e-reach issue 9 e-reach issue 9 e-reach issue 9
adventure based travel – people, planet and profit

The relationship between people and technology is transforming the way we experience the world and it’s happening at warp speed. Tablets, smartphones, internet, Wi-Fi, cloud computing – AutoCAD, parametric design, 3D printers – there is no escaping our interaction with technology. The design industry is specifically focused on how digital mediums are used to interact with products, spaces, services and the environment. Experts are concerned with making a consumer’s encounter more meaningful, effective and efficient through a collaborative process between people and technology.

At EDSA, we are looking at the incorporation of such technologies into the public realm – an enticement that could bring more people into outdoor spaces. How can we reinforce a sense of community and a sense of place through multi-media interactions? Can we facilitate an appreciation and understanding of the value of being outdoors and of the natural world among younger generations? Is there an opportu­nity to help our clients develop such applications?

Tech-savvy programming of outdoor spaces will help create a new kind of cultural connection. Most people are not necessarily looking for a full-on nature experience every day, but they are interested in being outside and bringing wireless devices with them. We can embrace this demand in an engaging way by making even the smallest space noteworthy and this will encourage people to interact with nature in ways they had never thought of before.

Technology that links a site’s physical attributes or offerings with associated conversations is already in place. Interactive and participatory experiences using cell phones are widely available in parks and museums through interactive kiosks, audio tours and exhibits with QR barcodes that embed information such as text or an URL within a graphic. Experimentation with suitcase-size portable Wi-Fi systems or pods that serve as power centers for laptops is being incorporated into city parks. Landscape architects and other designers have a tremendous responsibility to more aptly integrate such technologies so that people have added opportunities to expe­rience the world’s landscapes on a regular and informed basis.

We have also turned our attention to landscape innovations for site infrastruc­ture design. We are incorporating LED lighting, interactive playgrounds, security systems, interactive walls and even looking at sensor-embedded tiles that produce enough electricity by foot friction to power a laptop as well as kinetic sculptures with movement controlled by the public.

We are embracing technology as a medium of our craft and as a means to enhance the user experience.  As new ideas prevail, it will continue to be a work in progress. For more information please contact us directly at info@edsaplan.com.

the centolella studio

The Centolella Studio dynamics encourage critical thinking from all participants, elevating the quality of ideas in their design process. They all contribute to the visioning of every project, actively engage in fostering new client relationships and remain extremely involved in their community with all members participating in civic associations, charitable organizations and local outreach initiatives.

With a diversified client base, the Studio’s current assignments include resort destinations, urban revitalization and residential communities throughout the US, the Caribbean, Brazil, Europe, the Middle East and China. Given these distinct locations, unique client goals and a diverse framework of cultural and historical attributes, the team has a steadfast, forward-thinking ability

to design functional, realistic and engaging projects.

“Although we are heavily involved in Asia, and it will continue to be a strong point, we can’t lose focus for new opportunities. With our creative confidence, project realization, varied individual capabilities and geographic diversity, there is no doubt in my mind that the firm, our branch office and every EDSA employee will experience growth and success.” - Richard D. Centolella, Principal.

Along with domestic expansion plans, the Middle East and Brazil remain high priority markets for EDSA Baltimore with a few active resort assignments and several prospective leads – making both viable and exciting regions for expansion.

For more information on the Centolella Studio visit http://www.edsaplan.com/en/Team/Studios/Centolella

Jon Champlin had the opportunity to work on various institutional projects as an EDSA intern which greatly enhanced his skill set – from the visioning of large scale master plans to the refinement of design details.  Upon earning his Master’s in Landscape Architecture from Kansas State, Jon joined EDSA in 2011 as a member of the Larrea Studio. He has since gained tremendous experience working extensively in Latin America on several hospitality assignments. Jon’s growth is evident in his ability to successfully manage a project – establishing a trusted and valued relationship with his clients.  In 2012, Jon was named Broward County Section Chair for the American Society of Landscape Architects.  In that role, he helps advance the profession through education and is inspired by the innovative initiatives the industry is undergoing as a whole.

Lei Xiao thrives in the fast paced collaborative design environment that is commonplace at EDSA. She excels at project management and also enjoys the team-based design review process. She is adept at uncovering inspiring solutions to design challenges. A native of China, Lei’s familiarity with the Asian culture provides valuable insight for EDSA projects throughout the region. Her work with the Wolong Bay International Business District located in Dalian, a Florida ASLA award winner, was truly inspirational. As a member of the LaMont Studio, Lei’s hand graphics and computer renderings have become visionary plans that have been implemented across the globe. Lei has a Bachelor of Architecture and a Master of Urban Planning from South China University of Technology. She is also a Registered Landscape Architect in Florida. Her EDSA career began in 2006.

Andrew Schmidt joined the firm in 2008 and during his tenure with EDSA has worked globally in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, China, Honduras, Maldives, Colombia and in his own Florida backyard.  A member of the Sutton Studio, his love for expressive design and a commitment to the unique freedoms afforded by every new project ensures his style and approach not only remains current, but  edgy.  As a talented designer and ardent photographer, Andrew has an ability to capture the extraordinary beauty of details that leave lasting impressions. Through his lens, he creatively documents the places his visits and people he meets – only to interpret these images – twisting, bending and adjusting their finer details to create magnificent and diverse spaces for people to experience.  Andrew received his Bachelors in Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois.

