on top a twenty foot circular stepped open space and it can be viewed by all of Mier.


Since returning from the late-August field trip described above, the students conducted research, developed planning alternatives for cultural and

historical preservation of Ciudad Mier, The goal was to present their cultural-tourism planning recommendations to the people and groups that so generously hosted the students during their field trip and who are the clients of this once prosperous cultural and historical rich community on the border. The final work of the students will be presented in mid-January, 2005 at a public meeting held in Mier. The accompanying report, with its broad brushed alternatives, is the work of the LA 4251 advanced design studio. We hope the ideas developed by the students initiate further consideration for the future of Ciudad Mier. With dreams and a vision of the future we believe Ciudad Mier will continue to be the touchstone of the lives of the families and friends in the historic corridor of Los Caminos del Rio while accommodating new interests from visitors coming to learn and appreciate the rich cultural history of this very special place that joins Mexico and the United States. The students have benefited enormously from this unique and rewarding educational experience. They have also gained a much better understanding and appreciation of the people and rich culture that resides along the Lower Rio Grande River. Gracias a todos!

War Memorial Entrance

Art District Entry

Eagle Monument

Black Bean Memorial Wall

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THE lOVETT sCHOOL Atlanta, Georgia, United States

INTRODUCTION Hughes, Good, O’Leary & Ryan, Fall 2008


he Lovett School was a prestigious kindergarten through twelfth grade institution. Its one hundred acre campus sat adjacent to the Chattahoochee River. HGOR campus studio assisted in redesigning the campus master plan, producing a constructive learning environment for students, while maintaining the natural integrity of the site.

THE DELL The Lovett School Stream Restoration


he Dell was a school beautification project with sponsorship from Lovett alumni. Site work entailed the redesign of the vehicular main entry sequence, including the establishment a carpool drop off. The school sought to improve campus circulation and reinforce the grand nature of the campus entrance.

The Dell Pavilion

The Dell

Through site analysis the design team discovered a subsurface channeled watercourse traversing the site. This unearthing delivered numerous environmental education opportunities for the school. A design to resurface the stream bed and create a specimen bioremediation wetland eventually drove the project. The design team was charged to restore the stream running through the campus. Since the stream was a tributary leading to the Chattahoochee River, mitigation plans had to be approved by both city and state agencies.

Callicarpa dichotoma

The Dell Master Plan

Castor canadensis

PUBLISHED EDITORIAL Changing the Way Students Learn HGOR’s Award Winning Lovett Project Landscape Architect and Specifier News

BY LINTON JOHNSON May 13, 2005 The Dell Amphitheater



rogressive education’s ideal is that (the child) should be in relation to (the) school, ‘Like a tree planted by the rivers of water, which bringeth forth his fruit in his season’. - Eva Edwards Lovett

he HGOR design used native plant materials to stabilize the slopes of the stream and developed series of sedimentation pools and stone channels to help purify the water before allowed flow into the river. The completed stream and the surrounding garden, known as The Dell, served as an entrance and focus to the Lower School as well as provided environmental education opportunities.

With fewer than 1,500 students, The Lovett School is not significantly larger than it was in 1960, when the campus was moved to its present 100-acre riverside location on Atlanta’s north side. But the educational needs of those students have changed dramatically over the past four decades, and in the late 1990s school leaders decided it was high time for a makeover.

Placed boulders along the water way developed a series of sedimentation pools and stone channels to help purify the water before it flows into the river. Last year, students enjoyed watching a family of native beavers that frequent the pools as they meandered up stream. Guard fencing was soon installed to supply protection for all landscaped trees.

Lovett is one of Atlanta’s most prestigious private, K-12 college preparatory schools. The first phase of its Master Campus Plan included construction of a new Upper School and Lower School, along with major exterior renovations intended to improve both the functionality and the appearance of the entire campus. A key objective of the plan was to increase the amount of green space and reduce the clutter of cars on campus.


Walkways within the Dell were pervious. The paths did not prevent storm water from saturating the ground thus increasing the effectiveness of the natural filter. The Dell was driven by the concept of education and innovation. The stream, amphitheater and garden served as a laboratory for the school providing real life ecological education.

The Dell Stream

The landscape architectural and planning firm of Hughes, Good, O’Leary & Ryan Inc. (HGOR) and the building architectural firm, Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott (SBRA), were chosen for the opportunity and challenge of designing the outside improvements. page 3

‘Growth was not an issue for them. Most of the facilities were constructed in the early 1960s and were outdated,” said HGOR Principal Brad Good. “The school had not so much grown, but become an institution that needed to update its facilities to keep up with the times in which we live and the education trends of today. The plan was for new facilities and ultimately a new campus. With the new buildings came the outdoor spaces as well’. Upon entering the Lovett campus, you forget that you are only minutes away from the Southeast’s economic capital and even closer to the intersection of two major interstate highways. The school grounds are well protected from the hustle-and-bustle by wooded areas on three sides and the Chattahoochee River to the north. Maintaining and enhancing the serene learning environment was vital to the project and also part of the challenge. ‘The biggest challenge for Lovett from a physical standpoint was maintaining the natural environment while introducing new facilities. The campus is a wooded, almost mountainous site. It is also located in the Chattahoochee River Corridor thus the plan had to meet certain development mandates. It’s a beautiful site, and our primary goal was to maintain an aesthetic and environmental quality to the campus and really improve on that’. After a half year planning process, which included gaining design approval from the City of Atlanta as well as the Atlanta Regional Commission, the team started construction in 2001. Phase 1A of the implementation plan took place on the north side of campus and with the new Upper School included the construction of a 300-space parking deck. The deck accommodates Upper School student vehicles during the school week and overflow parking for athletic and other events after hours. The deck enabled the previous student parking lot to be converted into a riverside athletic field, reclaiming more campus green space. Sidewalks were also added to make the campus more pedestrian friendly. ‘The primary concern regarding the deck was the visual impact. The location we chose, at the edge of the campus, minimized the impact yet functions well and lessens the amount of cars on the campus proper’, Good explained. In addition, HGOR designed the new Post Plaza. The plaza serves as an activity center and gathering area for the Upper and Middle Schools. Native southeastern boulders were hand selected by the landscape architect, then sited in the plaza to conform to the existing natural habitat on the campus. On the south side, Phase 1B included the new Lower School and associated open space. A new playground for K-1 was also constructed. Various paving elements

and material were used to create a passive/active place for children to interact. Scored patterns and textures are located within the two-toned colored concrete along with a central tricycle path weaving through the entire space. Areas are designated for hopscotch and foursquare play within the intricate paving patterns along with zones of synthetic turf and rubberized surfaces. Due to the high volume of foot traffic, it was essential from a design and practical sense to provide surfaces that will be favorable to such use.

