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    ASLA 2007 Landscape Awards


    Reed Hilderbrand specified a soils blending that would provide suitable growing conditions and all-season vehicle support. Their scheme addresses microclimate effects of exposure and dry conditions at the terrace walls for drought-tolerant species, with supplemental irrigation in areas of greater moisture demand. Instead of a fixed planting plan, the terraced layout accommodates the changing needs of curators and researchers.

    Home and Garden

    In Faqra, Lebanon, a different view of landscape informs the design that took highest honors in the residential category. In the garden of Elie Saab's private residence, landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic draws viewers' eyes to serene water and distant hills.

    The upper terrace represents a transition between indoor and outdoor spaces. A paving pattern uses the same stone as the interior and is marked by grass grooves that increase farther from the house. At the lower terrace, the designer has constructed an optical illusion with water. A swimming pool is disguised as a "mirror of water" at a level higher than the seating area. So from a sitting position, one's eye level is aligned with the pool surface, effecting an uninterrupted panoramic view of the lake beyond.

    All lighting and drainage fixtures are concealed. Fireplaces disguised as rock beds light up at the press of a button to warm the cool evenings of the Faqra climate. The jury enthused: "Breathtaking in its elegance and serenity. We love the way it emphasizes the horizon. Nice volume, the proportion is exquisite and the scale is to the site. Simply elemental in control and restraint."

    Urban Justice

    Jumping from the serene residential to the urgent urban, a third ASLA Award of Excellence went to the analysis and planning of Hunters Point Waterfront Park Project in San Francisco, by Hargreaves Associates.

    Hunters Point Shipyard is a decommissioned, highly polluted military base that had been planned for industrial redevelopment. The landscape architects worked with an environmental justice nonprofit organization and substantial neighbor involvement to analyze development issues and to create four alternative plans for a park.

    By cleaning up site contamination and accommodating residents' needs, Hargreaves demonstrated, the site could once again become viable wildlife habitat and provide justice to a community that has long suffered environmental racism.

    The Hunters Point Shipyard Waterfront Project shows how, with the right values prioritized in the early stages of development, a park can act as a catalyst for high-quality development. The park could contribute directly to the area's economic future by providing jobs and businesses that parks can spawn by increasing adjacent property values and generating private investment.

    The project has resulted in a book that familiarizes neighborhood residents with development issues and empowers them to argue for their rights as shipyard redevelopment continues. The book was sent to agencies, city officials, community members, and funding sources and has been presented in numerous public meetings.

    Communicating the Landscape

    Two more ASLA awards of excellence-winning projects are manifested on paper instead of on land. In the research category, Kenneth Helphand, FASLA was cited for his work on the book Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime.

    The author examines gardens created in extreme social, political, economic, environmental, or cultural conditions. His examples include gardens built by soldiers behind the trenches in World War I, by Warsaw ghetto residents during World War II, by prisoners in military and civilian internment camps of both world wars, and by those trapped by war more recently in Bosnia and Iraq.

    Gardens in extreme situations, the author contends, promise beauty where there is none, hope over despair, optimism over pessimism, and finally, life in the face of death. "These wartime gardens accentuate the multiple meanings of gardens life, home, work, hope, and beauty five attributes that lie dormant in all gardens, awaiting the catalyst that propels them to germinate and allowing us to recognize them as defiant gardens."   >>>

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    Outdoor classroom/ garden pavilion of the M. Victor and Frances Leventritt Garden at The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, by Reed Hilderbrand Associates, which received an Award of Excellence from the ASLA.
    Photo: Alan Ward

    ArchWeek Image

    Lower terrace of the garden of Elie Saab's private residence in Faqra, Lebanon, by landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic.
    Photo: Geraldine Bruneel

    ArchWeek Image

    Entrance approach to the Elie Saab garden.
    Photo: Geraldine Bruneel

    ArchWeek Image

    A pool at eye level in the Elie Saab garden draws one's view out to the watery landscape.
    Photo: Geraldine Bruneel

    ArchWeek Image

    Concealed fireplace in the Elie Saab garden.
    Photo: Geraldine Bruneel

    ArchWeek Image

    Documentation of the analysis and planning for Hunters Point Waterfront Park Project in San Francisco, by Hargreaves Associates.
    Image: Hargreaves Associates

    ArchWeek Image

    Book cover of Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime by Kenneth Helphand, FASLA.
    Image: Kenneth Helphand, FASLA

    ArchWeek Image

    Typical spread from the journal Topos The International Review of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design.
    Image: TOPOS


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