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American Society of Landscape Architects

 

March 2007 Issue

Applying Ecological Design
Maryland-based Biohabitats synthesizes science, design, and construction.

By Susan Hines

Applying Ecological Design David Harp Photography

Imagine a landscape architect-owned firm in which designers and scientists work side by side to regenerate the land. This is the firmís exclusive focus, and it turns down work that doesnít aim to heal the earth. Instead of planting plans or plazas, ecological restoration, especially in significant wetland areas, is its bread and butter.

In an extraordinary move for a landscape architecture firm, this firm expands by bioregions. Working on conservation planning and regenerative design projects in and from locations that include the Chesapeake/Delaware Basin and the Ohio River Basin, these bioregional offices grow stronger year by year.

The headquarters building is as unique as the firm, located on a brownfield in an old stable near an aging cityís light-rail system. Of course, its desks and tables are made from recycled materials, but in addition to the natural light and amazing space this green renovation preserves, it also holds a wonder wall of live plants that clean the air through the buildingís HVAC system.

Now imagine that after 20 years in business, the firm is highly profitable and increasingly sought after, so forward thinking that it really has little competition.

Sound like a utopia formulated by an idealistic landscape architecture student? Wrong. Itís a real firm based in Baltimore, and itís called Biohabitats.

…To read the entire article, subscribe to LAM!


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