The focus of the Design-Build Studio is to provide individuals the opportunity to build and implement elements of their own design. Students will prepare the necessary construction documentation and then actually construct their designs.
Working with construction materials will enable the student to learn the opportunities and limitations of these materials. This "hands-on" approach is vital to understanding the relationship between design and implementation processes.
Each year, students in the Landscape Architecture Junior Studio have the opportunity to see their designs to completion and display them for 300,000 visitors to see at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Philadelphia Flower Show.
Previous award-winning Flower Show exhibits have informed the development of new gardens in the Ambler Arboretum, such at the Sustainable Wetland Garden, the PECO Green Roof Garden, and the Ernesta Ballard Healing Garden.
Department Policy on Service Studios
The Temple University Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture receives numerous requests for project assistance to improve the public domain. These activities greatly enhance the academic experience as well as fulfill our mission and desire to serve the public interest. The Department does not undertake private residential or commercial work. Our mission is to improve the environment through application of ecologically based design.
The Francisville Studio Project was the recipient of the 2011 National American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Honor Award in the Analysis and Planning Category. The award will be presented to students and faculty at the ASLA National Conference in San Diego in October/November. The Studio was taught by Professors Pauline Hurley-Kurtz and Robert Kuper.
The purpose of the Francisville design-build studio project was to teach undergraduate, sophomore, landscape architecture students the process of developing a sustainable community revitalization plan for an urban neighborhood; to introduce philosophies of neo-traditional planning and transit-oriented development (TOD); to reveal the community planning process in a large city, and to acknowledge and incorporate recent city planning and urban greening initiatives.
Francisville was the study site - an underprivileged neighborhood in lower-north Philadelphia plagued by urban blight. In the last half-century, it has experienced social and economic depression, including the migration of its residents, decay of its physical form, and the loss of significant commercial activity.
Students were required to understand the social, cultural, economic, and ecological aspects of the neighborhood. They were then charged with applying TOD principals as they developed master plans for a more sustainable Francisville - plans that would restore the urban fabric and create a diverse, successful and active community.
Cape May, New Jersey, Trail and Park Revitalization
The City of Cape May has undertaken an ambitious plan to revitalize several of its parks in addition to creating a new pedestrian and biking trail that will highlight and educate visitors about the city’s ecological sites, historic structures, unique neighborhoods, and cultural landmarks.
Rather than seek out a professional firm, however, the project has been developed as a learning experience for 27 students at Temple University Ambler, part of Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture’s Senior Studio course. And while the students may not yet have their licenses, they are approaching the project no less professionally.
“Many of the projects that we work on are hypothetical, but with this project you are responding to the needs of the client; the client drives the end product. It’s a hands-on, real world project for a real community that has the intention of implementing our designs,” said Landscape Architecture Senior Robin Irizarry. “Our goal is to provide the City of Cape May with a system that ties together history, tourism-oriented sites, and natural resources. We want visitors to be able to get a taste of all of the facets that make the city such a unique location.”
Star Power: Casts of Light that Stir and Spellbind
Months of hard work by Temple University Ambler students, faculty and staff paid off with five special honors for Temple’s 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show Exhibit, Star Power: Casts of Light that Stir and Spellbind.
Star Power was awarded a Silver Medal by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society; the American Horticultural Society Environmental Award, given for the “best demonstration of skillful design that incorporates environmental stewardship in the garden;” and the Alfred M. Campbell Memorial Trophy, awarded to “the educational major exhibit that demonstrates the most successful use of a variety of plants in a unique fashion.”
The exhibit also received a Special Achievement Award of the Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania in the “creativity” category; and a PHS Special Achievement Award.
Star Power: Casts of Light that Stir and Spellbind takes visitors on a journey through the hours before and after sunrise and sunset — blue hour and magic hour. In keeping the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s cinematic theme for 2015, the exhibit illustrates why filmmakers choose to shoot outdoors during these contrasting times of day.
Tamanend's Track: The Path to a Portrayal of the Past
During the 2014 Philadelphia Flower Show, Tamanend’s Track: The Path to a Portrayal of the Past was awarded a Special Achievement Award of the Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania, presented to an exhibit “of unusual excellence in the category of conservation;” the Chicago Horticultural Society Flower Show Medal, awarded to an educational exhibit showing outstanding horticultural skill and knowledge in a nationally recognized flower show; and a PHS Special Achievement Award for “best achievement in conveying a message through landscape.”
Tamanend’s Track reflected how landscape alteration has inspired regional artists within the context of modern landscape architecture and ecological restoration.
WILDE! Cultivating Wonder in Everyday Places was awarded The Alfred M. Campbell Memorial Trophy, given to the “Educational major exhibit that demonstrates the most successful use of a variety of plants in a unique fashion,” and a PHS Special Achievement Award at the 2013 Philadelphia International Flower Show.