Good said, ‘The riverbank was overwhelmed by exotic invasive shrubs and vines which continued to choke out the native ecosystem. We knew if we simply removed this material, it would return. So we replanted the bank with native riparian plants which could offer some competition and provide critical slope stabilization along the Chattahoochee River’. Along with the restoration of the stream was the reestablishment of a Memorial Garden displaced by the last two years of construction and establishing an adjacent garden in honor of a former headmaster and his wife. Located in front of the Lower School, the gardens are dedicated to the founder, Eva Edwards Lovett, and in grateful appreciation of the school’s most recent former headmaster, Dr. Jim Hendrix. The Dell contains an amphitheater, sculpture garden and many learning areas for teachers to take their classes outside. Throughout the entire garden, engraved rocks are etched with inscriptions of importance to Mrs. Lovett and inspirational sayings from famous authors used frequently by Dr. Hendrix, who envisioned this upgrade for a more suitable learning atmosphere. HGOR’s work on the Lovett renovation was recognized by a national publication honoring education design excellence. The project earned a Landscape Architecture Citation for outstanding design in the 2004 Architectural Portfolio of American School & University magazine, having been chosen from the entries of architectural firms across the country. The Lovett School has seen many changes in its nearly 80-year history. None have been quite as dramatic or positive as in the implementation of the Master Campus Plan, which has helped develop the grounds into a multi-functional campus that meets the needs of modern-day education, while preserving its peaceful serenity and environmental quality. ‘At the end of the day, we worked with a quality group of people at Lovett who really had a vision’, Good said. ‘The vision of the master plan was followed through to the implementation projects. The quality of the buildings designed by SBRA and the quality of the environment was just what you thought it would be when completed. The success of the projects is a tribute to the Lovett community’, Good concluded.

ROOF GARDEN The Lovett School, The New Middle School


PUBLISHED EDITORIAL It’s Alive: Growing Trend in Green Roofs School Planning & Management



his month, Atlanta’s Lovett School, a private K-12 school in northwest Atlanta, will begin construction on an eagerly anticipated ‘green’ middle school that has undergone careful planning involving not only the architects, but also 14 of the school’s teachers. The highlight of the 75,000square foot brick and glass building will be its rooftop education garden and outdoor classroom, designed by Atlanta based planning and design firm HGOR in collaboration with Boston architecture firm Shepley Bulfinch. The new Lovett Middle School is also vying for LEED-Silver ranking for its design.

The new Lovett Middle School has undergone extensive planning and research to make it one of the only middle schools of its kind. After careful research of independent middle schools in Atlanta and Nashville, the building has been architecturally designed for consideration of a silver LEED ranking. ‘The entire middle school building will serve as an environmental classroom for the students,” says Billy Peebles, Lovett’s headmaster. “The building incorporates many energy-efficient and sustainable features, but perhaps none are as anticipated as the roof garden’! Keeping with Lovett’s and HGOR’s commitment to environmental stewardship, the Middle School’s roof garden features elements that work as learning tools. Students and teachers will use the garden classroom to conduct botany experiments and learn in a natural environment. The garden features drought tolerant plant species, adapted to Georgia’s climate, to be cared for by the Middle School students. In addition to the plant collection, accent areas will include sections of granite outcrop taken from local quarries. Both offer students the opportunity to study native plants and geology. The green roof also has a unique approach to water irrigation and conservation. A water channel meanders across the garden, providing students with a small ecosystem to study. Rainwater is collected in the channel, which flows to a nearby 1,500-gallon cistern. This rainwater, added with condensation from the heating and air systems will irrigate the roof garden as needed. The collection pools will be built using recycled material.

he Lovett School recently built a new middle school. As on site landscape design consultants with Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott

The garden also helps to reduce solar energy absorbed by the school’s roof, resulting in lower utility costs for the school. The roof’s limited

Architects, HGOR designed a classroom roof deck that implements green ideas. With LEED standards as a model, Lovett taught students about sustainable practices through an on site example.

paving will have a high solar reflectance index to decrease heat absorption. Solar panels will be placed on the roof to harvest the sun’s power for heating water.

The roof garden furthered the school’s tradition of environmental education through working examples. The green deck housed functioning water collecting cisterns, solar panels, artificial wildlife habitats (native bat huts), and planting areas. The main feature of the garden was a custom designed rain water runnel that traversed the deck. The planting palette was of native and specimen species.

‘This rooftop educational garden will be instrumental in teaching the values of environmental stewardship to those who will benefit from it the most’, says Lauren Standish, Associate and Project Manager with HGOR. ‘It allows students to learn about the environment directly from the source’. Lovett expects the new Lovett Middle School and rooftop education garden to be completed in August 2009.

New state of the art play equipment sits on a rubberized surface that makes it a safe play environment. When kids fall (and they will), the blow is softened by the spongy, 4-inch-deep flooring. The Kompan equipment (while providing traditional activities such as climbing, sliding and swinging ) is designed to appeal to young children, inviting role-play, sparking imagination and developing important fundamental skills. The recreational area is not only a play area, but also a multifunctional area for outside teaching. ‘The play spaces are somewhat unique’, Good said. ‘We were constrained by the area we had available but were able to get creative with some of the surfaces and the play equipment being age-specific. All of the area is handicapped accessible, and all safety zones have to be met from a criteria standpoint’. Phase II construction of the playground will begin this June, focusing on grades 2-5. Expansions will include 8,000 square foot synthetic turf grass, 5,000 square feet of pour-in-place rubberized surface equipment, Kompan multi-use pieces (Argo, Super Nova and Bellatrix), two basketball hoops, two swings, a climbing wall and a small amphitheater.

Roof Garden Conceptual Sketch

‘In nature, every moment is new’. - Ralph Waldo Emerson The second part of Phase 1B was restoring the stream that runs through the Lovett campus. Before redesigning the area, the team had to make sure they followed certain environmental codes because the stream is a tributary leading to the Chattahoochee. Mitigation of the stream began once it was approved by city and state agencies. The HGOR design used native plant materials to re-stabilize the slopes of the stream and developed series of sedimentation pools and stone channels to help purify the water before flowing into the river. The completed stream and the surrounding garden, known as “The Dell,” now serve as a focus to the Lower School as well as providing environmental education opportunities. HGOR also coordinated the planting of native plant material in the areas adjacent to the Chattahoochee River.

