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10-08-20 | Feature

Firms of Florida - GAI Consultants

Orlando, Florida

Victory Point Park, Clermont, Florida
This project re-envisions the typical stormwater pond approach by creating a community amenity that provides recreation, a wildlife habitat, and a signature address for adjacent future development. The new park receives stormwater from a significant portion of downtown streets and includes a series of cascading filter marsh treatment areas designed to mimic native Florida environments. Victory Pointe Park was the recipient of the ASLA, Florida Chapter, 2019 Award of Honor.
Wauwatosa Village Streetscapes and Parks, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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GAI's Community Solutions Group led the 2015 visioning and design for this complete renewal of park space, six "gateway intersections," and more than 6,000 linear feet of streetscape. The new solutions represent many progressive ideas such as road realignment and "diets," low-impact rain gardens, shared space street designs, parklets, integrated cycle trails, and reverse-angle parking on two primary shopping streets. The Village Streetscapes and Parks were recognized with an Award of Merit by the Wisconsin Chapter of ASLA.
Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center, Charleston, West Virginia
CSG assisted in leading the master plan and landscape architecture for a major renovation to the downtown Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center (CCCC), as well as the associated adjacent streets and waterfront. GAI's CSG team offered renovations and updates that presented a modern vision by updating exterior and interior aesthetics, designing additional spaces, and tying the site to the downtown core. We also redesigned the Quarrier Street and Civic Center Drive entrance plaza with new drop-off and arrival features. Near the entry/box office areas, the entire Clendenin Street frontage was "dieted" by reducing travel lanes, adding guest drop-off, and enhancing pedestrian crossing elements. Creation of an activated plaza featuring a staircase that leads down from the ballroom addition to a multi-purpose plaza and pre-function space overlooking the Elk River serves as an outdoor extension of the CCCC, allowing guests to congregate outside during events.
Riverplace Boulevard Complete Street, Duval County, Florida
GAI's Community Solutions Group led public involvement and conceptual design exploration of several alternative scenarios for a place-based reconstruction and "road diet" for Riverplace Boulevard. Project objectives addressed the need to balance auto movement with improved bike/pedestrian safety, as well as a "placemaking" approach that would support emergent development, including residential, retail services, and increased access to the Riverwalk. The preferred concept included buffered bike lanes, added sidewalks, safe crossings, narrowed vehicular lanes, and contemporary solutions to streetscape and urban stormwater drainage. As prime consultant, GAI provided all landscape architecture and civil engineering.

Founded in 1958, GAI Consultants, Inc. (GAI) is an engineering, planning, and environmental consulting firm with 800 staff across the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest. GAI's Community Solutions Group (CSG) is a unique team of accomplished landscape architects, urban designers, land use planners, public finance and economic development specialists, and public administrators who capture the full dimensions of strategy and solution. CSG's Landscape Architecture Studio includes 12 licensed Landscape Architects, along with support staff, who specialize in civic and cultural facilities, streetscapes and urban places, parks, open space, trails, campus and institutional, green infrastructure and healthy design. All submitted Community Solutions Group projects have utilized Sketch-up for design.

Editor's Note: With the ASLA annual meeting and EXPO in Miami canceled this year due to safety concerns amid the COVID-19 health pandemic, LASN still wanted to highlight the landscape architectural work of firms from the southeast region. LASN asked the firms to send us a short biographical profile, plus photography from selected projects, with a brief description of the design work for each project. We let the firms speak for themselves in their profiles and in describing the projects, although some editing was required because of space restraints and not all photography and projects could be included. Thank you, firms of Florida and Alabama for participating!

As seen in LASN magazine, September 2020.

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