The 35th annual awards banquet of the Louisiana Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects was held March 8th at the Goodwood Main Library in Baton Rouge. Fourteen projects located throughout the Gulf Coast states and designed by Louisiana firms and LSU Students were honored. Award categories include General Design, Built and Unbuilt; Residential Design, Comprehensive and Limited Scope; Analysis and Planning; Communications; and Special Recognition, Student Work.
Project Statement: Downtown Baton Rouge is experiencing a renaissance, with new businesses renovating existing buildings, creating many new options for eating and entertainment, as well as new residential developments and growth in the workforce that have all strengthened and evolved the downtown core. The Downtown Greenway is a 2.75 mile phased trail system of bicycle and pedestrian paths connecting historic and inner city neighborhoods to seven existing public parks and attractions of Downtown Baton Rouge. The first section of the Downtown Greenway has extended the historic North Boulevard median as a desirable pedestrian and biking corridor from Interstate 110 overpass to the North Boulevard Town Square. It features separate bicycle and pedestrian paths, median crossings, seating areas, ADA accessible ramps, lighting, workout areas, bike racks and repair stations in a lush garden setting amid the active urban environment.
Project Statement: The redesign of City Hall Plaza is the most recently completed component of the downtown Baton Rouge ‘Central Green’, intended to be a unified system of greenspaces connecting downtown civic and cultural attractions. With its central location in the heart of the urban core, City Hall Plaza has successfully linked Galvez Plaza, Repentance Park, the Old State Capitol, North Boulevard Town Square, River Center and City Hall. For years, this shared space adjacent to City Hall and the River Center was a somewhat harsh environment of large paved surfaces with little to no shade and rigid planters that prohibited accessibility and deterred a smooth, intuitive flow through the space. Intense collaboration and communication between Clients, Contractors and members of the Design Team was vital in dealing with challenging and complex existing site conditions and realizing the construction of a successful project. The revitalization of City Hall Plaza has strengthened the growing network of greenspaces in downtown Baton Rouge with more usable and accessible greenspace that provides users with ease of mobility and an inviting destination to attend events or linger and people watch.
Spackman Mossop Michaels Landscape Architects. General Design (Built) Merit Award. Lamar Advertising Headquarters. Baton Rouge, LA.
Reich Associates. General Design (Built) Merit Award and USGBC Excellence Award. Lee Magnet High School. Baton Rouge, LA.
CARBO Landscape Architecture. General Design (Unbuilt) Honor Award and USGBC Sustainability Honorable Mention. The Mirabeau Gardens Phase 1 Master Plan. New Orleans, LA.
CARBO Landscape Architecture. Residential Design (Comprehensive Scope) Honor Award. Hill Country Village Residence. San Antonio, TX.
Project Statement: This residence is located just northwest of downtown San Antonio, Texas, in an unincorporated rural area known as Hill Country Village. Defined predominantly by larger rural residential parcels, Hill Country Village is home to many who work in urban San Antonio, and is an escape to more rural Texas landscapes. Our client purchased this home shortly after its initial construction by previous owners. Our planning and construction efforts occurred over two and a half years. Our planning goal for the residence was to amplify and exaggerate all things natural and native. Preservation zones for wildlife with walking trails, use of mostly natives, and artful subtle interventions, so as to not distract from what is significant in realizing our ambitions for the client – a retreat to the simple pleasures of nature.
Rene Fransen Landscape Architects. Residential Design (Comprehensive Scope) Merit Award. Studer Residence. Pensacola, FL.
CARBO Landscape Architecture. Residential Design (Limited Scope) Honor Award. Cane River Residence, Fern Glade. Natchitoches Parish, LA.
Project Statement: Time and patience created this tranquil and serene garden over the last 20 years. As part of a larger residential garden Master Plan in the early 1990’s, this garden was executed incrementally as resources and desired natural conditions allowed. The powerful use of mass plantings within more detailed garden destinations, that also function as “working” landscapes, make this a memorable place. This garden artfully serves as water retention and detention for the highly developed garden on 8 acres of this residence’s upper terrace. All garden site stormwater is collected here, stored and filtered, before ultimately discharging into the Cane River. Cane River is being suppressed by development along its edges, where sedimentation and fertilizers are creating unhealthy environments for beneficial water quality. Our goal was to create a precedent for others to follow so that development practices in the future might change to ensure a healthy river environment for all.
Joseph Furr Design Studio. Analysis and Planning Honor Award. Electric Depot Adaptive Reuse Master Plan. Baton Rouge, LA.
Project Statement: One site - a Catalyst for Growth turned to Brownfield now a Catalyst for Re-development. Originally constructed in the early 1900’s, the Baton Rouge Electric Company power plant was constructed to expand power production for the latest technology of the time - the electric home. At the time and throughout the early 20th Century this was catalytic in the explosive growth of the City of Baton Rouge as it provided the energy for a growing community. The Plan for Electric Depot provides vision for this site, abandoned for decades, and fosters re-growth potential. Repurposing of this now abandoned Brownfield site, located in an economically challenged neighborhood just a few blocks from downtown Baton Rouge, this adaptive re-use plan combines public, private, economic, environmental, historic, architectural and landscape architectural expertise and collaboration to insure that the project becomes the second catalytic influence on the Cityscape. By adapting existing buildings, repurposing existing on site material, increasing the footprint for greenspace, water management and outdoor uses, the Master Plan provides for three mixed use blocks including entertainment, retail and mixed rate housing and has already started the reclamation of this important downtown neighborhood.
Dana Brown & Associates. Analysis and Planning Merit Award. New Orleans River Front Master Plan. New Orleans, LA.
Project Statement:Established in 2006, the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area (ANHA) stretches across 14 parishes in south-central Louisiana. It is among the most culturally rich and ecologically varied regions in the U.S. and is home to the widely recognized Cajun culture as well as a diverse population of European, African, Caribbean and Native-American descent. The Water Heritage Trail was established as a self-guided driving trail for the purpose of illustrating how water became and remains a distinctive influence on life and landscapes of the 14-parish ANHA.
Hayden Hammons, Taylor Jacobsen, Nguyet Nguyen, Betsy Peterson, Tanvi Shah, Xi Stich, Andrew Wright; LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture (MLA.) Faculty Advisor Brendan Harmon, PhD. The Hungry River. Amite River, LA.
Project Statement: The Hungry River brings awareness to the often-overlooked impacts of improper sand and gravel mining practices along waterbodies across the United States, focusing on a section of the Amite River in southeastern Louisiana pockmarked with over 15,000 acres of mines. The timeliness of this project is significant, as influential academic, governmental, and political stakeholders are studying the primary factors that contributed to the severity of the August 2016 floods throughout the Amite watershed. This project reveals how the lack of post-mining reclamation of floodplain sand and gravel mine pits contributed to excessive sedimentation and increased floodplain footprint downstream.
Mai Nguyen, LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture MLA Student. Faculty Advisor Lake Douglas, PhD, ASLA. Special Recognition, Student Work Merit Award. Reclaiming Common Grounds: Parks for Community Health in New Orleans District B. New Orleans, LA.