Posts tagged 2014
Chromer Building Parklet: A Platform for Design in Seattle

December 3, 2014 - Today Seattle’s first Downtown parklet opened for public use. The Chromer Building Parklet, located just a block from Pike Place Market at 1516 Second Avenue in the heart of Downtown, was designed by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol and built by Krekow Jennings. Developer Urban Visions invested in the urban parklet nestled between Pike and Pine streets.
In addition to providing much-needed, comfortable, and free places to sit for the many people who visit the popular food trucks and takeout businesses in the Pike Place Market area, the Chromer Building Parklet will also serve as a flexible, central platform for Seattle’s design community. 
“Parklets are useful because they are small, exciting transformations that can be applied independently of more substantial work, on top of the existing surface of a street. They can go specifically where property owners and neighbors request and initiate them,” said Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Founding Principal Shannon Nichol. "The City's parklet program is well-aligned with the Downtown Seattle Association's Pike-Pine Renaissance Streetscape Plan, in which avenues become greener, more richly used ‘rooms’ with great places to sit – including parklets.” 

More information can be found in articles by Josh Feit of PubliCola at Seattle Met and Sam Lubell of The Architect's Newspaper.

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Aria GoodmanSeattle, WA2014
Kathryn Gustafson Receives the Obayashi Prize

November 19, 2014 - Today landscape architect Kathryn Gustasfon received the eighth Obayashi Prize from the Obayashi Foundation in Tokyo, Japan. The Obayashi Foundation is dedicated to support comprehensive, interdisciplinary research related to cities. Previous recipients of the prize have included the economist Paul Krugman, the curator Germain Viatte, and the urban planner Zhou Ganzhi.

The Obayashi Foundation noted the reasons for selecting Kathryn Gustafson. “During her career Ms. Kathryn Gustafson has contributed numerous works to the world of landscape architecture. By perceptively reading the ecological, cultural, and historical attributes of the land and sculpting spaces that evoke a sense of unity with the site, her works let those who gather there feel physically and spiritually at one with the land, promoting integration of people and space and creating places that enrich our lives. The key to her skill lies in making the most of the special allure of the land to craft a new place, rather than simply continuing to remodel spaces with no regard to what has gone before.

“. . . Ms. Gustafson’s ideas, which focus on designing landscapes and places to revitalize our relationships with the spaces around us, have had a profound impact on people involved with various aspects of cities. Her many achievements based on these concepts help to fulfill the mission of our foundation and are truly worthy of the Obayashi Prize.”

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Aria GoodmanTokyo, Japan2014
2014 ASLA Honor Award in Analysis and Planning

September 29, 2014 - Today the American Society of Landscape Architecture announced that Gustafson Guthrie Nichol has received an Honor Award in Analysis and Planning for Unified Ground: Union Square – National Mall Competition.

Principal Rodrigo Abela commented, "Our design greatly improves the connections between the National Mall and the Capitol grounds. That connectivity enhances the monumental character of the site while simultaneously giving it a more human scale that will bring life and activity to Union Square and make it a vital part of the Capitol city."

Gustafson Guthrie Nichol has also received the singular 2014 ASLA Award of Excellence in General Design for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Campus. More information about these awards is available on the ASLA website.

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Aria GoodmanWashington, DC2014
2014 National ASLA Award of Excellence in General Design

September 29, 2014 - Today the American Society of Landscape Architecture announced that Gustafson Guthrie Nichol has received the singular Award of Excellence in General Design for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Campus.

“The Award of Excellence is a wonderful honor for our team and for this outstanding client,” said Founding Principal Shannon Nichol. “For eight years, we worked closely with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, NBBJ, and our other collaborators, forming, testing, and fine-tuning this campus landscape design – both above and below the surface. In the spirit of the Foundation's work, the landscape is designed to be boldly welcoming, warmly textured, and precisely detailed. New solutions for water handling and habitat creation were integrated into welcoming spaces for people.”

The landscape design is “a new model for an urban campus, where craft, beauty, and green technology all come together,” stated a jury member commenting on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Campus. Another jury member remarked, “It’s a beautiful landscape in the very active way they make sure employees walk through the place, and it’s wonderfully crafted.”

