AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

 

Nicollet Commons Park
Dahlgren, Shadlow & Uban, Inc.
award of excellence

Nicollet Commons Park

A century or more ago, when towns were compact and automobiles were luxuriant dreams, the town square was a civic necessity. City-block-sized green spaces located in the hearts of communities were used for gatherings, concerts, courting, and myriad other social activities. With the expansion of highways and the increasing size of private homes and lots, the town square went the way of the horse and buggy. Burnsville, MN, could have become another of those placeless third ring suburbs. Instead, it decided to build the next generation of town square, combining the organizing principles of another time with the details of today. Nicollet Commons has already taken its place at the heart of the town, hosting concerts, art fairs, community gatherings, weddings, and the informal playing, lunching, and sitting that demonstrates a community's acceptance of a place.

 

 

PUBLIC LANDSCAPE DESIGN

 

Loring Bikeway Bridge, Neighborhood Park and Trail
Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc.
merit award

Loring Bikeway Bridge, Neighborhood Park and Trail

The Loring Neighborhood stands minutes from Minneapolis' lakes, downtown, and booming arts district. The Loring Bikeway Bridge, designed for commuters heading downtown for work or play, completes the Loring Bikeway Commuter Corridor. A redesigned neighborhood park lies at the base of the entry ramp to the bridge, which draws its aesthetic inspiration from the necessary form of the bridge itself. The structure's dramatic wave shape suggests a bicycle in motion and pays homage to the sweeping structural curves of the nearby Walker Art Center bridge. Variability of and openings in the structure invite views of the Minneapolis skyline while screening adjacent freeway traffic.

 


 

Main Avenue Bridge and Riverfront Revitalization
SRF Consulting Group, Inc.
merit award

Main Avenue Bridge and Riverfront Revitalization

A combination of structural concerns and flooding issues led to the complete replacement of the Main Avenue Bridge, which links the paired river cities of Fargo, ND, and Moorhead, MN. Although simple bridge replacement was the project's initial focus, it soon became a component in a larger riverfront revitalization. Layered details create a functional representation of the urban and natural surroundings that have shaped both communities, while a master plan envisioned for the reunification of the downtowns and the riverfront. Urban design elements include terraced plazas, stairs, ramps, and pedestrian promenades.

 

 

PRIVATE LANDSCAPE DESIGN

 

West River Commons
Close Landscape Architecture
merit award

West River Commons

This project is about the transformation of a contaminated urban site along the Mississippi River Parkway into a cherished community asset. Master planning led by the landscape architect set the stage for the successful redevelopment of the site according to principles of good urban design: easy pedestrian circulation, buildings reinforcing the street edge, and a combination of public and semi-public outdoor space. The result is a cohesive blend of new housing, a restaurant with outdoor seating, Mississippi River Parkway connections, an improved public realm, and a plaza complete with a monumental public artwork which serves as a welcoming gateway into Minneapolis.

 

 

PLANNING

 

Red Lake River Corridor Enhancement Project
Center for Changing Landscapes, University of Minnesota
honor award

Red Lake River Corridor Enhancement Project

The Red Lake River Corridor Enhancement Project creates a regional recreational amenity for Northwestern Minnesota in conjunction with the region's citizens, agencies, and the Red Lake River Joint Powers Board. The planning focused on integrating six corridor communities into a recreational amenity approach to natural resources management. The designs celebrate the river corridor's unique identity across multiple scales and connect the communities to the river and each other in a more powerful and meaningful way.

 


 

Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Stewardship Projects
The Kestrel Design Group, Inc.
merit award

Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Stewardship Projects

In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, in the City of Lakes (Minneapolis), there is a chain of waters that form the cornerstone of the historic and extensive Minneapolis Grand Rounds parks system. The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board have spearheaded a watershed-wide approach to treat stormwater as asset rather than as waste. The paradigm has shifted from an entirely gray infrastructure (pipes and basins) to a hybrid gray/green infrastructure (natural systems). The park landscape of the Grand Rounds has become an ecological services provider for water quality, based on a scientifically rigorous and carefully designed series of interconnected projects on the shores of Minneapolis' lakes and creeks.

 


 

Whitefish Bay Scenic Byway Enhancements Plan
Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc.
merit award

Whitefish Bay Scenic Byway Enhancements Plan

This enhancement plan sets a model for how the United States Forest Service can update existing byway and park facilities to meet contemporary standards for accessibility, sustainability, and contextual design. Working with Forest Service staff, stakeholders, and Michigan State University landscape architecture students, the project landscape architects led an interactive planning and design process to discover locally held notions of place in materials, style, and identity graphics. The designs move the byway beyond the standard government-issue treatments to a new aesthetic rooted in the Upper Peninsula's handcrafted building traditions and natural history.

 

 

UNBUILT WORKS

 

Dickerman Park
Coen + Partners
honor award

Dickerman Park

Dickerman Park is an exciting collaboration on a forgotten public space along the busiest avenue connecting Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The park, donated to Saint Paul in 1910, has never functioned as a viable public space and today serves as a parking lot, service area, and front yard for business along a quarter mile of University Avenue. Emphasizing temporal qualities and the neighborhood's diverse population, the redesign of the park will employ photography, in different forms, as a generator of surface texture, night lighting, movement, and as an evolving documentary of the street.

 


 

Minnesota Soil Bioengineering Handbook
The Kestrel Design Group, Inc.
merit award

Minnesota Soil Bioengineering Handbook

This handbook was developed for a state agency to assist project managers, crew members, and other governmental agencies in understanding the most current techniques for soil bioengineering. It is also envisioned as a resource for the larger design profession, including landscape architects, engineers, and contractors in private practice. Soil bioengineering is a self-sustaining technique that utilizes native plant materials, along with rock, to stabilize streambanks. The handbook uses both graphic and written documentation, including plan details, photographs, species lists, and descriptions, in order to provide the best available information. The book discusses plant establishment and management, includes project case studies, and provides a glossary and a listing of additional resources.

 


 

Designing Small Parks
Laura Musacchio & Ann Forsyth, University of Minnesota
merit award

Designing Small Parks

Small parks play crucially important roles in metropolitan areas, but their designs rarely reflect all that is known about people, ecology, and landscapes. Designing Small Parks translates current research into design guidelines for parks of less than 6 acres, and is aimed at parks professionals, citizen groups, and designers. In compiling the book, the authors read more than 600 articles and books, and then developed guidelines and design prototypes. From leisure sciences and ethnic studies to conservation biology and forestry, the studies tell an emerging story of the importance of small parks and the role of design in increasing their value.