Hi followers! I’m still here! I’m no longer traveling at the moment, but I have been kicking around a few ideas, including a new tumblr that I started that I’d love for you to check out. As part of a writing exercise, I’ve started a daily landscape architecture (& related) news roundup that has some of my own commentary sprinkled in as well. If you’re interested, please check it out, follow, or send me some cool stuff to read/put on the site.
Click through for the tumblr (Landscape Architecture News).
And I’ve also started a twitter account! (I know I’m late to the bandwagon…) If you’d like you can follow me @landscapevoice. 
Thanks!
Lucy

Hi followers! I’m still here! I’m no longer traveling at the moment, but I have been kicking around a few ideas, including a new tumblr that I started that I’d love for you to check out. As part of a writing exercise, I’ve started a daily landscape architecture (& related) news roundup that has some of my own commentary sprinkled in as well. If you’re interested, please check it out, follow, or send me some cool stuff to read/put on the site.

Click through for the tumblr (Landscape Architecture News).

And I’ve also started a twitter account! (I know I’m late to the bandwagon…) If you’d like you can follow me @landscapevoice

Thanks!

Lucy

Quarry Garden 矿坑花园 | Shanghai, China

The Quarry Garden is situated at the center of the botanical garden and covers an area of 4.26 hectares (10.53 acres). What makes this design project remarkable is its design sensitivity to the former quarry yard’s ecological, historical, and cultural context. 

The old quarry yard operated from the early 1950s to the mid-1980s with the excavated areas separately located on the east and west sides. The quarrying operations greatly damaged the landscape on Chen Mountain, stripping away much of the surface vegetative cover and resulting in massive soil loss and habitat fragmentation. The transformation from that of a scarred landscape to an eco-friendly public space earned the renovated quarry not only multiple awards, but also the praise of the 2012 ASLA jury as “a very honest project. It’s not trying to cover up what it is and it’s an example of everything done right in reclaiming a quarry. As it seeps down and stains, it will be even more beautiful.”

More: Landscape Voice - Quarry Garden 矿坑花园 

Gubei Gold Street 黄金城道步行街 | Shanghai, China

Gubei Gold Street is a breath of fresh air from the snarl of city traffic. A pedestrian mall carved out from three city blocks and flanked by 20-story high rise residential towers, Gubei Gold Street serves as the centerpiece to the SWA Group-designed mixed-use residential project.

Catering to a community of middle to upper-class expatriates, most of whom from Korea and Japan, the area of Gubei Gold Street has a different feel to it. Studded with foreign businesses, from German beer gardens to fancy children’s boutique shops, there’s a sense of tranquility and cleanliness associated with the space, no doubt aided by the evergreen canopy of camphor trees.

More: Landscape Voice - Gubei Gold Street 黄金城道步行街

The Surging Wave Pavilion 沧浪亭 | Suzhou, China

One of the oldest gardens in Suzhou, the Surging Wave Pavilion was built during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) for the poet Su Shunqing.

More: Landscape Voice - The Surging Wave Pavilion 沧浪亭

Master of the Nets Garden 网师园 | Suzhou, China

Though the smallest of all classical residential gardens in Suzhou, the Master of the Nets Garden is considered one of the finest gardens in Suzhou.

The Master of the Nets Garden was built during the Song Dynasty (960-1279) as the garden of the government official Shi Zhengzhi and previously bore the name Thousand Scroll Hall. The garden was renamed to its current name after it was reconstructed during the reign of Emperor Qian Long. 

More: Landscape Voice - Master of the Nets Garden 网师园

Lion Grove Garden 狮子林 | Suzhou, China

Unlike its more famous and larger neighbor The Humble Administrator’s Garden, the Lion Grove Garden is much smaller and scale with and prominently features a labyrinthine rockery made of Taihu lake limestone—representative of gardens of the Yuan Dynasty.

Built in 1342 during the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) by Zen Buddhist monk Wen Tianru in memory of his teacher Abbot Zhongfeng, Lion Grove Garden was named after the shape of the labyrinthine rocks, which are said to resemble the backs of lions. 

More: Landscape Voice - Lion Grove Garden 狮子林

The Humble Administrator’s Garden 拙政園 | Suzhou, China

The Humble Administrator’s Garden is the largest garden in Suzhou. Originally built in the Ming Dynasty around 1509 AD, the garden is divided into eastern, western, and central sections. The central section is the most visited, with 1/3 of its area covered by a giant man-made lake. 

With its intricately laid paths and meticulous attention to detail, you could spend multiple days exploring this garden. Every rock to every structure has a reason and a story for its placement and orientation in the garden. Unfortunately, I was short on time and was only able to spend a couple hours in the garden.

More: Landscape Voice - The Humble Administrator’s Garden 拙政園

Houtan Park 后滩公园 | Shanghai, China

Winner of the ASLA Award of Excellence for General Design in 2010, Turenscape’s Houtan Park (后滩公园) ranked near the top for places I wanted to visit on my trip to Shanghai. Though I arrived in the winter season and the color palette of the park was quite dull and drab, Houtan Park did not fail to impress.

With the added tagline ‘Landscape as a Living System’, Houtan Park has been universally lauded for not only the design, but also for its natural water purification system, whereby 634,000 gallons of polluted water are cleaned daily, improving the water’s quality from Grade V (unsuitable for human contact) to Grade II (suitable for landscape irrigation) using only biological processes in the restored wetlands.