Gustafson Guthrie Nichol has also received a national Honor Award in Analysis and Planning for Unified Ground: Union Square – National Mall Competition.
More information about these awards is available on the ASLA website.

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Aria GoodmanSeattle, WA2014
Hemisfair Civic Park Public Workshop

July 30, 2014 - Yesterday Gustafson Guthrie Nichol presented three design options for the Hemisfair Civic Park. Over 200 people attended the public workshop to ask questions and give feedback about the Park’s design.
Andres Andujar, CEO of Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation (HPARC), introduced the design team. Kathryn Gustafson, founding principal of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN), presented the team’s design ideas, along with Drew Gangnes, senior principal at Magnusson Klemencic Associates. Joined by several members of GGN’s Seattle office, the design team interacted with 20 round tables led by volunteer facilitators.
Civic engagement is a vital part of the design process. Last year, the public helped produce the Civic Park Vision and Programming Plan, which became the foundation for the design options presented at yesterday’s public meeting. Then during yesterday's meeting, each round table evaluated the design concepts and identified common themes with the help of a volunteer facilitator, who presented each group’s preferences and concerns to the room. This information will inform Gustafson Guthrie Nichol’s final design. 
Learn more about the public workshop in this article by Iris Dimmick for the Rivard Report.

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The Lurie Garden Turns 10

July 16, 2014 - In celebration of the Lurie Garden’s 10th year anniversary, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol composed a short video about the landscape design process. The Lurie Garden opened on July 16, 2004 in downtown Chicago’s Millennium Park. The garden hosts 1.5 million visitors a year while offering daily respite to nearby residents and professionals.
The video “The Lurie Garden Turns 10” includes a time-lapse of drawings that show the evolution of the Lurie Garden design. Also featured are short clips of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol founding principals Kathryn GustafsonJennifer Guthrie, and Shannon Nichol discussing the Lurie Garden design process.
The credits include a thank you to the client, Millennium Park, Inc. and the project team, including perennial plantsman Piet Oudolf and theater set designer Robert Israel. 

The video can be viewed on Vimeo.

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Shannon Nichol and Jennifer Guthrie Elevated to ASLA Council of Fellows

June 17, 2014 - Today the American Society for Landscape Architects (ASLA) announced that Jennifer Guthrie and Shannon Nichol have both been elevated to the ASLA Council of Fellows, one of the highest honors a landscape architect may receive. The investiture ceremony will take place during the Annual Meeting and EXPO in Denver on November 23, 2014. Jennifer and Shannon founded Gustafson Guthrie Nichol together in 1999 with Kathryn Gustafson, and they are known for their collaborative approach to design.
Today’s announcement noted that both Jennifer and Shannon received their nominations for Works from the Washington Chapter. Of the thirty-two landscape architects elevated to the Council of Fellows, six were nominated by the Washington Chapter, including Peter Hummel, Terrance Reckord, Nancy Rottle, and Margaret Rose Staeheli. 

The full announcement can be viewed here.

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Kathryn Gustafson Receives Honorary AIA Seattle Membership

May 31, 2014 - This evening, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Seattle will recognize Kathryn Gustafson with an honorary membership. Each year, AIA Seattle honorees are nominated by their peers and selected by the Fellows & Honors committee in recognition of leadership and achievement in design and the built environment. In nominating Kathryn, the Fellows & Honors Committee noted her "world-class body of work that celebrates history, place, and the fusion of the myriad disciplines coming together to define the built environment."
Founded in 1894, AIA Seattle is a not-for-profit professional association of architects, allied professionals, and laypeople. The AIA Seattle announcement about the 2014 honorees can be viewed here.

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2014 Great Places Awards Ceremony

May 28, 2014 - This evening, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) received the 2014 Great Places Awards from the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) in the Place Planning category.

GGN Associates Rebecca Fuchs and Kara Weaver accepted the award on behalf of the GGN design team, the Downtown Seattle Association, and the other project consultants, including BDS Planning & Urban Design, Framework, Toole Design Group, Downtown Works, and ECONorthwest. GGN’s Shannon Nichol is the project’s lead designer.

