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GroundView is a landscape architecture practice.

Moon roof

BERT AND JUDY’S GARDEN — OBERLIN COLLEGE CONSERVATORY

BERT AND JUDY’S GARDEN
OBERLIN COLLEGE CONSERVATORY
OBERLIN, OH
2010

A component of GV’s landscape for the Conservatory, the two-thousand square foot garden terrace sits atop the third floor of the school’s new Kohl Building. GV designed the roof deck and seating stage as a venue for events and as a flexible, everyday space. Grass textures persist into winter and a wash of bulbs arrives in March before giving way to June’s intense bloom.

Boston Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award

architect: Westlake Reed Leskosky (Jonathan Kurtz)
photograph: Nic Lehoux

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Upsized

Chuckie Harris Park

CHUCKIE HARRIS PARK
SOMERVILLE, MA
2014

Most playgrounds are separated by age and divided between active and passive recreation. For Chuckie Harris Park, GV remixed these uses. This embankment slide at Chuckie Harris Park is eight feet wide, to accommodate groups. Built into the hillside and reached through accessible slopes, climbers, and rope pulls — the slides are integral to a circulation loop that cuts through the gardens. Stretch your hand out on a slide and you’ll buzz wisps of grass.

Boston Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award

photograph: Rob Bellinger
video

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Eat the furniture

PARK ON PEARL STREET

PARK ON PEARL STREET
SOMERVILLE, MA
2014

GV is designing a new park on Pearl Street in East Somerville. The site is the former location of the Conant-Hadley House, where famed composer Henry Hadley retreated to compose music. The design includes lush plantings that hang over a series of low terrace walls and a variety of custom ornamental iron components, including a pergola and a suite of multilevel porous benches. The park is also designed to recycle rainwater and host community art events and musical performances.

civil engineer: DCI

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HERO QUOIN

PUERTO RICAN VETERAN’S MEMORIAL

PUERTO RICAN VETERAN’S MEMORIAL
BOSTON, MA
2013

GV was privileged to collaborate with sculptor Robert Shure on the design of the nation’s first permanent memorial specifically honoring Puerto Rican men and women who served in America’s military. The new landscape takes cues from the axis and masonry of the Holy Cross Cathedral, just across the street from the Memorial in Boston’s South End. GV designed the landscape to adapt to solemn occasions and informal everyday use. The plant palette favors broadleaf evergreens and recalls the lushness of a subtropical garden.

artist: Skylight Studios

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Tilted terrain

KOHL PLAZA — OBERLIN COLLEGE CONSERVATORY

KOHL PLAZA
OBERLIN COLLEGE CONSERVATORY
OBERLIN, OH
2010

GV’s landscape at the Conservatory includes many stepped level changes like these wood clad landforms. They can be seen as sculpture, sat on like benches, or used as bandstands depending on the moment. The design creates stages for interaction — socially, intellectually, and musically — a place to dwell and gather in an otherwise linear landscape.

Boston Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award
Society for College and University Planning Honor Award

architect: Westlake Reed Leskosky (Jonathan Kurtz)
photograph: Scott Goldsmith

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Upper limbs

CHUCKIE HARRIS PARK

CHUCKIE HARRIS PARK
SOMERVILLE, MA
2013

This swing was designed by GV to be extra tall, which makes it’s arc long and high to suit older kids while also safe for younger kids. One of many custom designs, this swing is surrounded by some of the more than 70 trees and thousands of grasses and shrubs in this small new park. Many of these plants are located just outside a play structure’s safety zone. Throw up your legs at the peak of a swing and you’ll nearly touch the tree branches.