Myotis lucifugus

Middle School Roof Garden

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Acuity Plaza Technology Square, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, United States

INTRODUCTION Hughes, Good, O’Leary & Ryan, Spring 2008


s a flag ship university, Georgia Institute of Technology sets itself apart by adhering to strict environmental rehabilitation practices. Georgia Tech’s initiative to create a pedestrian and environmentally-oriented campus became a reality through several design implementation projects by HGOR. Georgia Tech’s main campus occupied a large part of Midtown Atlanta, bordered by 10th Street to the north and by North Avenue to the south, placing it well in sight of the Atlanta skyline. In 1996, the campus was the site of the athletes’ village and a venue for a number of athletic events for the 1996 Summer Olympics.

DESIGN Midtown Gateway for the University


cuity Plaza was a one and a half million dollar design competition to revitalize an urban square on the corner of West Peachtree and Fifth Street. The goal of the project was to transform the space into a gateway from Midtown Atlanta into Georgia Tech’s campus. Tech awarded the project to HGOR for a design that introduced elaborate green geometry. The LEED accredited College of Management building embraced the new plaza. So, the additional green space brought in more elements of sustainability. Below the lawn panel detention volts collected storm water run-off allowing for slow release back into the water table.

Acuity Plaza


Following city standards, the state allocated strict policies with regards to tree protection on Georgia Tech’s campus. The campus strategy read that a design must replace every caliper inch of tree removed from a site. Structural soils supported pedestrian pavers for a large area of the plaza. This detail allowed for oxygen to penetrate the sub-grade creating a larger root growth zones. Thus maintaining the future health of all trees on site.

HGOR Designs Urban Sustainable Plaza at Georgia Tech Acuity Plaza is Now Eastern Gateway to Georgia Tech’s Campus and Welcome Relief from Urban Congestion September 2008

The open atmosphere truly magnifies the grandness of the plaza and supported the gateway concept. Midtown residents and businessmen feel more at liberty to enjoy the retail, restaurants and resources Technology Square offered.

Acuity Plaza, Pre-construction


GOR, an Atlanta architecture firm, the new eastern Institute of Technology

planning and landscape has designed Acuity Plaza, gateway to the Georgia campus. Located at West

Peachtree and Fifth Streets, the environmentally friendly plaza will function as a gathering place for students, faculty, residents, workers and passersby. The plaza is now officially open after more than two semesters of being closed.


The newest part of Technology Square was designed by HGOR to serve Georgia Tech and the surrounding community and to set a new standard for open spaces in Atlanta. The completed project represents a green and pedestrian-friendly environment while remaining urban in its character and true to the image and identity of Georgia Tech. PHASE 2

‘Acuity Plaza has dramatically changed Technology Square,” said Lauren Standish, Project Manager for HGOR. It has opened up the eastern side of the campus, made it more inviting, and created a sustainable center of campus activity. We are glad to see students, workers and residents alike enjoying the elements of the space, and we look forward to carrying over the social, environmental and economic principles into Phase II’.

Acuity Plaza Master Plan

At the onset of the project, HGOR was responsible for examining the potential character of the new plaza and conducting an urban design study recommending both landscape improvements and building expansion options that contribute to the urban campus life but also to the people working in the nearby Midtown business district. The firm was charged with creating a place where students and others could be connected and inspired. HGOR designed Acuity Plaza with a large, formal, raised lawn to anchor the space. The lawn area also accommodates significant underground stormwater retention and recharge. Restaurants and retail outlets, built-in seating and an outdoor terrace dining area invite pedestrians away from heavilytrafficked streets. A site lighting program includes step lights, tree uplights and LED pavement lighting, leading to the entrance of the College of Management. Formal tree bisques provide shade in the summer and opportunities for seating and outdoor dining underneath. ‘HGOR listened and responded well to the needs of Georgia Tech,” said Howard Werthheimer, Director of Capital Planning and Space Management for the university. “Acuity Plaza reflects the collaboration and exchange of ideas that has shaped Technology Square into a new, invigorated part of Midtown’.

Acuity Plaza

A formal dedication of Acuity Plaza took place after nightfall on September 8, 2008 where HGOR representatives, Georgia Tech administrators and Acuity Brands representatives were present. At the dedication ceremony, Acuity Brands, the sponsor for the construction, officially opened the plaza with a ceremonial ‘flip of the switch’ to showcase the new design of the plaza under lighting that Acuity Brands markets. page 5

DESIGN DETAILS Custom Details, 100% Construction Document Set

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Dowman Drive Emory University Atlanta, Georgia, United States

INTRODUCTION Hughes, Good, O’Leary & Ryan, Fall 2008


mory University was a private research university located in metropolitan Atlanta. Notably, The university followed a mission statement 'to create, preserve, teach, and apply knowledge in the service of humanity’. In recent years, Emory became dedicated to issues relating to sustainability and the environment. The University had more than two million square feet of building space certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, and the school had a commitment to having three quarters of the food they serve on campus come from local or sustainable sources by 2015. The University holds the distinction of having one of the largest inventories by square footage of LEED-certified building space among campuses in America.

Tamias striatus

DESIGN Gateway for the University


s a capstone to master plan efforts, Emory proposed to revitalize an existing retail district along Dowman Drive. The Emory Village was a public place for students and community members to shop, eat, and socialize. The Emory Village site complemented efforts to implement traffic calming measures along Dowman Drive, and a project to reinstate the historic main entrance to Emory University through the Haygood -Hopkins Memorial Gateway. Dowman Drive was reengineered to merge the traffic from five major thoroughfares. This new roundabout also served as a tool for district bioremediation. With strategic grading, the site’s landscape areas sat lower then all paved surfaces. This allowed them to serve as bio-swales. The swales filtered storm water runoff then drained the water into subsurface volts. The landscape architecture team used a native plant palette, choosing vegetation that loved wet conditions but still provide beauty for the street.

