Join us on Wednesday, August 5 at 6pm to listen to this week’s Mind the Gap session with Signe Nielsen, Founding Partner at MNLA. She will talk about the forks in her bumpy road that led her to landscape architecture and how events and forces have shaped the lenses through which she sees the field and its future. Signe will be joined by staff members Rae Ishee, Cari Krol, and Jacob Kuhn who will each share observations on making tough choices and how landscape architecture has a broad embrace.
In the Mind the Gap virtual summer conversation series, Lucinda Sanders, CEO of OLIN and adjunct professor of landscape architecture at the Weitzman School at the University of Pennsylvania, talks with leaders of prominent landscape architecture practices, exploring multiple options to launch or advance a career in landscape architecture during these unprecedented times.
NYCEDC Chief Operating Officer Rachel Loeb, NYC Parks Queens Borough Commissioner Michael Dockett, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, Interim Queens Borough President Sharon Lee, Council Member I. Daneek Miller, Council Member Adrienne Adams, MNLA's Noriko Maeda and community leaders today celebrated the completion of the Atlantic Avenue Extension project and opened the newly created Gateway Park in Queens.
Designed by MNLA the 0.86 acre park boasts a new playground, additional open space,and shaded seating and builds on the firm’s revitalization plan for downtown Jamaica. "We're thrilled this long-awaited project offering open space and safe roadways is complete for all of the residents in this community to enjoy,” said Community Board 12 District Manager Ms. Yvonne Reddick.
This is an online conference where YOU - the participants - set the agenda and propose discussion topics. The purpose of this conference is to help us identify the changes we want to make to our own profession during this unprecedented time of a global pandemic and civil unrest from racial injustices.
CEUs will be provided. Please click through for registration information.
ERIC GARNER - JOHN CRAWFORD III - MICHAEL BROWN - EZELL FORD - DANTE PARKER - MICHELLE CUSSEAUX - LAQUAN MCDONALD - GEORGE MANN - TANISHA ANDERSON - AKAI GURLEY - TAMIR RICE - RUMAIN BRISBON - JERAME REID MATTHEW AJIBADE - FRANK SMART - NATASHA MCKENNA - TONY ROBINSON ANTHONY HILL - MYA HALL - PHILIP WHITE - ERIC HARRIS - WALTER SCOTT WILLIAM CHAPMAN II - ALEXIA CHRISTIAN - BRENDON GLENN - VICTOR MANUEL LAROSA - JONATHAN SANDERS - FREDDIE GRAY - JOSEPH MANN - SALVADO ELLSWOOD - SANDRA BLAND - ALBERT JOSEPH DAVIS - DARRIUS STEWART - BILLY RAY DAVIS - SAMUEL DUBOSE - MICHAEL SABBIE - BRIAN KEITH DAY - CHRISTIAN TAYLOR - TROY ROBINSON - ASSHAMS PHAROAH MANLEY - FELIX KUMI - KEITH HARRISON MCLEOD - JUNIOR PROSPER - LAMONTEZ JONES - PATERSON BROWN - DOMINIC HUTCHINSON - ANTHONY ASHFORD - ALONZO SMITH - TYREE CRAWFORD - INDIA KAGER - LA’VANTE BIGGS - MICHAEL LEE MARSHALL - JAMAR CLARK - RICHARD PERKINS - NATHANIEL HARRIS PICKETT - BENNI LEE TIGNOR MIGUEL ESPINAL - MICHAEL NOEL - KEVIN MATTHEWS - BETTIE JONES - QUINTONIO LEGRIER - KEITH CHILDRESS JR. - JANET WILSON - RANDY NELSON - ANTRONIE SCOTT - WENDELL CELESTINE - DAVID JOSEPH - CALIN ROQUEMORE - DYZHAWN PERKINS - CHRISTOPHER DAVIS - MARCO LOUD - PETER GAINES - TORREY ROBINSON - DARIUS ROBINSON - KEVIN HICKS - MARY TRUXILLO - DEMARCUS SEMER - WILLIE TILLMAN - TERRILL THOMAS - SYLVILLE SMITH - ALTON STERLING PHILANDRO CASTILE - TERENCE CRUTCHER - PAUL O’NEAL - ALTERIA WOODS JORDAN EDWARDS - AARON BAILEY - RONELL FOSTER - STEPHON CLARK ANTWON ROSE II - BOTHAM JEAN - PAMELA TURNER - DOMINIQUE CLAYTON ATATIANA JEFFERSON - CHRISTOPHER WHITFIELD - CHRISTOPHER MCCOVEY ERIC REASON - MICHAEL LORENZO DEAN - BREONNA TAYLOR - GEORGE FLOYD
“The rate at which black Americans are killed by police is more than twice as high as the rate for white Americans. This is a non-comprehensive list of deaths at the hands of police in the U.S. since Eric Garner’s death in July 2014.”