Boston Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award

At New Somerville Playground, A Quiet Revolution In Play Design” -WBUR

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McGrath is Dead

EDGE AS CENTER COMPETITION

EDGE AS CENTER COMPETITION
SOMERVILLE, MA
2009

The GV team received honorable mention in this urban design competition sponsored by the Boston Society of Architects and the City of Somerville. The project focuses on Somerville’s Brickbottom, a neighborhood isolated between commuter rail tracks and an elevated portion of Boston’s McGrath Highway. The design approaches the site from the edges. It redefines two major infrastructural barriers that have historically isolated the neighborhood. The elevated Mcgrath Highway becomes a tree–lined boulevard and the fenced-in commuter rail corridor becomes a multimodal transit spine.

collaborators: Antonio Medeiros and Tanya Chiranakhon

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STREETSCAPE

CHUCKIE HARRIS PARK

CHUCKIE HARRIS PARK
SOMERVILLE, MA
2014

By angling the fence, ten-degrees, at the Park’s main entry and café seating area, GV created space for a table and four chairs directly on the sidewalk. Passersby, dog walkers, and park visitors wanting some separation from kids, gravitate to this space. Roberto De Oliveira Castro and Ryan Pinkham of Over,Under designed custom furniture to fit a variety of spaces throughout the park.

Boston Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award

furniture design: Over,Under

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MICROBASINS

YUMA COURTHOUSE PLAZA

YUMA COURTHOUSE PLAZA
YUMA, AZ
2011

As the landscape architecture consultant on an invited GSA Design Excellence competition for a new courthouse, GV designed a public plaza that echoes the atmosphere of the surrounding desert and consumes only a third of the water required to maintain a lawn. Seating elements act as security barriers, together with a system of swales, runnels and microbasins that carry rainwater directly to the plants.

American Institute of Architects, Western Mountain Region, Citation Award

architect: Westlake Reed Leskosky (Jonathan Kurtz)

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TOWN GOWN

KOHL PLAZA – OBERLIN COLLEGE CONSERVATORY

KOHL PLAZA
OBERLIN COLLEGE CONSERVATORY
OBERLIN, OH
2010

GV transformed a one-eighth mile long axis, extending south from Tappan Square, the historic center of the campus and Town. The new landscape knits the campus with Oberlin’s downtown. The axis alternates from a simple green, to a sculpted plaza, to a string of gardens, all open to the public. The new landscape was designed in tandem with a new three-story jazz building. A further series of outdoor stairs, terraces, and gardens extend onto the building’s upper levels.

architect: Westlake Reed Leskosky (Jonathan Kurtz)
photograph: Kevin Reeves

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PLAY THE GARDEN

CLEVELAND SIGHT CENTER

CLEVELAND SIGHT CENTER
CLEVELAND, OH
2011

This playground design for the Cleveland Sight Center’s preschool program is structured by a patterned terrain of material textures and vegetation. Custom play elements alternate with planted mounds of perennials — mixing living materials with structured forms to engage the full spectrum of children’s senses and provide various degrees of challenge to children’s developing motor skills.

architect: Westlake Reed Leskosky (Jonathan Kurtz)

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MACHINES

OLVER TRANSIT CENTER

OLVER TRANSIT CENTER
GREENFIELD, MA
2012

GV’s design for the zero-net Olver Transit Center exemplifies a shift in the role of twenty-first century urban landscapes in which energy neutrality is not enough and the landscape becomes the site of energy production. GV helped situate a 7,300-square-foot photovoltaic array, south of what will become a native beech forest. A clearing within this plantation contains two cells of a bioretention system that capture and filter storm water while supporting native sedges and irises.

Boston Society of Architects Honor Award

architect: Charles Rose Architects
civil engineer: Nitsch Engineering
mechanical engineer: Arup

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WISE SAWS AND MODERN INSTANCES

KOHL PLAZA — OBERLIN COLLEGE CONSERVATORY

KOHL PLAZA
OBERLIN COLLEGE CONSERVATORY
OBERLIN, OH
2010

GV designed a long, thin, landscape that stretches between Oberlin’s new jazz building and three 1960s (Yamasaki) buildings. Architecture Critic, Stephen Litt, praised the project, for its series of “… superb public spaces, including a handsome ground-level plaza.” Kohl Plaza’s stepped terrain functions as a minimal stage set — for musical performances and those of everyday life.

Boston Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award

architect: Westlake Reed Leskosky (Jonathan Kurtz)
“Oberlin College Scores Big Time” – Cleveland Plain Dealer

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HONK!

