Exciting News On The Hudson Riverfront

Pier redesign to take place along the Hudson River


Located in the Hudson River Park in Tribeca, OLIN has been asked to redesign the two and one half acre Pier by the Hudson River Park Trust. The Pier, with incredible views to the Statue of Liberty, the Hudson River and the new World Trade Center, will be associated with a new estuarium. The estuarium will be both a public outreach and education opportunity as well as a operating research facility, focused on the health of Hudson River Estuary. The Pier will be a highly flexible space for public events, education and recreation.

“Research Gold” Below Bryant Park

Photo by Sahar Coston-Hardy of OLIN.

Photo by Sahar Coston-Hardy of OLIN.

Many visitors to NYC’s Bryant Park are unaware that the site is a large-scale green roof above an annex housing more than three million volumes of the adjacent New York Public Library.

On November 15, the New York Times published an article about New York Public Library’s state-of-the-art storage system, which just happens to reside directly below Bryant Park. OLIN’s design for the park included this underground space for the Public Library, but the stacks were never fully utilized. In recent years, as the library’s necessity for a large storage system capable of being deciphered in a moment’s notice has grown, the question of where to store the 2.5 million different works has become a top priority. While initially hypothesizing moving the collection to New Jersey, the library has made the decision to fully embrace the remaining floor of the two floor storage system below Bryant Park, and begin filling the stacks. The books will be organized according to size, a new system replacing the previously used Dewey Decimal system, and motorized carts will be used to transport the books from one location to another.
At this time when libraries are striving to maintain their relevance in an increasingly digitized world, it’s exciting to see the extent to which the New York Library is going to keep their collection strong and accessible to visitors, and how Bryant Park was able to contribute in protecting these important works.
Click here for the full NYTimes article.

See you in Chicago!

We look forward to this time every year, when we join our colleagues, peers, students, professors and fellow enthusiasts in scholarship, collaborating and celebrating Landscape Architecture. This year at the 2015 ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo, we are celebrating the Design Honor Award for Mill River Park and Greenway and are participating in nine education sessions.

2015 Professional and Student Awards
Join us on Monday to celebrate the winners of the 2015 Professional and Student Awards, including Mill River Park and Greenway in Stamford, Connecticut, recipient of a Design Honor Award, and OLIN Landscape Architect Zheming (Taro) Cai, Associate ASLA, winner of the prestigious Student Award of Excellence.

Grace Farms Opens

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Grace Farms, a former 75-acre horse farm transformed into a spiritual and community retreat in New Canaan, Connecticut, opens today. The project, a collaboration begun in 2010 by OLIN and internationally renowned architects SANAA, celebrates the beauty of nature through landscape and creates a welcoming environment that fosters relationships, wellness, and reflection.

OLIN teamed with SANAA to create this innovative non-profit facility dedicated to serving both the local community of New Canaan and the Grace Farms Foundation. The design for Grace Farms is inspired by the site’s historically pastoral character. OLIN and SANAA’s design approach was to touch the land as lightly as possible while incorporating a diverse set of programs and amenities to serve New Canaan’s need for public space. SANAA’s sinuous building evokes the image of a river, its windowed façade and low profile helping it to blend harmoniously with OLIN’s landscape. Drives, walks and trails and gathering spaces within the landscape were designed to embody a range of characters, from a cultivated town village to agrarian fields and managed woodland. The landscape evokes a sense of warmth, elegance, and authenticity—all defining a positive atmosphere and an engaging experience for visitors and neighbors of Grace Farms.

Additional coverage of Grace Farms can be found at Architectural Record and the Architect’s Newspaper.

Mill River Park Wins ASLA Honor Award

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Mill River Park and Greenway in Stamford, Connecticut has received a Design Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Prior to the construction of the park, Mill River was a polluted, derelict riverbank that posed a significant flood risk to Stamford. With the help of ecologists and engineers, OLIN’s design, led by CEO and Partner Lucinda Sanders, brought life back to the riverbank and reintroduced the area’s native flora and fauna. Pathways and a vibrant new park reconnect the surrounding community to the river’s edge, which has been disconnected from the neighborhoods for the past century. The rehabilitation of Mill River is an example of redefining active urban areas in a sustainable and rejuvenating way that serves as a catalyst for social and economic growth in the Stamford community.