Vaccinium darrowii

Emory’s campus provided an endless academic resource. More importantly, the campus served the Atlanta metropolitan area by protecting a large acreage of neighboring woodlands. The Emory forest (located on campus) was home to native wildlife and tree species. In this design tree protection efforts were strict to help preserve as many large caliper trees as possible.

and went on to found and serve as the first president of Georgia School of Technology (now Georgia Tech). The original gate, a gift of Linton Robeson 1886C who attended Emory College during the presidency of both Haygood and Hopkins, was damaged in a series of accidents. In 1947, on two separate occasions a hightop truck attempting to drive through the gate hit the wrought iron arch that connects the two pillars of the gate as well as the lantern at the center of the arch. Then in 1971, despite that large vehicles had been banned from entering campus through the gate, a tractor-trailer attempted to pass under the gate and caused further damage to it. As a result, the gateway became a pedestrian walkway under which no cars could pass. In order to allow traffic to once again pass under the gate, however, Johnson said, ‘We raised the metal archway and dropped the road, so a tour bus and even a fire engine can pass underneath (without damaging the gate).’ Aside from those and a few other changes, though, Johnson said the new gate is highly similar to the original. ‘We even used the same Georgia marble that was used in the original gate,’ Johnson said.

Emory Village Conceptual Sketch



To establish the most efficient traffic flow between the roundabout and campus, Johnson continued, Dowman Drive - the main entry to campus, which passes by the Administration Building, among others - needed to be converted to a one-way road at the entrance. And so, the University decided to restore the gate to its historic use and have traffic once again pass beneath it. In recent years, Dowman Drive was a two-way street that passed just to the west of the gate. Once construction is finished, Johnson added, visitors will once again be able to drive in to campus under the gate when they come to Emory.

When asked why the University decided to reconstruct the gate, Johnson said, ‘The main reason is the roundabout (that’s scheduled to be constructed) in Emory Village.’

First dedicated in 1937, the gate honors two of Emory’s former presidents: Atticus Greene Haygood 1859C and Stiles Hopkins 1859C. Haygood, a preacher and philanthropist, served as Emory president from 1875 to 1884 and was a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South from 1890 until his death. Hopkins served as Emory president from 1884 to 1888

Somebody Opened the Gate Emory Wire

By JESSICA SANFORD (10C) May 2009 fter nearly a year of construction, the newly restored Haygood-Hopkins Memorial Gate, the historic front entrance to Emory’s Atlanta campus, is only a few minor steps away from being completed, according to project manager James Johnson and supporting Landscape Architecture firm HGOR.

Marble Columns at Entrance

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DESIGN DETAILS Custom Details, 100% Construction Document Set

University Entrance

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Aberdeen VillAge Center Peachtree City, Georgia, United States

INTRODUCTION Georgia Tech, Urban Design Studio, Fall 2009


eachtree City, an award-winning master planned community located south of Atlanta was founded in 1959. The suburb was uniquely designed. The city does not include a downtown or business district, but rather four village centers. These centers stood as commercial and community hubs servicing (within walking distance) neighboring subdivisions. Each center was originally programmed to include standard community utilities like groceries and post.


Unfortunately, with the development on Big Box retail in neighboring counties, several of the original village centers became defunct. The Georgia Tech Urban Design studio was hired to redesign the four village centers to maximize the profitability of the existing land over a three week charrette.









Aberdeen was the oldest and smallest village center. The existing site was 475,661 square feet (approximately eleven acres) in area with 56,343 square feet of total retail and 312 parking spaces. Site landscape included pines and evergreen shrubs located in parking lot, and fine quality deciduous and understory trees located in low lying areas. The relatively flat topography still indicated that storm water drains to the northeast; there it









Existing Site Plan






Subdivide land into public and private parcels

Design storm water run-off into an amenity feature

reconnected with an existing swale which flowed to a retention lake. The site had one high point that was located in a parking island. Afternoon sun hit the front of building. While the on site doctor’s office, lowlands and building’s rear were in heavy to moderate shade. Adjacent land includes numerous subdivisions of single family housing and commercial developments. Notable commercial developments included The Avenues a mini mall about a quarter mile west, Commercial Park an adjacent strip mall, and West Park Walk Shopping center. Note worthy civic amenities include the City Hall & Library located a quarter mile to the east, several churches, and the adjacent Community Center.

DESIGN Major Moves - Regulation Plan



Establish connections through framework of right-of-ways

Plant tree buffers to visually separate village center from adjacent roads

With market competition established from the unchecked growth of nearby retail. The parcel also was limited by a lack of visual identity from the main thoroughfare, a lack of physical connections to surrounding community, antiquated buildings, and poor site layout.

‘the critical problem with Aberdeen village center is a lack of presence and purpose for the community’ 0’

PUBLIC (1.0 acres)

’ 273

3 16





PUBLIC (0.9 acres)

’ 40

’ 225

40 ’

PRIVATE (1.3 acres)

PUBLIC (1.2 acres)

29 4’

’ 100




PRIVATE (1.7 acres)

PUBLIC (1.3 acres)


’ 240

’ 0 10






Proposed Regulation Plan


Move 5 - Establish connections from adjacent parcels to Aberdeen Parkway



Move 4 - Plant forest buffers to protect the village center from adjacent roads

PRIVATE (1.3 acres)


Move 3 - Design storm water run-off into an amenity feature



Move 2 - Increase opportunities for future connections to the site by establishing a frame work of right of ways



Move 1 - Subdivision of land into public and private parcels



Without a set program in place, the design team established basic design moves that maximized the market appeal of the site. The site changes were a direct result of parcel location, size, adjacent context, topography, market trends and existing conditions. The main goal of these moves were to establish a regulation that would allow for the city to market the site to a host of different programs/ tenants, while maintaining success and the ability to change the site over time.

15 0’


With youthful and larger retail within driving distance of Aberdeen. Redevelopment of the existing program would not be ideal. Aberdeen would be better suited for high density housing, office space, minor retail, or recreation.

page 9


igh D n it


o inn







Scheme One: Corporate Headquarters


Scheme Two: Single Family Detached Houses






Scheme Three: Row Houses, Multi-Family & Retail




Scheme Four: Mixed Use & Row Houses

page p. 100

Tobacco Road coRRidoR DO NT WN GUSTA

Augusta, Georgia, United States

INTRODUCTION Georgia Tech, Urban Design Studio, Fall 2009


ugusta was located along the Savannah River by British settlers in 1736. What was once a trade stop has grown into a significant metropolis. The city of Augusta and Richmond County governments merged operations in 1996; as of 2009, the Augusta-Richmond County estimated population was approximately two hundred thousand not counting the unconsolidated cities of Hephzibah and Blythe. This made Augusta the second-largest city in Georgia and the second-largest metro area in the state after Atlanta. However like most southern cities, Augusta was a victim of urban sprawl and by no means considered dense. Faulted by poor planning and zoning codes, Augusta seemed to just be undesirable under utilize land.







In a three week long charrette, the Tobacco Road Corridor and the city of Blythe, were two of the numerous case studies used to explore the effects of the revised codes.