CHUCKIE HARRIS PARK

CHUCKIE HARRIS PARK
SOMERVILLE, MA
2013

GV led an extensive community process for Chuckie Harris Park, engaging the community in four languages, through public workshops and outreach through schools, libraries and social media. Since opening in July 2013, the park has hosted a music festival, a block party, a summer movie series, and countless informal gatherings. This photo shows an October performance of the HONK! Festival of Activist Street Bands.

Boston Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award

photograph: Dana Mueller
animation (concept) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2WhuzT1AJc

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SMELL THE GARDEN

CLEVELAND SIGHT CENTER

CLEVELAND SIGHT CENTER
CLEVELAND, OH
2011

GV developed a design for the 3-acre site of the Cleveland Sight Center. The Sight Center provides preventative, educational, and rehabilitative services for the blind or visually impaired. To compose a landscape of scents and textures and to describe it to members of the Sight Center steering committee, GV bottled the material palette in custom braille labeled jars.

architect: Westlake Reed Leskosky (Jonathan Kurtz)

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QUARRY PUZZLE

DESIGN BIENNIAL BOSTON

DESIGN BIENNIAL BOSTON
BOSTON, MA
2013

GV participated in the 2012 Design Biennial Boston — chosen by the jury as one of four practices among the “most significant design leaders among Greater Boston’s early-career, independent professional talent.” Our accompanying installation acts as a puzzle — a geometric satisfiability problem. Twelve stones were cut from a single piece of granite; nine were arranged in the gallery. The missing stones were disguised as stone dust on the floor or as triptych reflections in an interior glass curtain wall.

Animation
archive: Design Biennial Boston
curator: Over,Under
stone quarrying and milling: Fletcher Granite

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SPRING EPHEMERALS

SIMON GARDEN — OBERLIN COLLEGE CONSERVATORY

SIMON GARDEN
OBERLIN COLLEGE CONSERVATORY
OBERLIN, OH
2010

This garden was conceived and installed in collaboration with artist Joanna Bean. Diagonally crosscut aluminum tubes pattern a largely flat ground plane. At a sloped edge the same tubes reveal their three-dimensionality. Tiny ephemeral wildflowers and the shade of two witch hazel trees enhance the pattern.

Boston Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award
Society for College and University Planning Honor Award

architect: Westlake Reed Leskosky (Jonathan Kurtz)

artist: AfterAll (Joanna Bean)

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GROUND PLAY

CHUCKIE HARRIS PARK

CHUCKIE HARRIS PARK
SOMERVILLE, MA
2013

The GV-designed, Chuckie Harris Park is described by Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone as the new “heart” of East Somerville’s Nunnery Grounds, a neighborhood with a history of environmental justice challenges. This new half-acre city park was built on a former industrial storage site. “Design this good,” reflects the Mayor “can do more than just enhance a neighborhood, it can help create one. It becomes a place where strangers become neighbors, where kids become friends.”

Boston Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award

photograph: Christian Phillips

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TWENTY ACRE MEADOW

HAWKEN UPPER SCHOOL

HAWKEN UPPER SCHOOL
GATES MILLS, OH
2014

GV is working with Westlake Reed Leskosky to implement a master plan for the redesign of this private school campus outside of Cleveland. The school overlooks a twenty acre field that GV’s plan will gradually convert to native grass meadow. A new entry road is pulled away from buildings to create a campus uniquely unencumbered by vehicular infrastructure. Student drop-off will be moved to a new one-hundred tree orchard. Pedestrian paths cut through the meadow to connect campus buildings and frame views to woodlands beyond.

architecture: Westlake Reed Leskosky (Jonathan Kurtz)

Cleveland Plain Dealer

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BIOMASS INFRASTRUCTURE

OLVER TRANSIT CENTER

OLVER TRANSIT CENTER
GREENFIELD, MA
2012

The transit center’s busway cuts through a newly planted forest of native beeches, hornbeams, and oaks. Only a quarter of the site could be planted, so GV created a dense, unremitting plant pattern, to create the feeling that surfaces and structures were carved from an established landscape. Plant areas will evolve from even geometries to wilder, layered densities.