WILDE! sought to “present simple, attractive and affordable ways to cultivate wildness in locations that everyone is familiar with,” said Kuper.
The exhibit took its inspiration from a variety of English gardening concepts, from the medieval monastic and royal gardens of the Middle Ages to “wilde” gardening of the 19th Century — densely-packed, native or hardy perennials that looked natural, needed little care and welcomed wildlife, which mesh into a landscape of bogs, orchards and rock gardens — the three main gardens in Temple’s 2013 exhibit.
Students and faculty in Temple University Ambler’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture had high hopes for their 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show exhibit — “Aloha ‘āina: A Return to Life with the Land.”
Aloha ‘āina sought to illustrate how ideas about living with the land are just as practical in the northeastern United States as they are in Hawaii by not only filling the 20-foot by 30-foot exhibit space with a perfect balance between the natural landscape, architecture, landscape design, horticulture, and sustainability but by proving that the sky is literally the limit to the students’ creativity.
Towering above the lush landscape of paw paws, magnolias, corkscrew rush and pitcher plants was an 18-foot tall mountain — the primary water feature of Aloha ‘āina — and a giant, tree-like shade structure standing nearly as tall at 15 feet. They were the tallest structures Temple had created for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s annual event and are only part of an exhibit that draws inspiration from a wide variety of environmental, historical and cultural concepts integral to understanding Hawaii’s past, present, and future.
Écolibrium – French Traditions/Modern Interpretations
At the 2011 Philadelphia International Flower Show, Temple University Ambler Landscape Architecture and Horticulture students sought to strike a perfect balance between the natural landscape, architecture, landscape design, horticulture, art, and sustainability.
Temple’s exhibit — “Écolibrium – French Traditions/Modern Interpretations” — meshed perfectly with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s 2011 Flower Show theme, “Springtime in Paris.”
“French gardens provided an innovative message — they were always about looking forward and improving on what had been done before and discovering new ways of growing and maintaining plants. We wanted to get a sense of what the elements and design principals used in designing these iconic landscapes were while at the same time taking a more modern approach,” said Baldev Lamba, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture. “We didn’t want to simply recreate a French garden. The students have developed a design, based on conceptual ‘parti,’ that incorporates elements of the gardens with a modern interpretation, using new materials, new composition, and new messages. Écolibrium is about form reflecting and revealing historical patterns, natural functions, and innovative solutions.”
According to Lamba, the goal of the Écolibrium exhibit was to “promote ideas of sustainability while creating memorable design expressions that are inspired by French garden and French art traditions.”
Inspirations for the design of the exhibit have ranged from the gardens at Versailles, a “a perfectly balanced ensemble of structures, landscape, horticulture, and sculpture,” said Lamba, and the work of artist Piet Mondrian, an important contributor to the “De Stijl” art movement, which advocated “pure abstractions and universality by a reduction of the essentials of form and color.” Mondrian’s work, for example, often consists of white backgrounds, black-lined horizontal and vertical grids and the use of just the three primary colors.
It’s difficult to imagine less natural settings than urban centers such as Philadelphia and New York. It is rare to see any vestige of the natural environment among the mosaic of steel, stone, and glass.
At the 2010 Philadelphia International Flower Show, Temple University Ambler Landscape Architecture and Horticulture students added a vibrant green to the gray shades of the urban landscape.
Temple’s exhibit — “METROmorphosis – Transforming the Urban World” — exemplified the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s 2010 Flower Show theme, “Passport to the World.”
“METROmorphosis demonstrates ways to increase biodiversity, conserve natural resources, and promote local food production, thus transforming the urban landscape. Our goal is to inspire visitors to create attractive and diverse ecosystems in small spaces where a variety of plant and animal species can coexist,” said Baldev Lamba, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture. “Inspired by green and sustainable responses to the environmental problems associated with rapid urbanization around the globe, the exhibit will show creative and practical applications for small urban spaces.”
Rapid global urbanization has created environmental concerns regarding climate change, air pollution, clean water, food production and healthy living, said Lamba. In 2008, according to the United Nations Population Fund, about 3.3 billion people — more than half the world’s population — lived in urban areas and that number is expected to balloon to about 5 billion by 2030.
Ernesta Ballard fully believed in the healing power of gardens. A pioneer in the field of horticulture in the Philadelphia region and well beyond, Ballard knew that gardens could, and should, be places where individuals suffering from illness or simply the stresses of everyday life could find an oasis of calm and rejuvenation.
On Sunday, June 7, Temple University Ambler dedicated its newest addition to the campus Landscape Arboretum — the Ernesta Ballard Healing Garden — as a tribute to Ballard’s dedication to horticulture, her alma mater, and her personal interest in creating places of tranquility.
