Mahan Rykiel Associates Wins Four Awards from MD ASLA Including the Traveling Award for Innovation

Anthem Arboretum at Francis Scott Key Elementary and Middle School. Courtesy Mahan Rykiel.

Anthem Arboretum at Francis Scott Key Elementary and Middle School. Courtesy Mahan Rykiel Associates.

Baltimore, MD (April 15, 2016) – Mahan Rykiel Associates (MRA), a Baltimore based landscape architecture, urban design, and planning firm, is pleased to announce that the firm is the recipient of four awards from the Maryland Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. This year Mahan Rykiel is the proud recipient of the Traveling Award for the Anthem Arboretum at Francis Scott Key Elementary and Middle School. The Traveling Award is a “prestigious award for a project that uniquely reflects and solves the most current issues in landscape architecture through innovative design excellence.”

Chesapeake Bay Critical Area legislation calls for increased reforestation and landscape replacement requirements for development on land within 1000 feet of the Bay. At 900 East Fort Avenue, a site located within the Critical Area of Baltimore City, approximately 100 trees were removed to accommodate the Anthem House, a mixed-used residential development. Unable to replace the loss of vegetation on site, Mahan Rykiel worked collaboratively with the City and developer to recast the ‘fee-in-lieu’ payment as seed money to spur the design of the Anthem Arboretum; an educational landscape at the Francis Scott Key Elementary/Middle School less than ½ mile from the original project site.

The design team included Justin Wilson, Saba Hamidi, Isaac Hametz and interns Amina Mohammed, Jeff Dube and Alex Odom. The project was conceived to give our summer interns a real-world design research project to work on collaboratively throughout the summer. For this novel approach, Mahan Rykiel was presented with the 2016 Traveling Award. The awards were selected by a jury of peers including members of the Louisiana Chapter of ASLA and were presented at an awards ceremony at the Historic Inns of Annapolis on April 14, 2016. Richard Jones, President of Mahan Rykiel said, “We are thrilled to be recognized by our peers. We have a great team, who are continually pushing the envelope to create innovative and meaningful design solutions for our clients.”

The Upper Chesapeake Health Kaufman Cancer Center Healing Gardens and the Lancaster Economic Development Strategic Plan received Honor Awards. Located entirely over structure, the University of Maryland’s Upper Chesapeake Health Kaufman Cancer Center offers immersive healing gardens on two different levels for its patients and visitors; the Entry Garden and Healing Garden on the first level, and the Infusion Garden on the second level. The core guiding design principles included emphasizing strong physical identity, creating a restorative environment, promoting discovery, and fostering stress reduction. The design team of Steve Kelly, PLA, Heidi Thomas, Terry Burns and Katie Vocke worked to actively engage the senses with focal elements within the garden ‘rooms;’ providing views from the interior spaces to the outdoors; and blending the architecture with the landscape to allow visual and physical access to the gardens.

The Lancaster Economic Development Strategic Plan also won an Honor Award for Planning. Mahan Rykiel led a project team that included economic development specialists to generate design and planning solutions, utilizing a three-phased planning process. This process prioritized involving stakeholders, expanding outreach, and cultivating awareness. Transparency and a community-driven approach put public interests at the forefront, and planning was heavily infused with partnerships and direct engagement with residents, property owners, businesses, agencies, investors, and others. The MRA design team included Tom McGilloway, PLA, Megan Griffith, AICP and intern Alex Odom. This project was also honored with an award from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association.

 The Patterson Park Master Plan won a Merit Award. Mahan Rykiel led a year-long planning process divided into three phases: stakeholder engagement, analysis, and planning. The process—deploying digital and analog tools—included a project website, coordination among City agencies, 18 steering committee meetings, 3 public forums, 3 surveys, 27 focus groups, and over 1,500 participants. The extensive outreach yielded a long-term vision, 13 core values, five strategic planning areas, and 43 short-, mid-, and long-term recommendations. The design team included Tom McGilloway, PLA, Megan Griffith, AICP, Isaac Hametz and Cherisse Otis.

Release courtesy Mahan Rykiel Associates

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