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Published by SWT Design Copyright Š 2017 SWT Design, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic, mechanical, photocopying of microfilming, recording, or otherwise without written permission from the publisher. SWT Design makes a continuous effort to minimize the overall carbon footprint of its publications. As part of this goal, the firm has adopted a number of sustainable operating practices to limit waste and energy consumption. You must not circulate this book in any other binding or cover, and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer.

Design is a living, breathing thing.

A well-designed space contains more than the present moment; it embraces the history of a place and holds potential for what it will one day become – in the world, and in the hearts and minds of our communities. Think back to your fondest memories. Chances are, many of these moments take place outdoors. A walk in the woods. A day relaxing in the park. A lunch outside on some sunny boulevard. At SWT, these are the spaces we are proud to create – spaces that nurture. Spaces that inspire. Spaces that live. Our clients are in the business of changing the world. We are, too. With every project, with every space, we set out to create urban landscapes and environments that improve the lives of people, businesses, communities, and our world. Our team is made of academics, researchers, philosophers, and theorists. We come together each day to create spaces that exist outside the bounds of size or discipline. We create spaces that live on – in the world and in the hearts and minds of communities.

It is design for living. It is LIVING DESIGNTM

We’ve been called landscape architects, planners, and urban designers. We’re big-picture thinkers, collaborators, and innovators. We’re focused on solving design problems for the long-term, creating solutions that are responsive to an ever-changing environment and global economy. We’ve become leaders in our profession, collaborating across disciplines with the best and brightest experts from all backgrounds. We channel the energy of both individuals and groups, and celebrate what can be achieved when we come together.

So call us what you will, but we prefer to think outside those boxes.

For us, design is always a living, breathing thing. We create environments that improve the lives of people and benefit businesses, communities, and our world. We create places for people, spaces that are rooted in the community fabric and respond to change over time. Good design transcends boundaries where the performance of a project is something measurable. Our passion for changing lives gives it purpose. Vision guides it toward a goal, and process keeps it moving forward. Fervent curiosity and learning fuel it. Collaboration makes it stronger, swifter, and smarter.

Only Living DesignTM can change lives and make the world a better place.

Many of us give back to our universities by serving as visiting faculty, advisors, guest jurors or panelists.

To that end, we look to enrich lives with our passion. More than a metaphor, Living Design describes our philosophy, approach, and values as a firm. Through our passion for planning and design, we bring value to each project by listening first and being empathetic to the unique set of opportunities and challenges facing each client. We rely on our collective thought, expertise and knowledge sharing. This passion is evident in our diverse team that, in addition to design, gives back to our communities through volunteering, mentoring and philanthropy.

Our team consists of alumni from more than


universities, domestic and international

20 More than

design and planning professionals spanning

diverse disciplines landscape architecture planning urban design horticulture graphic design public engagement marketing & strategic communications business & operations

We bring to each project where discourse is a two-way street and listening takes precedence.

We continually reinvest in

our greatest asset,

our people, and look for new and exciting opportunities where we can explore, ideate, and think big.

We enrich lives through environmental stewardship The physical performance of a project, regardless of scale, is always something we can measure. Evidence-based design yields smarter, more informed solutions that positively impact our communities, economic development, and our environment. In every project, we consider the sustainability of our design solutions and the impact they will have on natural resources and biodiversity. From a desire to preserve a living history, to a profound respect for life in all its forms, our work moves in a singular direction to better the places we influence.

As such, our campus headquarters has continually evolved as an incubator for design and innovation.

150 The headquarters of SWT Design joined more than

pilot projects


states, as well as Canada, Iceland and Spain chosen by the Sustainable Sites Initiative to test its 4-star rating system and guidelines for sustainable site design. Similar to LEED, the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) is administered by Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI), and is used across the globe by designers, developers and policy-makers to align land development and management with innovative design.

SWT Design became the

first design firm in the world to have its own campus certified by



earning a

for the design and construction of its campus headquarters.



of our campus is comprised of

native plant communities



Green Roof

provides increased biodiversity and outdoor space




solar panels powers eight work stations



of Rain Gardens increases permeability and controls rate of runoff

From our campus to our work, environmental stewardship influences us. By integrating appropriate design methodologies, influenced by innovative research, we look to sustain not only the natural resources from which we draw, but also the communities for which they support. Every project presents an opportunity to balance cultural and ecological resources with the smart growth potential of economic development. We respect and sensitively respond to environmental resources. We consider stormwater management within both created and existing ecosystems. We respond to existing conditions, and consider long-term design implications.