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Pike-Pine Renaissance Wins 2014 Great Places Award

May 14, 2014 - Today it was announced that the Pike-Pine Renaissance by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol is one of six exemplary projects in architecture, planning, landscape architecture, and urban design that have been named winners of the 2014 Great Places Awards by the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA). This is the second year in a row that Gustafson Guthrie Nichol has received the EDRA Award in the Place Planning category, having been recognized for Unified Ground: Union Square - National Mall Competition in 2013.
The Pike-Pine Renaissance, sponsored by the Downtown Seattle Association, was developed from a call for design guidelines for downtown streets and has expanded to a much larger advocacy for the street as the city’s greatest public space. Building on the numerous plans already in place, the team at Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) focused on broadening expectations of what it would mean to meet the client’s goals of making Seattle “America’s Best Urban Experience." In addition to GGN, other project consultants included Framework, Toole Design Group, BDS Planning & Urban Design, Downtown Works, and ECONorthwest.

For a full list of award recipients and information about the esteemed jury of research and design professionals, please visit

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Park at CityCenter Opens to Spring Activity

April 23, 2014 - The newly opened Park at CityCenter, designed by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, is launching its robust public activation program with exercise classes on Tuesday evenings. Providing park space that encourages community-minded activities is one of the many ways that Gustafson Guthrie Nichol’s design reconnects a former mega-block back into the city’s urban structure.
Designed to feel comfortable and welcoming at all times, the Park at CityCenter embraces the mixed-use, street-oriented, retail environment of CityCenterDC. Two fountains frame the experience of entering the park with the site and sound of moving water. “The fountains’ undulating stone surfaces can be enjoyed year-round – even when the water is turned off. The sculpted, textured stonework accentuates the water's flow and creates beautiful shadow patterns that change throughout the day," said Rodrigo Abela, design principal.
“The Park at CityCenter has already shown that it was well-conceived to host community events, and we look forward to utilizing it for further programming throughout the year as an amenity to the Project and the entire Downtown community,” said Howard Riker, Hines Managing Director.

Additional images of the Park at CityCenter can be viewed here.

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David Malda presents "Friction of the Street"

March 27, 2014 - David Malda discussed the "friction of the street" during his Design in Motion: Innovation at the Speed of Thought presentation. David's examples were drawn from the findings of the Pike-Pine Renaissance Streetscape Plan. The standing room only event was hosted by Pecha Kucha Seattle at the Seattle Central Library and featured 13 speakers.

Video of the evening's presentations can be viewed on the Seattle Channel. David's presentation starts at 1:22.

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Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Selected to Design Downtown Yakima Central Plaza

March 27, 2014 - Today the City of Yakima announced that Seattle-based landscape architect Gustafson Guthrie Nichol is designing the Downtown Yakima Central Plaza in Yakima, Washington. The plaza will transform a parking lot into a welcoming, interactive public space at the heart of a vibrant community.
GGN’s design effort will be led by founding principal Kathryn Gustafson and principal Bernie Alonzo, who will work closely with Graham Baba Architects (GBA) and Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA). The team has local roots and international experience.
“As someone who grew up in Yakima, I want to do an absolutely stellar piece in my home town,” said Kathryn Gustafson. “For me, this project is about the place where I was born and raised before I went out into an international realm. What can that international realm bring back to the vernacular of the local? That’s my challenge and what I find fascinating about this project.”
Brett Baba, founding principal of Graham Baba Architects, is also from Yakima. City Manager Tony O’Rourke remarked, “The Downtown Central Plaza design will combine the insights and experience of world-renowned architects with a truly unique hometown Yakima connection. Our community is incredibly fortunate to have GGN, GBA, and MKA as our plaza design team.” 

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CityCenterDC Opens for Cherry Blossom Festival

March 20, 2014 - Tonight through March 28, the Park at CityCenter and The Plaza at CityCenter will be illuminated in pink in partnership with the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

As the celebration begins, construction is nearing completion on CityCenterDC, one of the largest downtown projects in the nation. Gustafson Guthrie Nichol was the masterplan landscape architect and was responsible for the design of the park, plaza and many of the rooftop terraces and green roofs that make up the project.

“We are excited to have these spaces open to the public and look forward to them being integrated into the cultural fabric of downtown,” said GGN Principal Rodrigo Abela.

