Governor’s Square Condos; Salt Lake City, UT

VODA’s been working with the homeowners association for the Governor’s Square Condos in the Marmalade neighborhood of Salt Lake City for several months on a landscape rehabilitation project.  With the building approaching 50 years in age, the landscape was beginning to show its age as well. Several important updates had been completed on the building[…]

Landscape Rehabilitation: The Nail Room, Salt Lake City, UT

IN PROGRESS: VODA’s been working on a landscape rehab for a small commercial building on 1700 South in Salt Lake City.  With challenging site conditions and limited budgets, we’ve worked with the client to develop a clean, simple plan for updating the look of the aging landscape.

In Progress: Jefferson Street Urban Infill; Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City’s urban core is undergoing a renaissance of sorts–with increased interest in reusing under-utilized properties for commercial or residential projects. VODA’s been working on landscape design for a residential project in the transit-oriented development area around the  900 South TRAX light-rail station.   With a client looking for a modern style and sustainable energy[…]

“Landscape architecture is basically the planning and design of space under the sky.”

James Corner: Urban Dreamscaper TIME Magazine interviews landscape architect James Corner on the power of public space and quality urban design.  He defines our profession: “Landscape architecture is basically the planning and design of space under the sky.”

Great Place Wednesday: Marin County Civic Center; Marin County, CA

The Marin County Civic Center is arguably one of the most fascinating architectural gems in the USA. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the late 1950’s, the building is one of ten of Wright’s works that have been nominated for inclusion on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.  The structure straddles three hills, and its long, linear[…]

In Progress: Urban Infill Residential on Wilmington Ave; Salt Lake City, UT

Here at VODA, we’re big believers in the value of urban infill. For many reasons property in established neighborhoods can become available, or a community may decide that there are better uses for things such as parking lots, industrial areas, or underdeveloped land.  We’ve been working for CityBlock lately to assist with the development of[…]

Great Place Wednesday: The Highline; New York City, NY

I’ve had several conversations in the last few weeks about the Highline Park in New York City. This is truly one-of-a-kind park was built on an abandonded, raised rail line running into lower Manhattan from the 1930′s. Abandoned in the 1960′s, the Highline lay dormant for more than 40 years, until the community organized “Friends[…]

Great Place Wednesday: Inner Harbor; Baltimore, MD

America’s been extraordinarily adept at completely ignoring its waterfronts. Most cities in America with a waterfront have turned that waterfront into an entirely industrial wasteland, with little public use, and even less quality spaces.  New York City has only recently discovered its waterfront, and has invested millions in developing more public space along the Hudson[…]

Federal Heights Residence; Salt Lake City, UT

With a Japanese style garden beginning to show its age, the client enlisted VODA  to design a clean, updated zen garden for their Federal Heights home.  Focusing on concepts of simplicity, asymmetry, and clean lines, the new garden design re-imagines the use of a small space.  VODA used local and adaptive materials such as dark[…]

Great Place Wednesday: Mirabell Gardens; Salzburg, Austria

Experiencing the great places of Europe inevitably involves strolling vast, open gardens. Today they may seem like quiet, pleasant places, but these gardens always have histories  behind them. Often they are symbols of power, oppression, and war-time plunder.  The Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg, Austria were built as a symbol of the power for their owner,[…]

Zen Garden Design: Shunmyo Masuno

I attended a lecture last night given by Shunmyo Masuno, hosted by the University of Utah’s College of Architecture + Planning. Shunmyo Masuno is one of the world’s preeminent Japanese garden designers, and is also an eighteenth generation Zen Buddhist priest.  As a designer, his spiritual code guides all his works. His overriding philosophy is[…]

Great Place Wednesday: Old Town San Diego, CA

This summer I spent a week in the San Diego area, my first visit there in many years. We spent an afternoon exploring San Diego’s Old Town, which is truly a great place: San Diego’s Old Town is unique in that it was basically abandoned for a more strategic site for the city, a few[…]

Sustainability Means Local Food

Many people easily associate sustainability with energy efficiency, recycling, biking, public transportation, solar power, hybrid vehicles, and even shopping at local businesses, but few readily associate sustainability with food.  How and what we eat as a community has a major impact on long-term sustainability.  “Eating locally” is more than just a pleasant aphorism for the[…]

In Progress: Frog Bench Farms

Despite the weather turning wet and cold, things are still progressing on an exciting project here in Salt Lake City that VODA’s been working on for more than a year.   Located in the foothills of Salt Lake, this project is spearheaded by a couple of visionaries working to develop a new residence and urban farm.[…]

Great Place Wednesday: Champ de Mars; Paris, FR

The Champ de Mars is one of Paris’s largest open spaces, and gives a perfect example of French garden style.  Originally part of the military’s marching and drilling grounds, the park space has hosted the Worlds Fair four times, in 1867, 1878, 1889, and 1900.  It was in 1889 that the park’s most famous feature[…]