Page 1


what LAR means to me

(page 01)

my FUTURE goal

overall JOURNEY

(page 01)

(page 02)

growing body of WORK (page 03) RESUME

and other skills

(see attached)

the academic adventures of

Liz Crim

snapshot of STUDY ABROAD

(page 25)

anatomy of a designer my FUTURE goal When people ask me what landscape architecture is, I always have a hard time defining it: it is a combination of urban planning, engineering, sculpture, horticulture, architecture, and other disciplines. But rather than seeing this as a shortcoming, I think this is one of the strengths of landscape architecture. Being linked with so many disciplines gives landscape architecture a potential power that none of those disciplines can wield alone – I came to the program wanting to make gardens and other “pretty” things, but I’ve come out with a passion for transforming communities. Someday I would like to work in disadvantaged communities, like my senior thesis, working to transform the neglected pieces of cities. As my purpose in landscape architecture has changed, it has made me question why I want to be a landscape architect, why my work should be about more than beautifying. As I’ve grown as a person and as a designer, I’ve realized that what really drives my work are the ideas of Christian stewardship and regeneration. By grounding my work in these two ideas, sustainability is not a feel-good trend but an obligation, a mandate.

what LAR has given me

As I am about to embark on an entirely different adventure (my magnificent professional adventures), I am reminded of what landscape architecture has given me: (1) Vision. My time at school has given me the ability to really understand, critique, and appreciate the world around me. Whether I am travelling or exploring locally, I can begin to see not only the landscape’s problems, but its potentials. (2) Collaboration. As designers, we tend to have to assume we have the sole power to solve the world’s problems – a delusion that has created more problems than it has solved. Because landscape architecture is at the junction of so many disciplines, we are uniquely placed to work with other professionals and, more importantly, with communities to create the best solution. (3) Theory. It’s so easy to get caught up in design details that we forget to consider what’s grounding our work. Rather than limiting our work, theory can become a framework that can amplify our creativity. (4) Purpose. I came into landscape architecture with the narrow goal of creating gardens, but along the way have developed a passion for transforming communities. This idea of regeneration allows me to think beyond mere sustainability; not merely how to preserve, but to affect positive change.

“The a living link between what we were and what we have become.” (Margaret Drabble) page 01

overall JOURNEY

uniquely Sheffield railroad tribute park

History Hurt Park Gateway Park

-m e ac l P

Quixotic mobile stage

ing k a

Currently, I’m interested in the junction of history, place-making, & sustainability (regeneration) to make better places for people.

tain Sus

Freedom Park Pleasure House Point

li t y abi Jessup West greenroof 1st year

2nd year

3rd year

4th year

5th year & beyond

page 02

growing body of WORK exploring HISTORY Hurt Park Gateway Park uniquely Sheffield: railway tribute park

exploring PLACE-MAKING Quixotic mobile stage Freedom Park

exploring SUSTAINABILITY Pleasure House Point Jessup West greenroof

page 03

pages 04-09– 04-06 07-09 pages 10-17– 10-12 13-17 pages 18-24– 18-20 21-24

exploring ABROAD

pages 25-26–


pages 27-30–

exploring HISTORY Hurt Park Gateway Park Roanoke, Virginia

Neighborhood house:

architectural remnants into landscape

My intent for this design was to create a neighborhood house as part of the gateway into the Hurt Park neighborhood. While going through some of the oral histories of the neighborhood, I was struck by the role of the house; the two main gathering places in historic Hurt Park were the front porch (mainly for adults) and the house itself (mainly for the children).

grassed living room

raised terrace room

The community of Hurt Park used to be described as a family, so why not give them a place to become one again? Because this is meant to be a park, I flattened the house and opened up the design to allow for better accessibility and safety. Within the confines of the porch, the house is divided into several rooms which can be used as private individual spaces or several rooms can be combined into a larger area for group events.

front door

back door


grassed parlor hallway


page 04

Hurt Park Gateway Park

Roanoke, Virginia

living in the house entering the house

grassed living room


front door

Neighbors, neighborhoods used to be “intertwined.” “Everybody was neighbors, everybody was friendly, & everybody got along.”

– Annie Enoch, Hurt Park resident

page 05

Hurt Park Gateway Park Roanoke, Virginia

layout plan

planting plan

grading plan

These detail areas are from drawings that were part of a complete construction documents set for my Hurt Park design.

page 06

exploring HISTORY a railway tribute park Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK

uniquely Sheffield:

a railway tribute park

The site was an elevated railway near Sheffield’s city centre, the project was to make it like the High Line. How do you transfer a contemporary project to a completely different context? My concept was “Uniquely Sheffield: a rail tribute park.” By grounding it in Sheffield – highlighting both the existing character along the railway and significant views and landmarks of Sheffield, and connecting to Sheffield’s bicycling network – I hoped to create an appreciation for the patterns, plant communities, and wildlife habitats unique to the rail line.

