Landscape Forms' eighth annual Xtreme LA (Extreme Landscape Architecture) event took place on October 4-6, 2016 in Blacksburg, VA.
Co-sponsored by The Landscape Architecture Foundation, these events bring broad creative talent together for an intense exercise tackling a unique landscape architecture problem. The 2016 event was held at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia and included hand-picked future leaders, students, and two award-winning professionals, Lisa Delplace, Principal/CEO, Oehme, van Sweden and Paul Kissinger, Principal, EDSA, who served as mentors. The result of this groups efforts during the charette produced creative design solutions that address the pressing and unique challennges faced by the city of Blacksburg.
This year's challenge was to take an existing residential area and former middle school site near campus and envision a mixed-use, livable, walkable, and sustainable community that appeals to students, families and retirees with landscapes that enhance and connect them.
Blacksburg is a small city that is home to a large university, which means they share not only borders, but many intertwined interests. Virginia Tech plans to add 5,000 new undergraduates over the next several years, and with limited space for dorm construction on campus, is looking to the town to provide off-campus solutions. Additionally, like many US college towns, Blacksburg has become a desirable place to live for increasing numbers of young professionals, families and retiress because of the natural beauty of the area, reasonable cost of living, and quality of life. Based on current trends, the city is anticipating approximately 20% population growth by 2020. This is driving the need for creative, comprehensive, well designed housing and infrastructure solutions that support this growth and their goal to be a demographically diverse, mixed use, sustainable city.
Two teams created two very unique solutions to address this challenge. See all of the details and their final presentations, as well as the reactions from the city leaders who witnessed the presentations, in the video or white paper above.