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Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Selected to Design Hemisfair Civic Park, San Antonio, TX

March 20, 2014 - Seattle-based landscape architect Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) has been selected to design Hemisfair’s civic park in San Antonio, Texas. The contract to move forward with the design for the 8+ acre downtown park was approved by the San Antonio City Council earlier today. GGN will work closely with local firm Alamo Architects to lead a team of local and national design and engineering experts. 

“We were immediately drawn to the Hemisfair project as a rare opportunity to create one of the world’s great public spaces," said Kathryn Gustafson. "We are excited by the design potential inherent in the cross-cultural influences that define and propel San Antonio - a city with a rich history and a growing urban population.” 
The non-profit Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation (HPARC) is leading the transformation of the Hemisfair site into an urban oasis beloved by the whole community. Located at one of the busiest pedestrian intersections in the city – Market Street and Alamo Street – the civic park will serve as the new front porch of San Antonio and replace the outdated portion of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

“The Hemisfair civic park will be the centerpiece of the Decade of Downtown,” said San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro.

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New Design Vision Unveiled for Downtown Seattle

February 14,  2014 - From dramatic hill streets to lush grand avenues, a layered design vision for Downtown Seattle’s Pike-Pine area was unveiled this week at the Downtown Seattle’s Association’s (DSA) State of Downtown Economic Forum.

The design vision of big ideas and small details was presented by lead designer Shannon Nichol of Seattle-based landscape architecture firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) to a sold-out crowd of nearly 1,200 Seattle business and community leaders, city officials and Downtown residents.

In addition to GGN, other project consultants included Framework, Toole Design Group, BDS Planning & Urban Design, Downtown Works, and ECONorthwest.

The full press release is available on the Downtown Seattle News Page. The story has been covered by the Seattle TimesSeattle Daily Journal of CommerceKING 5KPLU 88.5Crosscut, Capitol Hill Blog, and other sources. Learn more at

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Aria GoodmanSeattle, WA2014
Pike-Pine Renaissance Designs to be Unveiled at 2014 State of Downtown Economic Forum

January 17, 2014 - The Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) has announced the program for their signature event, the annual State of Downtown Economic Forum at The Westin Seattle Hotel on February 12 from 7:00-9:30am.
“Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) has developed designs for redefining the pedestrian experience of the Pike-Pine corridor. GGN Founding Principal Shannon Nichol will unveil these designs . . .”
DSA Pike-Pine Task Force Chair Craig Schafer said, “We’re thrilled with the work of GGN and can’t wait for the rest of the public to get a look at the designs they’re bringing to the table for a new, re-envisioned Pike-Pine corridor. . . . We’ve needed to inject a new look and a new experience into this area for a long time now. These designs and the idea of reshaping this area should really excite people who believe that Downtown Seattle can be one of the most dynamic and inviting urban experiences of anywhere in the nation.”
More details are available on the Downtown Seattle News Page

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Aria GoodmanSeattle, WA2014
Redesigning the School Lunch Experience

January 14, 2014 - Shannon Nichol is serving as a juror for an ideas competition hosted by Design in Public and AIA Seattle. The Redesigning the School Lunch Experience competition challenges the status quo of school lunch, offering innovative design solutions to help prevent obesity and diabetes. An exhibition of the competition entries opens today and continues through February 28 at AIA Seattle, 1911 First Avenue. Ideas can also be viewed online in the Design in Public Gallery
“Design in Public’s competitions and programs are unique because they invite all community members – not just designers and architects – to put their heads together to find better ways to do things,” said Shannon. 
Susan Szenasy, Editor-in-Chief of Metropolis Magazine, is moderating the Public Award Event on January 28 at the Central Seattle Public Library. For more information, please visit AIA Seattle.

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Aria GoodmanSeattle, WA2014
Johns Hopkins University: Student Union / Campus Center Feasibility Study

January 9, 2014 - Johns Hopkins University has announced, “Ann Beha Architects in collaboration with Gustafson Guthrie Nichol have been selected as the design consultants for the Student Union / Campus Center Feasibility Study.” Rodrigo Abela, principal in charge of GGN’s Washington, DC, office is leading this effort.

The full announcement can be viewed on the Johns Hopkins University news page

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