Martha Schwartz’ Hillside Mountain Range

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Fengming Mountain Park features a series of metal pavilions imagined as abstracted mountains. (Terrence Zhang)

Fengming Mountain Park features a series of metal pavilions imagined as abstracted mountains. (Terrence Zhang)

Illuminated steel pavilions mimic Chinese peaks.

The hillside site of Fengming Mountain Park, in Chongqing, China, presented Martha Schwartz Partners with both a practical challenge and a source of inspiration. Asked by Chinese developer Vanke to design a park adjacent to the sales office for a new housing development, the landscape architecture and urban planning firm quickly gravitated toward the metaphor of a mountain journey. “That’s why in the plans you see a zig zag pattern” to the path leading down to the sales center from the car park, said associate Ignacio López Busón. Steel pavilions scattered along the walkway pick up on the theme, taking the form of abstracted mountain peaks. “That’s something the client really liked,” said López Busón. “Once the idea was clear, it was all about developing the shape of them, and trying to make them look special.”
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Architects propose sunken forest to protect and restore the Rockaways

East, Landscape Architecture
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
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Rockaway East Resiliency Preserve (Courtesy Local Office Landscape Architecture)

Rockaway East Resiliency Preserve (Courtesy Local Office Landscape Architecture)

A proposal for a dense forest along the Rockaways shoreline in New York City could boost storm resiliency in the area. Local Office Landscape and Urban Design, led by Walter Meyer and Jennifer Bolstad, has proposed the forest along the Robert Moses roadway in Rockaway, Queens. The so-called “Rockaway East Resiliency Preserve” would turn the storm-weary Rockaways into a blooming, natural location.

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Three big-name teams shortlisted for Mesa, Arizona plaza

City Terrain, Landscape Architecture, West
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
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Colwell Shelor+West 8+Weddle Gilmore proposal (City of Mesa)

Colwell Shelor+West 8+Weddle Gilmore proposal (City of Mesa)

If all goes according to plan, Mesa, Arizona is going to have one heck of a public plaza in the center of its downtown. The city just unveiled schemes from three teams, selected from a recent RFQ (PDF), to design the space, located on an area currently occupied mostly by local government buildings and surface parking lots. According to the city, the site, meant to accommodate up to 25,000 people, would host annual events like the Mesa Arts Festival, Arizona Celebration of Freedom, and the Great Arizona Bicycle Festival.

Continue reading after the jump.

Product> Street Seen: Top 12 Landscape Furnishings

LAB23_ZHD_Serac-bench-Photography-by-JACOPO-SPILIMBERGO---(5)

(Courtesy Lab 23)

Whether used to enhance the identity of an entire community or an individual institution, street furnishings present a primary opportunity to engage the public with design.  Here’s our pick of products—created by Zaha Hadid, Yves Behar, Antonio Citterio, and others—for seating, lighting, and other outdoor accoutrements that have exceptional architectural appeal.

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Jeanne Gang to create master plan for Chicago’s lakefront Museum Campus

Chicago's Museum Campus. (Bing Maps)

Chicago’s Museum Campus. (Bing Maps)

The Chicago Parks District has picked hometown architectural hero Jeanne “MacArthur Genius” Gang for yet another lakefront project. The Chicago Tribune reported that the celebrated architect will draw-up a “long-range plan” for the city’s Museum Campus where George Lucas’ museum could soon rise.

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Gehry unveils latest design for controversial Eisenhower Memorial in Washington D.C.

01-eisenhower-new-b01-eisenhower-new-a

 

Frank Gehry has offered up another design for his remarkably controversial Eisenhower Memorial in Washington D.C. The revised approach comes a few months after the National Capital Planning Commission shot down Team Gehry’s last design which included massive metal tapestries and columns that obstructed views of the capitol dome.

Continue reading after the jump.

Pictorial> Shortlisted firms share their visions for San Francisco’s Presidio

Observation-Post-01-presidio-sanfrancisco-archpaper

CMG’s Observation Post proposal for the Presidio in San Francisco. (Courtesy CMG)

As AN just reported, five teams have shared their plans for the new Presidio Parklands, a 13-acre recreational site lying between Crissy Field and the Presidio’s Main Post. The schemes follow on the heels of a the Presidio Trust’s rejection last February of three teams’ proposals for a nearby cultural center. The winner will be chosen this January. See below for slideshows of all the available renderings of the projects. The teams—invited to compete last March—took their proposals quite far in terms of detailing and strategy. Be sure to read more about the project here.

View the renderings after the jump.

Los Angeles “Dress Rehearsal” removes a lane of Broadway for pedestrians

Landscape Architecture, Urbanism, West
Friday, September 5, 2014
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Tables, chairs, planters and umbrellas on Broadway (Sterling Davis/ Curbed LA Flickr Pool)

New York’s Broadway has company: Tables, chairs, planters and umbrellas on LA’s street of the same name (Sterling Davis/ Curbed LA Flickr Pool)

It may not look like Los Angeles’ next great street yet, but Broadway is changing fast. The latest development in the street’s ongoing transformation is the city’s Broadway Streetscapes Master Plan, which is revamping the historic thoroughfare for pedestrians and urban activity. The project just completed its $1.5 million”Dress Rehearsal.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Video> How Sasaki is transforming the Chicago Riverwalk

cove

The Chicago Riverwalk. (Courtesy Sasaki)

As construction crews continue to pull the Chicago Riverwalk farther into the city’s iconic waterway, Sasaki Associates has released a short documentary about the $100 million transformation. And it’s worth a watch because what’s happening in Chicago is more than your typical “reclaiming public space” type of story.

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Could Olmsted & Bartholomew’s 100-year-old parks plan finally happen in Los Angeles?

Emerald Necklace Expanded Vision Plan (The Conservation Fund)

Emerald Necklace Expanded Vision Plan (The Conservation Fund)

One of the highlights of this author’s recent exhibition, Never Built Los Angeles, was a comprehensive, and interconnected, parks plan for Los Angeles assembled by the landscape firm Olmsted and Bartholomew in 1930. That old plan is seeing some new life in the Los Angeles community. If the proposed Emerald Necklace Expanded Vision Plan is realized, that idea would come to life almost a century after it was proposed.

Continue reading after the jump.

Reminder: Registration ends soon for the vision42design competition

(Courtesy vision42design)

(Courtesy vision42design)

The vision42design competition to rethink and redesign the entire length of New York City’s 42nd Street was launched last April by AN and The Institute for Rational Urban Mobility. Entrants in the competition have the opportunity to not only rethink this important street but transform Manhattan at its core and become a model for major urban thoroughfares worldwide.

Continue reading after the jump.

Hollywood’s Freeway Cap Park Begins Environmental Review Process

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We’ve been following Los Angeles’ several proposed Freeway Cap Parks (in Downtown LA, Hollywood, and Santa Monica among other places) for years now, with a healthy amount of skepticism. But the first of these is (really? really!) moving toward reality. Friends of the Hollywood Central Park, a non-profit organizing a cap park over the 101 Freeway near the center of Hollywood, along with LA’s Department of Recreation and Parks have begun the environmental review process for the transformative 38-acre space.

Continue reading after the jump.

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