ASLA Online Learning Series – Upcoming Presentations


Are you missing the classroom this summer? Take a look at the upcoming Online Learning series, supported by the ASLA Professional Practice Network!

ghScottsdale Cycle the Arts
Thursday, July 28, 2016
1:00pm-2:30pm (Eastern)
$50 for ASLA members, $185 for non-members



kkhgThe Social Engineering of Flood Recovery
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
2:00pm-3:00pm (Eastern)
$40 for ASLA members, $160 for non-members


Register for either class here:

Browse an archive of recorded presentations from ASLA’s Online Learning series and sessions from ASLA’s Annual Meetings. These instant learning opportunities offer LA CES-approved PDH at your own pace, on your schedule.

Note: Live presentations are made available as recorded presentations within 5-7 business days after the presentation.

Posted in NEWS | Comments closed

Lawrence Halprin’s Legacy: Levi’s Plaza

Aug 06
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Levi’s Plaza
San Francisco

Guide: Paul Scardina, FASLA 

Scardina collaborated with Halprin for nearly 30 years before entering his current position as director of planning and capital projects at the Presidio Trust. As a senior project manager with the Office of Lawrence Halprin, Scardina’s projects included the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C., the Yosemite Falls Corridor, and Levi’s Plaza.

Levi’s Plaza was dedicated to “the employees of Levi Strauss” in 1982. The park has served as a popular lunch spot for professionals working in the area ever since. Scardina will walk participants through the landscape, noting character-defining features throughout, and he will speak to the process undertaken by the Office of Lawrence Halprin to conceive and construct the site.

From finding inspiration in the Sierras to contextualizing the park within an urban setting, nestled against the former Embarcadero freeway, Levi’s Plaza illustrates several noteworthy elements of Halprin’s legacy. Time will be set aside towards the end of the tour for a guided participant discussion.


This tour is part of a larger program intended to celebrate the life and legacy of landscape architect Lawrence Halprin. Learn more about the program and view other tours by returning to the event page for What’s Out There Weekend: The Public Landscapes of Lawrence Halprin.

Posted in NEWS | Comments closed

Santa Rosa Greenway Planning Workshop

Greenway Planning Workshop August 6


The Santa Rosa Southeast Greenway Campaign is pleased to announce the City of Santa Rosa’s first public planning workshop for the Southeast Greenway property. This is an important opportunity for neighbors and all community members interested in the Greenway to have a say in the future of this property. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016
10:00 am – Noon

Montgomery High School Student Union
1250 Hahman Drive, Santa Rosa

Childcare will be provided!

PlaceWorks, the City’s planning consultant, will present the workshop goals and background information on the Greenway. They will invite community members to:

Suggest ideas for how the land should be used

Discuss guiding principles that can shape the development of the Greenway

We hope that you will be able to attend!


Posted in NEWS | Comments closed

Discover Halprin’s Sigmund Stern Grove on July 23

July 23, 11 AM – 12:30PM
Sigmund Stern Grove
San Francisco, CA

Guide: Andrew Sullivan, Dir Landscape Architecture Page/BMS Design Group, RLA, ASLA

Sullivan worked in the Office of Lawrence Halprin during the renovation of Stern Grove between 2000 and 2006, and was a Senior Designer on the Stern Grove project.

Originally donated to the City of San Francisco by Rosalie Meyer Stern in 1931, a free summer concert series has been continuously hosted in the grove since 1938. Built by the Works Progress Administration during the 1930s as a sloped meadow, Lawrence Halprin and colleagues redesigned the landscape and concert facilities between 1999 and 2005. Inspired by greek amphitheaters and the natural setting, the grass terraces and stone retaining walls blend into the site’s topography and compliment the remaining WPA era stonework.

The tour group will explore the landscape, and participate in a discussion about the process undertaken to creatively redesign the landscape while maintaining the spirit of the original Works Progress Administration concept. Sullivan will begin the program by speaking about the natural and the cultural history of the site, illustrating the “sense of place” that guided the redesign. Sullivan will also provide an overview of how he and Halprin worked together to create a master plan for the property, including a description of the public outreach process. The group will then take a walk through the concert meadow.

While the group portion will end at noon, participants will be invited to stay and discuss the landscape with Sullivan and explore the park further on their own or with other participants. Exploratory routes will be suggested.

This tour is part of a larger program intended to celebrate the life and legacy of landscape architect Lawrence Halprin. Learn more about the program and view other tours by returning to the event page for What’s Out There Weekend: The Public Landscapes of Lawrence Halprin.