“After her stroke, Ernesta became very interested in healing gardens of all sorts, particularly labyrinths and their potential to help with healing stroke victims,” said Jenny Rose Carey, Director of the Landscape Arboretum of Temple University Ambler. “The three educational ‘prongs’ of the Arboretum are the health benefits of gardens, the history of women in horticulture and design, and concepts of sustainability. With this new garden, we are touching upon all of those goals in a very tangible way.”
Green Renaissance - The Revival of Sustainable Living
For many, the thought of Italian gardens may evoke a certain structured image of sculpted trees and shrubbery, fountains, sculpture, and pergolas.
The concept of a “sustainable” garden may evoke a decidedly different vision of naturally growing meadows or wetlands that burst with their own wild array of plant and animal life.
On the surface, it may seem a matter of “never the twain shall meet.”
At the 2009 Philadelphia Flower Show however, students and faculty in Temple University Ambler’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture will change the way people look at Italian Gardens and sustainable garden concepts.
Charles “Buddy” Bolden. If you don’t know the name, you likely know the sound he helped nurture or the decades of performers he helped to inspire.
Often called “King Bolden,” many early jazz musicians credited him and the members of his band with being the originators of what came to be known as “jazz” — from time to time, he’s even been called the father of jazz. Bolden created the “Big Four,” the accentuation of the fourth beat in music, which is essential to what makes jazz unique as a form of music.
At the 2008 Philadelphia Flower Show, Temple University Ambler’s students and faculty created a visual tapestry accentuating four “beats” that are emblematic of jazz, New Orleans, and the Mississippi River.
There is a simple reason that Ireland is often referred to as the Emerald Isle. In film, in music, in theater, in books, and particularly in poetry, there are few landscapes that have been heralded more and few cultures more connected with their surroundings.
At the 2007 Philadelphia Flower Show, Temple University Ambler explored those strong connections — so deep that they are reflected directly in Ogham, the ancient Irish alphabet — with an exhibit that presents the diversity of the Irish landscape in microcosm.
Temple’s exhibit — Tírdhreach Fileata na hÉireann — The Poetic Landscape of Ireland meshed perfectly with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s 2007 Flower Show theme — “The Legends of Ireland.” A walk through the exhibit was a walk through the diversity of the Irish Landscape and its connections to Ireland’s oral tradition.
Webster's defines "riparian" as "relating to or located on the bank of a natural watercourse," such as a river or stream. Temple University Ambler's exhibit defines "riparian restoration" as essential to our very way of life.
Temple University Ambler's "Riparian Restoration" exhibit visually demonstrated how plants can be used as an excellent, and aesthetic, buffer for water that drains into our essential freshwater resources - from backyard creeks to parkland stream corridors - and how these concepts may be incorporated with environmental protection.
In addition to the vibrant display of plant life, the exhibit also incorporated a variety of environmental concepts, such as the use of porous, permeable paving and plantings used specifically for erosion control.
Shades of gray came up gold for Temple University Ambler at the 2003 Philadelphia Flower Show.
Temple University Ambler Landscape Architecture and Horticulture students won Best of Show in the Academic Educational category at the 2003 Philadelphia Flower Show for their detailed representation of “Graywater Gardens.”
The Landscape Architecture and Horticulture Department was also awarded the prestigious Bulkley Medal of the Garden Club of America. The Bulkley Medal is awarded to a special exhibit in the fields of horticulture, botany, or conservation and “must be one of exceptional educational merit, which increases the knowledge and awareness of the viewing public,” according to Flower Show organizers.
The Graywater Gardens exhibit detailed how water used for cleaning may be recycled and used for watering plants and gardens.
At the 2002 Philadelphia Flower Show, Temple University Ambler Landscape Architecture and Horticulture students provided the inspiration for the current green roof research taking place at the Ambler campus.
Three years later, Temple University Ambler unveiled a working green roof atop the new Intercollegiate Athletics Field House, built with the assistance of a $50,000 grant from PECO, an Exelon Company. Extensive green roof systems generally have planting media depths of less than one foot that support low-growing plants with a shallow root base.
The PECO Green Roof supports colonies of carefully selected plants, all native to the region, in approximately six inches of a lightweight medium.
There is a place of tranquility on the Temple University Ambler campus where small groups students and faculty often gather during the warmer months to study, plan class work, or simple take a moment to "get away" from their busy day.
The Sustainable Wetland Garden, located on campus near the Widener Building and Cottage Hall, is a working demonstration of sustainable principles and management.
Significant portions of what is today the Sustainable Wetland Garden began as part of Temple University's 1997 entry in the Philadelphia Flower Show. "The Green Machine," an exhibit detailing how created wetlands could be used for cleaning wastewater, won Best of Show for that year in the Academic Educational category.