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Regional scale landscape planning promotes the thoughtful achievement of human and natural needs while linking edge, node and corridor across multiple scales.

Community Engagement research explores distribution of costs, benefits, power and privilege among multiple and diverse publics in policy, planning and design.

Research in Regenerative Urbanism addresses climate change, resilience, sustainable and low impact policy and design practices in small towns, cities, and global metropolitan regions.

Design Exploration integrates design and scholarship through award winning exhibitions, design/build projects, built landscapes, and plans.

Our faculty investigate policy, planning, and design issues in the identification, interpretation, and conservation of the living heritage of cultural landscapes.

Our faculty are leaders in investigating entrepreneurship, development and redevelopment, technological change, and the reuse of industrial space to meet new social and economic needs.  

Events

  • Tomorrow

    1. Speakers present: "Offshore Wind Economic Development in New Bedford, MA"; and "Ocean Readiness, a Training Program for Offshore Workers"
      • Start time: 02:30pm
      • End date: Thursday, October 2nd
      • End time: 04:30pm
      • Jeff Pelletier, New Bedford Economic Development Council
        Megan Amsler, Cape & Islands Self-Reliance Corp

    2. BCT Talk – Robert Malczyk: “Engineered Solutions In Wood”
      • Start time: 04:00pm
      • End date: Thursday, October 2nd
      • End time: 05:00pm
      • Fifteen years of design excellence and over a thousand successful projects have established Equilibrium as a leader in wood engineering worldwide. Their unique ability to take on complex structural challenges and find elegant, innovative, yet efficient solutions is exemplified in projects like the Frank Gehry-designed Art Gallery of Toronto, the Raleigh-Durham Airport roof structure, and the forthcoming IDB building at UMass Amherst.

        Where: E-Lab II, Room 119 (Auditorium)

  • Tuesday, October 7th

    1. THE GINGKO TREE: A talk by Sir Peter Crane
      • Start time: 07:00pm
      • End date: Tuesday, October 7th
      • End time: 09:00pm
      • THE GINGKO TREE: A talk by Sir Peter Crane
        Tuesday, October 7, 7 p.m., Bowker Auditorium
        General admission advance: $10; At the door: $15. Free to Five College & GCC students.

        Perhaps the world’s most distinctive tree, Ginkgo has remained stubbornly unchanged for more than two hundred million years. A living link to the age of dinosaurs, it survived the great ice ages as a relic in China, but it earned its reprieve when people first found it useful about a thousand years ago. Today Ginkgo is beloved for the elegance of its leaves, prized for its edible nuts, and revered for its longevity. Renowned botanist Peter Crane explores the history of the ginkgo from its mysterious origin through its proliferation, drastic decline, and ultimate resurgence. Crane also highlights the cultural and social significance of the ginkgo: its medicinal and nutritional uses, its power as a source of artistic and religious inspiration, and its importance as one of the world’s most popular street trees.

  • Thursday, October 9th

    1. Lecture - Fracking -
      • Start time: 03:00pm
      • End date: Thursday, October 9th
      • End time: 04:00pm
      • Annual Tsuan Hua Feng Lecture
        Collaborative Efforts,
        Current Issues and Research
        Priorities in Unconventional
        Gas Development
        Dr. Jared Cohon
        The exploitation of unconventional gas and oil
        supplies using the technique of hydraulic fracturing
        has had a very significant impact on US energy supply
        and use with major economic and environmental
        implications. Western Pennsylvania is at the heart
        of the production of natural gas from the Marcellus
        Shale formation. The region has also seen the
        emergence of unique, collaborative efforts by industry
        and environmental groups to control the impacts
        of shale gas development and to improve the fracking
        process. These efforts will be examined, and current
        issues and research priorities will be discussed.

        Held at the Cape Cod Lounge Student Union.

  • Monday, October 13th

    1. Holiday - Columbus Day - Office closed
  • Tuesday, October 14th

    1. Last day to drop courses with "DR"
    2. Monday class schedule

IDB (Integrated Design Building) Blog

Welcome

Welcome to our blog about the process and proposals for the new LARP building!  With so much going on and the process moving so quickly, we wanted a way to keep our faithful alumni and future students updated on what is going on.  We’ll post on this blog when we reach big milestones, so keep watching this space!

