July 22, 2018

Six-acre park opens after extensive landscape architectural design


US studio James Corner Field Operations has created a public park on the waterfront site around the former Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn, featuring a sunbathing spot, an industrial-style playground and a taco stand.

Opening this week, Domino Park comprises six acres (2.4 hectares) of parkland, stretching a quarter of a mile along the East River in Williamsburg, in front of the old red-brick factory.

New York-based landscape architecture firm James Corner Field Operations – which also worked on the High Line with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro – was enlisted to transform the formerly derelict parcel of land as part of a major redevelopment of the Domino Site, located just north of Williamsburg Bridge.

The park provides an extension of River Street, which used to stop once it met Grand Street, to offer local residents a better connection to the waterfront. A new 1,200-foot-long (366-metre) esplanade now runs along the river, offering views of the bridge and the Manhattan skyline beyond.

Field Operations’ landscape design for the park pays homage to the Domino Sugar Factory, which was built in the 1880s and was formerly the largest sugar refinery in the world. Over 30 pieces of salvaged factory machinery are integrated into a five-block-long section at the northern end of the site, called Artificial Walk.

These preserved elements include four of the 36-foot-tall (11-metre) cylindrical tanks that once collected syrup during the refining process, 21 columns from the Raw Sugar Warehouse, and approximately 585 feet (178 metres) of crane tracks.

“We were deeply inspired by community input and the site’s rich history when creating Domino Park,” said Lisa Switkin of James Corner Field Operations. “The design will reconnect New Yorkers to the East River waterfront and foster interest in the history of the site and the surrounding neighbourhood.”

More “passive” activities in the park are placed on the northern side, connecting with River Street, like an “urban beach” with deck chairs facing the water, a picnic area for 100 people, a Japanese-style garden and a food kiosk.

Artist Mark Reigelman also designed a play area for this stretch, spanning from South 2nd Street to Grand Street. Slides and tunnels connect the three elements of the play area: an elevated cabin clad in wood sourced from the factory floor, and two silo-like covered with a perforated metal panels.

A tall metal frame matches the teal hues in the playground and outlines the neighbouring Mexican restaurant called Tacocina. Meanwhile four wooden blocks in front of the factory form seating overlooking a water feature.

Activities like a 1,750-square-foot (163-square-metre) dog run, two bocce ball courts, a sports field and a full-sized beach volleyball court are placed on the southern side near the Williamsburg Bridge.

Due to the park’s close proximity to the waterfront, Field Operations has designed it to be resilient to flooding by raising the platform and planting nearly 175 trees.

Domino Park will be managed by developer Two Trees, which is also transforming the historic factory building to create 380,000 square feet (35,300 square metres) of office space designed by preservation experts Beyer Blinder Belle.

Two Trees enlisted Manhattan studio SHoP Architects to design the masterplan for the Domino site, which measures 11 acres (4.5 hectares) in total.

Unveiled in 2013, the scheme also includes five buildings that will house 2,800 rental apartments – 700 of which are designated as affordable. Among these is 325 Kent – a 16-storey residential building with a large hole in its centre, which opened last year.

Domino Park opens to the public Sunday 20 June 2018, and will be accessible every day from 6am to 1am.


#ChooseLandscape launches next month – here’s how to get involved

Find out how you can support the LI’s new careers campaign, #ChooseLandscape and help inspire the next generation of landscape professionals.

In July, the LI will launch its brand new careers campaign, #ChooseLandscape. They want to:

  • Raise awareness of landscape as a profession.
  • Improve and increase access to landscape education.
  • Inspire young people to choose landscape as a career.

#ChooseLandscape is a critical campaign, for the LI and for the profession as a whole. And for it to be as successful as possible, they need the whole profession on board.

How can you get involved?

Tell your story

Are you, or do you know:

  • A teacher or careers advisor?
  • An Ambassador for Landscape?
  • A landscape student or graduate?
  • A school leaver interested in the landscape profession?
  • A career changer?
  • Simply someone who’s inspired by landscape, and wants to share their passion?

