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The Oishei Children's Hospital Winter Garden.
The Oishei Children's Hospital Winter Garden.

Local Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect wins professional design awards

Thu, Apr 11th 2019 12:45 pm

Honors include the coveted Golden Gnome People’s Choice Award

At the New York Upstate Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects’ annual awards celebration held on Friday, March 15, at the Corning Museum of Glass, Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect in North Tonawanda was presented three Merit Awards recognizing professional work of significant quality, innovation or professional impact. 

The awards included:

Research and Communication  for Water WORX! Storm Water Summer Camp: As part of the Willert Park Green Infrastructure Project, the Buffalo Sewer Authority wished to provide a greater community outreach program with the intent of engaging and educating the neighborhood youth about green infrastructure projects. That engagement became “Water WORX!” an eight-part storm water summer camp, created and presented to the Willert Park neighborhood youth.

JKLA was part of a multi-disciplinary team charged with designing an extensive green infrastructure project for the Willert Park neighborhood in Buffalo, with a scope that focused on community outreach and participation, as well as green infrastructure design and detailing.

As part of the project, JKLA developed and facilitated curriculum for “Water WORX!” including age-appropriate activities for children in kindergarten to grade eight. The curriculum taught participants about the combined sewer system in Buffalo, pollution, and how/where rainwater travels after a storm event.  The youth were introduced to the roles of soils and plants in storm water management, and the important role of maintenance.  Throughout the sessions, the students learned about the profession of landscape architecture and their role in green infrastructure, as well as those in engineering, horticulture and construction. 

At the conclusion, JKLA created a guidebook documenting the summer camp activities, allowing the program to be replicated in the future.

Built Design for Grace Plaza at Davis Hall: Grace Plaza is located on the University at Buffalo’s North Campus. The project goals were to investigate and analyze the poor performance of existing storm water practices and to ultimately redesign the site, improving the function of the green infrastructure practices while also creating a dynamic green space to support students and faculty. The result was a reimagining of the engineering district to create the first green “quad” on campus.

JKLA was brought on by the university to improve the function and aesthetics of a previously installed Green Infrastructure project at Davis Hall. Additionally, JKLA saw opportunities to greatly enhance the pedestrian experience and to create a vibrant campus node. Highlights included:

• Removal and reconstruction of existing rain gardens.

• Removal of turf and introduced plants at existing sand filter.

• Reconstruction of wetlands.

• Introduction of permeable pavement and structural soil.

• Reconstruction of the berm to allow for seating.

• Significant increase of plant palette for color, seasonality and bio-diversity.

• Introduction of a variety of group seating styles.

Built Design for the Winter Garden at Oishei Children’s Hospital: From the start, the Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo had ambitious plans to weave biophilic design throughout its new state-of-the-art facility. The centerpiece of this effort is the Winter Garden, an interior garden in a double height space at the southeast corner of the building. The Winter Garden is an oasis of sunlight and uplifting nature experience that supports patients, families and staff throughout all four seasons.

In designing the Oishei Children’s Hospital Winter Garden, JKLA drew on its extensive experience creating award-winning spaces connecting children and nature.  While the Winter Garden space is small, it is certainly not a simple space. From mental respite to oxygen exchange, from physical contact to increased cognitive activity, the OCH Winter Garden serves numerous critical functions. 

The complexities around the indoor green space included:

• Need for sunlight and ambient humidity.

• The sheer weight of the plants and the needed soil.

• Need for microorganisms to maintain plant and soil health.

• Need for intensive infection control in the hospital setting.

• Need for water and subsequent drainage.

• Need for conscientious and regular care.

• The complexity of pollination when growing vegetables.

Layering on the constraints of the hospital setting regarding ambient humidity, and infection control made this project an interesting challenge for JKLA.

The firm also took home a fourth award – the Golden Gnome People’s Choice Award – for the Winter Garden at Oishei Children’s Hospital.    

About Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect PC 

Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect PC is an award-winning full-service landscape architecture and planning office with licenses in New York state and Massachusetts. Since its inception in 2003, JKLA has proudly focused its work on the human experience in the landscape by working to improve the quality of life for people through the power of the environment surrounding them. The firm’s work includes the design and construction oversight of parks, trails, streetscapes, educational and healthcare facilities, and brownfield and waterfront planning – all utilizing its PLAYCE engagement and management techniques. JKLA is a certified WBE and DBE firm in New York and Massachusetts. For more information, visit https://jklastudio.com.

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