Boston Society of Architects Honor Award

architect: Charles Rose Architects
civil engineer: Nitsch Engineering
mechanical engineer: Arup

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TRAFFIC COPSE

LEXINGTON INNOVATION DISTRICT

LEXINGTON INNOVATION DISTRICT
LEXINGTON, MA
2014

GV is designing vegetation and pedestrian circulation systems for Lexington’s Innovation District, a currently car-dominated commercial zone at the periphery of historic Lexington. The plan takes advantage of the area’s deep setbacks and wide rights-of-way to revise the vehicular and pedestrian experience and rebrand the district’s image with new planting and signage. It also completes a key pedestrian and bicycle connection to the nearby Minuteman Bikeway.

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VOLUNTEERS

TZU CHI BOSTON CENTER

TZU CHI BOSTON CENTER
NEWTON, MA
2012

As an initial, low-cost phase of GV’s landscape master plan, in April 2011, we guided a large scale volunteer tree planting. Volunteers planted 187 trees, including oaks, maples, hackberries, tulip trees and serviceberry trees, injecting the site with biological life and framing spaces for several landscape installations that are planned for the future.

architect: Craig Buttner

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A TINY BOX

SIMON GARDEN – OBERLIN COLLEGE CONSERVATORY

SIMON GARDEN
OBERLIN COLLEGE CONSERVATORY
OBERLIN, OH
2010

Two rare witch hazel tree cultivars animate this small, glass-enclosed, open-air, rooftop “terrarium,” a component of GV’s landscape for the Conservatory. The trees bloom during the snow of late February. Ephemeral wildflowers and hundreds of crosscut square tubes of aluminum pattern the ground plane and act as containers for patches of hypnum moss.

Boston Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award
Society for College and University Planning Honor Award

artist: AfterAll (Joanna Bean)

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BARE ROOT BRANCH AND BOUND

TZU CHI BOSTON CENTER

TZU CHI BOSTON CENTER
NEWTON, MA
2012

GV worked with a diverse client group, dozens of community members and a number of city agencies to develop a master plan for this half-acre site. The design connects gardens, woodlands, a wetland, a lawn terrace and a small playground through a broad grading and circulation strategy that makes the entire site universally accessible. The newly planted woodland is shown above in winter.

architect: Craig Buttner

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Against Highway

PARK AT I-93

PARK AT I-93
SOMERVILLE, MA
2014

GV collaborated on a master plan and designed the landscape for a new public open space in the shadow of Interstate 93 in East Somerville. GV’s proposal to remove several hundred feet of roadway will yield a thirty percent overall gain in open space and allow for significant water and air pollution mitigation due to increased tree canopy and permeable surfaces.

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GET UP GET WET

Chuckie Harris Park

CHUCKIE HARRIS PARK
SOMERVILLE, MA
2013

GV designed Chuckie Harris Park to include classic play elements like swings and slides. But instead of a typical play structure with clustered activities, they were layered upon a sloped and vegetated terrain. GV spread out the play structures so that circulation becomes part of the game and encourages exercise. The play structures and topography include overlapping ‘circuits’ that allow many ways of moving through this half-acre site.

Boston Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award

lighting design: Lumen Studio
play structure consultant: PlayArtDesign
play structure fabricator: Custom Fabrications

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BIORETENTION

CHUCKIE HARRIS PARK

CHUCKIE HARRIS PARK
SOMERVILLE, MA
2013

GV made water treatment a design priority, increasing permeability sixfold and re-using nearly all the park’s storm water. Rain flows through specialized soils to a 200 foot long string of garden cells that redistribute, absorb and filter storm water. Runoff from the spray fountain enters a separate system that irrigates the street trees.

Boston Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award

civil engineer: DCI
photograph: Dana Mueller
“New Chuckie Harris Park Re-uses Somervilles Storm Water” -Somerville News
construction sequence: (gif)

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