Posted in NEWS | Comments closed

Threatened Halprin Park Makes a Comeback

Lawrence Halprin & Associates executed plans for Manhattan Square Park in Rochester, New York as part of the city’s urban renewal efforts during the early 1970s. The design for the five-acre neighborhood park was completed in 1972. The site opened to the public in 1974. Now known as Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, the landscape was complex and multi-layered, with a spatial organization that alluded to the city’s historic street grid.


Landscape features included a sunken amphitheater plaza that could seat 2,000 people, a waterfall fountain, a steel space-frame structure with observation tower, a restaurant, flexible space for recreational use (hockey in the winter, and tennis or basketball in the summer), a promenade, a meadow, and a children’s wading pool. The park is celebrated as Halprin’s most multi-purpose landscape; he once referred to it as having “four dimensions”.

Unfortunately, the concept and aesthetic behind Rochester’s urban renewal plan was not an immediate success. The ideas that contributed to the park’s design were progressive and sophisticated for their day but did not result in heavy traffic. Minimal use of the park led the city to deprioritize its maintenance and the landscape began to deteriorate during the 1980s and 1990s. The observation tower was closed, the waterfall fountain was shut off, and the lighting system on the space frame structure was allowed to burn out. General neglect led to further decline in public use and facilitated occasional vandalism.

Years of deferred maintenance led to Manhattan Square Park’s inclusion in The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s Landslide 2008: Marvels of Modernism, along with eleven other at-risk post-War properties. The recommendations made in Landslide’s call to action sought a renewed public investment in Manhattan Square Park, cautioning that its unique design and features, all attributed to Halprin, would be lost if they were allowed to continue to deteriorate. A case was also made that an informed rehabilitation of the park would reinvigorate Rochester’s declining downtown core.


Manhattan Square Park, Rochester, NY – Photo courtesy of the City of Rochester, 2008

The national Landslide campaign calling attention to under-valued modernist landscapes (which included a travelling exhibit produced in concert with The George Eastman Museum of International Photography and Film, in Rochester), spurred a renewed interest in urban public space, stimulating a discussion at both the local and national levels about the significance of Halprin’s Rochester design. The city eventually approved a phased capital project based on already underway master planning efforts which directed millions of dollars toward rehabilitating the park, while updating certain features to accommodate new uses. The flexible recreational space was repurposed as a reflecting pool during the summer season; the formerly abandoned restaurant building was rehabilitated and reopened as an event space in 2014; and in the fall of 2016, the waterfall fountain will flow again for the first time in decades.

A free tour of the park will be offered on September 17 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Lawrence Halprin’s birth year. The tour is open to the public and will be guided by JoAnn Beck, who was a senior landscape architect and project manager with the City of Rochester for over twenty years and was heavily involved in the on-going rehabilitation of Manhattan Square Park. Beck will describe the original Halprin design and speak to how and why the park has changed over the years. She will also discuss the role of the park at the heart of Rochester’s downtown area, and the long-term goals behind the park’s rehabilitation. Registration information can be found here.

Posted in NEWS | Comments closed

Urban Parks: From Dumping Grounds to Centers of Energy

A major initiative by New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver cogently explored at the recent and fascinating Parks Without Borders Summit is to make parks more porous and accessible and, by extension, to foster park equity, the idea that all parks are well maintained.


Image courtesy New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

“The goal of the Parks Without Borders initiative is to make “parks more open, welcoming, and beautiful by improving entrances, edges, and park-adjacent spaces.”

This comes during one of the most exciting periods in modern urban history in which parks have gone from being dumping grounds, perceived as dangerous, to centers of energy. This renaissance has been brought about by forward-thinking municipal officials, public-private partnerships such as the Central Park Conservancy and the Prospect Park Alliance, along with the support and advocacy of New Yorkers for Parks, the New York Restoration Project, the Trust for Public Land, and other savvy, resourceful, and entrepreneurial groups.

This would have been unthinkable a generation or so ago, but the city’s parks have come a long way. Central and Prospect Parks, jewels created by Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., and Calvert Vaux, have been rewoven into the city, and the relatively new High Line (one of the city’s best non-prescription mood elevators) has unequivocally demonstrated the potential for pairing historic preservation and design, as well as landscape architecture, architecture and horticulture – the project is by James Corner Field Operations (project lead), Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Piet Oudolf.

Add to this richness Brooklyn Bridge Park by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and Governor’s Island by West 8 (the next phase of the latter – an ambitious and astounding project called “The Hills” – opens in July), along with other projects, and the picture in the Big Apple is impressive.

But when it comes to New York parks, the concept of porosity is not altogether new. Ninety years ago the Central Park Association, organized to “stimulate and aid the City of New York to restore Central Park to life and vigor,” enlisted prominent citizens to promote access to the park through various stone gates along the its perimeter.