The urban design studio at Georgia Tech was commissioned by the city of Augusta to review and re-imagine their subdivision regulations. The intent of this mission was to determine which minor changes would have the most productive effect on land use and appeal.







he studio first examined connections. With standard cul-de-sac design ever present in Augusta, The design team sought to reword the code and eliminate them. Creating a stronger street network and relieve traffic and congestion tension. Scheme One also explored the concept of fronts and backs. The Tobacco Road Corridor contains numerous natural preserves and waterways. New code prohibited parcels from backing onto this land and required a right of way. Thus exploiting the vacant property as a park system and increasing neighboring property values.

Existing Site Plan

EXISTING Article IV, Sec. 400 B. Land Subdivision Regulations: Minor or residential streets shall be so laid out that their use by through traffic is discouraged. RE-IMAGINED Article IV, Sec. 400 B. Land Subdivision Regulations: Minor or residential streets shall be so laid out that their use by through traffic is encouraged where feasible.

Re-Imagined Connections

Existing Connections


Most traffic would not have origins or destinations within the immediate area traversed.

street parking if necessary with appropriate bulb out design.

cheme Two explored the zoning that regulated street dimensions and setbacks. By simplifying the written code, the design team was able to establish a street hierarchy and more consistent neighborhood look. Setbacks were a major issue in Augusta subdivisions because rarely did the laws physically fulfill their initial intent. The setback for single family homes were passed on lot dimensions and not right of ways. Therefore narrow lots executed shorter setbacks then broader lots regardless of the fact that both homes faced the same street.


Residential Collector - minimum 5’ sidewalk, minimum 5’ planting strip, two lanes of traffic (11’), on street parking if necessary with appropriate bulb out design, 5’ painted bike lanes, (bike lanes unnecessary if sidewalk is 8’ or greater).

Minor Street - 5’ sidewalk, minimum 3-5’ foot planting strip, two lanes of traffic (11’), on street parking if necessary with appropriate bulb out design.

Collector - minimum 5’ sidewalk, minimum planting strip, traffic lanes 11’ each.



Article IV, Sec. 400 H. Land Subdivision Regulations: Street right-of-way widths shall be as shown in the Official Road Book and on the Official Map, and for new streets they shall be as follows:


Arterial - 11-12’ traffic lanes, 8-15’ minimum median width where appropriate, 10’ planting strip minimum, 10’ minimum multi-use trail on both sides where applicable.

Residential Street - minimum 5’ sidewalk, minimum 3-5’ planting strip, two lanes of traffic (11’), on

Article IV, Sec. 400 H. Land Subdivision Regulations: Street right-of-way widths shall be as shown in the Official Road Book and on the Official Map, and for new streets they shall be as follows: Minor or Residential Streets - Streets that provide access to frontage properties and are designed to carry traffic having origins or destinations within the immediate area traversed. Such streets are not designed to interconnect adjoining neighborhoods, subdivisions, or non-residential areas. They should be designed so that no segment has an ADT greater than 500. A loop street may be considered two separate streets but the design ADT at any point shall not exceed 500.


25' Setback

Arterial Streets - Higher order, interregional streets that convey traffic between centers. There should be no curb parking and ideally there would be limitations on access to frontage properties.




10 Travel Lane

10 5 Travel Lane Shou de

25' Setback

1' P v m 60' ROW

Existing Residential Street

Residential Collector Streets - The highest order of residential street. Conducts and distributes traffic between lower-order residential streets and higher-order streets (arterial or expressways). Such streets function to promote free traffic flow; therefore, curb parking should be prohibited and special setbacks and/or lot widths should be required. Residential collectors should be designed to prevent use by non-neighborhood traffic. Total traffic volume should not exceed 3,000 ADT. Collector Streets - Streets that connect minor or residential streets to higher order streets, either collectors or arterials. Such streets function to promote free traffic flow, therefore curb parking should be prohibited and special building setbacks and/or lot widths should be required. Collectors should be designed so as not to be attractive as shortcuts for traffic that has neither an origin nor destination within a neighborhood or an immediate area traversed. Residential collectors should have sidewalks on at least one side. Collector streets should be designed to accommodate a maximum ADT of 3,000.


Min. 40' Setback

5 5'


Shou der Travel Lane

10' 5.5' Travel Lane Shoulder

Min. 40' Setback

31' Pavement

l Existing Collector Street 80' R W

Min. 40' Setback

10' Travel Lane

10' Travel Lane

13' Turn ng Lane

10' Travel Lane

10' Travel Lane

Min. 40' Setback

53' Pavement 100' ROW

Existing Arterial Street

Existing Street Sections

page 11


Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, Sec 8-12. No uniformity

50 Max required B Y

30' tback


5 Str p

1 vel Lane




30' Setback

5' 5' Plant ng dewal Str p

Travel Lane '

TO easib IGH R 0’ ’ 60




AY 30 Min. Setback

60' ROW


Proposed Residential Street AC 0

25' Setback

5' dewalk

Min 00



10' Plant ng Str p

5' B ke Lane


' Lane

11' Travel Lane

5' B ke Lane

10' Plant ng Str p

10’ M n S.Y

C25' b

5 dewalk

32' Pavement 0'

Proposed Collector Street

Residential Zone or R1 R-1A R-1B R-1C R-1D

Minimum Setback 25-30’ 25-30’ 25-30’ 25-30’ 15’

esidenti Zone R RR RR-

Minimum width 100 80 75 6 0

R1 ZONE Minimum Sideyard 5-10 5 10’ 5-10’ 5-10’ 5’ Maximum lot cov 30% 0% 30% 30% 30%



Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, Sec 8-12. M 0 S tb ck

10 Mu t Use T a l

10 P ant g Str p

1 ' Tr vel Lane

11' Travel Lane

15' Median

11 Travel Lane

11 Travel Lane

59' Pavement

10' Plant ng St p


10' Mult Use T l




OF GHT 40 a

100' ROW

Proposed Arterial Street


Re-Imagined Street Sections



10 M n S Y.

Residential Zone R1 R-1A R-1B R-1C R-1D

58,20 SF 120 sp es

enti R RR RR-

72 80 SF 44 spa es

Minimum Setback 20-30 , 5 within street pattern 20-30 , 5 within street pattern 20-30 , 5 within street pattern 15-25 , 5 within street pattern 10-20 , 5 within street pattern


wid 50 40 40 30’

Sideyard Requirements Minimum 10’ Minimum 10’ Minimum 5-10’ Minimum 0-5’ Minimum 0-5’ tc 20% 30% 40% 50% %


Best practices for Shared Parking (



he design team sought to increase the market value the Tobacco Road Corridor. By rethinking parking along an emerging commercial node, Scheme Three sought to make a code that would maximize the usability of existing lots. While maintaining a pleasant sense of place. The team overlaid best shared parking practices with different program typologies. The overall goal was to create a walkable district that could accommodate a multitude of businesses and cars.

