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Oasis Terrace: Singapore's New Neighborhood Center and Polyclinic

London-based Serie Architects, in collaboration with Multiply Architects of Singapore, has unveiled its winning design for a Neighbourhood Centre and Polyclinic in Punggol, Singapore. Called Oasis Terrace, the project will become the new center for public amenities for Singapore’s Housing & Development Board in Punggol.

The design spans 27,400 square meters, of which 9,400 square meters will be comprised of healthcare facilities, while the rest will include “communal gardens, play spaces, gyms, retail spaces, dining, [and] learning spaces,” all of which is expected to come together into “a new generation of integrated development.”

Courtesy of Serie Architects Courtesy of Serie Architects Courtesy of Serie Architects Courtesy of Serie Architects

Charles Birnbaum on the Need to Save DC's Pershing Park

Last May, we published an open call for the redesign of the National World War I Memorial at Washington DC's Pershing Park, situated between the White House and the Capitol on Pennsylvania Avenue. Opened as a park plaza in 1981, the park’s current state is in need of renewal.

The competition, hosted by the United States Federation for the Commemoration of the World Wars and sponsored by the World War I Centennial Commission, received over 350 entries. While these entries did generally follow the guidelines they were given, most of the designs incorporated the complete demolition of the park.

Now, because the park is one of the most significant works of Modernist landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg, with planting plan designs by Oehme, van Sweden & Associates, landscape architecture organizations like The Cultural Landscape Foundation are speaking up against the possibility of demolition.

Kengo Kuma Designs Cultural Village for Portland Japanese Garden

Plans have been unveiled for Kengo Kuma's first public commission in the US. The Portland Japanese Garden has commissioned Kuma to design a new "Cultural Village" to accommodate the garden's growing popularity.

Based off the Japanese tradition of monzenmachi (gate-front towns), where activity exists just outside the gates of shrines and cultural sites, the village will provide a "free-flowing" courtyard space for events and educational activities, as well as multi-purpose classrooms, galleries, a library, tea cafe, and more. In addition to this, a new visitor entrance will be built on an existing site at the bottom of the hillside site on Kingston Avenue, just on the outskirts of downtown Portland

"The Portland Japanese Garden's careful growth is a very important cultural effort, not only for Portland but also for the US and Japan," said Kuma in a press release.

OMA Among 5 Shortlisted for Singapore Rail Corridor

MVRDV, OMA and DP Architects are among five shortlisted teams competing to design the Singapore Rail Corridor. Spanning the island south to north, from the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to the Woodlands Checkpoint, the corridor is the site of Singapore’s previous rail link to Malaysia. With this competition, the Singapore government hopes to develop a feasible plan to transform the 24 kilometer stretch into a public greenway that connects four important urban nodes: Buona Vista, the Bukit Timah Railway Station area, the former Bukit Timah Fire Station, and Kranji. 

“The expanse of the corridor running through the centre of the entire country presents an unprecedented opportunity to develop a new typology of landscape with transformative effects for the country as a whole. This is a project that has the potential to improve quality of life for generations to come," says OMA Partner Michael Kokora. 

64 teams responded to the government's call for ideas, and now only five have been selected to move onto the competition's second stage. These five teams are...

Yoko Ono and Project 120 Collaborate to Reimagine Chicago’s Jackson Park

Chicago’s Jackson Park is expected to see some big changes in the coming years. Nonprofit organization Project 120 is working to revitalize the park, restoring many of the design aspects implemented by its landscape architect, the famous Frederick Law Olmsted. Alongside this restoration, the park will also receive a new Phoenix Pavilion, homage to Japan’s gift to the US for the 1893 Columbian Exposition. An outdoor performance space will be added to the park, as will an installation funded by musician and activist Yoko Ono. See the details, after the break.

2014: A Great Year for Landscape Architecture

By all accounts 2014 has been a great year for landscape architecture, and not just because of the completion of the final phase of the High Line by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and James Corner Field Operations. Previously published by the Huffington Post as "2014's Notable Developments in Landscape Architecture," this roundup of the year by the President of The Cultural Landscape Foundation Charles A Birnbaum finds plenty of promising developments, marred only slightly by some more backward-looking descisions.

This year there was a cultural shift that saw landscape architecture and its practitioners achieve an unprecedented level of visibility and influence.