concept drawing

tactile palette: users can experience the park more fully by being able to touch (or perceive) all of its elements

page 07

a railway tribute park Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK

a place for people & wildlife The site has the potential to be a crucial part of Sheffield’s Habitat Action Plan (HAP). The vegetative communities along the path are all habitats for endangered local bird species.


tall shrubs & grasses


page 08

a railway tribute park

Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK

the journey

A linear park designed as a set of separate walking and biking trails, each offering a different experience, letting users experience the uniqueness of the rail line – the patterns, plant communities, history, & habitats unique to the rail line.

exhibiting history

Bringing out pieces from the entire history of the rail line for the public to enjoy – from the 1800s to today.

page 09

highlighting views

Using vegetation to highlight significant views or buildings in downtown Sheffield.

exploring PLACE-MAKING

Quixotic mobile stage Kansas City, Missouri

experience: curiosity

KEM Studio:




interdisciplinary design charette

KEM Studio is an architecture and industrial design firm in Kansas City, Missouri. For the past few years, they have hosted an interdisciplinary design workshop for Virginia Tech students from architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design, and interior design. The project is meant to stretch students’ imaginations by collaborating with other disciplines and encourage them to think outside of the box. Our project was to design a mobile stage for Quixotic, a dance/music/light show troupe.

page 10

Quixotic mobile stage

Kansas City, Missouri


Attracting a crowd and sparking an interest through an iconic form.


A tool that is open for interpretation and manipulation. It frames the environment in which it sits. As darkness falls, the stage begins to pulsate with light, drawing a crowd for the show.

page 11

Quixotic mobile stage Kansas City, Missouri


The stage is designed to be able to be easily manipulated, transforming into a variety of shapes for a unique show every time.


An opportunity for Quixotic to showcase their brand identity through their performance and a ‘brand mark’ left by the stage. The mark becomes part of the landscape, highlighting where Quixotic has been and making people stop and wonder .

page 12

exploring PLACE-MAKING

Freedom Park

Arlington, Virginia

an urban escape into art Concept: art radiates from the Artisphere (a contemporary art museum) into the city, transitioning from the urban fabric into the artistic world. As the park rises high above the streets, the user is transported from the harsh urban environment into a different world, an escape into art, nature, and solitude. This park provides a refuge from the city life by bringing awareness to art in nature and creating personal and community spaces. The orange traces weave through and tie the landscape together, highlighting different features and experiences along the journey: an arch that flies gracefully over your head as you enter, a bench to sit on, a sculpture to climb on, and always a line to follow.


2 4



West Entrance: corridor through trees and arching sculptures, viewing platform over North Lynn Street and Progression Pool


Wire-frame pergola over seating area/outdoor event area


Seating island separating the seating area from the walkway


Garden walk from North Lynn Street entrance


Circular seating platforms with moveable privacy/sculpture panels


Central water feature


Grassy mounds with climbable sculptures


The Arches: overhead arching sculptures running through mounded flower beds


North Entrance: circular entrance wall framing the entrance, welcoming the visitor into the site

5 6




page 13


Freedom Park

Arlington, Virginia

The West Entrance to the park is framed by an allee of arched sculptures, which echo The Arches near the North Entrance. The Progression Pool is visible just beyond, the stepping stones are made of plexi-glass and mimic the shape of the Twin Towers (adjacent residential property, owned by the same development company.) 2

page 14

The formal seating area offers a place for people to sit, relax, and eat lunch in the shade of the pergola. Located off the main pedestrian path and surrounded by lush plantings, it offers a comfortable escape.

Freedom Park


Arlington, Virginia

A view up the staircase from North Lynn Street to the main corridor of Freedom Park. It leads through a series of flower gardens up to the central water feature.

page 15

At night, the sculpture garden walk is illuminated by lights embedded in the plexi-glass borders around the flower beds and in the benches.


Freedom Park

Arlington, Virginia

The Arches linking the decorative planted mounds along the entry way from North Kent Street are the first things the viewer experiences after entering the park.

At night, the Arches are illuminated by lights embedded in the sculptures, accentuating the path.

page 16

Freedom Park


Arlington, Virginia

Walking along the street, the orange wall can’t help but intrigue visitors to get a closer look and be introduced to Freedom Park.

page 17

At night, the North Entrance is comes alive as lights highlight the signature walls.


sustainable recreation:

Pleasure House Point Virginia Beach, Virginia

balancing social & natural ecology in a park

The site, Pleasure House Point, is the future site of the Save the Bay Foundation, and the assignment was to create a wildlife park that also provided opportunities for education and recreation. The design (which was a team effort - the masterplan was rendered by a colleague) focused on highlighting the characteristics and potentials of the site through a series of boardwalks and trails. Rather than concentrating the educational areas around the building, we spread them around the site, highlighting different habitats: e.g. a bird observatory, a series of tree houses, and a floating boardwalk that protected an oyster colony.

page 18

Pleasure House Point

Virginia Beach, Virginia

The bird observatory allows visitors to appreciate the site’s native wildlife.