TYPOLOGIES Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, Sec 4.

Establish standard procedures for implementing Shared Parking which specify how to calculate minimum parking requirements for different combinations of land uses, acceptable walking distances, requirements for sharing agreements, verification and enforcement. Educate planning officials and developers as the potential for Shared Parking and procedures for implementing it. Provide a maximum amount of on-street parking, and public off-street parking as a substitute for private off-street parking. Encourage use of in lieu fees to substitute for private offstreet parking.

Use Transportation Management Associations or local planning agencies to provide Shared Parking matching and brokerage services.

Insure that there is good pedestrian access and appropriate signage for users concerning Shared Parking.

Perform regular parking studies and feedback from users to identify problems with Shared Parking.

Anticipate potential spillover problems, and respond with appropriate regulations and enforcement programs.

57,600 S 88 spaces

46,, 00 SF 2 pace

Total parking spaces provided per code standards -


Excessive Paving Indiv ual Lots Existing Parking

7 single-family ingle-family 28 row houses

Shared Lots

4 singl


Total parking spaces provided with estimated 20% parking drop under shared parking standards -


U iliza ion o p rking as usuable green space connections Re-Imagined Parking

86,500 SF 288 spaces

page 12

LIVING CITY Luijazui, Shanghai, China

INTRODUCTION Georgia Tech, Urban Design Studio, Spring 2010


he National Center for Urban Restoration Ecology stated this decade marked humanity’s transformation into an urban species - for the first time, more people lived in cities than rural areas. Unfortunately, such escalation encouraged the development of non-sustainable environments. In order to support the growth and function of culturally diverse metropolises, designers sought to take into account ecological systems. The incorporation of urban ecology has since become common practice. Old and new cities (re)developed into eco-cities, but what was an eco-city? How were ecocites created and maintained? Georgia Tech planning professor Perry Yang stated, ‘the best practices and models of eco-city were (unfortunately) mainly developed in international consulting firms, not academic community such as planning schools’. Through academic analysis of existing projects, a solution developed that classified a new design method. The best urban spaces designed for environmental impact consideration established a successful division of territory and set key ecological performance indicators for public spaces and private properties. However, green (re) development proposals were never able to fully neutralize their environmental impacts on site. It seemed the city that sequestered carbon by rebuilding

the distant rain forest was the greenest city in the world. What these cities hoped to accomplish stretched far beyond their borders. A holistic conception of what defined a true eco-city proposed regionally planned endeavors. Eco-cities placed environmental impact consideration at the forefront of design. These communities were intended to sustain people. The districts minimized the required input of energy, water, and food. More importantly, eco-cities diminished output from waste, heat, air pollution (carbon dioxide, methane, etc.), and water pollutants. The crux was to create the smallest possible ecological footprint. True Eco-cities produced the lowest quantity of pollution possible, efficiently used the land, and recycled, composted, or converted all waste into energy or reusable materials. Other design benefits allowed minimal climate change, the preservation of wildlife and wild places, and a superb quality of life.

province suffered. The environmental degradation of the Yangtze River and its tributaries due to industrial and agricultural pollution was unyielding. Shanghai’s eco-region hosted numerous bodies of fresh water (Lake Tai, Suzhou Creek, etc), with the Hangpu River as the major tributary that serviced Shanghai. This main water way bisected the city before it merged with the greater Yangtze River and emptied into the East China Sea.

Eco-cities powered themselves with renewable sources of energy. In the past, a proper sustainable city fed itself with minimal reliance on the surrounding countryside. This principal was not completely ideal. Cities have never been considered fully closed systems. All cities of this earth were built as part of the global structure, therefore they were privileged to use, mitigate, and replenish global resources. In the urban design studio, the concept of an eco-city further developed. A new methodology was retroactively applied to Lujiazui, Shanghai’s central business district.



hrough analysis of existing projects, a clear strategy to holistically address the development or redevelopment of cities was established. First, territory must be divided into distinct manageable blocks that allowed for urban succession and adaptation over time. Once a framework was instituted, performance indicators should be set based on ecological function and urban livability. Conclusively, off-site strategies were pivotal in the success of any green city project given the scope and scale of a city’s environmental impact.



reliminary analysis of the region concluded that the metropolitan area of Greater Shanghai sat within the Changijang Plain Evergreen Forest Eco-Region of China (the Yangtze River watershed). This region boasted biodiversity and extraordinary geographical features. Yet the

Century Avenue

Streetscape originated from Borneo-Sporenburg, Amsterdam

page 13




n Shanghai the amount of carbon produced was a key indicator of the sites sustainability. The initial goal of the project was to produce a zero carbon eco-city within existing Shanghai. That task was a herculean endeavor. The central business district alone produced a half million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. Since the amount of carbon was so high, the implementation of green architecture would best fulfill this goal.

reen field community planning was the cradle that supported the rise of environmentally conscious designs. As a need for urban places increased, governments set goals to develop numerous new ‘green’ towns. This green objective was fully driven by popular culture. The attractiveness of sustainability was used by municipalities and developers to sell, lease, or rent new communities. This global phenomenon can best be seen domestically in a small scale format. Notable eco-cities in the United States included Arcosanti, Arizona (a twenty five acre plat, seventy miles north of Phoenix developed by Italian architect Paolo Soleri) and Treasure Island in San Francisco, California (a four hundred acre man-made island located in San Francisco Bay which was developed by the Lennar Corporation). Larger scaled American developments have been planned in Florida and Nevada, but trends indicated that big city eco planning was most ideal for the Asian markets. High populous Eco-cities have become a running theme among international design firms. In Asia, they have produced numerous plat designs. These new cities included: SinoSingapore Tianjin Eco-city designed by local governments, Dongtan: Shanghai designed by ARUP, Tangshan Caofeidian: China designed by SWECO, and Masdar Eco-city: Abu Dhabi by Norman Foster. Design/Planning firms successfully planned and were prepared to implement cities throughout the Far East before global markets fell. These planned communities established precedents and laid out the framework for what defined the new town eco-city.

undamental urban design rules were the core of the Living City project. The primary objective was to develop a place for people to live, function, and do business. Other goals included the implementation of best water management practices, the establishment of a dense urban forest, the restoration of natural habitat, and the overall enhancement of the city’s sense of place. The urban design proposal understood that the regulation of private property within a municipality could only be achieved through law and zoning. The effects of policy only controlled individual properties; the full achievement was incremental and occurred over time. Therefore, retrofitted downtowns must first be implemented on public land.


