FF – Distance Edition: W Architecture & Landscape Architecture

The Brooklyn-based studio opens its doors for a virtual visit.

December 17, 2021

Recorded on December 2, 2021.

The League’s monthly First Friday events are informal social gatherings that allow members to visit the offices of leading design practices and see work in progress.

The League’s FF – Distance Edition, an online version of the long-running First Friday series, continues on Thursday evenings. This season’s events feature design practices that are redefining the contemporary public landscape by responding to social and environmental concerns and exploring the intersections of architecture, technology, and ecology.

Founded in 1999 by Barbara Wilks, W Architecture and Landscape Architecture is an interdisciplinary woman-owned studio based in Brooklyn, NY. It builds on links between architecture and landscape architecture to create spaces that engage both nature and urbanism, “fostering more resilient and healthy communities and ecosystems,” according to the firm. By helping to thoughtfully embed humans into the natural systems around them, especially at urban waterfronts, W “creates new relationships that encompass physical, social, temporal, and political realms,” its team writes.

The presentation focused on the studio’s recent projects, including:

  • St. Patrick’s Island, a 30-acre urban park in Calgary, Alberta, that aims to connect visitors with the biodiversity and natural dynamic processes of the Bow River.
  • The Edge, a public park integrating the New York urban grid into the ecosystem of the East River on a postindustrial site in Williamsburg.
  • The Tampa River Center, the monumental center of Tampa’s Julian B. Lane Park, which was designed to withstand Florida’s severe climate.

The program was moderated by Christopher Hawthorne, chief design officer for the city of Los Angeles and former architecture critic for The Los Angeles Times.


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