“A Decade of Watching Black People Die”
It is undeniable that racial injustice is embedded into our urban fabric. For decades Black Americans have faced unequal access to housing, open space, education, and other public services. Racist, exclusionary practices are revealed in public spaces, where we see unequal and unjust treatment of Black people by law enforcement and other members of the public. In both openly hostile and concealed ways, Black people have been disregarded as equal members of the public realm.
Individually and collectively, we have contributed to a system that dehumanizes Black people. We cannot deny the enduring trauma of oppression, and the need to amplify Black voices.
Black Lives Matter.
“To be seen, to live with dignity, and to be connected.”
BLM Co-Founder Alicia Garza
MNLA commits to anti-racist transformation of the built environment and landscape architecture profession.
We have established an internal MNLA Advocacy Team to evaluate our initiatives and expression of our firm’s core values.
We will reexamine our community outreach, site analysis, precedent studies, and research strategies to strengthen the inclusion and social justice foundations we design from.
We will reconsider our design vocabulary and establish an accessible, anti-racist, anti-oppressive glossary to better communicate our process and intentions.
We will examine our staff and intern hiring practices. We commit to increasing diversity within the profession and support organizations that build equity and diversity in the public realm, landscape architecture, and in allied professions.
When gyms and sports fields closed during the pandemic, MNLA's artificial turf field at Tribeca’s Pier 25 in New York City's Hudson River Park became a welcoming community space by the river for a host of ad hoc activity, from karate moves and crunches to kite flying and ball kicking.
MNLA is honored to be a contributor to “Waterfront Access for All: Breaking Down Physical and Social Barriers to the Waterfront,” a report released today by The Waterfront Alliance. With input from a task force of over sixty organizations—from environmental justice advocates, to urban planners and designers, to the recreational boating community— the Waterfront Alliance partnered with the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program to develop priorities for creating more equitable waterfront access throughout our region. Please click through to view the full report.
Signe Nielsen will be taking part in a webinar on Thursday, April 30th at 5:30 PM EST alongside Ray Figueroa of NYC Community Garden Coalition and Ethan Kent of Placemakingx to explore how to better define and implement concepts of social resiliency and equitable access in an unprecedented time. The panel will discuss what resiliency means in the context of COVID-19, the effects of the pandemic on the presenters’ own work, neighborhoods and cities, and future implications for how cities are designed and planned with respect to resource allocation, social safety and health. Please click through for free registration info.
Signe Nielsen will be taking part in a LAF webinar with Brian Jencek, Director of Planning, HOK and Rebecca Bradley, Co-Founder and Design Principal of Cadence for a candid conversation on Friday, March 27 to discuss the changes they are seeing and techniques they’ve implemented as the COVID-19 pandemic has taken hold in the US. To learn how they are maintaining communication, productivity, and morale, click through to register for free. Please note that space is limited.
MNLA is pleased to announce 2020 promotions. They reflect demonstrated leadership and dedication to the practice, while elevating and championing MNLA's commitment to advocacy and transformation in landscape architecture. We look forward to their contributions both to the firm and to the field this year and beyond.
Senior Landscape Architect
Senior Landscape Architect
MNLA is currently seeking a Summer 2020 intern! Applications are due February 28th. Please click here for more info.
Signe will be speaking at the NJ ASLA 2020 Annual Meeting on February 9 specifically about the interpretation of historic landscapes. Please click through to read more about her session within the online program.