Engineers’ Gate, Central Park – Photo by Charles A. Birnbaum, 2016

The chairman for the “Hunters’ Gate” on West 79th was Theodore Roosevelt, while efforts for the “Women’s Gate” were led by Edna Ferber, and others.


High Line access points – Graphic by Charles A. Birnbaum

There are twenty entrances along the edges of the 843-acre park; by contrast, there are eleven entrances to the vastly smaller High Line.

While Commissioner Silver’s Parks Without Borders Summit focused on New York City’s five boroughs, issues of park porosity, connectivity, and accessibility are being raised across the country. In fact, as the value of parks new and old is rediscovered, demand for increased access (both visual and physical) has also grown considerably. As I told the Summit’s sold-out crowd convened at the New School, access to parks in Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, and other urban centers is increasing, as the parks are becoming more porous (breaking the edges) and as new networks and systems are created, and sites are capped (building over roadways and similar infrastructure).

In New York, the rehabilitation of Bryant Park, just blocks from Time Square, was a significant milestone when it reopened in 1992. Landscape architect Laurie Olin’s surgically precise design has created a stage for a broad range of programs and events.


Grand Park, Los Angeles – Photo by Matthew Traucht, 2014

In Los Angeles, the work by Rios Clementi Hale is transforming Grand Park, a formidable site, through new pedestrian circulation patterns, improved access for those not able bodied, expansive sight lines and enhanced signage. And, visitors can even play in the fountain’s basin.


Discovery Green, before – Image courtesy Hargreaves Associates

Discovery Green, after – Image courtesy Hargreaves Associates

Discovery Green in Houston, however, is perhaps one of the more radical and successful interventions. Mary Margaret Jones at Hargreaves Associates has re-engineered a bland ten-acre expanse of surface parking fronting the city’s convention center into a verdant and vibrant park, one that is attracting families with children, and spurring construction along its borders (which the designers are responding to with new entry points).

Several major parks systems, notably Boston’s Emerald Necklace, arguably a future World Heritage Site, and the Louisville Olmsted parks, are overcoming the effects of poor stewardship decisions made decades ago. In Boston, a vital connection for the entire park system that for decades had been given over to vehicular parking, has been reclaimed.


Chicago riverfront, before – Image courtesy Sasaki Associates

Chicago riverfront, after – Image courtesy Sasaki Associates

One of the most exciting, and without question popular, is the work along Chicago’s riverfront by Gina Ford at Sasaki Associates (note: Ford is a TCLF Board member). With street-level entries down to the river, and the creation of pedestrian-friendly dock-like structures along the water’s edge with raked seating, the design offers flexible events spaces, places for kayaking, and boat launches – all representing new and dramatic opportunities for interaction with the city.

Houston’s Buffalo Bayou Park by the SWA Group is the realization of a century-old idea to create paths and passageways along the bayou. For the automobile-centric city, the re-emergence of Houston’s seminal feature to include a network of paths that connect the Bayou—as a shared civic amenity — with its contiguous neighborhoods and infrastructure that blurs the line between art, landscape architecture and architecture is nothing short of revolutionary.


Freeway Park, Seattle – Photo by Charles Birnbaum, 2006

Capping roadways as Lawrence Halprin did in 1976 with Seattle’s Freeway Park has proved not only viable, but has helped close old wounds created when highway projects violently severed neighborhoods. The concept underlying Halprin’s pioneering masterwork has taken hold in Dallas with Klyde Warren Park by The Office of James Burnett.


Section of Rogers Woodall Freeway, before the construction of Klyde Warren Park – Image courtesy Klyde Warren Park

Klyde Warren Park – Image courtesy Klyde Warren Park

Here, the aggressive and original programming by the non-profit that operates the park has solidified it as a local must-see destination; and the park has also knit back together sections of downtown and the arts district. Additionally, The Presidio in San Francisco is burying a set of roadways and building a thirteen-acre park above it, while back in New York City, dlandstudio has proposed a park over a portion of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, a 1950s-era project by Robert Moses that not only created a gash through an established neighborhood, its presence has been associated with elevated asthma rates. The proposal would create new park space in an area that desperately needs it.

When Commissioner Silver and I discussed his Parks Without Borders initiative more than a year ago, I recognized it as a logical step in the evolution of the city’s parks. What was fascinating to learn was the intense public interest. In tandem with the summit, the city held a contest to determine which eight parks would receive funding towards rehabilitation that created greater access and openness. According to the city’s website, they received more than “6,100 suggestions for improving 692 parks, which is more than a third of all the parks and playgrounds in the city.”

