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Celebrating Urban Parks: Recent Awards Recognize Our Empathy-Driven Practice!

Grand Junction Park Takes the Spotlight Once Again

Land Collective is pleased to announce that Grand Junction has been honored with two prestigious awards, acknowledging its innovative infrastructure enhancements that seamlessly integrate socially-conscious public spaces and resilient design.

We are proud to share that the project has received the Monocle Design Award in the esteemed “Best Ecological Effort” category. This accolade recognizes the top 50 global projects dedicated to improving lives and positively impacting communities. Additionally, we are delighted to report that Grand Junction has achieved the Award of Excellence from ASLA Pennsylvania/Delaware – the highest honor awarded by the chapter.

These accolades serve as a testament to our unwavering commitment to the studio’s mission creating extraordinary spaces that prioritize socially-purposeful, environmentally-resilient, and inclusive design.

In the nascent Anthropocene era, it is imperative that we prioritize sustainable practices and foster a more symbiotic relationship between humans and the environment. As our planet’s physical and biological systems are undergoing radical transformations, we face a growing frequency of extreme weather events that have exposed our communities to heightened vulnerability. A poignant example occurred in 2013 when Westfield, IN, in the early stages of planning the new park, was struck by a catastrophic 500-year flood event. The resulting inundation submerged extensive areas of the city, serving as a stark reminder of the urgent need for resilience and adaptation in the face of a changing climate. Land Collective has worked with our partners HWKN, BMD (Bruce Mau Design), RATIO Architects, FlatLand Resources, and VS Engineering to transform the 7.8-acre waterfront site into a new, climate-resilient park for the Westfield community. Today, Grand Junction stands as a testament to our successful rehabilitation of Grassy Branch Creek, which bifurcates the park, into a vibrant, engaged park and riparian corridor.

On the heels of these two awards, Grand Junction was recently featured in Metropolis Magazine. As principal David A. Rubin notes, “Cities and states should be seeking opportunities to ameliorate potential threats within the fabric of our connective tissue. Infrastructure cannot be ‘out of sight,’ but ought to be integrated in a manner that supports safety and social engagement.” The article emphasizes that the park should be regarded as a blueprint for future climate-resistant projects, as well as capital improvements aimed at urban placemaking and revitalization in other cities. It is our sincere hope that this new park becomes a valuable model for promoting sustainable climate-resilience in other urban contexts.

Franklin Park Wins AIA DC Award for Urban Design

In addition to the recognition bestowed on Grand Junction, we are excited to announce that Franklin Park has received the AIA DC Award in Urban Design/Master Planning in honor of the exceptional efforts invested in revitalizing this historic city block situated at the very heart of downtown Washington, D.C. In partnership with STUDIOS Architecture, the park has undergone a remarkable physical transformation, breathing new life into this neglected public space. By addressing the site’s ecological challenges head-on and implementing innovative solutions, this project has successfully integrated water features that pay tribute to its rich heritage. The restored central fountain celebrates the park’s historic continuity with exciting moments, such as the District’s first celebration of Emancipation Day, while the interactive fountains pay tribute to the well-spring that first served the White House. As a result, a profound connection to the park’s history is fostered, creating a vibrant and inclusive public space that instills a deep sense of belonging. The new design of the park promotes accessibility in the invitation to participate and offers a wide range of activities for people of all ages, encouraging play, engagement, and socialization. Not only does the revitalization of Franklin Park enhance the visual appeal of the surrounding urban landscape, but it also ensures the preservation of its historical legacy for future generations to treasure.