Lamar Johnson Collaborative (LJC) announces four projects win at the 16th Annual American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) FUSE 2021 Central States Awards Program. Recognition included Merit Awards for the Wildhorse Village Master Plan, Oak Brook Reserve Master Plan, and PopCourts. An Honor Award for the Hope Memorial Garden at the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis.
ASLA Central States comprises six different chapters, including Arkansas, St. Louis, Iowa, Oklahoma, Prairie Gateway, and Nebraska/Dakotas. These chapters come together once a year for camaraderie, learning, advancing the profession, and celebrating the year’s best work.
In a Chicago western suburb sits Oak Brook Reserve, the re-imagined McDonald’s 80-acre suburban corporate headquarters campus. The project goal is to rebrand, stabilize, and enhance the campus to generate interest in tenancy. Our design vision and intent are achieved by critically reinvesting into the site’s future, preserving, restoring, and enhancing the existing site assets that define the project’s character, paired with new, strategic landscape and architectural interventions. The campus is re-imagined as a ‘place for all: a novel environment for all to engage, connect, relax, work and play. Our ideas demonstrate short-term tactical enhancements balanced with long-term visionary thinking – fostering adaptation and resilience within uncertain ecological, social, and economic forces – ensuring enduring value and relevance.
Wildhorse Village, an 80-acre development coming to Chesterfield, MO, strives to balance ecological and economic performance while providing a sustainable and wellness-focused live, work, play environment. A design that supports healthy lifestyles for all users, the primary guiding principle for this development is to embrace nature. A dynamic and engaging landscape of boardwalks, trails, and gathering places is being planned around the lake’s perimeter to unite and connect the Village. The reimagined lake edge will serve as the front door to the entire Village through a resilient landscape of native plantings, encouraging deeper interaction with the natural environment and water.
Hope Memorial Garden
The University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy Hope Memorial Garden is nestled into a quiet corner of the eight-acre campus. This respectful installation connects the campus community to a serene place of hope, reflection, and celebration of the lives of those students and dear friends who have prematurely lost their lives. A superfluous wedge of lawn, shrubs, and trees transform into a small oasis. Quiet architectural facades protect the site on its south and east, and a large river birch provides dappled shade to the north, anchoring a diagonal walk that vacillates students from classroom to cafeteria. The design team developed multiple concepts following collaborative design charrettes with those who suffered a personal loss. Each concept was vetted collectively for its framework, organization, materiality, and artful storytelling. The design needed to fit into the campus aesthetic yet feel distinct, notable, timeless, and elegant. The final design yields a form that is pure, concentric with materials that echo simplicity.
PopCourts is a pop-up park in the Austin neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side. Imagined as a respite from the struggles brought on by the pandemic, PopCourts provides much needed outdoor amenity space in the heart of Austin. Situated in the middle the “Soul City Corridor” along Chicago Avenue identified by the City’s INVEST South/West initiative, PopCourts Is part of a larger vision to bring development to Chicago’s underinvested communities. The project’s location along a busy commuter corridor provided a unique opportunity to grab the attention of passersby with pop art-themed installations that show off the Arts and Culture in Austin. Bright colors and angular geometry divide the site into three distinct zones: food court, basketball courts, and a public lawn. The design sets up a framework that will allow local artists and businesses to make it a living part of the community going forward.