2020 Design Awards

Award of Excellence

WxLA – Reed Gilliland, Inc.

RESEARCH & COMMUNICATION CATEGORY

Project Statement
WxLA emerged from a panel at the ASLA national convention in the fall of 2018 as a gender justice advocacy initiative in landscape architecture. Raising awareness of the challenges that prevent women from reaching their potential and providing inspired ideas and new models, WxLA’s initiatives include the (First-ever) Women’s Landscape Equality (re)Solution, WxLA Instagram Campaign, The WxLA Scholarship, and two social media takeovers.

In addition, though nascent in its life as an advocacy organization, WxLA has been featured in numerous national and international publications including Landscape Architecture Magazine, World Landscape Architecture Magazine and The Dirt. A mobilized and empowered movement, WxLA is providing a voice for women in the profession, a mechanism for enacting change and an inspiration to legacy and next-generation practitioners alike.

Honor Award

Heartwood Greenways And Stormwater Masterplan – Meyer Studio Land Architects (MSLA)

ANALYSIS & PLANNING CATEGORY

Project Statement
In 2019, a series of unprecedented floods ravaged Eastern Nebraska and the greater Omaha metropolitan area. Estimated damages ranged upwards of 1.3 billion dollars: farms were shuttered, families lost homes. Disastrous flooding is becoming the new normal of a changing climate, a problem exacerbated in this region by sprawling urbanization that increases impervious runoff and associated flood-level peak flows. The Heartwood Greenways and Stormwater Masterplan, which anchors a 500-acre development in Omaha, Nebraska, is designed to help protect adjacent communities and farms by mitigating future extreme weather events.

The greenway system is defined by a series of meticulously crafted water detention basins, both functional and beautiful. The project celebrates the process of capturing rainfall and conceives this network of detention basins as a sculpture park. The project explores an expanded role for the design of climate infrastructure, wherein these systems are designed to make legible our changing planet while serving to mitigate the disastrous impacts of these changes.

Honor Award

New Stanford Hospital – GLS Landscape Architecture

DESIGN: GENERAL CATEGORY

Project Statement
The New Stanford Hospital sets a bold new global standard for healthcare facilities prioritizing a landscape-driven and human centered design to revolutionize the patient experience. While leading at the forefront of technological innovations and seismic standards, the hospital also prioritizes a novel approach to the landscape: Four acres of healing gardens are informed by the therapeutic power of nature, providing solace to patients and families and offering healthcare workers a healthy and restorative workspace. This allows the facility to integrate a holistic approach to wellness, addressing social, emotional, and physical needs simultaneously.

The hospital’s open spaces are designed to be fully integrated into the California landscape, drawing on the history of Santa Clara Valley agriculture and connecting visually to the larger Stanford University built environment.

Honor Award

Portola Valley Residence – Lutsko Associates

DESIGN: RESIDENTIAL CATEGORY

Project Statement
Tucked into a grassy hillside in Portola Valley, a California town at the edge of a coastal mountain range, this modest residence honors the surrounding landscape and provides spaces for the family of five to gather and play. The project includes a three-bedroom house, a small guest house and studio, pathways, parking, a backyard terrace, and gardens that unobtrusively maintain the natural landscape character. To this end, the gardens and gathering spaces connect the house to the site and create outdoor rooms to occupy, without distracting from the natural beauty of the open hillside. The planting design is restrained, exploring subtle transitions that effectively blur boundaries between naturalistic California “garden” and contextual plant communities, in this case naturalized annual grasses. The resulting home and gardens feel bound to the hillside and anchored by a calm sense of place.

Merit Award

The Bay Bridge Pedestrian Piers – Upcycling Infrastructure For Everyone – AECOM

DESIGN: GENERAL CATEGORY

Project Statement
In an era where aging infrastructure is terming-out across our country, this project demonstrates how the funds earmarked for decommissioning old structures can be better spent modifying them to provide social, ecological and economic benefits. When the new eastern span of the San Francisco , Oakland Bay Bridge opened to the public over the 2013 Labor Day weekend, demolition of the original east span began almost immediately, starting with the removal of the above-water steel superstructure and followed by the implosion of the marine foundations. As demolition of the eastern span progressed, one waste-reducing idea gained traction – to retain and repurpose select bridge foundations to serve the public.