View the full submission here.

Sylvan Theater at the Washington Monument in DC receives Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award

Sylvan Theater

The Sylvan Theater at the Washington Monument in DC, the competition-winning design by WEISS/MANFREDI and OLIN, has received the 2015 Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award. This prestigious honor recognizes developments of all kinds, from skyscrapers and urban plans to commercial buildings and private residences. The award acknowledges excellence in design, construction and planning and promotes honorable and admirable practices in development and sustainability. The 60 award recipients for 2015 span 26 nations and represent a positive and inspiring evolution in design that is taking place around the world. OLIN is honored to be a part of such a venerable collection of world class architects and designers.

The Sylvan Theater at the Washington Monument is expected to be completed in 2018.

11th Street Bridge Park Equitable Development Task Force

Video © 11th Street Bridge Park via YouTube.

The 11th Street Bridge Park has created an Equitable Development Task Force to help facilitate the completion of the four goals the park has set for the community. The task force is hoping to increase the connectivity of the communities around the future bridge park by encouraging equitable economic and social development, regardless of income or demographic. While the implementation of OMA and OLIN’s new bridge will help physically connect these communities, this task force is looking to take these neighborhoods one step further, working with government officials and business owners to develop more affordable housing, greater employment, and increase involvement in small workforce enterprise. The programs implemented will help fulfill the park’s ultimate goals of unifying DC, encouraging economic development, engaging residents in the environment, and promoting healthy lifestyles for community members.

Happy 5 year anniversary to our LA office!


This week, OLIN’s Los Angeles studio celebrates its fifth year anniversary. From the office’s opening as a one-person operation on June 23rd,  2010, the studio has grown and expanded OLIN’s portfolio across the U.S. and Asia, including:

Washington Canal Park Named Finalist for 2015 ULI Urban Open Space Award

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Washington Canal Park is one of six finalist projects for the Urban Land Institute’s 2015 Urban Open Space Award. Each year, this prestigious honor recognizes one outstanding example of a public destination that has enriched and revitalized its surrounding community. Since its opening in 2012, Washington Canal Park has become a beloved asset to DC’s Capitol Riverfront neighborhood—a marriage of successful urban placemaking and thoughtful, resilient design.


Washington Canal Park at twilight. Photo © OLIN / Karl-Rainer Blumenthal

One of the first parks built as part of the District’s Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, LEED Gold certified and a three-star certified pilot project for the Sustainable Sites Initiative, Canal Park is a model for sustainability, a social gathering place, and an economic trigger for the surrounding neighborhood. Located on the site of a former parking lot for district school buses, this three-block-long park is sited along the historic former Washington Canal system. Inspired by the site’s waterfront heritage, the design evokes the history of the space with a linear rain garden and three pavilions reminiscent of floating barges that were once a common sight along the canal. The rain garden functions as an integrated stormwater system that is estimated to save the city 1.5 million gallons of potable water per year. Stormwater is captured, treated on-site, and re-used for irrigation, building use and interactive fountains. In collaboration with OLIN, STUDIOS Architecture designed a pavilion to host a café. A second pavilion serves as a stage and a third offers storage for park amenities. 28 geothermal wells beneath the ice rink provide efficient energy supply for utilities. Custom sculptures by artist David Hess are located on each of the city blocks.


Top: Pavilions designed by STUDIOS Architecture recall the sight of floating barges, once common along the old Washington Canal. Photo © OLIN / Sahar Coston-Hardy. Bottom: A glass cube atop the southernmost pavilion glows with projected imagery at night. Photo © STUDIOS Architecture.

Click here for the official press release from ULI.

Burlington Day Festival


OLIN celebrated with the City of Burlington, New Jersey this past weekend at the annual Burlington Day Festival. About 1,000 people gathered at the Riverfront Promenade to enjoy live music, good food and camaraderie along the Delaware River. A corner booth displaying OLIN’s vision plan for an improved promenade was a hot spot of activity all day long as the designers and city officials discussed the proposed ideas with the community.