The Utah Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) held their annual meeting in Ogden, Utah this May. At the Awards Banquet, Landmark Design was presented with an Honor Award for their work on the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center in Mesa Verde National Park.
Landmark Design worked with a team of architects, engineers, biologists and other technical experts (led by ajc architects) to develop a design that respects the setting, the history, and the future of the site.
Purpose of the Project
The primary goal was to revegetate the site with water-wise plants that are native to Mesa Verde National Park. These plants are adapted to the harsh natural climate, and fulfill another goal of requiring no supplemental irrigation after establishment. The intent of the planting design was that the plant community will evolve naturally over the years to fit with the surrounding environment and look like it was not "designed", with additional plants moving in and establishing themselves, existing plants growing and spreading around the site, and some existing plants dying out naturally in their own time. The landscape needed to be low-maintenance to minimize operational and maintenance expenditures within the park for overall site maintenance, and also fire-wise considering the severe wildfire history of the park and the recent patterns of drought in the region. It was also important to utilize as many local, recycled, and sustainable materials as possible due to the already-remote location of the site and to continue promoting overall project sustainability.
This project is proof that if sustainability goals are set early in the design process and the extended team continues to validate design decisions to this goal - success can be achieved!
- Significantly reduces distance visitors must travel into the for orientation to opportunities within the park and surrounding area
- Replaces inadequate facilities with state-of-the-art research and storage facility for park’s archives and museum collection of over three million objects
- Demonstrates high level of building and site sustainability with LEED® Platinum and Sustainable Sites Initiative™ Two-Star ratings
- Approaches net-zero energy use with the project supplying over 95% of its required electricity needs using on-site renewable energy sources, including solar panels, solar hot water, ground source heat pump and a micro-hydro turbine
- The design supports the 24 Native American tribes affiliated with the park by incorporating Native American symbolism and/or key interpretive information, integrates functional requirements of key stakeholders and National Park Service requirements, and accomplished in conjunction with design team
- Expands the existing body of knowledge on plant salvage and transplant through the efforts to salvage and transplant over 40 native Indian Apple plants on the site
- Was part of a pilot project by the National Park Service (NPS) to develop revegetation monitoring standards for future projects throughout the NPS
- Example of successful construction project where the buildings and the natural world can coexist and provide mutual benefits