Gate 21 at Neyland Stadium
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Over time, the site of Gate 21 at Neyland Stadium had matured into a worn, confused space where the quality of daily student life became secondary to the functional needs surrounding the programming and activity of seven home football games each year. Pedestrian routes through the site became circuitous and marginalized by the competing loading, staging and...
Public comment sessions to improve the SITES and...
A new year is quickly approaching, and with it comes the rollout of the updated (and hopefully, improved) LEED v4 and the first official guidelines for SITES (Sustainable Site Systems), following the revisions resulting from comments by…YOU! It’s nearing the end of the public comment period for both LEED and SITES, but there is still time for your voice to be heard, and it’s much easier than one...
West End Longfellow Place Improvements
The existing conditions at the Longfellow Towers apartment complex in Boston’s West End neighborhood expressed failing site and structure conditions, including water leaking and penetration to parking and office structures below the on-structure deck and mezzanine. The pre-existing auto court and colonnade presented a cold, poorly illuminated, and generally inhospitable environment for...
A Backstage Pass at the Ground Zero Fountain
Set within the footprints of the former Twin Towers at Ground Zero, the largest manmade waterfalls in the United States will be a site to be both seen and heard. These massive waterfalls and expansive reflecting pools will convey the power and significance of the events of 9/11, yet they will be set in a tranquil surround of stately oaks. This was my first trip to the site since 2003 and a lot...
How to create a walkable urban environment
Lafayette Square, adjacent Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, MA (A street calming and plaza design project; photo by CRJA) ___ From the Archives While working on visual aids for a project interview recently, I came across a set of guidelines that CRJA developed while working with community groups planning urban public spaces. The document originated with the Pedestrian Issues Forum that was...
A campus rain garden through the seasons
CRJA’s team for projects at the University of Rhode Island designed and oversaw the construction of this rain garden at the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences (CBLS). Since it was constructed, admirers have commented on its success not only as a successful sustainable design feature, but as a commanding visual presence. Here, a look at the rain garden through the seasons: 1. The...
Fleeting Art Deco beauty in downtown Boston
In the shadows… The building is visible to me as a window-framed sliver from my workspace. A glance to my left provides a peek at one of my favorite buildings in Boston. The Hilton Hotel, once the Wyndham Boston Hotel, known even further back in time as the Batterymarch Building, is quite a special fixture in the area of Broad Street, Franklin Street, Batterymarch Street and Custom House...
Greenbuild 2009: not as green as it sounds
Last month’s Greenbuild conference, held in Phoenix, AZ, was disappointing. Although the event brought together over 28,000 designers, builders and vendors to discuss how to continue making the building industry greener and more sustainable in general, overall the event seemed to miss opportunities for pushing the green envelope. As Dayna Baumeister, John Boecker and Bill Reed reminded us...
Public art brings Wisconsin Place to life
Project Type: Mixed-use development Location: Friendship Heights, Chevy Chase, MD Description: Working with project architects Arrowstreet, Inc., CRJA developed a comprehensive master plan for this nine-acre urban mixed-use development that includes a mix of retail, office, and residential spaces, a community center, underground parking, two public parks, extensively landscaped public plazas,...
Stabilized aggregate sounds great. Is it?
We can appreciate that stabilized aggregate is often considered for its affordability, to provide visual diversity of pavements, and incorporate green qualities. However, our experience over many years with many different products/binders, installation techniques, and applications, supports our conclusion that this product has very limited application. We have used several different products on...
Design + nature take on urban blight at Filene's
As Bostonians are only too aware, the heart of Downtown Crossing currently features a gaping pit between preserved building facades: the stalled Filene’s redevelopment project. The development went on hold after the economic crisis of 2008. As a measure of hope, designers were recently invited to reimagine the blighted area. CRJA submitted two designs alongside 20 other architects, artists,...
Don’t let that water go down the drain!
Landscape architects serve an important role in the conservation and re-use of water. An l.a. should question how rainwater, groundwater and “waste” water will be managed on every project because water is too valuable to let it go down the drain. On architectural projects we have found that capturing rainwater from the building roof is imperative so that stormwater runoff rates are not increased...
Landscape architecture and the cultural landscape
The United States Department of the Interior defines a cultural landscape as: “a geographic area (including both cultural and natural resources and the wildlife or domestic animals therein), associated with a historic event, activity, or person or exhibiting other cultural or aesthetic value.” The cultural landscape should extend beyond this; it is the arena in which the actions of human life...