Transforming Communities Through Landscape Architecture: Innovative Projects from Our Team
Landscape architects work on a diverse range of projects that challenge them creatively and allow them to apply their knowledge and skills to make a positive impact on the community. We spoke to a few of our landscape architects about their favorite projects, and here’s what they had to say.
Violet Mak, PLA, Regional Landscape Architect Director
Favorite Project: Champion Forest Church Plaza | Houston, Texas
Why? The Champion Forest Church Plaza project was exciting because it involved transforming space that was not fully utilized and just served as a connection between the parking lot into a beautiful public space. We incorporated a variety of elements, such as water features, seating areas, and outdoor gathering spaces, to create a welcoming and functional environment for the church and the surrounding community. It was a challenging project that required us to balance the needs of the client with the needs of the community, but the end result was worth it.
Mike Franklin, PLA, Senior Project Manager
Favorite Project: Fort Street Bridge Park Phase 1 | Detroit, Michigan
Why? My favorite project is the Fort Street Bridge Park Phase 1. This project involved designing a small park with a big impact in an area of Detroit that has historically been underserved. It was a challenging project that required us to work closely with the community and find creative solutions to stay within budget while still delivering a high-quality space. It also required heavy architectural detailing. Seeing the park come to life and become a gathering place for the community was incredibly rewarding. When I stand back and look, I’m very proud of this little postage-stamp park. It also represents something positive in an area of Detroit that hasn’t always received that sort of coverage. I’m excited to start construction on Phase 2 of the park.
Lynn Whipple, PLA, Senior Landscape Architect
Favorite Project: Galloway Lake Park | Pontiac, MI
Why? I love the Galloway Lake Park project because it’s giving us an opportunity to design a space that will make a positive impact on an underserved community. The park was previously known for being unsafe and unkempt, and we get the chance to transform it into a safe and welcoming space for the community to enjoy.
Janet Evans, PLA, Project Coordinator
Favorite Project: NorthPoint Development Warehouse | Romulus, MI
Why? The NPD Romulus project was a unique challenge because it involved incorporating a conservation easement and protecting the existing wetlands on the east side of the site. We also had to meet numerous landscape city requirements and the client’s specific landscape standards to create a functional and attractive space for employees. The landscape proposes more than 1700 deciduous and evergreen trees and over 4900 shrubs. The site is currently under construction.
Jeff Smith, PLA, Director of Landscape Architecture
Favorite Project: General Motors Milford Proving Grounds Visitor Center | Milford, Michigan
Why? Renovating the General Motors Milford Proving Grounds Visitor Center is one of my favorite projects of all time. The before and after transformation was dramatic. The existing site was a featureless lawn with some overgrown shrubs around a dated building. The design proposed a new walkway that took visitors through a bold series of angular planting beds that complemented the linear patterns on the building. The landscape was designed as an expression of sustainability, with a no-mow, non-irrigated, and non-fertilized approach that required little maintenance. The result was an eye-catching, unique landscape that created a memorable space in an area that was previously drab. This award-winning project demonstrated how a landscape can transform the character of a space. There were no exterior building renovations for the visitor center, yet this landscape design completely transformed the arrival experience for visitors.
Landscape architects have the power to transform communities through their creativity and skills. From transforming a parking lot into a public space to creating a safe and welcoming park for an underserved community, these projects are making a positive impact for all. Thank you to all of our landscape architects for their amazing work!
Check out the innovative landscape architecture projects from our team that are transforming communities and redefining outdoor spaces below.