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The following news articles are geared toward students and other professionals.
Landscape Architecture Firms
Summer of joy at Governors Island Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 June 2017 15:15

When we designed the park and public space of Governors Island we could only dream that within such short time the island would bring together so many people to play, laugh, discover, love, and relax. This summer Governors Island presents a programme of joyful activities. Swim, run, watch wild birds, celebrate the full moon, write poems, eat or have a go at New York's longest slide. But most of all: enjoy! 

Click here to see the full programme. 

We are honored that Governors Island already won four awards this year. Read about our Architizer A+ Award and our MASterworks Award

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Kröller-Müller Sculpture Garden is now a National Monument Print E-mail
Thursday, 22 June 2017 14:43

On June 20, the sculpture garden of the Dutch Kröller-Müller Museum was officially designated as National Monument. Adriaan Geuze has been preferred garden architect of the museum since 1995. Minister Jet Bussemaker of Education, Culture and Science was present to officially hand over over the 'monument shield' to the museum and to plant a new tree.

The garden was originally designed by J.T.P. Bijhouwer in close collaboration with former director Bram Hammacher and was opened to the public in 1961. It is one of the finest examples of the innovative postwar thinking about exhibiting artworks in a carefully designed natural setting. For the first time, sculptures were shown as autonomous works of art rather then 'upholsteries' of a green space.  

West 8's work on the garden so far has included a concept of a four-season sculpture garden and a large extension of the sculpture garden. The surrounding park was re-arranged into various specific environments that offer differentiated contexts in which the collection can be exhibited.

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20 years Máximapark: celebration and nomination Print E-mail
Wednesday, 21 June 2017 11:06

Twenty years ago on June 25, 1997, West 8 won the competition for Utrecht's Máximapark. The park's trust "Friends of Máximapark" celebrated this memorable date together with West 8's Adriaan Geuze and the design team. As a crowning glory, the park has been nominated for the Rietveldprijs 2017.

The Rietveldprijs is an award programme to promote the quality of the built environment in Utrecht. Máximapark is one of the seven nominees for this year. 

Since Queen Máxima opened the park in 2003, Máximapark has developed the true spirit of a place that brings people together. Whether it's for sporting, playing, meeting loved ones, drinking and eating, or partying, Máximapark provides a natural setting for all kinds of pleasurable, healthy and social activities.

After a retrospective lecture by Adriaan Geuze, the book 'Jeremie in Utrecht' was delivered by train and presented to former municipal council member Gilbert Isabella and former neighborhood manager Paul Hartman. The book is written by Kees de Visser and tells the story of the historical Jeremiebrug, that was given a new home in Máximapark.  

In 2015, the Park Pergola of Máximapark won the Rietveld People's Choice Award. This year the entire park has been nominated. Voting starts early July. More information on the award programme can be found here

Recently, the magazine Bouw en Uitvoering published this interview with the trust's chairman Johan de Boer and Adriaan Geuze about Máximapark (Dutch only). 

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The new Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail at Ontario Place is officially open Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 June 2017 16:27

LANDinc and West 8's design Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail at Ontario Place is officially open as of 19 June 2017 after three and a half years of process.

The new Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail at Ontario Place has opened up a section of Toronto’s waterfront that has been inaccessible to the public for over 40 years. Located along a portion of Ontario Place's east island, the new Trillium Park and waterfront William G. Davis Trail is situated on a 7.5 acre site previously used for parking. On June 19, 2017, it was finally completed and opened by Premier Kathleen Wynne and Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport of Ontario. The project provides access to another section of Toronto’s waterfront previously unavailable to the public. It includes an urban park and a new section of waterfront trail that connects with the existing Martin Goodman Trail and the 780-kilometre waterfront trail system which extends from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Cornwall, Ontario.

The park and waterfront trail are designs by LANDinc in partnership with West 8 after being selected for the project through a competitive process in fall 2013. Since then the team worked closely with the Ontario Government and Waterfront Toronto. West 8 was responsible for the Conceptual Design of the park while LANDinc carried on the design responsibility through to Construction Documents and on site supervision during construction.

Public consultation has been an important part of the planning and design process. In addition to input and feedback from stakeholders and Waterfront Toronto’s Design Review Panel, the Ontario government held a series of in-person and online consultations to gather ideas and input from Ontarians at key stages in the process. Final designs were unveiled on June 24, 2015, at which time it was also announced that the trail is being dedicated in the name of William G. Davis, who was Premier in 1971 when Ontario Place first opened.

In 2009, Waterfront Toronto opened a newly created stretch of the Martin Goodman Trail at Ontario Place. The 1.3 kilometre addition at Ontario Place is an important piece in connecting the wider waterfront trail and a critical link in the 17 kilometre Martin Goodman Trail. The addition provides opportunities for alternative modes of travel across the waterfront in a safe and attractive environment.

Co-creation with public’s input

A series of public meetings were held to give the public an opportunity to share ideas and provide the project and design team with input and feedback on the design of the new park and waterfront trail. The vision is to transform Ontario Place into a year-round, multi-use waterfront community and urban park for everyone to enjoy. LANDinc and West 8’s design features an open-air pavilion inspired by evergreen forests and Ontario Place’s unique design, as well as open spaces to host art fairs, film festivals, yoga classes, school groups and food vendors. 

Other highlights of the park include:

  • The Ravine with Moccasin Identifier: Developed in collaboration with the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, a moccasin etching in this gateway to the park provides a visual reminder to celebrate and honour the history and culture of Indigenous peoples.
  • The Bluff: Stacked boulders and rocks from a Muskoka quarry are located along the trail, symbolizing the prehistoric Lake Iroquois shoreline.
  • A continuous route of more than 2,000 kilometres in Ontario, the Trans Canada Trail includes the Martin Goodman Trail and the Pan Am Path.
  • Romantic Garden, an open space designed for rest or play.
  • Located at the southern tip of the park is the Summit - the highest elevation in the park and provides gentle slopes to sit on while taking in expansive views across the park and out to the lake.

In celebration of Ontario’s 150th anniversary, Ontario Place is hosting a themed event every long weekend this summer. More information please visit official website of the Ontario Place or Waterfront Toronto's official announcement here.

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Claire Agre to speak at APGA Conference 2017 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 June 2017 14:14

How to leverage a construction process as an opportunity for community engagement? On the 22 of June 2017, West 8 New York's principal Claire Agre will address this topic at the American Public Garden Association Conference 2017.

As panel member, Claire will discuss the recent restoration of Longwood Gardens' Main Fountain Garden as an example of a fresh approach to actively engage the public in a construction process.

Construction projects are inevitable in public gardens. The common tendency is to anticipate the construction will result in negative consequences. When Longwood Gardens' most iconic and historically significant garden, the Main Fountain Garden shut down in October 2014, rather than apologize, Longwood took a bold step by creating an immersive guest experience.

Instead of building large walls hiding the project and placing apologetic messaging in the garden, guests were actively invited to be a part of the renovation through new interactive programs, both on-site and online.

Longwood's spectacular Main Fountain Garden reopened on the 27 of May this year. West 8 was responsible for the design of the garden’s improved public spaces harmonizing with the original design, the enhancement of the Main Fountain Garden’s horticultural elements, and the creation of new gardens that provide new amenities for Longwood’s guests.

More information can be found here.


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Copyright © 2017. Robert Hewitt | Clemson University professor of Landscape Architecture.
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