Design Workshop Wins Three National ASLA Awards

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Design Workshop Wins Three of 49 Total ASLA Awards, One of Only Two Firms to Receive This Many Awards

Design Workshop, an international landscape architecture, land planning, urban design and strategic services firm with six offices in the U.S. and work spanning the globe, recently won three ASLA Professional Awards, which are the highest honors presented by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Design Workshop will be recognized for its work at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Washington, D.C. this September.

Design Workshop was awarded two ASLA Professional Awards in the Residential Design category for its Transformative Water project in Pitkin County, Colo., and its Catalina Foothills project in Tucson, Ariz. The third ASLA Professional Award was in the Analysis & Planning category for Isla Palenque, a ecotourism resort master plan in the Republic of Panama.

Design Workshop’s three awards tied with one other firm for the most accolades. There were 49 total ASLA Awards given this year, out of more than 620 award nominations submitted nationally.

“What an incredible honor to win three ASLA Professional Awards in a single year. We are overjoyed to see the brilliant work of our practitioners receiving national recognition, and it is certainly a proud day for all who work at Design Workshop,” said Rebecca Zimmermann, president of Design Workshop. “There were so many deserving candidates this year, and to win three awards out of literally hundreds of nominations is just tremendous for our firm.”

The first award-winning project, titled “Transformative Water,” required Design Workshop designers to rehabilitate a deserted Colorado landscape. Once a working ranch, then transformed into an asphalt batch plant, the project site had been neglected. The project included restoration of historic buildings and the creation of a functioning riparian habitat from the required on-site storage from the property’s accompanying water rights. The project site is now recognized as a regionally-significant property for its marriage of imagination and cultural acuity that rendered an environmental restoration effort and the establishment of a new place entirely.

“It looks like a summer camp. The owner had to work with a difficult water-use situation. The old timber buildings are the starting point, and creating the water stream is so sensitive. It looks simple, but it is difficult to make it look natural. The strong part is the water. The site plan organization is of merit here. The site plan gives a sense of the stretch of the river. I love the elasticity, and the buildings are organized as a farm in context with the nature.”—2010 Professional Awards Jury comment about Transformative Water

“Catalina Foothills,” a modern garden located in the foothills of north Tucson, Ariz., illustrates excellence for its use of color, careful attention to the native vegetation palette and water conservation. Designers implemented the region’s first gray water reuse system for a residential application, intended to reduce water consumption by approximately 40 percent. Innovation, combined with a striking planting palette representative of its region, creates a notable environment for its owners and their guests.

“The expression of color and subtle use of detail is amazing. When the client is giving all this input on color, the designer can’t always make all the details work. This is playful and fun. It is impressive how the scale encompasses small plants in some areas and larger bushes in others. The plants and spatial architecture come together and the color of the plants comes together with the surroundings. They were very well selected.”—2010 Professional Awards Jury comment about Catalina Foothills

“Isla Palenque,” a 434-acre project on a Panamanian island, serves as a model for geo-responsible design practices throughout Central America, drawing upon natural, human-made and cultural patterns. The project preserves 85 percent of the island as a nature sanctuary, examines bioclimatic strategies for site-planning decisions, explores methods of agrotourism to decrease imports, and develops water and energy management plans that reduce dependency on non-renewable resources. Furthermore, Design Workshop practitioners had to navigate through extensive challenges of existing governmental regulations, redefining regional development and conservation standards to achieve this one-of-a-kind model for eco-responsible design.

“The concept is effective and comprehensive. It combines the sustainable resort and eco-tourism. As part of the ecotourism concept, it seems that they spoke to the people who live there and the solutions were developed from their culture, which is very important.”—2010 Professional Awards Jury comment about Isla Palenque

Since 2007, Design Workshop has received five ASLA Professional Awards. Previous awards include the design of Glacier Club, an environmentally-focused golf course located in Durango, Colo., and for Woody Creek Estate, a contemporary mountain estate garden near Aspen, Colo.

About Design Workshop
Founded in 1969, Design Workshop is an international landscape architecture, land planning, urban design and strategic services firm with six offices in the U.S. and work spanning the globe. The firm has been recognized with over 150 prestigious awards for its work in new communities, urban centers, resorts, public parks, golf courses and residences. The firm’s philosophy challenges the project team to equally integrate and balance artistic vision, environmental sensitivity, community values and sound economics to create unique places that stand the test of time. It refers to this approach as DW Legacy Design®.


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