On Monday, November 18th the Environmental Protection Committee of Community Board 1 will hold a discussion on Lower Manhattan's resilience plans with Klaus Jacob of Columbia Earth Institute, Kate Boicourt of Waterfront Alliance and Signe Nielsen of MNLA. Please click through for location details.
On November 14, Signe Nielsen will be presenting an in-depth look at her signature projects and practice as an urban designer at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum as part of their landscape lecture series. Please click through for more info.
For OHNY Weekend, Open House New York will be hosting an afternoon of talks and performances to celebrate the opening of the TWA Hotel. Associate Alexis Gagne will take part in a panel discussion with the design team to discuss the reinvention of a Saarinen icon. This event is now sold out. To sign up for the waitlist, click here.
A diverse panel of “East River experts” that includes designers, developers, and community representatives will convene at the Center for Architecture on October 21 to present their experiences and conflicting views on access and development along the Lower East River.
This is the first program in a series of forums on The Future of the NYC Waterfront planned through 2020 to conduct outreach, intending to inform the NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan: Vision 2030 through the Waterfront Management Advisory Board. Please click through for more info.
Listen in on Signe's recent one hour event for ASLA's Emerging Professionals Ask Me Anything series where she talks about her roots, what inspires her, and her thoughts on the future of landscape architecture. The stream is now archived and can be accessed here.
Person Place Thing is an interview show hosted by Randy Cohen based on the idea that people are particularly engaging when they speak, not directly about themselves, but about something they care about.
The result: surprising stories from great speakers. The next installment of Person Place Thing will be a live conversation with Signe Nielsen, FASLA, Founding Principal of MNLA on Thursday, September 5 at the Center for Architecture. Click through to learn more about ticket info and more. https://calendar.aiany.org/2019/08/05/person-place-thing-with-randy-cohen-featuring-signe-nielsen/
Signe will be taking part in this moderated panel which features key players on the fascinating genesis of this 25-year-long project: how the building was saved from the wrecking ball then restored and repositioned as a contemporary destination. Click through for registration info.
On Saturday July 20, Signe will join the AIANY Women in Architecture Committee for a special networking architecture cruise focused on a wide range of waterfront projects designed or built by women. Featured projects will include Pier 55, Hudson River Park and Pier 42, a critical missing link of public access along the shoreline. Please click through for more details and registration information.
Molly Bourne will be in Houston, Texas this week where she will join eight landscape leaders as part of the Land8x8 Lightning Talks series. This event is free for ASLA members, but registration is required. Please click through for more info.
MNLA is excited to announce that our entry "All Aboard! Reclaiming Hill & Del" has won the Jury Award for the DL&W Corridor Design Ideas Competition. The Western New York Land Conservancy launched the Reimagining the DL&W Corridor: International Design Ideas Competition in November 2018 to revive an abandoned stretch of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western (DL&W) railway that runs from Canalside to the Solar City plant in Buffalo, NY.
“It is exciting to see that the winning designs focused on creating a gathering place for the community that is alive with the history and the voice of the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes. “It’s just another move toward reconnecting the people with our most treasured resource – our waterfront.”
On June 6, Signe will be joining John Cetra, FAIA, Founding Principal of Cetra Ruddy, at the AIA Conference in Las Vegas to discuss trends in urban living that include new approaches for dense multifamily design. Please click through to find out more about this session, timing, and location.
As part of NYCxDesign, the Fine Arts Federation of New York, in collaboration with the New York City Public Design Commission, is exploring the next frontier in people-friendly urban street design: shared spaces.
Signe Nielsen will be a respondent to a presentation given by Vishaan Chakrabarti, Principal of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism | PAU on the creation and implementation of shared spaces around the world on Wednesday, May 15 at 5pm. This event is free, with registration required. Please click through for more info.
Molly Bourne will be taking part in a panel discussion on April 23 at the Center for Architecture that will focus on a myriad of environmental justice issues. Panelists include representatives from the fields of landscape architecture, planning, and community advocacy. Please click through for more information.
MNLA is pleased to announce 2019 promotions. Our new Associate, along with five new Senior Landscape Architects, exemplify exceptional design skills and leadership. MNLA's practice is rooted in collaboration and we look forward to their contributions to both the firm and the field in the years ahead.
