Thursday, September 23, 2010


The St. Louis Arch grounds are getting a facelift. The winner of the design competition to reinvent the area around the monument has been chosen: landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates. Their design is based on ecological urbanism concepts and envisions "a new range of more intimate experiences, based primarily in landscape."

Their plan includes a cobblestone plaza on the Mississippi riverfront, an amphitheater, a bird sanctuary and a lid over Instate 70, a long overdue development in the area. Completion for the project should coincide with the Arch's 50th anniversary in October 2015.

MVVA's wasn't the most exciting design, though. That was from the Behnisch Team, who had some quite futuristic ideas -- maybe a little too hard to implement.

MVVA is also the firm working on the redevelopment of the Lower Don Lands area in Toronto. The New York firm specializes in reconstructing urban landscapes, and their design for the Don River Park "will transform an abandoned post-industrial site into a dynamic, year-round, re-naturalized public park." Groundbreaking for the Don River Park happened on September 8. The park is expected to open in late 2011 or early 2012.

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