Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JAN 2017

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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56 Landscape Architect and Specifier News In a finer sense, the park demonstrates sustainability through its capture and infiltration of stormwater, reuse of materials and plant choices. The constructed wetland, in particular, uses rock gabions as a passive filtration system, creating a significant storage volume for rainwater and a colorful landscape element—while nearly eliminating the need for grey infrastructure. Rain gardens and bioswales further capture and infiltrate stormwater, while adding vibrant splashes of color. Porous asphalt and crushed stone provide a stable but permeable surface for parking spaces. Beyond the stormwater strategies, more than two acres of concrete pavement and brick rubble from demolished industrial buildings were recycled as trail base and fill for the amphitheater hill. Old curbstones were reimagined as benches and tables. Traditional turf grass was specified only in active areas. Grassy areas of a passive nature, which comprise the majority of West Park and parts of Middle Park, are covered in low- maintenance, drought-tolerant native field grasses, requiring little cutting or supplemental watering. As a pioneer for grassroots community greening efforts, Aspinwall Riverfront Park has proven to be a resourceful model for its sustainability, its role as a social hub and its use of limited space to provide multiple park experiences. In the two years since the opening of the first phase, the park has captured the public's imagination as one of the most innovative greenspaces in the Pittsburgh region. Top: West Park has "raindrop gardens," an informal amphitheater, a stage, a wellness trail and constructed wetlands with a boardwalk and linear toe-kick benches of 8" x 8" Southern yellow pine planks. Northwind' switchgrass surrounds this pond. The wetland infiltrates stormwater for nearly half of the 11-acre park. An elevated trestle is at right. Above: Public access to the river was the crux of developing the new park. The ipe chaises longues in East Park are on an at-grade boardwalk that caps an old municipal incinerator. This view is to the Allegheny River and the Highland Park Bridge (circa 1938), which carries 4 lanes of traffic from the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Highland Park to this side of the river and the small community of Aspinwall, Penn. (pop. 2,801). This steel spandrel braced deck truss spans 266 feet, with a 50' clearance over the middle of the river. PHOTO CREDITS: EPD, LLC

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