The duct tape stuck! Birch Street Plaza will become a permanent plaza in Spring 2020. Earlier this month the project received final approval from the City of Boston’s Public Improvement Commission. City of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced the project today in Roslindale. Learn more about the projects and partners here.
Pittsburgh’s Office of Public Art and BikePGH have selected Merritt Chase to activate Pittsburgh’s city steps as part of the City Steps Activation Initiative. Four artist teams have been paired with four community organizations to design a series of public events and installations to celebrate the city’s steps in the Fall of 2019. We’re looking forward to working with the Polish Hill Civic Association to design and program the steps in Polish Hill!
Learn how we envisioned Pittsburgh’s steps, one the city’s most unique public space systems, as vertical parks in Landscape Architecture Magazine’s October issue here.
This past week, our team set up shop in Boston for the installation of the six-day Birch Street Pop-up Plaza in Roslindale Village. The temporary installation prototyped, in real-time, the locations of future plaza elements including paving, seating, and trees. Through in-person and online surveys, observation, and conversation we gathered feedback from the community. The input is directly informing the final design of the permanent Birch Street Plaza, slated to be constructed this fall. For more information on the pop-up plaza and the project’s future, check out Roslindale Village Main Street’s website here. Thank you to the incredible network of Roslindale and City of Boston volunteers who made the installation and feedback gathering possible!
This week Nina will be at the University of Virginia School of Architecture as an invited external guest critic for the Master of Landscape Architecture Final Reviews. Learn more about the featured Spring 2019 courses and the final review schedule here.
Merritt Chase is growing! Read more about our teammates Nich Steinkraus and Alexandra Mei on our About page here.
Nich joined Merritt Chase this past Fall as a landscape and planting designer. With almost a decade of professional landscape architecture experience working with firms including OLIN, Sasaki, and David Rubin Land Collective, his work encompasses a wide range of typologies including residential, campus, urban, governmental, and design competitions. His planting designs incorporate form, color, and texture of native and adapted plant species. Nich studied landscape architecture and horticulture at Purdue University, during which he was awarded a Student Honor Award by the American Society of Landscape Architects' Indiana Chapter and the Donald J. Molnar Scholarship Award.
Alexandra joins the team after two months of traveling in Japan as the Harvard GSD Charles Eliot Traveling Fellowship recipient. As a landscape designer with Merritt Chase, Alexandra works to infuse a subtle, yet powerful presence of art into our surroundings. Prior to joining Merritt Chase, Alexandra worked at Munden Fry Landscape Associates, Surfacedesign, and Gensler. She graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Design with a Masters in Landscape Architecture and received her Bachelor of Design in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis. She has received multiple honors including the GSD Thesis Award in Landscape Architecture, the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s University Olmsted Scholar nomination, and the 2017 GSD Charles Eliot Traveling Fellowship.
Nina joins Anna Cawrse of Sasaki and Dave Kushner of Remnant Brewing to present “Beer Urbanism: How Beer is Transforming our Urban Landscapes” at this year’s Pennsylvania - Delaware ASLA Annual Meeting on April 13th.
The panel will introduce the cultural drivers for beer-focused urban developments, including urban breweries, pop-up beer gardens and destination food halls. Precedent projects will be presented including Merritt Chase’s Bow Market and the Lawn on D. The panel will explore, from concept through construction, how to design for beer, including legal constraints and spatial programmatic needs.
Season 2 of Daylight starts now! Last week, People for Urban Progress (PUP) and Exhibit Columbus kicked off the second season of Daylight, a four-part speaker series highlighting the work of national and Indianapolis-based thinkers and doers. This month’s event featured Jha D Williams of MASS Design Group and Danicia Malone of Purdue’s Black Cultural Center.
This season brings “rock star national and local voices together to curate authentic conversations surrounding inclusion, equity, dignity and justice to define thoughtful and responsible design for our city. “ Read more about the series on PUP’s blog here.
Merritt Chase has been selected by A Better City, the City of Boston and Roslindale Village Main Street to design for the temporary pedestrianization of Birch Street in Roslindale Village. The plaza renovation process will include the closure of Birch Street and the design of a tactical plaza in alignment with the city’s newly released Tactical Public Realm Guidelines.
This month, construction began on the renovation of Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park in Morgantown, WV, home to West Virginia University. Led by the City of Morgantown, the park renovation includes improvements to the existing trail and amphitheater, a new gathering plaza, and the new Walnut Street Landing landscape. Design and construction is funded by a generous grant from the Hazel Ruby McQuain Foundation. Merritt Chase is leading the site design alongside team members Strada, Thrasher, and March Westin.
Follow along for construction updates on the City of Morgantown’s dedicated website here.