LAND students’ plans to improve locales in Houston earn awards

American Society of Landscape Architects

Designs and master plans by Texas A&M landscape architecture students earned their makers most of the student awards presented at the 2016 American Society of Landscape Architects’ Texas Chapter convention.

“The awards recognize projects that represent great achievements in quality and performance,” said Eric Perez, president of the Texas ASLA. “The students’ work represents innovative visions by the next generation of great designers and leaders.”

Texas A&M students won 8 of the 12 awards presented at the April 27-29 confab in Fort Worth, Texas.

A Texas A&M student team’s master plan for reducing chronic flooding in a Houston subdivision earned the Texas ALSA’s Honor Award.

Their plan, “Idle Grounds: Maximizing Resiliency in the Urban Landscape,” proposed adding infrastructure to remove silt and pollution from storm water in Manchester, a subdivision in an industrial area near Buffalo Bayou. Their concept also included a community market made from recycled shipping containers, a mixed-use retail and event space, a central park with a large retention pond, a small wetland area and a fenced-in playground.

Students developed their proposals after a land use analysis of the subdivision’s Harrisburg Street area revealed a site topography that is vulnerable to flooding because of underutilized land parcels.

Christina Anderson, Hunter Jayroe, Stephen Parsons, Ashton Williams & Bryce Wood created the plan in a fall 2015 undergraduate studio led by Galen Newman, assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning.

Seven Texas A&M student projects earned Texas ASLA Merit Awards.

In “Grey to Green: For Healthy Communities,” a student team showed how Manchester’s storm water drainage could be improved by increasing the subdivision’s permeable space from 36 to 52 percent and adding an amphitheater that doubles as a floodwater retention basin. The plan also aimed to increase community members’ interactions and the area’s air quality by reducing car traffic with a new network of sidewalks and bike lanes.

The plan’s developers, Clayton Blount, Yamile Garcia, Tamara Hajovsky and Courtney Kuehner were in a fall 2015 studio led by Galen Newman.

In another honor award-winning project, “Transportation Planning for Bryan-College Station,” students created a master plan for a multimodal transportation system and housing, office and retail developments surrounding a proposed high-speed rail station in College Station.

The plan was developed by Jiahe Bian, Lingwen Lu and Kendall Raabe in a studio led by Bruce Dvorak, associate professor of landscape architecture.

The Texas ASLA also honored “Central Business Sector Park 10,” a plan to create a vibrant business and residential hub in Houston’s Energy Corridor district with a network of open space and recreational facilities connected by a grid street plan.

The concept was developed by Hejing Feng, advised by Jun-Hyun Kim, assistant professor of landscape architecture. Houston’s Energy Corridor is a suburban area straddling Interstate 10 approximately 17 miles west of downtown Houston that hosts many of the region’s multinational energy companies.

Another student plan reimagines an underutilized park and ride facility in the Energy Corridor as a vibrant area with a hotel, retail and office space and a redesigned parking garage.

The plan, “Imagine a Transit Anchor,” was developed by Jixing Liu, advised by Jun-Hyun Kim.

In another Energy Corridor plan, students sought to increase land use near the intersection of Interstate 10 and Grisby Road by adding an office, retail and residential center, a pedestrian-friendly street with shops, a plaza and a parking garage with a “green” roof.

The plan, “Grisby Square Revitalization,” was created by Yu Tong and Lingyue Cao in a studio led by Jung-Hyun Kim.

Students also created an award-winning master plan for a Chinese wellness resort that hosts weddings and honeymoons. Their design includes a Four Noble Truths Plaza, which reflects major Zen themes, a hotel, spa, and other features.

That plan, “Chuxiong Nature Wellness Resort,” was created by Chenqu Fu, Danning Liu, Kendall Raabe and Di Yang in a studio led by Changshan Huang, associate professor of landscape architecture.

And the other honor award-winner, “Post Oak Mall Retrofit,” focused on an underused parking area and vacant land near the mall in College Station, transforming it into a multimodal transportation hub and a park, suitable for hosting a variety of outdoor activities, that connects the mall’s surrounding neighborhoods.

The plan was created by Yuxian Li, Xin Shu and Qiushuo Li in a studio led by Bruce Dvorak.

posted July 21, 2016