Portfolio Landscape Architecture Kevin Gill, MLA
Cover: Illuminated stainless steel and wooden railing designed in AutoCAD and 3d Studio
Contents Projects & Competitions Construction Documents Drawing, Painting, Furniture, Woodturning
Cornell Student Memorial
In 2009 and 2010, Cornell University experienced a number of tragic student deaths which prompted the consideration of a student memorial. Site selection was important on this busy academic campus. Ideally the location would offer the opportunity for quiet contemplation without being relegated to a lonely part of the campus. After assessing the aural conditions in a number or areas, I chose the site depicted above. This sheltered and unusually quiet pocket of centrally-located ground lies adjacent to two recognizable Cornell landmarks; McGraw Tower and Sage Chapel. Trees, birds, bells, and chapel choir all combine to create a pleasant atmosphere well-suited to this memorial.
mC gR AW tOWER Cornellâ€™s iconic clock serves a wayfinding element tower while its hourly bells producing a fitting aural background for the memorial.
Sage cHAPEL The memorial is conveniently located next to the natural location of prayer services. The chapel hosts weekly choir practice, further enhancing the aural environment.
PARKING Visitor parking is 50â€™ from the memorial.
sOUND bARRIER Day Hall acts as a very effective noise barrier, almost completely eliminating the sound of traffic on East Avenue. On a typical mid-day, noise levels averaged between 42-43 dB, lower than all other outdoor areas tested on campus. Other areas tested: -Libe Slope: 43-72 dB -East Ave: 47-70 dB -Cornell Statue: 41-52 dB -Ho Plaza: 45-52 dB -Ho Plaza w/Tower Bell: 68 dB -Inside Sage Chapel: 33 dB
Loc ation The memorial resides at the heart of the campus in a well-traveled, yet peaceful pedestrian crossroads close to wheelchair accessible parking, the campus bookstore, a cafeteria, the well traveled Ho Plaza, and the Arts Quad. The central location is important to ensure that the memorial retains its relevance well into the future.
As the name suggests, a memorial is a place of remembrance; however, when one observes its visitors, it becomes clear that it is a place where people attempt to connect to a loved one. The best memorials are those that allow them to do so in a meaningful way. As with the Wailing Wall in Israel, or the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C., people use these sites to reach out to a loved one or to a higher power. Whether touching a name, pushing a prayer note into a crack in a wall, or stacking a stone; each of these actions is driven by an inherent need to connect. The Cornell Student Memorial will encourage similar expressions. The monument will be constructed of an irregular pattern of rough-hewn granite, giving the appearance of a stacked stone wall. A continuously illuminated glass centerpiece will serve as an eternal flame. Gaps in the wall will offer a place to leave a note, insert a flower, or attach some other remembrance. Engraved memorial stones will protrude 2 to 3 inches, creating individual shelves to allow the placement of personal items, candles, or other remembrances. A polished wooden seat will follow the curve of the opposing wall, providing visitors with a comfortable sense of enclosure.
Brooklyn Bridge Park The site is located on and around a series of abandoned piers just south of the Brooklyn Bridge. It offers spectacular views of lower Manhattan and an alternative to the density of the urban environment. The Brooklyn Queens Expressway, however, creates some major disadvantages including an excess of vehicular noise and the segregation of the waterfront from adjacent neighbourhoods. This project focuses on creating a rich recreational environment on the waterfront area surrounding pier 5, while rehabilitating nearby Furman Street from a vehicular thruway into a walkable and vibrant part of the city.
Project Site: Pier 5 Pier 4 (collapsed)
1. FURMAN STREET RE VITALIZED Walkable streetscape, retail space, public parking, and traffic noise attenuation. 2. URBAN FOREST Heavily planted to facilitate phytoremediation of contaminated soil. 3. Wildlife sanc tuary Two land masses that replace the collapsed Pier 4 provide a wetland habitat for grasses, native birds, insects, and fish. 4. recreational pier The pier offers a public square, a full sized soccer field, bocci courts, and chess. 5. POCKET PARK Shady park for chess & conversation. 6. Marina Activates southern edge of the pier which suffers from less interesting views. 7. berm The end of the pier is punctuated by a large berm which mitigates noise and separates the visitor from activity on the pier. The berm provides a gentle slope upon which to recline and take in views of NYC. 8. sundecks Decks are oriented for optimal views of lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. Semireclined chairs may be moved from the sun to shady edges.
