Outstanding student work recognized by Texas ASLA

Plans to develop or rehabilitate sites in the Brazos Valley and upgrade facilities at Veterans Affairs healthcare centers netted awards for six groups of Texas A&M landscape architecture students in a statewide competition.

The VA designs, for centers to treat veterans with brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder, were created by graduate landscape architecture students with their peers in the graduate architecture program; all six award-winning efforts will be recognized at the Texas chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects convention May 1-3, 2013.

A proposal by undergraduate landscape architecture majors Mandy Busby, Lindsay Flesch, Taylor McNeill, Brad Sweitzer and Kendrick Yeh to rehabilitate the Travis B. Bryan Municipal Golf Course won an honor award.

Their $2.9 million plan included reducing the size of the golf course from 18 to nine holes and using the land reclaimed from golf use for two new soccer and baseball fields, 6.1 miles of running trails, a pavilion and a public restroom facility.

The students’ research included interviews with representatives from the Bryan Redevelopment Council, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the city of Bryan’s Planning and Development Services.

Graduate architecture students Joomee Lee, Pengzhi Li, Xianpeng Liu, Ao Shi and Sinan Zhong also won an honor award for their plan to develop a site where Texas A&M’s University Apartments currently stand, north of University Avenue.

Noting that the site’s drawbacks included poor transportation options and a lack of gray water or rainwater harvesting strategies, the group created a conservation-based, mixed-use master plan to improve the site, including new apartments, a landscaped plaza and community gardens.

The plan includes a technique to measure the site’s performance in several areas, including transportation, storm water management and “green” infrastructure.

Kristan Harrison and Tania Hernandez bagged a merit award with their plan to create a sustainable development on a 4,500-acre area of land southeast of College Station using a geographic information systems-based analysis.

They determined optimal locations for nine different land uses at the site, including recreation, single-family residential, multi-family residential, recreation and mixed use. Harrison and Hernandez considered the site’s hydrology, topography, soil/geology, vegetation cover, existing land uses, transportation characteristics, cultural factors and microclimate in their plan.

 Their concept also included a 20-acre preservation center, including a lake that collects filtered runoff from buildings and parking lots and nature trails that provides accessibility to the entire site.

Graduate students' designs for Veterans Affairs centers were also recognized by the Texas ASLA.

 Graduate landscape architecture students Yucheng Wang and Bitong Yang teamed with graduate architecture students Xiaoxi Bi and Jiayu Chen to win an honor award for a VA treatment center they designed for a site in Asheville, North Carolina.

Graduate landscape students Siman Ning and Jinglin Zhao joined graduate architecture students Wanyuzi Wang and Yue Wang to earn a merit award for their design of a treatment center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Also netting a merit award were graduate landscape students Xiaotian Su and Yixun Zhang and graduate architecture students Yasaman Baghari and Farzad Golestanirad for their design of a Menlo Park, Calif. 

posted March 8, 2013