Landscape architecture students excel at 2017 Texas ASLA Awards

Galen Newman

Eric Bardenhagen

Jun Hyun Kim

Chanam Lee

Master plans by Texas A&M [landscape architecture] ( students, one envisioning outdoor areas inviting to people and wildlife on the university’s West Campus, and another to establish a sustainable Texas Gulf Coast development, were recognized with top honors at the Texas chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects’ 2017 Conference in Austin.

The awards were among several honors presented April 27 to nine teams of Texas A&M students. The winning projects were selected from a pool of entries by a jury of academics and industry professionals

In all, 28 Texas A&M graduate and undergraduate students, led by four landscape architecture faculty, were among the award winners.

Awards of Excellence

Submissions by three student groups earned the contest’s award of excellence, the top honor presented in each of the contest’s seven categories. Each group created their designs in studios led by Galen Newman, assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning,

In “Softening the Surface: Balancing Green and Gray Space Ratios,” graduate students designed a more pedestrian-friendly, sustainable portion of Texas A&M’s West Campus by adding elevated walkways, reducing its amount of impervious surfaces and increasing its vegetation density.

The entry was submitted by Xueqi Song, Zehao Wang and Rui Zhu.

An additional graduate award of excellence was earned by a group of students who submitted “Visualizing Vitality — Maximizing the Potential of an Underutilized Area.” In their master plan, students identified more than half of Texas A&M’s West Campus as underutilized — open spaces that lack suitability for outdoor activities or wildlife.

Their plan remedies the situation with an arboretum, a greenbelt with a pedestrian path, a student life complex with a green roof, rainwater harvesting facilities, and a food production garden. Zhihan Tao, Kaidi Ye and Bingjie Zhao turned in this entry.

The third project to earn the award of excellence, “Nature as Catalyst,” is a master plan created by undergraduate students for a new development that straddles Clear Creek in League City, Texas. The plan contains a floodable amphitheater and preserves wetlands in the creek’s floodplain, with stormwater management measures in the development’s housing, streets, and parking areas.

The plan was developed by Victor Duron, Daniel Molina, Cristian Gonzalez and Jiazheng “Dennis” Zhu.

Honor awards

Three entries created by Newman’s students earned honor awards at the convention.

Graduate student Zixu Qiao earned the distinction for “Climate Change Armor.”

A group of grad students were honored for their entry, “The Arboreal Necklace — Maximizing Infiltration in a Drought-Prone Landscape.” Mengfei Bao, Zhen Yao and Liang Zhao submitted the design.

Another honor award was presented to a group of undergrads for their submission, “Re.S.T.O.R.E.” The group consists of Phillip Hammond, Molly Morkovsky, Alaina Parker, Claudia Pool and Maritza Sanchez.

Merit awards

Three entries from Texas A&M landscape architecture students earned merit awards.

Graduate students in a studio led by Chanam Lee, professor of landscape architecture, created “Thompson & Grace Medical City.” The entry was created by Hua Yan, Zhangzhen Zhang and Xin Zhu.

Chenxia Pu earned a merit award for her entry, “The Phoenix Center Children’s Mental Health Center Campus Design.”  Pu, a graduate student, created the design in a studio led by Eric Bardenhagen, assistant professor of landscape architecture.

An undergraduate entry, “Threadneedle Neighborhood: The Energy Corridor District,” also earned a merit award. It was created by Christina Anderson, Stephen Parsons, Andrew Toungate and Ashton Williams in a studio led by Jun Hyun Kim, assistant professor of landscape architecture.

Richard Nira

posted May 1, 2017