A recording of Signe and Molly's September 10 event with David Burney at the Center for Architecture is now available and can be found here.
MNLA is thrilled to receive a New Jersey ASLA Honor award for Randall's Island Connector in the category Landscape Architectural Design - Site Design. The awards ceremony took place on Monday, February 11th at the NJ ASLA Annual Meeting in Atlantic City, NJ where Managing Principal Rob DeMarco accepted.
Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space (POPS), the New York City Department of City Planning, and The Municipal Art Society of New York have joined forces to sponsor a design competition for a new POPS logo to represent the face of New York City’s POPS program, with funding provided in part by Knoll. MNLA Principal Emerita Kim Mathews, along with seven other panelists, will be evaluating all entries, which are due March 15, 2019. Please click through for more information.
"A Case Study in Complexity," the story about the design of Pier 42 and penned by MNLA's Molly Bourne and Signe Nielsen, is the feature story in ArchitectureBoston's Winter 2018 issue. Please click through to read the full piece.
Signe Nielsen will be participating in the Funding the Future workshop on November 9 at the Center for Architecture in NYC. The session will focus on ways to implement funding policy strategies for resilient design plans. Click through for more info!
Join MNLA Principals Signe Nielsen, RLA, FASLA and Molly Bourne, RLA, ASLA with moderator David Burney, FAIA on Friday, September 28 at the Center for Architecture for Cocktails and Conversation, part of a series of dialogues about design that joins an architect with a critic, journalist, curator, or architectural historian to discuss current architecture design issues. Click through for more information.
MNLA's collaboration with 1100 Architects on the Brownsville Recreation Center is one of 11 projects selected by the Public Design Commission of the City of New York as winners of the 2018 Awards for Excellence in Design. Click through for more information.
Signe moderates a talk with Michael Sheridan, author of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art: Landscape and Architecture tonight at the AIA New York and Center for Architecture. Please click through for more details.
Signe is taking part in University of Rhode Island's Landscape Architecture Series tonight at 7:00 P.M. Her lecture on Waterproofing New York will be held in the Richard E. Beaupre Center for Chemical & Forensic Sciences, Room 105A, 140 Flagg Road, Kingston, RI 02881 and is free and open to the public. Click through for more info.
Signe will be taking part in a panel discussion on Wednesday, January 17 to discuss innovative ways to fund park maintenance. The program, Valuing Parks, is sponsored by The Urban Design Forum and is the seventh program of Maintaining, a year-long inquiry into strengthening New York City's physical and social infrastructure. Click through for full event details.
MNLA's West Point Foundry Preserve is one of eight high-performing landscape projects that have been selected for the Landscape Architecture Foundation's 2018 Case Study Investigation (CSI) program. CSI is a unique research collaboration that matches faculty-student research teams with design firms to document the benefits of exemplary high-performing landscape projects. Click through to learn more.
On Tuesday, November 21 Signe will be participating in a panel at the Center for Architecture to discuss The George Washington Bridge and how the conservation of transportation infrastructure can serve not just to maintain facilities, but actually improve them. Click through for more info.
On Tuesday, October 3rd MNLA staff spent the day on Governors Island working with the Trust’s horticultural staff to prune and care for recently planted trees. This volunteer day provided the opportunity for landscape designers and horticulture staff to engage in a dialogue on the design and maintenance of the park’s landscapes. We are grateful to the staff at the Trust for Governors Island for hosting our team and for the opportunity to help guide the vision for the park’s plantings.
Signe is one of several speakers set to discuss how planning and design can shape public discourse this Friday, September 29 at the Center for Architecture in New York City. Click through for more info.
Join the Design Trust for a communal meal at Freeman Plaza East and a conversation about the transformation of the Holland Tunnel entry area on September 28. Hudson Square Connection President Ellen Baer and MNLA Principal Signe Nielsen, RLA, FASLA, will discuss how the transformation took place and the design strategies that were used to create an oasis in such an unlikely place. All you need to bring is a dish to share! The event is free and open to the public. Click through for more details and to register.