human sc ale The massive industrial area of Pier 5 presents the challenge of establishing smaller-scaled areas amenable to sitting, viewing, and conversing; activities that architect Jan Gehl describes as “staying activities.” Niches and protected seating are strategically placed to take advantage of views while promoting a sense of security and comfort. In areas quiet enough for comfortable conversation, “talkscapes” are created by angling seats toward each other. Reflecting pools bring the impressive city skyline into the site while helping to obscure noise from the nearby expressway. OPENNESS The design capitalized on one of the site’s most valuable asset; its openness. Views are maintained by avoiding the use of large structural elements. As one enters the park, urban density gives way to expansiveness.
pedestrian edges The site encourages pedestrians to wander along the water’s edge both day and night. Custom railings with embedded lighting borrow an Art Deco theme from details along the park near Pier 1.
Brooklyn Bridge Park A progressive series of strategies will stitch the waterfront and adjacent neighborhoods together.
Reconnective Strategies Visual and aural qualities are enhanced through careful planning of building heights along Furman Street and the implementation of noise attenuation strategies such as noise-reducing hot mix asphalt on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. Physical links are established along the length of the park primarily through the revitalization of Furman Street and the permeability of the commercial spaces at the ground level. Recreational and commercial opportunities reinvigorate the economy of the waterfront while public transportation and additional parking spaces enable convenient access from remote parts of the city. A saltwater marsh and wildlife sanctuary provide a soft edge to support a variety of native species and offer educational opportunities to the public. Remnants of the pier warehouses are removed to enhance views to Manhattan. Visual connections are established between the Brooklyn Promenade, pier, wildlife sanctuary, Furman Street, and Brooklyn Bridge.
Neighborhood pedestrian connections Permeability Future bridge from Promenade over BQE Waterfront and natural connections
Taller buildings along Furman Street act as noise barriers. 75% noise reduction using hot-mix asphalt (HMA) pavements on BQE & Furman.
Saltwater marsh and wildlife sanctuary Varied aquatic habitats in shallows, rip rap, and under pier.
Commerce along Furman Street supported by recreation, day visitors, tourism, and local workforce.
Recreational pier and marina
High-demand parking revenue along Furman
Ecological & Educational
Brooklyn Bridge Park A significant reduction in traffic noise is observable along the waterfront where existing structures screen out the BQE. The construction of new row of buildings along Furman Street will spread this effect along the entire waterfront while preserving views from the Brooklyn Promenade.
Brooklyn Promenade A building height of 40â€™ allows visual connection between the Promenade and the waterfront.
Hot-mix asphalt (HMA) pavement as point source noise control. Buildings deflect noise away from waterfront. Hot-mix asphalt (HMA) will reduce 75% of traffic noise at the source. Buildings along Furman Street act as noise barriers.
Reduced noise zone
Furman Street Revitalization Construction of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway in the 1950s disconnected Furman Street from the adjacent neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights. The street became a neglected high-speed thruway with a narrow sidewalk bordered by a long line of warehouses. Crime, traffic, and noise contributed to the undesirability of the area. The planned demolition of one of the last two buildings on this street offers a rare opportunity to widen and revitalize Furman; weaving it back into the tapestry of downtown Brooklyn and creating a critical link between the major park entrances near piers 1 and 6. A row of new buildings will serve as a permeable edge to Brooklyn Bridge Park and will provide significant attenuation of the noise from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
BUILDINGS SET BACK 20 FEET Setting new construction back 20â€™ from the existing frontage allows more light to penetrate while opening up views of the Brooklyn Bridge to the north. PARKING A widened roadway allows two-way traffic and an additional lane for much-needed public parking. TRANSIT CONNECTION Pull in areas for buses and taxis. WALKABLE STREETSCAPE A widened streetscape removes the pedestrian from traffic. Narrow storefronts at 20â€™ intervals transform this vehicular thruway into a human-scale environment that encourages walking.
Modeled in 3ds Max, AutoCAD (Google 3d Warehouse objects included)
NYC BIKE PATH CONNECTION A line of parked cars separates and protects the bike lane from moving traffic. The path provides a vital link in the NYC bicycle transit system.