Four Seasons Reserva do Paiva Four Seasons Reserva do Paiva Four Seasons Reserva do Paiva

Economic trends continue to reshape Latin America’s travel and business landscape, creating a strong regional demand for lodging expansion.  In tandem, Brazil’s economic stability and steady growth has resulted in the emergence of new consumer and corporate markets. The country’s middle class has grown by more than 40% in the last decade and this increase has given rise to more travel and an appetite for global, luxury brands. Four Seasons plans to capture this market with the first branded hotel in Brazil, Reserva do Paiva, scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2016. 

The development is located on a peninsula about 10 km south of Recife in Pernambuco.  Pernambuco is one of the most beautiful states in northeastern Brazil known for its Venice style waterways and gorgeous beaches. Opening to a picturesque shoreline, Reserva do Paiva is being developed on a 526 hectare parcel with 8 miles of oceanfront.

EDSA is working with Iron House Grupo Cornelio Brennand and Four Seasons to create a world-class development with residential, retail and tourism components. Showcasing an authentic Brazilian experience, the 14-hectare, 153-suite Four Seasons destination includes a club house, multiple food and beverage outlets, appropriately sized meeting and banquet facilities, a spa, fitness center and other recreation amenities. Up to 100 residential units consisting of branded, luxury, for sale and serviced apartments are also planned. The design character for the property takes its cues from nearby coconut plantations and fishing villages.  

The master plan for the Four Seasons resort core is sensitive to indigenous architecture as it constitutes part of the region’s heritage and helps configure the area’s imprint and image. EDSA chose the best options for development with a program that meets economic objectives through innovative planning alternatives that strongly and creatively address target markets, consider environmental conditions and embrace cultural opportunities.

The Burle Fusion Concept blends patterns of African ascendancy, textures of the rich native Brazilian landscapes and shapes of the European culture to create a recognizable sense of place. The design provides for new interpretations of Brazilian forms to create lush gardens, quite places to be discovered, axial views that invite the ocean in, places to see and be seen, beach areas and terraces that together bring in the flavors and richness of Brazil.    As one enters the site, a deep-blue lagoon will welcome guests and residents holding the pristine ocean in the background. Inspirational gardens will immerse visitors in the discovery of this beautiful resort, its amenities and coastline.

EDSA is providing concept design, schematic design, design development, contract administration and construction supervision for all landscape and hardscape elements for the Four Seasons Reserva do Paiva. HKS is the design architect.


museum of science - fort lauderdale

New ideas, global education, tourism and business play critical roles in advancing South Florida’s future. As the region’s premier, multi-purpose science and technology institution, The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science (MiaSci) brings the most spectacular, high-design experience to an already bustling cultural landscape. The 250,000 square-foot complex acts as a demonstration of ecological and sustainability principles - providing visitors with a deepened understanding of our world and inspiration to improve the environment. Designed by Grimshaw Architects, MiaSci is structured around a lushly landscaped indoor and outdoor “living core” of terrestrial and aquatic spaces, featuring an aquarium, 3D planetarium, hands-on exhibits, exhibition space, classrooms and cafes.  The new museum is slated to open in early 2015. For more information visit: http://www.miamisci.org/

mendenhall ice caves - juneau, alaska

North America's fifth largest ice field sits in Juneau's backyard – a 1,500-square-mile area between Alaska and Canada.  As stunning on the outside as it is beneath it, Mendenhall, the famously 12 mile long, 150 foot deep and half mile wide glacier melts as you watch it and moves as much as 60-70 feet per year.  Hiking with crampons is the best way to experience the ice caves, dramatic crevasses and interesting glacial formations. Streams cut through the cave as light filters in through 200 feet of crystal clear ice, casting a surreal blue hue. The glacier and surrounding landscape are protected by a federally-designated unit of the Tongass National Forest. Commercial operators offer hiking, biking and canoe tours. Thousands of others take flight to view this natural wonder.  Regardless of the perspective, the glacier is an experience you’ll never forget.

information consumption

Researchers estimate that global information consumption exceeds 9.57 zettabytes per year. In other words, if this information were a stack of books, it would measure 5.6 billion miles and would stretch from Earth to Neptune 20 times over.  So with content, sources and access points growing increasingly abundant and immediately available, how are EDSA designers getting their fill?

Looks like social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook), emails, blogs, Google alerts and simple Internet searches (especially for the scores from alum college teams) are how EDSA employees are staying connected. Some mix it up – going old school with the television – surfing between a mix of news commentary like CNN, CBS This Morning, The Today Show and SportsCenter.   As for news sources, NPR rates as the most reliable hourly news whether by radio, podcast or phone access. Others rely on Al Jazeera-America’s or design focused sites like www.coolhunting.com, www.butdoesitfloat.com, www.itsnicethat.com and www.thisiscolossal.com for inspiration.