Signe will be speaking as part of the New York Botanical Garden Landscape Design Portfolios Lecture Series on Monday, October 16, 2017 at 6:30pm at the Scandinavia House. Please click through for registration info.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Tuesday joined NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, MNLA, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Council Member Rosie Mendez, Manhattan Deputy Borough President Matthew Washington, Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou, Henry Street Settlement Executive Director David Garza, Manhattan Community Board 3 Chair Trever Holland, Henry Street Settlement campers, and community members to cut the ribbon on the first neighborhood playground in Manhattan to be fully reconstructed under NYC DPR's Community Parks Initiative. Click through to read more.
GID Development Group announced the commencement of sales today for its highly anticipated 2.2 million-square-foot, three-tower condominium mega-development, Waterline Square. Designed by world-renowned architects Richard Meier & Partners Architects, Viñoly Architects, and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), and set upon a nearly three acre park designed by MNLA, the development is located on one of the last remaining waterfront sites in Manhattan, between West 59th Street and West 61st Street along the Hudson River. Please click through to read the full article.
The village of Westbury was awarded a $10 million state grant for downtown revitalization, with all of its priority projects now officially funded. MNLA, as part of the BJH Advisors’ Westbury Downtown Revitalization Initiative worked with the community to identify these improvement projects within Westbury’s downtown core as well as the greater Westbury/Nassau County area. Proposed streetscape improvements will create a sense of identity for downtown Westbury, while being adaptive enough to work with site constraints encountered during the future design and construction phases.
Last night Governors Island Phase 2: The Hills was awarded the Best Urban Landscape MASterworks award by The Municipal Art Society. This annual competition recognizes projects completed in the preceding year that made a significant contribution to New York’s built environment.
The Fashion Institute of Technology's (FIT) New Academic Building will receive an award from the Public Design Commission of the City of New York this evening at the 35th Annual Awards for Excellence in Design. Projects considered for the award only include developments proposed on city-owned properties, and candidates are usually submitted by various city agencies. The building, designed by SHoP with landscape design by MNLA, will be located on the northern edge of the campus and host smart classrooms, a textile lab, administrative offices, and a student life hall.
Signe Nielsen will be a panelist at the next NYC DPR Parks Without Borders Discussion Series on Thursday, May 18. The panel will reflect on the need for robust engagement, effective interagency collaboration, and efficient processes to ensure that our public spaces serve the needs of current and future New Yorkers. For more info and to RSVP, please click through.
Signe Nielsen represented the Public Design Commission of the City of New York as one of multiple city agencies that contributed to the Mayor’s Climate Change Panel. Released this week are the Preliminary Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines that are an initial step towards integrating resiliency as a core principle in the design of buildings and infrastructure in NYC. The primary goal of the guidelines is to incorporate forward-looking climate data into the design of all NYC capital projects.
Since its groundbreaking in December 2016, the project team has moved 22,000 cubic yards of soil to date to create a world-class airport hotel at JFK International Airport. The hotel is scheduled to open in late 2018/early 2019.
MNLA is part of the design team that will transform the Sheridan Expressway. Please click through for more info.
The Whitney Museum was awarded a 2017 American Architecture Award by The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design.
MNLA, along with West 8, landed an ASLA NY Honor Award for Governor's Island Phase 2: The Hills as announced on March 17. Our firm, alongside Snohetta, also landed a Merit Award for our work on the Times Square Reconstruction. The awards will be distributed at the ASLA-NY Design Awards Ceremony and Reception which will be held Thursday, April 6 at the Center for Architecture in New York City. All winning projects will also be on display at the Center through April.
MNLA is part of the Todd Williams Billie Tsien Architects team who was bestowed with a Merit Award for Architecture for the Kim and Tritton Residence Halls, Haverford College, Haverford, PA.
Signe was named one of the top 100 influencers of the landscape architecture and design industry by www.fixr.com
How can government agencies rethink public space to sustain lasting value?
Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 // 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
The Arsenal Gallery // 830 Fifth Ave., Third Floor
For the second installment of the Parks Without Borders Discussion Series, this discussion will delve into how government agencies can rethink guidelines, concepts, and expectations to sustain lasting value, helping to support a more seamless public realm.
Speakers: Justin Moore, AICP, Executive Director and Signe Nielsen, FASLA, President NYC Public Design Commission
Moderator: Nancy Prince, Deputy Chief of Design, NYC Parks