Our design team was engaged to conceive, design, and oversee construction of two new public access piers using these remnants. The resulting project upcycles existing bridge foundations and salvaged steel from the old Bay Bridge for public benefit. The project also expands the Bay Trail network along both the Oakland and San Francisco shorelines to provide waterfront access to underserved communities.

Merit Award

Blue Kunshan: A Livable Innovation District – PLAT Studio Inc.

URBAN DESIGN CATEGORY

Project Statement
Kunshan West is emerging as a new innovative district for the city of Kunshan and is experiencing rapid growth driven by a booming tech industry. With a strong history of waterfront living, the city of Kunshan is looking for public realm strategies and solutions to address the mounting pressures of accelerated urbanism and a rising population. The vision of Blue Kunshan is to transform Kunshan West into a livable innovation district through effective integration of landscape infrastructure that prioritizes ecology, recreation and culture. By designing activated green streets, sustainable corridors of canals and parks, and a district-wide identity that reflects the district’s industry of ingenuity, the masterplan comprehensively merges all layers of public realm to form Kunshan West into a vibrant and ecological mixed-use district. Through these integrated and sustainable initiatives, Kunshan West has the capability to support expanding growth as well as maintain the city’s deep-rooted relationship with water.

Merit Award

Civic Center Modernization Master Plan – SmithGroup

ANALYSIS & PLANNING CATEGORY

Project Statement
The Sunnyvale Civic Center Modernization Master Plan redefines the connection between the City’s civic campus and the community that it serves. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley at the crossroads of two busy thoroughfares, the City of Sunnyvale was looking to reimagine its 24-acre car-centric campus into a model of public access and sustainability. With the guiding principles of serving, welcoming, and leading the community, the design team set out to create a Master Plan centered around improving the user experience, increasing civic engagement, and invoking community pride. Through cutting edge sustainable site and architecture design, with a keen focus on preserving and restoring the campus’s natural assets, the Master Plan leads the City into a renewed and renewable future. The multi-disciplinary design team led by landscape architects reclaimed the civic campus for its users, turning a vehicle-oriented campus into a people-oriented destination that welcomes and serves the community .

Merit Award

Coast Ridge Residence – Scott Lewis Landscape Architecture

DESIGN: RESIDENTIAL CATEGORY

Project Statement
This hillside property evokes the natural character of an adjoining 90-acre oak woodland regional preserve. Eschewing fencing and lawn, the textured design uses native plantings throughout a contemporary compound of interlinked residence and studios. The horticulturist-owner envisioned a landscape that welcomed wildlife, provided habitat and offered an opportunity to experiment with the diversity of regional plantings. Rainwater harvesting, permeable surfaces, drought-tolerant plants and a greywater irrigation system enforce the goal of conserving resources, resulting in landscape irrigation that uses only 33% of its county-mandated allotment. An insulating roof garden of native grasses and wildflowers blends the shed-style architecture to the site. Reflecting the client’s artistic interests, a sculptural planting bed of rough-hewn stone frames their extensive succulent collection in the central courtyard. Thoughtful siting preserved a manzanita grove, safeguarded existing oaks, and framed wide views from both winding paths and interior spaces. This property now seamlessly blends with its majestic surroundings at both ground and roof levels, respecting and extending the qualities of the neighboring open space preserve.

Merit Award

GSA San Francisco Federal Building Plaza – SmithGroup

COMMUNITY IMPACT CATEGORY

Project Statement
The GSA is seeking to explore emergent models for possible futures for the federal plaza. The approach established a framework for programmatic flexibility and not a physical design solution. This approach represents a new replicable model to reimagine public space through community engagement at challenging sites within the city.