It’s hard to overestimate what having a new building will mean for LARP. Many of you know that Hills was originally built as a dormitory, and was repurposed for academic life.  It’s had a good run and we’ve all built great memories here, but everyone who visits knows we obviously need an upgrade.  This has become even more pressing in recent years, as mold issues mean that not all of the faculty can even enter the building.  Because of our outstanding faculty we have been quite successful over the years despite Hills.  We’ve always liked to think that the best programs are often in the worst spaces, but I’m not so sure anymore.  I look forward to proving that the best programs can also be in the best spaces. It is invigorating to think about what we will be able to do with a beautiful new space. 

The new building will bring together LARP with Architecture (now a program, but likely to be a department by the time we all move) and Building and Construction Technologies (also currently a program, but likely to merge with Architecture by the big move). 

A few big picture facts:

  • Size of new building: 49,000 gross square foot program area, 80,000 gross building size. 
  • Construction budget: $35 million, although the state has authorized up to $50 million.
  • Key dates:
    • Design phase began in August and continues through Winter 2015
    • Construction will be Spring 2015 through Fall/Winter 2016
    • Move-in Date:  Fall 2016 or Winter 2017

Our architecture team is world class:  Leers Weinzapfel, with principal Andrea Leers as the lead designer.  You can see examples of their work at:  http://www.lwa-architects.com/.  Our landscape architects are Stephen Stimson Associates, http://www.stephenstimson.com/.  Stimson is an alumni of the MLA program and has taught in our department.  His firm did the beautiful design which puts green infrastructure to work in UMass’ Southwest concourse. 

With such a big, complicated, fast project UMass got an Owner’s Rep on board early.  We have been very happy with the work of Collaborative Partners in Cambridge MA in keeping us all represented in the process and doing just what their name suggests – encouraging collaboration, but also assuring that we keep moving along. 

The big question is WHERE!  The architects are developing proposals for Lot 62, which is the parking area right across from the Fine Arts Center, or for upgrading and connecting to Clark Hall.  Ultimately the final location is a decision the Chancellor will make.

Ah, but what will happen to Hills, you ask?  It is destined to come down altogether, and become a parking lot.  If we can work it out with the lawyers, we’re dreaming of having an alumni event where for $25 you can swing a sledgehammer at the building once we are all moved out!  That sounds like a party.

This Friday (January 10th) the architects will present the options and their initial designs.  Watch this space for a video of their presentation!  In future blogs we’ll talk more about the building design, the sustainability features, the studio concepts, and the landscape design, maybe reminiscence on Hills and more. 

Happy New Year!  
-Elisabeth Hamin, Head of Department

IDB Presentation video: January 10, 2014
IDB Design

A design team of Leers Weinzapfel Associates, architects, and Stephen Stimson Associates, landscape architects, has been selected, and construction should start in 2015 for occupancy in late 2016.

The Integrated Design Building will be located in the southern end of Lot 62. see campus map

IDB Presentation: April 18, 2014

Here are some links to what the design team has been working on that give a more concrete idea what the IDB will look like when it is completed.

Schematic Design Presentation

Final Presentation, Concept and Design Elements

IDB Presentation: May 2, 2014

News

  • LARP search open

    The UMass LARP Department's Landscape Architecture Program has a new search open for two Assistant Professors.
    The focus of the positions is on sustainable landscape architecture and design. 

    Position Description
    Other details and application here.

     

  • Student Planners Begin Revitalization Plan in Athol

    A group of LARP graduate students in the Masters of Regional Planning program took a trip to Athol recently, guided by Director of Community and Economic Development Andrea Buglione. These students are working with three municipal clients (Athol, Winchendon and Chicopee) on community revitalization plans. Six of the 18 students will focus specifically on Athol. more

  • LARP's Mark Hamin featured in Pacific Standard magazine article.

    Senior Lecturer Mark Hamin was interviewed recently for a story about transportation infrastructure. Read the article here.

  • LARP student receives scholarship

    Kenneth Hildebrand, Environmental Design(BS), selected as the 2014 American Public Transportation Foundation scholarship recipient.

  • Alumni dollars fund new LARP Computer Lab in Hills!

    Thanks to your alumni contributions and funding from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, we have a brand new state of the art computer lab in Hills. 29-inch monitors, AutoCad, Revit, Rhino, Sketchup MatLab, ArcGIS, new printer and great plotter -- it's loaded.  We also hired a part-time Digital Media Instructor, Carolina Aragon, to help advance our digital media curriculum within studios and classes.  All part of our efforts to stay on the forefront of our fields.