Unfortunately, most buildings did not fully embrace those construction practices, and green policy was never imposed. Therefore, the next method researched was to plant trees to sequester the carbon. However, analysis proved the concept of a zero carbon Lujiazui via trees was a regional scheme since the site could not host the amount of trees required to obtain carbon neutrality. It would take approximately the land area of eighteen additional central business districts of planted trees at five foot spacing to neutralize the carbon produced in Lujiazui. The proposed policy for carbon mitigation still fostered local opportunities. Carbon mitigation as an overlay zone, effectively managed the built environment. The code utilized the environmental area ratio (EAR) of the private parcels to finance public street redevelopment. This strategy was comparable to Atlanta’s tree protection ordinance and storm water management plans respectively.



Standard Block: World Finical Center Block

If those goals were not met, the property owner supplied funding to the civic restoration of the public realm. Within the carbon mitigation overlay zone, new building would adopt the latest technologies to maintain a low footprint while existing buildings are forced into paying recompense.

Since the overlay zone will initially cover the entire central business district of Pudong and require the mitigation of carbon dioxide produced by the burning of fossil fuels. Annual energy usage shall become a regulatory tool to require the mitigation of CO2 through biomass sequestration on site or in large acre tree banks located throughout greater Shanghai. Carbon mitigation areas outside the CBD shall serve multiple functions including but not limited to: establishment of a greenbelt, carbon dioxide sequestration, urban heat island reduction, promotion of biodiversity, and maintaining water quality within the region.


The fundamental component of ecological design at the city scale begins with how the blocks were defined. This meant the establishment of sustainable network of rights of way. Studies have shown that smaller block sizes, two hundred feet and up to four hundred feet, promote walkable neighborhoods and healthier districts. These smaller block sizes allowed for the creation of an arrangement of pubic green space that created a functioning and sustainable circulation system. The subdivision of the existing super blocks, created a new network of streets. These public rights of way were programmed for pedestrian and bicycle use only. Therefore, these blocks permitted incremental implementation over time as properties redevelop. The proposed framework regulation plan allowed eco-boulevards to cut through existing buildings.



changes that mitigated the impact of millions while preserving wild undisturbed places.


ities were invented over four thousand years ago. They have since grown, developed, and retrofitted themselves to accommodate new standards and technologies. The modern trend for sustainable urban environments posed a new challenge. How might designers re-engineer existing urban systems to incorporate green infrastructure? Municipalities have sought consultation and requested proposals to achieve that goal. A commonality among submittals showed retrofit master plans for greener towns were primarily planned on public land. Environmentally conscious designs only used the public right of way to integrate urban ecological initiatives. These green street movements were ideal, since the redevelopment of private properties might only be achieved through policy over long periods of time. This strategy was best seen in domestic and eastern design competition proposals. Some of these proposals included: Qingdao Eco-Block - Changing the paradigm for fast-paced Urban Development in China, Chicago’s Growing Water (Eco-Boulevards) by Urban Lab, and Atlanta’s City in the Forest by EDAWAECOM, Praxis3, BNIM, and Metcalf & Eddy. These retrofitted green cities provided the most potential benefit to the environment. They implemented




46.5 Blocks OR 495 Acres of Trees CO2 Biomass Sequestration Equivalents: land area requirement based on energy use

As shown in the diagrams above, it is implied that should the current building be demolished, any future developments would agree to public access along the proposed right of way. Thus transforming the layout of the city over time, without the destruction of existing (expensive) architecture.

page 14



he development of a carbon mitigation plan allowed civic enhancements for Lujiazui. When parcels did not meet code requirements the property owner paid recompense. These funds were allocated to enhance the public realm. Century Avenue serviced the district as a means of connectivity. This thoroughfare became the corner stone and central axis of the living city. The broad boulevard was retro-fitted to include a green canopy that unified streetscape elements on adjacent blocks as well as provided a tangible link for wildlife and people to the living park system. The century avenue elevated walk adapted to meet the needs of the adjacent blocks as it traverses the district crossing through the marsh and forest lands respectively. Secondly, The location for wildlife corridors along Lujiazui Ring Road, Huaguanshiqiao Road, Yinchang East Road, Dongyuan Road, Fenghe Road and Lujiazui West Road served to connect isolated populations of plants and animals along the river to Century Park via Century Avenue. This objective maintained genetic diversity among native animal and plant species. This method allowed animals to accrue a larger range and transport sees of pollen with them, an accommodation that prevented local extinction. As a third move to enhance the green appeal of the public realm, the riparian arpent street layout of Lujiazui was enhanced to utilize the natural topography of the district and formally mitigate storm water. Streets that form a crescent with the river bend were dedicated to storm water infiltration. Medians along Yincheng Middle Road, Lujiazui Ring Road, Fucheng Road, and Dongtai Road were devoted to bioremediation. The sheet flow of storm water traversed the site and gather along these infiltration basins. Below each swale, large scale detention vaults allowed for the slow release of rain water back into the water table. The subdivision of the existing super blocks, created a new network of streets. These public rights of way were programmed for pedestrian and bicycle use only. Therefore, these blocks permitted incremental implementation over time as properties redevelop. The proposed framework regulation plan allowed eco-boulevards to cut through existing buildings. It is implied that should the current building be demolished, any future developments would agree to public access along the proposed right of way. This was the forth public urban design move. Finally, pedestrian piers and bridges were erected to activate the water front and connect the CBD with

the world. Some key examples included: EDITT Tower in Singapore by T.R.Hamzah & Yeang, Gwanggyo in Seoul South Korea by Dutch design group MvRDv, Sky village in Copenhagen by Dutch architects MvRDv & co-architects Danish ADEPT, Sky village in Copenhagen Denmark by Dutch architects MvRDv



Proposed Figure Ground

T 1

hrough analysis of existing projects, a clear strategy to holistically address the ecological development or redevelopment of cities has been established. First, territory must be divided into distinct public and private domains which allowed for urban succession and adaptation over time. Once a framework was instituted, performance indicators were set based on ecological function and urban livability. Conclusively, whist on-site civic initiatives were lagniappe, off-site strategies were pivotal in the success of a green city project given the scope and scale of a city’s environmental impact.