Roosevelt Island, New York
Cornell-Technion Academic Campus In December 2011, NYC Mayor Bloomberg named Cornell University and the Technion Israeli Institute of Technology winners of a highly-publicized competition to create a “game-changing” applied sciences and technology campus on Roosevelt Island. As part of a Cornell capstone studio project, a seven-member team of real estate, planning, and landscape architecture students came together to design an economically feasible plan for a campus that would not only meet the city’s goals, but also integrate itself into the island community and serve as a cultural asset for NYC. My role was that of project manager, designer, and developer of the 3d models and animations.
Existing site just south of the Queensboro Bridge
Modeled in AutoCAD, 3ds Max, & ArcGIS
View from Queens: The design presents an attractive face to Queens and Manhattan.
View from Manhattan: The expo center serves as a tourist attraction and an outward-facing identity for the campus. The graphic display may be altered to correspond with technology exhibits, conferences, concerts, or other public events.
Total1.8 Million Square Feet Residential
Parking Expo Incubator Hotel Retail
177,000 77,000 64,000 70,000 14,000
The building program is largely comprised of revenue-generating residential space to support the economic viability of the campus.
Views to the East River run through the campus center.
The design is anchored by a central core of academic and business incubator buildings. High-density residential towers include green roofs, parking, and hotel facilities. A retail-lined public plaza brings campus residents, tourists, and the Roosevelt Island community together in a vibrant outdoor space. Buildings are oriented to allow maximum light penetration into the center of the campus, while offering desirable views from almost every window. The expo center is strategically placed near the southern tip of the island, adjacent to a public park, where it is highly visible and unlikely to be obscured by future development.
Reconstruction of Herodâ€™s Palace The remnants of one of King Herodâ€™s palaces sit on the coastline of the Mediterranean in Caesarea, Israel. What little of the structure that remains today is the subject for much debate by archaeologists. I worked with Dr. Kathryn Gleason of Cornell University to create a 3d model based upon archaeological surveys. While reconstructing the site, we attempted to work out logistical problems such as how people moved between the upper and lower levels and between rooms. Although much of the model is speculative in nature, the resulting structure is plausible based upon physical and literary evidence, as well the current understanding of activities that took place within the palace.
Remains of the lower palace Modeled in 3ds Max, AutoCAD A flyover may be viewed on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46DJN-JYtN8
UPPER PALACE LOWER PALACE
Reconstruction based upon detailed archaeological surveys
Beechtree Memorial Garden
Beechtree Memorial Garden GARDEN SITE
Beechtree Care Center of Ithaca, NY sought to transform an unused portion of its grounds into a garden for the use of its elderly residents and visitors. Suggested uses included hosted events, family meetings, barbeques, and memorials to residents who have passed away. This low-cost design provides separation from streets, semi-private niches for reading and contemplation, wheelchair-friendly paving, moveable seating, a game table, shade, and color. private spAces - ROOM FOR wheelchairS
MEMORIAL STONES along centr al axis
shady social areas
RESIDENTIAL DE VELOPMENT The West End Plaza project will offer favorable views for the high-end multi-story residential housing that is planned across the inlet.
THE TOWER Clad in stainless steel, the 335’ tall tower marks the waterfront as a destination and serves as a wayfinding device. It will act as a landmark and a catlyst for redevelopment, tourism, and commerce. Visitors will have the opportunity to dine in a unique environment high above beautiful Cayuga Lake. WIth its circular elements inspired by the railroad turntable that once occupied its footprint, the tower’s use of clean lines and modern materials aims to move Ithaca’s West End beyond its industrial past.
theater A state of the art movie theater will draw local residents and support local business. MIXED-USE neighborhood A combination of residential, commercial, and retail will line Fulton Street. connec tions The park will provide a key link in an extensive series of waterfront trails planned by the city. COMMUNITY The open plaza, with amphitheater seating and public facilities becomes a natural venue for community events.
Modeled in SketchUp
The West End Plaza project was taken on in 2009 during the first semester of the MLA program. The goal was to convert a post-industrial waterfront site into an urban park in Ithaca, NY. Ultimately, the scope was expanded to encompass the urban renewal of the surrounding neighborhood. Strategies included the reclamation and remediation of the waterfront, development of recreational and entertainment venues, connection of adjacent neighborhoods, and the rezoning of surrounding areas to include a vibrant mix of residential, commercial, and industrial uses.