This year the single most notable development came courtesy of the New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman who wrote: "Great public places and works of landscape architecture deserve to be treated like great buildings."

Landscape architecture and architecture on equal footing. Let that sink in.

Damian Rogers Proposes Surf Park for Melbourne's Docklands

Damian Rogers Architecture is hoping to “bring surf to the city” by proposing a $8 million AUD artificial beach and wave pool for the Victoria Harbor in Melbourne. Capable of simulating “surfable” 1.5-meter-high waves, the heated salt-water pool is envisioned as an extension of Central Pier in the Docklands. If built, the pool would be complimented by a beach, encompassing boardwalk, and grass-covered recreation and retail facility. 

What Urbanists Can Learn From Low-Income Neighborhoods

"For the most part, the way urbanists view black neighborhoods (and other low-income neighborhoods and communities of color) are as problems that need to be fixed. At the heart of what I want to say is what can we as urbanists learn from these neighborhoods?" So asks Sara Zewde, a landscape architecture student at Harvard's Graduate School of Design and this year's Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Olmsted Scholar, in a fascinating profile on Metropolis Magazine. Read more about Zewde and her work here.

VIDEO: Liz Diller on the High Line, A Mile of Respite in the City that Never Sleeps

Liz Diller, one of the three partners of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, discusses the history of the High Line and the active design decisions which led to its success.

The elevated railroad, which was designed to penetrate city blocks rather than parallel an avenue, saw its last delivery (of frozen turkeys) in 1980. By 1999, a “very strange landscape had formed, with a whole eco system around it,” says Diller. Advocacy for the site’s preservation began with two local residents, and culminated in its reclamation with the multidisciplinary collaboration of city officials and impassioned designers (namely James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and planting designer Piet Oudolf). "The High Line project couldn’t have happened without the right people, the right time and the right administration."

Aidlin Darling Design Receives ASLA's 2013 Professional Award

San Francisco-based Aidlin Darling Design has received the 2013 Professional Award for residential design from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) for their work on the Sonoma Spa Retreat in Northern California’s wine country. The project started with reclaiming an overgrown hillside, revitalizing it with a series of paths that preserved its natural features, and then integrating an outdoor kitchen, solar heated pool and recreational areas. For more information on the project and the award, which evaluates context, design value and sustainability, click here

Landscape Design In Our Time of Climate Change

In this article, which originally appeared in Metropolis Magazine's Point of View Blog as "Q&A: Kim Mathews and Signe Nielsen," Susan Szenasy interviews the principals of Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects about how climate change has re-focused landscape architecture today on three important issues: Research, Redevelopment, & Resiliency.

In this season of Architecture’s Lean In Moment, I’m asking principals of three successful female-owned firms in architecture, graphic communication, and here landscape architecture, to talk about the work they do, how they connect with their clients (usually in the messy public realm), how they hone their skills and add to their knowledge base—all to provide the essential design services that they set out to do as idealistic young practitioners.

Here the principals of the New York firm, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, Kim Mathews, RLA, ASLA and Signe Nielsen, RLA, FASLA, talk about the evolution of their profession, their commitment to teaching, writing, lecturing, their research-informed work, as well as the new appreciation of design in the public realm. The firm’s new Green Team reports here regularly on topics like the importance of soil composition, working within the urban infrastructure, and waterfront remediation and redevelopment in a time of climate change. 

OLIN Leads Master Planning for UC Berkeley’s California Memorial Stadium

UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium, Athletic Center and Plaza; Photograph © Tim Grifftih
UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium, Athletic Center and Plaza; Photograph © Tim Grifftih

In 2005, OLIN - a landscape architecture, urban design and planning studio - developed a master plan for University of California Berkley's southeastern campus  in an effort to unify its distinct elements and strengthen the social spaces of the campus.  HNTB Architects led the renovation of the California Memorial Stadium and worked with STUDIOS Architecture and OLIN to design the Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance.  These are unified by OLIN's design of the grounds which are just part of the transformation planned for the campus, which also includes the renovations and landscape design for the Haas School of Business, UC Berkley School of Law and the Piedmont Avenue.

UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium, Athletic Center and Plaza; Photograph © Tim Grifftih UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium, Athletic Center and Plaza; Photograph © Meg Martin UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium, Athletic Center and Plaza; Photograph © Meg Martin UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium, Athletic Center and Plaza; Photograph © Meg Martin