The increased demand is also resulting in increased engagement. The top down dictates that scarred New York and other cities nationwide are being replaced by bottom up, community oriented decisions made with the benefit of forward thinking municipal leadership and leading landscape architects.

This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post on June 27, 2016.

Posted in NEWS | Comments closed

Shenzhen Bay Tech-Eco Park | Shenzhen China | CRJA-IBI Group and BLY Landscape Architects


CRJA-IBI Group in collaboration with BLY Landscape Architects were selected to design the exterior landscaped area, roadways, elevated decks, gardens and roof gardens for four districts within the new Shenzhen Bay Technology and Ecology Park. Shenzhen is a major city in the south of Southern China’s Guangdong Province, situated immediately north of Hong Kong. The area is China’s first—and one of the most successful—Special Economic Zones. The project’s location within the urban fabric of Shenzhen offered the landscape architects distinct opportunities to create an energizing addition to the neighborhood.



The ecology of the site is important to the overall surroundings. A defining feature of the surrounding landscape is water. Directly to the east is a river that traverses approximately 7km to a series of reservoirs to the north. The channel empties into the bay approximately 1.5km to the south. The water bodies serve as critical habitat to many different species of birds, reptiles, mammals and insects as well as providing essential drinking water to millions of people. Cleansing, conserving and reusing water throughout the site is paramount to creating an ecologically sustainable development.



Shenzhen is situated in the subtropical part of China, located at about the Tropic of Cancer, and has a warm, monsoon-influenced, humid climate. Abundant rain offers unique opportunities for collecting and harvesting rainwater and reusing within the buildings and landscape.


The architectural framework was already established by the client, and it was our goal from a landscape point of view to introduce the idea of establishing constructed natural systems in this highly urban infrastructure to filter and store water and provide urban habitat. The project spans multiple building levels and the landscape design was approached with the idea of weaving together a unified landscape experience with a series of dramatic moments to encourage pedestrians to move through the space.

The overall design objectives of this project are to create civic spaces that are meaningful, memorable, and timeless. These unique sensory environments are informed by the physically distinct typologies that water creates throughout its life cycle on the landscape.


Considerable landscape infrastructure was proposed such as passive cooling, rainwater storage, greywater reuse, stormwater management gardens, native plantings, and wind harvesting were incorporated into the design of each zone to enhance ecological sustainability throughout the project. The project is organized into 5 distinct zones:


This area of the project serves as the ‘Front Door’ of the development. A grand staircase with a cascading waterfall and shade loving plantings creates garden threshold. The space is meant to be a destination and not just an arrival zone. A progression of three bold moves unites the street level to the 9.3m level.
Mist Plaza – Iconic vertical element
Cascade stair – Water cascading
Waterfall Courtyard

Located 9.3m above the street, this area features interactive misting to provide passive cooling as well as an iconic ethereal feature beckoning visitors from the street below.

Dining and entertainment zones are located in this area to activate the terrace at multiple times throughout the day and into the evening. These areas are organized around green ‘pods’ which are shade loving planting zones under the building. Daylighting for the plants are provided through the use of fiber optic cables that receive sunlight from the roof and building facade through solar receivers. This feature serves to create subtle artistic expressions in the reflected ceiling panels. The Cloud Terrace affords views of the adjacent river to the east and will provide a cooler climate in the warmer months.


This area provides users with areas for quiet reflection balanced with active recreation. The eastern side of the project offers views to the river. This area will have lounge seating at the edges so that users can soak up the morning sun or have a quiet afternoon nap. In the residential portion of the Mountain Terrace, residents will have access to adult fitness areas, children play zones, open space for morning tai chi or evening dance. Also provided are areas for table games such as Mahjong, chess or cards.

This serves as the primary circulation system for the 9.3 level. It serves multiple functions in order to unite the various districts. The River Deck Promenade is divided into four distinct spaces united by common materials.

River Walk – Main East-West circulation pattern. Bold Plantings with light well openings to the level below.
Performance Amphitheater – This serves 2 functions, one to create a dynamic performance space and two to unite the 9.3, 0.00 and basement levels.
Water Plaza – This main civic space shall be activated by a cafe with the feature building serving as a dramatic backdrop.
Sun Deck – This serves as a quieter civic space that overlooks the Wetland Sculpture garden below. Sustainable strategies


This garden is meant to provide a revelatory experience for the user. The Canyon Garden is a working constructed wetland that serves as the heart and lungs of the project by cleaning and restoring greywater and rainwater to its pure form. From the South the gardens gradually step down from the street level elevation to the basement level. Each step is a part of a natural process to filter water. The aesthetic goal is to create a beautiful manmade system that mimics nature. 4 unique features, that are multifunctional, work to integrate the garden at all levels.
Performance Amphitheater – Located to the north, this serves as a grand stair to the levels below as well as space for music or performance art.
Living Tower – Centrally located this structure is clad in vertical plantings. Users can access from all levels and it serves as an interactive learning tool for the constructed wetland.
Source Point – This serves a dual purpose, one to provide a forest like sense of entry for users and at the same time needs to allow for firetruck access.


