Continuing tradition at Landscape Communications, Inc., LASN is recognizing the landscape architect firms that won paving awards in the Brick Industry Association’s annual Brick in Architecture competition.
OBS Landscape Architects
Best in Class Award
Project: Walnut Street Park Imaginary Garden Walk, Cary N.C.
Architect/Landscape Architect: OBS Landscape Architects, Raleigh, N.C.
Associate Architect: Barbara Grygutis Sculpture, LLC
Builder: Fred Adams Paving Company, Inc.
Brick Manufacturer: Pine Hall Brick
A highlight of Walnut Street Park is the Imaginary Garden Walk. The detail and patterns of the walk were created by artist Barbara Grygutis, who uses colored pavers to depict a twisting vine that blossoms in the expanded space at the northern end of the walk. The design creates a playful and graceful visual interplay of colors that engages the observer and conveys a sense of movement and nature.
Brian Starkey, obs landscape architects
Walnut Street Park / Imaginary Garden Walk— Cary, N.C.
Walnut Street Park is an 11-acre neighborhood park in Cary, N.C. The master plan for Walnut Street Park, prepared by OBS Landscape Architects through a community-based design process, proposed a central organizing walkway or promenade that connected one end of the park to the other as well as various elements within the park such as playgrounds, open space and other trails.
The central promenade is 15 feet wide and approximately 800 feet long. At it’s south end the walk terminates at a small parking area for the park. At the northern end it expands to create a plaza space on the site of a former residential structure. This space is surrounded by mature plant material including Magnolias, Japanese Maples and Camellias which create a sense of enclosure and provide year round interest.
OBS Landscape Architects provided services required to create the master plan, prepare construction documents and oversee construction.
The project is specifically intended to protect and exhibit the environment. Wetlands have been protected by bridges, trails are mulched to lessen soil erosion, and a rain garden has been installed as part of the storm drainage plan. The clay brick pavers themselves represent a green building material, as they are made of clay and water, which are the most abundant raw materials for construction on the planet. Clay brick pavers also last for centuries and can be recycled in countless ways, making them truly sustainable.
The 11-acre Walnut Street Park in Cary, N.C. features a central walkway that connects one end of the park to the other. This walkway is 15 feet wide, nearly 800 feet long and surrounded by mature plant material including Magnolias, Japanese Maples and Camellias which create a sense of enclosure and provide year round interest.
Brian Starkey, obs landscape architects
The detail and patterns of the walk were created by artist Barbara Grygutis of Tucson, Ariz. The patterns depict a twisting vine that blossoms in the expanded space at the northern end of the walk. The walk also includes small spaces in the center that are planted with native drought tolerant grasses. Flanking the walk as it traverses the park are informal plantings of dogwood trees that provide an additional layer of interest along the promenade throughout the year.
The design begins in the parking lot with a pair of intertwined cream and chocolate brown vines that weave themselves in delicate swoops over a rich cinnamon-red path. The ribbons of colored brick curve past a lush lawn and a wooded area complete with mulched trails and finally burst into bloom in a circular plaza at the northeast corner of Walnut Street Park. The design creates a playful and graceful visual interplay of colors that engages the observer and conveys a sense of movement and nature.
Project: Garden Gazebo, Greenwich, Conn.
Architect: Hilton-VanderHorn Architects, Greenwich, Conn.
Landscape Architect: Charles J. Stick, Inc., Charlottesville, Va.
Builder: World Wise Construction Management
Brick Manufacturers: Old Carolina Brick Company and Glen-Gery Corporation
Mason Contractor: Mauro Fidaleo Construction, LLC
A guiding principle in the design of this gazebo was that it complements the original 1942 brick Georgian residence in its style, scale, detailing, and use of fine materials. Hilton-VanderHorn Architects designed the gazebo and Charles J. Stick Inc. was in charge of the landscape features around the gazebo.
Garden Gazebo Greenwich, Conn.