Zoned Standard

STUDIO EDITORIAL Tongji Urban Design Workshop School of Architecture Georgia Institute of Technology

BY PROFESSOR PERRY YANG November 13, 2009 An Urban Design Research of Shanghai’s downtown and waterfront in Pudong


T 2 Zoned River Front / Marsh

Public Design Moves



The second area of civic and ecological enhancement was the waterfront. Traditionally, river bends such as the Lujiazui peninsula formed natural filters for water. Sediment settled as unrestrained flood waters rush over low lying lands during seasonal river crests. For the living city, the tip of Lujiazui (the blocks surrounding the Oriental Pearl Tower) served a similar function with the use of mechanically controlled dykes. As these dykes opened and closed, they allowed river water to flow onto the site. The water entered a system which functioned as a biofiltration marsh. Once in the system, the water filtered naturally and permeated down into the water table. The site was engineered to accommodate both river water and storm runoff. The wetlands at the rivers bend played an integral role in the cities ecology. The system was engineered to reclaim enough storm and river water to carry the minimum three hundred square feet of pond surface area to attract a migratory bird species. Previously the marsh were dedicated to the mitigation of rain and river water, but eventually grey water systems could adapt to accommodate both grey and black water from surrounding buildings via the green and crescent street networks. During unusually high seasonal rain events, the river dykes will not allow river water to enter the lower marsh. Instead, rain water from greater Lujiazui will overflow the crescent streets and circulate through the bioremediation system.


the Bund. Both structures served a duel function. They each provided usable space for people as well as wildlife. Large canopies were fashioned to the piers. These canopies created isolated roof gardens along the river’s edge for native and/or migrating birds, insects and plants. Below these piers the littoral shelf of the newly defined river edge allowed efficient space for native grass and perennial communities. Littoral shelves were important for a successful aquatic ecosystem. They produced a stable river bank and provided shelter and a healthier breading environment for fish, birds, amphibians and reptiles. The board walks also provided a public education feature by allowing pedestrians close access to a working hydrologic system.

ujiazui was considered the central business district for China’s business capital (Shanghai). Therefore the proposal functioned as both a living city and a thriving business city. In the Living City proposal, the constructed business towers remained in place, and several more were proposed. With this in mind a proposed transit system links the existing CBD with the project’s second phase, a sustainable residential community that was located just southwest of Century Park. Through the carbon mitigation policy many of the existing building retrofitted themselves and property to include higher leaf counts or more efficient utilities. On the other hand, newly proposed architecture will have the luxury of being innovative. Numerous examples of green architecture can be seen around

reason, three superblocks adjacent to the central green were left intact. These large blocks were home to the three tallest building in Shanghai (Jin Mao Building, Shanghai World Financial Center & the Shanghai Tower). Located in the core of Lujiazui, these three towers expressed monument status. Their level of civic importance was enhanced through zoning. These blocks were dedicated to maximizing canopy cover and parkland. Similar to the placement of museums in central park, the zoning of these three blocks allocated a pastoral park setting.

3 Zoned Civic Buildings / Forest

& co-architects Danish ADEPT, and Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. zoning districts that required denser canopy coverage or wetlands systems also helped in establishing Lujiazui’s sense of place. For that

he Georgia Tech - Tongji Urban Design Studio, a new initiative in the College of Architecture’s International Urban Design programs and projects, is jointly initiated by faculty in Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture in Atlanta and Tongji’s College of Architecture and Urban Planning in Shanghai. The objective of the project is to provide an ongoing platform for faculty and students of the two schools to develop common intellectual interests and explore collaborative teaching, learning and research opportunities in Shanghai and Atlanta, especially in the area of sustainable urbanism. The two week long urban design workshop in December 2009 is an intensive site inventory and conceptual design exercise to investigate the waterfront and new downtown setting at Lujiazui, Pudong CBD and surroundings in Shanghai. It’s the first stage of the project followed by a semester long studio in the Spring 2010 that will be operated collaboratively by the two schools in both sides of Atlanta and Shanghai. There will be a visitation of Tongji faculty to Georgia Tech at Atlanta at the end of the Spring studio in April 2010. The workshop and studio will include 14 to 15 students from both Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture and Tongji’s College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Lujiazui, Shanghai’s new downtown in Pudong, is known for its radical transformation from a former urban fringe filled with industries, slums and farm lands to a spectacular urban skyline today that represents China’s linkage to the world economy. Beginning with the declaration of “Open Pudong, Develop Pudong” by the central government of China in early 1990s, Shanghai became an urban laboratory for large-scale urban development. As a governmentinitiated mega project, the ‘Manhattan in the East’ at Lujiazui/Pudong CBD attracted both global and domestic investment and caught the whole world’s attention. To lure major financial institutions to set up operations, the old urban fabric and social formation have been replaced by a new landscape of office environments built by global capital. Shanghai’s Lujiazui/Pudong CBD was thus planned as Shanghai’s new tertiary sector center, with emphasis on financial services, retail, real estate, business consulting and government services.

page 15

Downtown Bioremediation Marsh

Bridge adapted from Promenade Plantee in Paris

Shanghai’s Lujiazui/Pudong CBD suffers problems that plague many downtowns in American cities and more recently in some Asian cities. Functional planning approaches, following primary principles of profitability, optimum land resources and independent operations of institutions and corporations, are reflected in isolated land parcels, object-like building design, intensive development of high-rise urban form, supported by specialized circulation and parking systems. Public open space is often segregated and the pedestrian environment is ignored when compared to commercial and historical districts of Puxi on the other side of Huangpu River. If cities are only formed over time and from dense fusions of necessity and cultural desire, then the fundamental question for the studio will be how to make sense of Shanghai’s instant urbanism. Not only global forces and local mechanisms but also cultural imaginations of what a global city should look like drove the transformation of Shanghai. The complexity, hybridity and ephemerality of Shanghai’s urban landscapes provide an extraordinary opportunity for the exploration of analysis, design and representational strategies linked to urban experience, process and form in pursuit of sustainable urbanism.

Huangpu River Edge

Bridges Borneo-Sporenburg designed and built by West 8, Amesterdam

Danaus plexippus

Century Avenue Pedestrian Bridge

Bridge concept inspired and adapted from Passerelle Simone de Beuvoir in Paris

Note: Photo simu atio s we e assemb ed by studio g oup membe s at Geo gia Tech

page 16

2012 Portfolio  

a sampling of work...