The campus of Novus International, a global leader in animal nutrition, is a performing, regenerative landscape and a case study of resiliency. The project earned a 3-star rating from the Sustainable Sites Initiative in 2012.

110+ unique plant species contributing to this

ecological system

We enrich lives through our process We lead and manage large multi-disciplinary teams through all the intricacies of the design process, using best practices and technology to monitor schedule, budget and staffing needs. Let our networks and partnerships work for you because, after all, good design transcends boundaries. We see great value in a process that fosters rich collaboration with the consultant team and client, where discourse is a two-way street and listening takes precedence.

Curiosity and learning fuel a design process supported by innovative research and a deep understanding of how people use outdoor spaces.

Design is a dynamic process where we

share knowledge encourage discussion, and test limits.

We enrich lives by creating places for people. Places that provide a richer experience that engage the senses, evoke emotion, elicit strong memories, and respond to change over time. We strive for authenticity, rooting the design within the fabric of the community. Regardless of scale or complexity, the fruition of our work contributes to human health and well-being by providing inclusive experiences for active and passive living.

We take the time to learn how people use space, and design to facilitate serendipitous collisions of culture, backgrounds, and ways of life.

Places that inspire community pride and a sense of place. Every community has its own unique identity - some more established than others. Our responsibility as planners and designers is to bolster this identity through placemaking. We consider the human element, because without it, a community is just a shell. We understand change occurs over long periods of time. From long-range planning to site design, we seek out catalyst projects that can have immediate, positive impacts on a community and its residents so that future decision- and policy-making is effective.

The West Florissant Avenue Great Streets project aimed to reimagine a corridor that at one time served vehicles well. Now, the plan for the corridor brings a unique identity to the adjacent cities and connects neighborhoods, institutions, and people with safe and attractive linkages to community amenities.

Places that immerse visitors in discovery. When asked what makes for a unique visitor experience, people will almost never contribute it to one specific thing. Rather, they talk about the holistic experience from the moment they arrive until their visit has ended. Small details, carefully designed spatial sequences and inclusive environments work together to create an immersive branded experience for all generations.

The Saint Louis Zoo’s vision, “Animals Always,� is interwoven into every detail, creating an immersive experience throughout its 106-acre property. From the parking lot and arrival sequence to the exhibits, visitors are consistently surrounded in a branded experience.

Places that heal. Research has shown that access to nature promotes healthy living. The benefits of this interaction improve medical outcomes, shorten patient stays, and relieve stress. Providing multi-sensory experiences within a natural environment promotes comfort, control, social support, and physical activity.

St. John’s Plaza will always serve as a built reminder of the values of Mercy Hospital and its commitment to human health and well-being. It brings to life the hospital’s community and culture, and celebrates a patient’s journey through the healing process.

Places that increase economic vitality and spur development. Great design is much more than aesthetic quality. It goes well beyond that. Great design provides a meaningful return, tangible or otherwise, that outlives any plan or drawing. Urban revitalization projects have a unique way of bringing communities together, bonded by a common cause to become better than what was. The intangibles, however, offer the greatest return, providing an economic platform for continual investment in the community.

In the heart of Cape Girardeau’s historic downtown district, enhancements to this 9-block stretch of corridor did more than improve aesthetics. It spurred the development of six new small businesses during construction, and inspired more than 10 improvements to existing business adjacent to the corridor.

Places that engage the senses and evoke emotion. In the end, regardless of project type, scale, or end user, our role as planners and designers of the public realm is to provide opportunities for memories to be made - to create spaces where we come together to reflect, mourn, celebrate, and explore our world. Our responsibility, then, is to remain sensitive to how spaces change over time, and how this change can have a positive impact on progress and preserve the built and natural environments.

For more than 100 years, the Saint Louis Art Museum has stood atop Forest Park as a physical reminder of the 1904 World’s Fair. Restoration of the museum’s grounds, known as Art Hill, created a new iconic front door to the museum and a beloved public space for all generations.

Design is a living, breathing thing. Curiosity and learning fuel it. We never stop learning. We never stop discovering. And what we learn, we share because curiosity makes us question. It keeps us ahead of what’s possible. With two studios in St. Louis and Kansas City, our practice is national with far reaching impacts. Good design transcends boundaries. And we’re eager to share how. So follow us. Connect with us. Let us know what Living Design means to you. @SWTlivingDesign

St. Louis, MO

Kansas City, MO

7722 Big Bend Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63119 314.644.5700

1925 Central St., Suite 202 Kansas City, MO 64108 816.221.0825

SWT Design, Vol.1 2017  

We've been called landscape architects, planners, urban designers. Call us what you will, but we prefer to think outside those boxes.

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