Cities are ever-evolving and ever-transforming, constantly being regenerated – demolished and salvaged to start anew. Houston, Texas’s first reservoir, built in 1927 near Buffalo Bayou Park, is no exception. This is another one of those exceptional neglected spaces within a developed city that holds the potential to be transformed into “landscape infrastructure”, as referred to by Kevin Shanley, CEO of SWA Group, the Landscape Architecture firm working on the park’s current 2.3-mile upgrade from Shepherd-to-Sabine, an extension to the Sabine-to-Bagby stretch.
The story of the relationship between the re-discovered reservoir and Buffalo Bayou Park’s development is very exciting and promising. Lisa Gray of Chron writes about the state of the reservoir today and the possibilities for its future. Continue reading for more.
Designed by SWA Group with Ojanen Chiou Architects LLP, the 157 hectare Dongtan Central Business Master Plan is at the heart of Dongtan City: a new urban center located just 30 km south of Seoul in South Korea. The development zone is situated on a former agricultural plain that had been taken over by various industrial uses. Bounded by a river to the west and mountainous terrain to the east, this zone is bisected by a major transportation corridor connecting Seoul with the southern reaches of the country. At the core of the development is a transit center that will accommodate high-speed and metropolitan rail stations connecting with a bi-modal (bus + tram) transit system, and long-distance and city buses, establishing Dongtan City as a major regional transit hub. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Lead by principal designers Hui-Li Lee and John Wong, SWA Group along with consulting architect Ojanen_Chiou Architects provided the winning competition proposal for the Suzhou Industrial Park Central Business District which aims to bridge old and new cultural historic heritage through the innovative design of public open space. Providing a focal point for the Suzhou’s CBD, the park highlights its ideal location, the connection between ecological and social environments, and the unique landscape of Jinji Lake which offers a mix of urban life and waterfront activities .
For their latest master plan in Xinyang, WORD with SWA Group Los Angeles have developed a framework that responds to the town’s predicted swift population growth. As Chinese communities, such as Xinyang, begin to expand at rapid paces, the existing infrastructures must be re-thought and re-organized, as the demand for new development adds stress to the current systems. Working with a site measuring over 36 kilometers in length with varying topography – a mountainous region in the south to plains and plateaus to the north – the firms resorted to a solution “requiring calculated sensitivity and ingenuity” based on the region’s natural systems.
A great set of diagrams, and more information about the project after the break.
PARK(ing) Day is a world-wide attempt to draw attention to how much space is taken for parking in our cities. STUDIOS Architecture and SWA Group have developed some site furniture that pixilates views of the city through plotter paper tubes and binder clips.
The site was at the intersection of 1st and Howard in San Francisco, California.
The Los Angeles based team of Studio SHIFT and SWA Group has been selected to create a master plan for the Sichuan Province, a developing area in China. The plan consists of SHIFT’s Miyi Tower that aims to promote the region’s heritage, and SWA Group’s design for a sustainable promenade.
Further project description and more images after the break.