The garden gazebo was built to satisfy a client’s desire for a retreat where he could enjoy his beloved gardens. It also serves as a focal point in the garden, designed to blend in and appear as an outbuilding of the original property.
A guiding principle in its design, therefore, was that it complements the original 1942 brick Georgian residence in its style, scale, detailing, and use of fine materials. Mid-Atlantic colonial outbuildings, such as Jefferson’s garden pavilion at Monticello, inspired the design itself. The fašade is composed of a series of screened arches framed by pilasters, resting on a water table, all rendered in hand-made brick.
Matching the original hand-made Flemish-bond brick veneer and the flush mortar joint detail of the main house was an early challenge. Achieving the range of brick colors found on the main house required the use of five different types of hand-made brick from three different suppliers. From this palette of bricks, mason Mauro Fidaleo of Stamford, Conn. carefully selected each one in order to achieve the proper range of colors desired. The bricks were supplied by Old Carolina Brick, Glen-Gery and Cushwa Companies.
The bell-shaped roof is clad in specially cut lead fish-scale shingles crowned with a custom-designed, lead-coated copper pineapple finial. The brick arches are both a primary design feature and a structural necessity to carry the weight of the lead shingle roof. The brick arches are carried to the interior of the gazebo, which has a domed stucco ceiling and star pendant lighting fixture.
The floor features a circular, custom designed medallion fabricated from a single piece of polished black granite, and was designed to be reminiscent of a backyard pond reflecting the constellations of the open sky, with stars and signs of the zodiac, all highlighted in gold leaf. The etching of the medallion was by Art Stone Services of Kings Park, N.Y.
The gazebo comprises 120 square feet, is 13 feet wide at its base, and about 17’-4” from grade to top of roof. The project took approximately six months to complete.
The fašade of the gazebo is composed of a series of screened arches framed by pilasters, resting on a water table, all rendered in hand-made brick. Achieving the range of brick colors found on the main house required the use of five different types of hand-made brick from three different suppliers. From this palette of bricks, the mason carefully selected each one in order to achieve the proper range of colors desired.
Justison Landing, Wilmington, Del.
Throughout the 1800’s and 1900’s the banks of the Christina River were a source of local industry for the Wilmington, Del. economy. Leather tanneries, railroads, warehouses, and shipbuilding were among the many industries that were located along the riverfront. But as those industries left, from the 1950’s on, the city had lost its connection to its Christina River.
Oasis Design Group
Project: Justison Landing, Wilmington, Del.
Landscape Architect: Oasis Design Group — Baltimore, Md.
Builder: Delaware Department of Transportation
Brick Manufacturer: Pine Hall Brick
Distributor: Delaware Brick Company
Mason Contractor: GrassBusters Landscaping & Irrigation
The central intersection of Justison Landing was created to have the feel of traditional European plaza. A raised intersection, ornately detailed with granite paving, serves to calm traffic while providing an extension of the pedestrian plaza.
George E. Brown Photography & Imaging
Rebirth of the Riverfront — Purpose and Scope of the Project
In 2004, the Riverfront Development Corporation of Delaware set out to revive the industrial wasteland and Justison Landing was conceived. Justison Landing is a comprehensively designed 33-acre brownfield urban redevelopment.
A plan established a new urban street grid with associated infrastructure so that private and public development could be brought online bringing together a variety of types of residential, retail, and office in a mixed-use urban environment. A centrally located public plaza and open green space, named Harlan Plaza, makes a people-friendly linkage to the river. More than 2.4 miles of new streets and their associated streetscapes were created. Building entries and plazas complement the surrounding streetscape elements.
Oasis Design Group’s Role
Oasis Design Group, a landscape architecture and urban design firm in Baltimore, Md., worked early in the process with developers, project engineers (Rummel, Klepper & Kahl), the Riverfront Development Corporation of Delaware, and the Delaware Department of Transportation to develop an urban framework plan for redevelopment. During the master planning stages, Oasis assisted with the design and alignment of 12 city blocks; established street rights-of-way widths; identified and defined — in conjunction with the architects — development parcel boundaries; created public open spaces and provided connections to the river and existing green spaces; and created a strong urban street scene.
