Charbrook Holiday Party
ASLA Field Sessions
SSA lead several site tours at the annual ASLA Convention that was held in Boston this month. Projects ranged in size and scale, from intimate private gardens in Chestnut Hill and Cambridge, to expansive public spaces at Northeastern University, Boston College, Radcliffe Institute and Harvard University. Tours were well-attended, with over thirty people at each session, and a variety of questions were asked. On several projects, we had our soil scientists and landscape contractors join us, creating an opportunity for attendees to understand the full process of design and construction. The Friday tours were the highlight of the conference for many of us, as it allowed our colleagues to fully interact and experience the range of work that we have undertaken in recent years.
SSA is currently working with Payette Architects on the schematic design for the new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building at Northeastern University. This exciting urban project will initiate the University’s expansion of academic facilities across the MBTA rail lines, thus connecting a once jointed campus landscape. The design will provide new active green spaces conducive for student gathering while also creating linkages to the surrounding community.
SSA has completed several projects at Bowdoin College in the past two years. Renovations to the Bricks, historic dormitories, involved the creation of threshold gardens sited at the edge of the main quad. Nearby, at Moulton Union, the main dining commons, a series of new terraces and seat walls transformed a previously sunken area that suffered from drainage problems into an accessible gathering space for outdoor eating. The College Street corridor, also completed this summer, uses a language of granite bollards, crosswalks and raised speed tables in order to slow the car and reclaim the pedestrian zone. Salvaged stone, rustic granite and woodland plants used throughout these projects contribute to the character and identity of this distinctly “Maine” campus.
Over the past four years SSA has been working as the Campus Landscape Architect at Boston College. Each summer another landscape is significantly transformed as another piece of the Central Campus Master Plan is implemented. At the historic O'Neill Library, a new campus green has replaced the old plaza which lacked trees and gathering space. Completed last August, O'Neill Green has enjoyed its first full summer of use by students and faculty.
Heritage Museum and Gardens
Our long-time photographer and friend, Chuck Mayer, spent the day at Heritage Museum and Gardens where he photographed our flume project. This 200’ long water element of corten steel extends from the Visitor’s Center through an existing woodland, dropping 25’ down into the Rhodendron Dell and Daylily Garden. Capturing the light on the surface of the flume throughout the day required a lot of patience, bug spray and even a little help deciding on the right perspective from the ground-view of Jack, our Project Manager, Joe Wahler’s son.
Joe Wahler, Senior Associate
SSA is pleased to announce that Joe Wahler has been promoted to Senior Associate. Joe joined the studio in 2005 and has provided leadership in design, project management, and construction technology. Joe has been a project manager on many institutional projects including Amherst College New Science Center, Jackson Laboratories, University of Baltimore Law School, and Forest Park in Lake Forest, IL, as well as numerous private gardens. Joe has a passion for design that brings a pace of work and diligence to our team that makes us better every day. We are excited to have him as a Senior Associate.
Charbrook Spring Dig
The annual spring dig occurred in late April where the SSA crew was able to gain hands-on experience with tree spade digging, lacing rootballs, and tying trees. Betula nigra ‘Heritage’, Amelanchier canadensis, and Ilex verticillata were some of the species dug, balled and burlapped. The weather held out and we even put the youngest crew to work…
Philadelphia-based photographer Rob Cardillo photographed the Woodland Residence in St. Davids, PA. He was able to capture the property’s unique water features on film and at peak flow. In addition to the site design, SSA was responsible for the design and detailing of the technically sophisticated recirculation water system. Conceived and inspired by local hydrology, it brings a sense of place to the site that had not previously existed. The property has just been published in Rob’s new book, <i>Private Edens, Beautiful Country Gardens,</i> Gibbs Smith Publishing, 2013.