2010 Toronto Design Exchange, Urban Design, Silver Award 2010 American Society of Landscape Architects, Honor Award, St. Louis Chapter 2009 Midwest Construction’s Small Project of the Year As the landscape architect, Kristy assisted Baird Sampson Neuert Architects (BSN) of Toronto with the award winning design and preparation of landscape architecture design and drawings for the Old Post Office Plaza in downtown St. Louis. The Plaza, which sits immediately north of the recently renovated Old Post Office, is home to a famous sculpture representing the mythical character of Icaurs which was recently purchased by the Gateway Foundation.
The overall design intent of the plaza is to create a multi-functional downtown urban park. It can accommodate relaxation, lunch crowds, outdoor movies and the art enthusiast. In assisting BSN, Kristy used landscape solutions and sustainability strategies to interpret the “Journey of Icaurs” to complement the master plan vision. In doing so, low maintenance planting solutions were developed that matched the vision desired by the owners of the city block, the Downtown St. Louis Partnership.
The Old Post Office Plaza is located on a brownfield site created by urban demolition and framed on three sides by public streets lined with heritage buildings. While intended to feature the most important, the Old Post Office, the creation of the Plaza, in combination with adaptive reuse and restoration of the nineteenth century landmark, also serves as an urban catalyst for revitalization and re-inhabitation of the historic city core.
One of the key elements in the success of the urban opera was the harmony between design disciplines. In addition to the composition of the planting palette that portrays the visual and tactile qualities of key settings in our story, the landscape architect served as the eyes and ears of an international team of designers. Keeping a constant open dialogue and a stream of updates and photography, the design team could interact with each other, and the site, as the structures and plantings were fine tuned. Ongoing tuning has been required as the space and its impact on the urban fabric continue to evolve. The close relationship between the client and the Landscape Architect ensure that the plaza will stand the test of time, so that this Opera Urbanus can be enjoyed for generations to come.
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* Project completed while working at Arcturis.