West End Plaza
Existing site in the west end of Ithaca, NY
Fargo Urban Infill Competition First Place in Peopleâ€™s Choice Awards Designed by the Cornell Design and Planning Group; a five-member team including Kevin Gill, Dasha Mikic, Chuijing Kong, Heather Blaikie, and Robert Krumhansl. Broadway Market Commons creates a new destination and community in the heart of downtown Fargo, ND. This mixed-use design centers around an indoor/outdoor public space that weaves through the heart of the site, providing year-round recreational opportunities and ecological infrastructure. By drawing upon the surrounding architectural character and employing boundary-breaking paving patterns; the project embraces the adjacent retailers while providing visual cues to motorists that they are approaching the center of a modern pedestrian-oriented district. The new civic space provides an ideal location for gatherings such as farmers markets and performances, and is ringed by retail streetscapes. A terraced staircase overlooking the commons leads up to the indoor marketplace; a sheltered landscape that links retail, parking, offices, residences, and the skyway. The existing U.S. Bank building will be converted into loft apartments and a community center for residents of Broadway Market Commons. Three new buildings will be constructed above structured and subgrade parking to provide new residential, retail, and class A office space. Each building will be equipped with blue roofs, green sills, and bio-retention areas to ensure that storm water is filtered and stored on site.
Battery Green Chair
In late 2012, the Battery Conservancy sponsored an international competition to design an â€œiconic moveable outdoor seating elementâ€? for the 3-acre oval green in New York Cityâ€™s Battery Park. This competition provided an opportunity to blend my interest in landscape architecture with furniture design. In 2013, finalists will announced have their chairs prototyped and put on public display. 300 units of the winning design will be manufactured and permanently placed in the park for public use.
Curved surfaces allow for easy cleaning and provide an extra measure of safety for children.
Semi-reclined seat back strikes a balance between relaxation, spectating, and casual eating. Rear upturned runners prevent snagging on lawn when chair is dragged into position by the handle.
Satin-finished cast aluminum is lightweight, remains cool to the touch, and is 100% recycleable.
Weep holes in the seat will prevent puddling of water.
Flared runners distribute weight and minimize impact to the lawn.
When stacked, the handle may be used for locking an unlimited number of chairs with a cable. Curved inside corners provide triangulation, adding stiffness to legs.
Deployment on Battery Park Green
Drag to move
Closed loops provide points for locking with a cable.
Convenient handle allows singlehanded repositioning.
Nameplate & RFID
The low, wide configuration caters to a broad range of users and brings the sitter within easy reach of belongings on the lawn.
Stack & lock
Pull Up a Chair Competition, NYC
Typical deployment of chairs in small groups
With its curvaceous form alluding to the oval upon which it will reside, the all-aluminum Battery Green Chair brings strength, comfort, and streamlined aesthetics to the outdoor public space. The smooth lines cradle the body in a comfortable semi-reclined position suitable for hours of relaxation, spectating, or casual outdoor dining. Satin-finished cast aluminum remains cool to the touch even in the heat of summer. Conceived with lawns in mind, gently curved runners disperse weight evenly and allow this lightweight chair to be dragged into position by a convenient handle. A low and wide seat caters to a broad range of users and brings the sitter within easy reach of belongings on the lawn. Curved surfaces allow for easy cleaning and provide an extra measure of safety for children.
Green Man: charcoal Fence Post designed by Fletcher Steel: graphite Lisburne Grange: graphite
Alpine Landscape: oil on canvas California Seascape: acrylic on canvas Shark: oil on canvas
The Chess & Backgammon Table above was featured in the following publications: • Gibson, Scott. Design Book 8. Taunton Press, 2009 • Fine Woodworking: Furniture 102 Contemporary Designs, Fall 2008 • The Guild Sourcebook of Residential Art 6 The Deco Hall Table to the right was depicted in: • Woodshop News, 2006
Designing and building furniture has helped improve the practicality of my designs. It is in building that one reveals opportunities to improve a design, which in turn saves time and materials. The repetition of this process sharpens the ability to blend creativity with sensible engineering; a skill that lends itself well to other design professions. Working with furniture also promotes an intimate understanding of the human scale. Subtle changes in the dimensions of a piece have a powerful impact on the physical and psychological comfort of the users, affecting how they act and feel. I find this sense of scale invaluable when envisioning the outdoor spaces I design. Above: 42â€? round oak table Below: 11â€™ long oak dining table
K e v in
G ill KCG39@CORNELL.EDU
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