We’re back from the 4-day 2016 Texas ASLA conference, hosted by our neighbors in Fort Worth this year. In between the multitude of innovative and interesting vendors on the conference floor, and the wide range of lectures (one by Studio Outside Principal Tary Arterburn), the 2016 Awards were given out during a luncheon, and Studio Outside was fortunate enough to come home with a few!
What’s most interesting with this year’s awards, and most gratifying for us, is the diversity of high-quality projects that we were fortunate to work on in 2015. At Studio Outside, we’re not specialists, and our practice isn’t restricted to residential, or commercial, or public work. We’ve found that working on a range of project types strengthens our practice as a whole the way varying a workout strengthens the body. Our taco talks, informal Friday morning talks about whatever interesting work we are doing at the moment, are a good example of this cross-project collaboration/communication that we try to do.
For a diverse range of project work, we won some awards at Texas ASLA, so below we’d like to show a quick summary of each with a link to the full project page.
Honor Award | Oakbrook Center
Excerpt from the submission: The design team set out to enhance the garden experience proven successful in the original design, however while doing so, re-organized it to create more clarity. The original twisting and meandering pathways made for a lack of clarity to the visitor. Sight-lines were visually impaired making it hard for the shopper to navigate and difficult to perceive a hierarchy of spaces. The corridors felt cluttered. The designers responded in several ways to mitigate these issues. Neighborhoods were identified within the center’s variously scaled spaces. The neighborhoods allowed the design team to respond specifically in each area and design to that particular space’s qualities.
See full project page.
Merit Award | Tylee Farm
Excerpt from the submission: Texas’ prairies and savannas have been severely degraded in the last 150 years. These communities were once rich in ecological diversity and integral to preventing flooding, but have become either monocultures of crops, or have been overgrazed through improper management of cattle herds. Since most of the land is privately owned, it is projects such as Tylee Farm that can influence the way the land is managed. The farm provides a place for the family to spend weekends and summers together. But even when the family is not present, their stewardship of the land provides a home to wildlife and to threatened plant communities. The implementation of prescribed burns and careful management practices will not only create a beautiful place for one family to call home, but also presents an example of what can be accomplished on similar sites throughout the Southern Post Oak Savanna and the rest of Texas.
See full project page.
Merit Award | Deep Ellum Vision Plan
Excerpt from the submission: Public engagement was integral to the process of this study. Our aim was not to design for the community but to design with the community. We are trained in the design of outdoor spaces and urban planning, but we firmly believe that the best ideas come from those who have firsthand knowledge of the project site. This study gave us an opportunity to work with residents, get to know our neighbors, and hear directly from them. Through several public input meetings, we were able to gather many thoughts and ideas. We sifted through all this information and identified specific locations within the neighborhood where some of these ideas might apply. We spent mornings, afternoons and evenings, walking, biking and driving around Deep Ellum to learn as much as we could about current conditions and potential opportunities. After we gathered all of this information we then organized it into 5 chapters and studied each more in depth.