2017 Central States ASLA Student Awards

Posted by Katherine Welsch April 26, 2017


Two projects by Master of Landscape Architecture students were honored April 21 in Des Moines, Iowa, as part of the 2017 Central States ASLA Awards Program.

Blending, Mixing, and Permeating
Ophelia Yuting Ji
2017 ASLA Central States Award of Merit
Category: Design (Unbuilt)
Project Location: Grand Center, St. Louis
Instructor: Patty Heyda (associate professor)

Project Description:
This project aims to regenerate Grand Center in St. Louis by creating a diversity of new housing types along Olive St. based on the existing urban grain for a mix of middle-class and student residents, in order to serve the major market as well as the major local institution Saint Louis University. By blending landscape open spaces, water management strategies, and public and private residential spaces together, the urban porosity in Grand Center will be largely improved, both ecologically and socially.

Starting from an analysis of the city greenway network, land use, land and property values, and urban fabric at a small scale, and then zooming in further to Grand Center, urban, landscape, and architecture design disciplines are united together in this integrated method that connects the site to the whole city. Specifically, an intriguing, year-round landscape is created to help increase interaction opportunities among these diverse communities by planting native Missouri species with a balance between evergreens and great blossom and fall color trees, and by constructing linear rain gardens with wood bridges and permeable pavement in the community shared courtyard spaces.

Dynamic Floodplain Conservation

Xiaoti Hu and Xiang Huang
2017 ASLA Central States Award of Honor
Category: Planning & Analysis
Project Location: Lockport, IL
Instructors: Jesse Vogler (assistant professor) and Micah Stanek (lecturer)

Project Description:
At Lockport Lock, Dam, and Power House, the canal and a natural river of Des Plaines nearly merge. We are especially interested in the confluence of these two different types of river, which is now a conservation floodplain. When there's flooding, an upstream controlling work will open the sluice gate to drain excess storm water away from the canal to the floodplain. We chose the floodplain as our site, and our research shows that interestingly, even with frequent flooding, this site is suffering from a lack of water—not surface water, but groundwater. Without enough groundwater supply, some local plant communities are degenerating. Meanwhile, the rivulet formed during the flood stage is not sustained. As a result, the habitat for endangered species is also disappearing. Instead, invasive species are threatening the whole system. Therefore, to restore the ecosystem of such a floodplain, our proposition is to form a connection between the canal water supply to the local rivulet and aquifer. In addition, although the site is a conservation area, people currently have extremely limited access to it. We plan to design a set of landscape operations not only to draw people in, but also to visualize the river stage through multiple types of measuring tools.