Landscape Architecture firms are recognized for their designs of public spaces, and privately operated parks (POP).  The use of stone is prevalent due to its unique ability to convey beauty, permanence and sustainability. Porphyry can be useful in all of these designs. Here are winners and updates on shortlisted design competitions.

St. Petersburg

maltzan pier winning design St PetersburgAs The Architect’s Newspaper reported, Michael Maltzan Architecture has won an international competition to redesign St. Petersburg, Florida’s iconic pier. The firm with “The Lens,” a project composed of a group of interconnected bridges and pathways arranged along a figure eight plan.  The project will frame the city through its sweeping, looped structure, connect downtown St. Petersburg and its waterfront, and create several new recreational opportunities, including the chance for visitors to get much closer to the water than they had in the past.

“We saw this as an unusual, once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing,” said Raul Quintana, city architect for the City ofSt. Petersburg. “It’s something that cities the size of St. Petersburg don’t normally do. It’s very risky and forward thinking.”

A jury of three design experts (including San Francisco architect Stanley Saitowitz) and two local officials selected Maltzan’s concept after studying the entries for more than a month. The competition began in June with 30 registered teams and was narrowed down to three at the end of last year. The project will also include a new tidal reef, a civic green, raised walking paths, an amphitheater, a water park and other leisure activities. “It’s not a traditional architecture project. It’s not a tradition landscape project. It’s really a hybrid,” said Maltzan, echoing what has been said about others in a new generation of urban-scaled projects, like New York’s High Line.  Maltzan is also on a team that is shortlisted in the current National Mall Design Competition.


New York City

studio a i AIDS Memorial Park JPEG 092cc resized 600A design called “Infinite Forest” that calls for a grove of trees reflected infinitely by 12-foot-long mirrors was selected for New York’s first large-scale AIDS memorial. The winning proposal, from Studio a+i, ( ) a Brooklyn, N.Y. architecture firm, beat out 474 other entries in the AIDS Memorial Park competition. Hosted by Architectural Record, Architizer, and the AIDS Memorial Park organization, the competition challenged designers and non-designers to create a park for an unused triangular lot in Manhattan’s West Village neighborhood.

Rudin Management, the owner of the park in NYC’s West Village at the center of a design competition for an AIDS Memorial, rejected the design just hours after it was announced. Rudin Management, which won City Planning Commission approval on Jan. 23 for its plans for the former St. Vincent’s Hospital site, said it will work with the AIDS Memorial Park coalition, Community Board 2 and locals on plans for the park, but that its current design by landscape architect Rick Parisi (M. Paul Friedberg and Partners) will provide its basis. Rick Parisi has designed parks, plazas, waterfronts, and educational, health and recreational facilities in his 22 years of practice. He is now leading the design team on “The Yards” Southeast Federal Center in Washington, D.C.Parisi Plan St Vincents resized 600

                                                                             Existing Rick Parisi Design

Rudin CEO and vice chairman Bill Rudin said in a statement. “We stand ready to continue our work with all stakeholders to determine how best to realize these memorial elements as part of the approved park design in a timely manner,” he said.



Updating the activities of the shortlisted teams for the Navy Pier Design Competition, starting February 1, 2012, the five design teams selected to redesign the outdoor spaces of Chicago’s Navy Pier will begin to reveal their schemes to the public. Lead by AECOM, Aedas Architects, James Corner Field Operations, !melk and the Xavier Vendrell Studio, each team will be given thirty minutes to present their ideas, followed by a ten minute question and answer session.

The process began with 52 design teams and is down to five. The presentation process is open to the public. Officials hope to have a winner chosen by late February or early March.


The Waller Creek Conservancy has narrowed down the Waller Creek design competition pool to nine.  Waller Creek Flows from North of the University of Texas, past the state Capitol, through the downtown Music District and into Lady Bird Johnson Lake on the Colorado River.  The organization had received 31 submissions from design teams around the world interested in designing Waller Creek. Three Austin companies are among the design teams selected — Miró Rivera Architects, who partnered with Spanish firm Burgos & Garrido Arquitectos Asociados; architectural and engineering design practice PageSoutherlandPage, who teamed up with New York-based landscape architecture and urban design firm !melk; and Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, which has offices in Austin and Phoenix, along with New York-based Workshop: Ken Smith Landscape Architect and Rogers Marvel Architects.

Waller Creek-Austin-Design CompetitionOther design teams selected by a jury of five design experts to continue on to the next stage of the competition are:

•San Antonio-basedLake| Flato Architects and Chinese design company Turenscape;

•San Francisco-based landscape architecture firm CMG and nonprofit organization Public Architecture;

•New York-based landscape architecture and urban-design firm James Corner Field Operations and ShoP Architects;

•Denver-based urban design firm Civitas and the Bjarke Ingels Group’sNew York Cityoffice;

•Boston-based Stoss Landscape Urbanism and Canadian architectural design firm Saucier & Perrotte;

•New York-based landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and Thomas Phifer and Partners.


Porphyry’s composition determines its high compression strength, resistance to stains, slip resistance, and high freeze/thaw ratings.  The stone is the most popular paver in Europe, and is favored for its flexibility in design, beauty, durability and low maintenance requirements. ADA Compliant Porphyry pavers are also adaptable to a permeable paving set. The stone
is by far one of the most durable pavers in the world.  These materials are available from Milestone Imports.   –