The treehouses allow visitors to experience the site from a new perspective.

page 19

Pleasure House Point Virginia Beach, Virginia

One of our goals in the project was to show visitors how the Chesapeake Bay could be reclaimed by using the bay’s historic natural filters. To that end, we proposed the revival and connection of existing wetlands and the constru ction of sea walls, artificial sand dunes, and an artificial oyster reef (shown here).

page 20


Jessup West greenroof Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK

sustaining wildlife:

building a greenroof habitat

This project applied lessons of habitat research (see next page) to adapt an existing greenroof so that it can serve as a viable habitat and accommodate people as well. The roof is broken up into the main habitats a hoverfly needs to survive: woodland, wetland bog, and wildflower meadow.

page 21

Jessup West greenroof Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK

understanding the subject: habitat & life-cycle research of the hoverfly Part of Sheffield’s urban planning is the Habitat Action Plan (HAP), which is devoted to preserving the biodiversity in and around the city of Sheffield. In conjunction with the University of Sheffield, the city has developed a strategy for creating a system of greenroof habitats throughout the city, targeting different endangered species (birds and invertebrates) in the region. Before designing a greenroof for Jessup West, one of University of Sheffield’s buildings, we were split into groups to research the habitat requirements of a different endangered species, as well as case studies of conservation efforts.

page 22

Jessup West greenroof

Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK

mimicking architecture to create habitat To recreate the woodland (important in the egg and adult stages of the hoverfly), I echoed the interior ventilation system (top left) to create connected log structures (top center, bottom left)that would both provide wood for the hoverflies and support pockets of wildflower meadow (important for pollination), which need more drainage and greater rooting depth. The logs also function as a dividing line between substrate depths (top right). I altered the existing walkway layout (bottom center) to open up views to the entire greenroof, while preserving habitat size and quality.

page 23

Jessup West greenroof Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK

priority habitat range of species recommended from Sheffield Open Mosaic Habitat on Previously Developed Land

sample of species from Pictorial Meadow Green Roof Seed Mix. Also includes calcareous grassland species and local sedums. Proven successful in Sheffield greenroofs (Sheffield HAP).

page 24

exploring ABROAD trends:

landscape architecture trends I studied



1.) eco-towns 2.) green roof habitats (part of habitat action plans) 3.) preserving district character (each county has heritage and character studies) 4.) restoring historic landscapes 5.) greening dense cities


Yorkshire Dales


sustaining wildlife: building a greenroof habitat Peak District




London Cardiff St. Ives Penzance

page 24



Sketching and exploring

England, Scotland, and Wales

page 26

Soil Composition

exploring INTEGRATION Combining lessons learned for better analysis

alka li

rub b

i ne

le + debris dumpe

om d fr

alka l

[pH+++] ini


low N,P,K



o ed s pact


low nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium

[rubble] rub le

ed f b +d ebris dump

low nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium

nd the city ou


A conceptual section of senior thesis site to show soil conditions. (Photoshop and watercolor).

d soil



compac te

nd the city ou


alkaleachin l g al ine


source: “Framing a Modern Mess”

“Modern architecture died in St. Louis, MO on July 15, 1972 ... when the infamous PruittIgoe scheme... [was] given the final coup de grâce by dynamite.” - Charles Jencks

Using newspaper headlines to show the change in public perception of Pruitt-Igoe during its lifetime.

page 27





St. Louis, Missouri






fore city st

Concept drawing for thesis design (nature center called city forest), delineating where the design transitions from city to forest.

page 28

Visualizing data

St. Louis, Missouri

population (2010):

median income:

2% hispanic 3% white 5% asian 91% black

100% black

(-15% from 2000)

population (2010): population (2010):

3% white

(+40% from 2000)

1% hispanic 3% hispanic

median income:

population (2010):

25% white

(+43% from 2000) median income:

(-5% from 2000) 3% white

96% black

median income:

population (2010): (-11% from 2000)

97% black

median income:

2% white 2% asian

median income:

72% black

1% asian

6% white

96% black

population (2010):

4% asian

(+4% from 2000)

1% white population (2010):

99% black population (2010):

(-32% from 2000)

(-5% from 2000)

median income:

population (2010):

median income:

93% black 58% white 7% asian 2% hispanic

population (2010):

(+246% from 2000)

38% black

median income:

(+55% from 2000)

4% asian

61% white median income:

(-9% from 2000) 55% white

median income:

69% white 22% black 35% black An infographic to break down the demographics of neighborhood around senior thesis site (outlined in gray).

page 29

population (2010):

4% asian

(-10% from 2000) median income:

population (2010):

41% black

Sketch-ploration Sketchbook

Think like a designer: notes from attending a recent lecture

page 30

Senior portfolio  

A more complete look at my work samples from over the years.

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