Shenzhen Bay Tech-Eco Park

Location  | Shenzhen, China

Design Team | CRJA-IBI Group and BLY Landscape Architects

Client | Shenzhen Bay Holdings Corp

Images credits | CRJA-IBI Group

Posted in NEWS | Comments closed

July 7 Public Lecture: Le Corbusier’s Villa Shodhan


Posted in NEWS | Comments closed

Korean War Memorial in the Presidio

KWMF Newsletter May-June 2016

Artist’s rendering of completed Memorial by Art Zendarski

Progress on the construction of the Memorial is becoming increasingly visible and more striking every day, as you can see from the construction photographs that follow. The initial landscaping, irrigation system, and electrical and lighting features have now been completed, and concrete has now been poured for nearly all of the major structural elements. This includes the main curved Memorial wall, which will ultimately be sheathed in black granite panels inscribed with iconic images from the Korean War. These panels are now being fabricated at the Coldspring Company in Minnesota, and will soon be shipped to the Presidio for installation on the wall. All this progress is due to the creative plan conceived by the talented Presidio Trust design team, and the supervision and execution of that plan by the Plant Construction Company management team and their capable crew.

KWMF Newsletter May-June 2016b4

Photo courtesy of Michael Lamb, Historic Landscape Architect, Presidio Trust

The Plant Construction Company team is enthusiastic about the project. As Construction Manager Mitch Magoshi put it, “We know how meaningful this Memorial is for the veterans and their families, and it’s meaningful for all of us who are building it, too. It’s a challenging project for me and my colleagues due to the complex design and high level of detail. This keeps things interesting!”

All elements of the project are on or ahead of schedule, and will be completed prior to the Opening Ceremony on August 1. One of the final steps will be the construction of the Donor Wall of inscribed tiles and bronze plaques, on the outer perimeter of the Memorial site along Lincoln Boulevard.

KWMF Newsletter May-June 20165

KWMF Newsletter May-June 20164

KWMF Newsletter May-June 20163

Mark your calendar now — Korean War Memorial Opening
Ceremony set for Monday, August 1, 2016

Please join us in celebration of this long-awaited event. All Korean War veterans, their families and descendants, donors, members of the media, and other supporters and friends are encouraged to attend what promises to be a memorable landmark celebration. Full details on the program and guest speakers will be announced soon.

From the KWMF May-June 2016 Newsletter

Posted in NEWS | Comments closed

To Witness the Magnificence of Yellowstone

Post by Avery Hu

I have studied Landscape Architecture for three years in the United States. A significant component that makes the philosophy of landscape design in this country unique is that the best landscape design is always created by nature. Building upon this fundamental philosophy, our pioneers in this country created United States National Park System in 1872. Yellowstone National Park was one of the earliest natural parks in this country. I have known about Yellowstone since the history class in the first year of my study, but I never had a chance to visit the park. Finally, I decided to put my footprints on the surface of this mysterious land of our Earth and took an after-graduation trip to Wyoming. After I returned to San Francisco, I felt it was necessary to share some of my photos. These photos are taken by Yashica Mat 124G and Nikon FM2N film camera by using Kodak Portra 160 and Fuji 160 NS negatives. All of them are developed in Photoworks, and are scanned by Epson V600.


The Artist Point A

The Artist Point B

The Artist Point A & The Artist Point B

The location to take these two image is called the Artist Point. Many people think that this was the spot where famous artist Thomas Moran painted to inspire Congress in 1872.

The Clouds Maker

The Clouds Maker

Old Faithful is one of the most predictable geographical features on Earth, erupting every 35 to 120 minutes. This photo is showing the moment when the geyser is ready to erupt.

The Form of Light

The Form of Light

I took this photo at the river bank of Unknown River in an early morning. I was attracted by the beam of light in the forest at other side of the river.

Triassic period Landscape C

Triassic period Landscape B

Triassic period Landscape A

Triassic period series

It is a region which full of active geysers, hot springs, mud pots. By the activity of hot water with Sulphur, the surrounding appears a strange landscape. In my aspect, it looks like the geology in Triassic period on Earth.

Posted in NEWS | Comments closed