More: Landscape Voice - Houtan Park 后滩公园

Jing’an Park 静安公园 | Shanghai, China

Located in one of the densest and most centrally located areas in Shanghai, Jing’an Park is a green urban oasis within the Jing’an District, a major tourist and business center named after the Jing’an Temple, an ancient traditional Chinese Buddhist temple. 

The park is centered on the thirty-two 100-year-old Oriental Plane trees (Platanus orientalis) that flank the main road bisecting Jing’an park in two. The east portion features a small, historic Chinese garden called the “Eight Sights Garden” (静安八景园) which uses traditional Chinese garden styles and techniques to create a great sense of depth and space that belies its small size. The west open area is much larger in scale and features artificial mountains (假山) and waterfalls to create a “mountain forest in the city.”

More: Landscape Voice - Jing’an Park 静安公园

The Bund 外灘 | Shanghai, China

One of the most historically significant and sought-after tourist destinations in Shanghai, The Bund marks a great crossroads between the east and west, architecture, trade, ecology, history, and place-making. 

Originally a barren shoal, this long strip of waterfront property starts at the convergence of the Wusong River and Huangpu River in northern Shanghai. Since the opening of Shanghai’s port in 1843, the Bund has experienced numerous historical developments, the most recent being the first phase of the Bund’s Comprehensive Reconstruction project which lasted 33 months from August 18th 2007 to March 28th 2010 at the approximate cost of US$70 million. 

More: Landscape Voice - The Bund 外灘

A message from peopledanceandsing
Hi! I have a stupid question for you. I'm taking the California Zephyr from Salt Lake City to Emeryville, and my friend and I just have regular coach seats on the upper level. I saw that you posted a picture of a chair that turned into a bed - did you have to pay more for that? Or can anyone in coach go to the sleeper car and sleep in a "bed"? Sorry for the lame question, I've never done this before! P.S. Your pictures are amazing - I can't wait!

The sleeper cars do cost extra and they’re priced in different tiers—I had the smallest, the roomette. They can be pricey (I booked far in advance) and the price is dependent on both demand and the length of your trip. One of the greatest advantages of having a sleeper is having all meals included on your trip. Since you’ve already booked your ticket though, I recommend asking the conductor how much an upgrade to a sleeper would cost once you’re aboard the train. I’ve never done it myself but I’ve talked to people who have and they’ve gotten really great deals that are much cheaper than what’s offered online. 

The California Zephyr is a phenomenal train ride and it looks like you’ll be going through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. If you don’t end up with a sleeper, get cosy in the Observation Car! Have fun!

Half-Year Mark & New Directions

I spent the last five months of my life exploring the landscapes and cities of the United States (and a bit of Canada). Whenever I look back over my route across the continent—East Coast to Midwest to West Coast and down to the South—I’m surprised by how much land I’ve covered. 

But things are starting to shift gears now. I’m currently in Shanghai, China.

Read More

Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park | Houston, TX | Philip Johnson

One of Houston’s most visited urban parks, the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park inspires feelings of awe and peace with its loud and powerful waterfalls, cascading water down from a towering height of 64-feet. Designed by Pulitzer Prize winning architect Philip Johnson, this large semi-circular fountain is located south across a wide green lawn flanked by 186 live oaks, facing the Williams Tower, a 64-story reflective office building. This 2.77-acre park marks the community centerpiece of Uptown Houston, the nation`s largest business district outside of a historic core. 

Previously known as the Williams Waterwall, the City of Houston renamed the site on December 17, 2009 to honor Gerald D. Hines for his impact and influence on Houston’s urban development in the past six decades. The Williams Tower, then known as the Transco Tower, was one of hundreds of buildings that he developed as founder and chairman of Hines, a real estate firm headquartered in Houston. His name may seem most familiar from one of Urban Land Institute’s design awards named in his honor, the ULI/Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition.

More: Landscape Voice - Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park

TBG Partners | Houston, TX 

With offices in all major Texas cities with additional offices outside of the Lone Star State, the landscape architecture and planning firm, TBG Partners, has a large and expanding design influence over the American South. Founded in 1987—they just celebrated their 25th year anniversary last year—by Earl Broussard and Tom Afflerbach in Austin, the firm has enjoyed tremendous growth in a short period of time.

I originally didn’t have plans to visit TBG Partners, however, when I arrived to Texas I was contacted by landscape architect Matt Kellogg of MKSK who recommended that I pay them a visit. He kindly put me in touch with Lauren Norton of TBG Partners and I’m really glad that he did. My visit to their Houston office was fantastic. Though it was atypical of my usual firm visits in that we didn’t have a sit-down discussion of the firm’s operations, I got a much better feel for the office culture, which I have learned, is one of the most important aspects of a firm to consider.

More: Landscape Voice - TBG Partners

Discovery Green | Houston, TX | Hargreaves Associates

No longer the undeveloped concrete eyesore it once was, Discovery Green has been transformed into a 12-acre, LEED Gold certified public park located in Houston’s dense urban core. Opened in 2008, the park was the result of a successful public-private partnership between the City of Houston and Discovery Green Conservancy and has been incredibly well-received by millions of visitors.

Discovery Green’s Mission Statement:

“To provide an uncommonly beautiful, urban green space in the heart of Houston that serves as a village green for our city, a source of health and happiness for our citizens and a window into the incredible diversity of talents and traditions that enrich life in Houston.”

More: Landscape Voice - Discovery Green