Oasis Design Group took the initial overall urban design concepts through design development and construction documentation. Subsequently, it worked with the Delaware Department of Transportation and its construction manager to oversee construction, which included handling Requests for Information (RFI), reviewing submittals and shop drawings, and on-site construction observation.
Project: Kenmore Square Surface Improvements, Boston, Mass.
Landscape Architect: Pressley Associates, Cambridge, Mass.
Associate Architect: Dimella Shaffer Associates
Builder: The Barletta Companies
Brick Manufacturer: Boral Bricks, Inc.
Distributor: Spaulding Brick Company, Inc.
Mason Contractor: Dependable Masonry Construction Company
Improvements to pedestrian walks leading to Boston University and Fenway Park, and reconfigured vehicular routes at the convergence of Commonwealth Avenue, Beacon Street, and Brookline Avenue are among the highlights of the Kenmore Square improvements. The result is a vastly improved and beautiful terminus to the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. The street pavers in the intersection are 4” x 8” x 3” Hanover Architectural Prest Concrete Pavers. (Hanover Architectural Products, Hanover, PA).
Lynne Damianos Photography
Kenmore Square Surface Improvements – Boston, Mass.
To many, Kenmore Square, in Boston’s historic Back Bay, is closely linked with the Red Sox and memories of subway rides in packed cars. The Red Sox experience was dreaded because of the scramble up dark stairways to incredibly crowded and poorly lit narrow dingy sidewalks. Beginning in the mid 1990’s, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) developed plans to upgrade their train and bus facilities in the Square to make the negative memories a thing of the past.
As part of the initial plan, the MBTA began to construct accessible entries to the below grade Green Line station at Kenmore Square. Early on, project planners embraced the opportunity to re-evaluate the design of the landscape including vehicular and pedestrian circulation, in concert with two new elevators being proposed to provide universal access to the station.
The transformation of Kenmore Square is now complete after a decade of construction. The square has been renovated with improvements to pedestrian walks leading to Boston University and Fenway Park, and reconfigured vehicular routes at the convergence of Commonwealth Avenue, Beacon Street, and Brookline Avenue. The result on the surface is a vastly improved and beautiful terminus to the Commonwealth Avenue Mall.
Kenmore Square is now a destination at the end of the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, rather than a space one merely passes through. Large paved intersections, or ‘bookends’, signal the boundaries of the Square. New brick sidewalks are familiar to Bostonians; granite and steel fencing and Japanese Zelkova trees, found in the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, visually link the Square to its surroundings. Improving pedestrian safety necessitated reducing vehicular travel areas to create more sidewalk space in this very busy public square, with the added benefit of decreased crossing distances for foot traffic. Large expanses of asphalt were replaced with attractive pavers, which are both aesthetic and help to slow traffic and protect pedestrians.
Perhaps the greatest design challenge was creating a sense of place amidst organized chaos. With a vast array of streets, businesses, academic and medical institutions, transportation modes, and historic influences at work, Kenmore Square, an area known for its grittiness, was suddenly infused with new ideas and financial resources.
Balancing the distinctive character of Kenmore Square with a creative vision required an in depth understanding of the space and its programmatic requirements, its history, and its role in the City’s urban fabric.
Pressley Associates had the role of bringing the program, history, and existing fabric to reality while coordinating the final surface design elements between DiMella Shaffer Associates, the architect of the new glass bus shelter, the MBTA, the City of Boston, Boston University, and concerned community business and residential groups.
It proved pivotal to have a landscape architect involved in this traffic oriented space to ensure the sense of place in the Square was maintained and enhanced, and the needs of pedestrians and casual users of the space where not overlooked in the name of traffic efficiency. Pressley Associates Landscape Architects served as consultants to DiMella Shafer Architects, which designed the subway and bus improvements.
The team worked together for 10 years to produce the results. The key parties were the Metropolitan Boston Transit Authority, the City of Boston, and Boston University.