The LI have said they want to spread the #ChooseLandscape message far and wide, and are looking for guidance and advice, career success stories, day-in-the-life blogs and more to help engage a new audience.

The campaign is especially interested in:

Clearing: Hints, tips and success stories

Clearing opens in July, and runs until October. It’s a potentially stressful time, and the LI would like to help their readers with as many tips, tricks and useful resources as possible.

Whether you’re an educator, career professional or someone who went through it yourself, the LI would like to hear your story. They’d especially love to hear from anyone who went through clearing and found themselves studying or working in landscape. Bonus points if you couldn’t be happier!

Building a portfolio for your university interview

A great portfolio is an essential part of a university application. Whether you’re a student or lecturer, if you’ve got tips for (or examples of) fantastic portfolios, the LI would love to see them.

Saving the world

From making soil arable, air breathable and water drinkable to creating places that foster good health and bring communities together, landscape professionals save the world on a daily basis. If you worked on a project recently that has had an outstanding positive impact, let the LI know – they’re looking to tell the world about it.


Email chooselandscape@landscapeinstitute.org to introduce yourself and tell the LI what you’d like to write about.

A look at the new Gateway Arch Museum


St Louis’ Gateway Arch has undergone a redevelopment, with architecture studio Cooper Robertson expanding and renovating the museum beneath the record-holding structure.gateway

Landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates have created a new park from the original by Dan Kiley, which now crosses the adjacent highway and connects the site to the city centre of St. Louis.

According to the architects, the new project was conceived to restore the link between the city, the museum and the arch.

“Our design makes the museum part of Downtown and you move in a linear way through exhibits which explain the meaning behind it,” said Scott Newman, a partner at Cooper Robertson.

“The last part explains how Saarinen built it, and then you exit at the Arch and take the tram to the top. We have connected the museum to the landmark itself, both architecturally and experientially.”

Saarinen’s 630ft (192m) monument was completed in 1965 and opened two years later. It has become one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world, with over four million visitors travelling to the observation platform at the top of the structure each year.

UCLan starts race for £32m student centre


UCLan has begun its search for a contractor to build its flagship 78,500 sq ft student centre in Preston, designed by architect Hawkins\Brown. Plinke already announced as landscape architect.

The student centre will act as a gateway to the university from the city centre, and also features a 90,000 sq ft public square to the front. The building will include a reception area, learning spaces and a student wellbeing support centre over four storeys.

UCLan is expecting to shortlist three contractors for the job ahead of a start on site in early 2019, with completion earmarked for summer 2020 ahead of the 2020/2021 academic year.

Plans were given the go-ahead by Preston’s planning committee in January this year, and Hawkins\Brown was picked as architect following an international RIBA competition last year.

The project team also includes BDP as planner and engineer; Aecom as project manager; and Planit-IE on streetscape and public realm.

Other projects currently under way at UCLan include a £30m engineering innovation centre, which is being built by contractor Bam ahead of completion in early 2019.


Submissions are open for the LI 2018 awards with their new website


Registration and submissions for the #LIAwards2018 are now open.

This year, the registration and submission process is much simpler. The LI has digitised much of the process, and for most categories, entrants can now register and submit wholly online.

The Landscape Institute have also announced two new categories this year. One, the Dame Sylvia Crowe Award for Outstanding International Contribution to People, Place and Nature, is our open to entries from around the world – and not restricted to LI members.

The entry process is simple:

  • Register and pay online. Entrants will get a unique reference that the LI use to track each entry.
  • Make a submission online, uploading images and an A3 PDF. Upon submission, entrants will receive a copy of their entry via email.

For some categories, entrants will still need to supplement their entry with a hard copy. The LI make this clear for each category under ‘submission requirements’.

Head over to awards.landscapeinstitute.org for the full list of categories and criteria, the #LIAwards2018 timeline, and registration.