A well designed landscape is a symbiotic relationship of built and natural elements.  

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function

We create outdoor spaces that work. Whether shaping places to gather with family and friends, addressing drainage concerns using low impact interventions, providing space for food production or general aesthetic enhancement of a property, we design landscapes to exceed the expectations of our clients.

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form

The diversity of plant and hardscape materials available today allow for endless possibilities in landscape form. By focusing on detail and construction technique, and by taking strong cues from our client's aesthetic preferences and the natural and architectural structures of each site, we compose truly unique forms for each project.

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conservation

A twenty first century landscape must be resource conscious, working to reduce inputs such as water, fossil fuels and chemical fertilizers.  We integrate sustainable landscape techniques into each design, promoting key urban ecosystem services such as water recycling, microclimate enhancement, habitat creation and stormwater mitigation.  

A family connects with the surrounding hill country landscape through outdoor living and utilizing storm water as a resource.

 

ACLA collaborated with Travis Mueller, an Arizona based landscape designer, for the design of this multi-acre property in far west Austin. Project elements included a simple courtyard in the ‘Marfa style’ for fires, outdoor movies and family gatherings, in a space between the recently remodeled home and an added two-story office and garage building.

Stormwater management was paramount for the site, as the area adjacent to the back of the house previously held standing water after heavy rains. ACLA and Travis Mueller designed a network of swales, ephemeral water features and a rain garden to direct the flows, support native plants and give structure to the landscape. Other project features included extensive planting around the house site, a front yard meadow and a back yard deck situated to provide an indoor-outdoor living space for the family.  

 

 
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Providing a family and wildlife with natural respite in urban Austin.

Phase I for this half acre property in Austin consisted of removing a ubiquitous front lawn and replacing it with a dynamic native grass and perennial meadow, attracting birds and pollinators to the yard while significantly reducing water consumed for irrigation. In Phase II, ACLA added a contemporary concrete paver, pea gravel and steel patio with a custom dining table, a small fountain that mitigates nearby traffic noise, a hot tub and natural screening, a nature play area, a stylish chicken coop, orchard and large vegetable and herb garden to the backyard. Future phases include a pergola over the back patio for shade, a backyard meadow in place of the existing lawn, fencing and an enclosed outdoor bathroom with tub and shower. The landscape is a welcoming and restful space for the family and their friends.

 
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A historic chapel is renovated and situated in a meditative garden.

 

Work completed while employed with Ten Eyck Landscape Architects.

FOR MORE PICTURES AND A COMPLETE PROJECT DESCRIPTION PLEASE VISIT www.teneyckla.com/projects/academic/st-edwards-university-chapel-renovation

The Chapel is a historic and critically important building on the St. Edward's University campus.  Undergoing massive renovations led by Pollen Architecture, the Chapel required a landscape of heightened importance - a meditation garden that would provide a transition from the bustling university streetscape to the tranquility of the chapel.  A low, curving hedge encircles the garden, providing respite and separation from the nearby street without sacrificing visibility and general accessibility to the garden.  Within the garden, there are places carved out for shared or solitary meditative experience under the canopy of new and mature Cedar Elm trees.  A central rain feature diverts storm roof runoff into an overhead flume and artistic cistern, recalling the passage of water during drier times.

As the project manager and key member of the design team, Allie Cassel worked directly under Christy Ten Eyck to arrive at the planting, hardscape and irrigation design as well as construction detailing.  She also coordinated work between Christy Ten Eyck and TELA staff, Pollen Architecture, representatives from St. Edward's University, and all other consultants.   

 

 

Nature is stylized at the South Congress Hotel.

 

Work completed while employed with Ten Eyck Landscape Architects.

FOR MORE PICTURES AND A COMPLETE PROJECT DESCRIPTION PLEASE VISIT www.teneyckla.com/projects/hospitality/south-congress-hotel

Inventive paving, contextual plantings, living architecture and a clean use of materials make the landscape at the new South Congress Hotel exciting and memorable.  The street and hotel are enlivened by members of our native plant community displayed in artistic, contemporary forms.

Allie Cassel worked as a member of the TELA design team for this exciting project, coordinating planting and irrigation design and many of the project's unique construction details.

 

A University campus is reintegrated to the natural environment.

 

Work completed while employed with Ten Eyck Landscape Architects.

FOR PICTURES AND A COMPLETE PROJECT DESCRIPTION PLEASE VISIT  www.teneyckla.com/projects/academic/the-university-of-texas-at-el-paso-campus-transformation

Awarded a Sustainable SITES Initiative Silver Certification, the University of Texas at El Paso Campus Transformation project drastically altered the landscape of the school from being predominantly vehicular to a pedestrian landscape replete with spaces for outdoor learning and recreation. 

Allie Cassel was an integral part of the design team and worked closely with Christy Ten Eyck to produce the planting plan for the 11 acre property, using native plants from the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert for microclimate mitigation, stormwater filtration, wildlife habitat and beauty.  

 

 

A landscape to suit a newly remodeled home.

 

ACLA modernized an underutilized residential landscape for a home that had recently undergone renovation by the owner, an interior designer. Reusing existing materials in new and inventive ways was a central part of the concept for this home, as was mitigating stormwater onsite and providing shade tolerant plantings under mature oaks. Existing concrete paving features were sawcut to give the appearance of large poured-in-place concrete pavers while providing savings to the client and less waste in the landfill. A rain garden absorbs stormwater from the terrain and the roof, eliminating soil erosion and allowing for aquifer recharge while supporting colorful native perennials and grasses. A concrete, gravel and steel patio, low concrete accent wall and a deck off the art studio were other important components for the design.

PLEASE RETURN SOON FOR PROJECT PHOTOS.

 

Lawn reduction and food production in Round Rock.

 

ACLA worked closely with the family to design a landscape that reduced the total lawn area while providing ample space for play, food production and outdoor living.  All site drainage, including roof downspouts, were directed into a network of swales heavily planted with native ornamental grasses and flowering perennials.  These swales slow and filter stormwater, making it available for the new plants and further reducing the landscapes irrigation requirement.  Food production was integrated into the landscape beds, including an espalier to grow apples and soften a new wood fence.  Culinary herbs, such as rosemary and thyme, were used for many of the shrubs included in the overall design, providing a landscape that is productive and sensory.

PLEASE RETURN SOON FOR PROJECT PHOTOS.

 

A barren playground is transformed into a living landscape for play and outdoor education.

 

ACLA has partnered with United Way, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Head Start Child Inc. and others in the OLE (Outdoor Learning Environment) Coalition to provide high quality learning landscapes for children across Texas.  The Fountain Plaza playground redesign transforms a barren playground to include a looped tricycle path, passive and active rainwater harvesting, a mud kitchen, dramatic play stage, naturalistic sand play area, vegetable garden, outdoor picnic area, loose parts play area, habitat gardens and more!  

 

 
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A stylized swale utilizes on and off-site stormwater in a narrow side yard.

 

For this project, ACLA was commissioned to provide a drainage solution in a narrow side yard.  An adjacent, uphill development was improperly graded, causing significant amounts of stormwater to enter the client's property during rain events.  PLANT FAMILY ROOTS and the client saw the water entering the site as an opportunity and developed a plan that dispersed the stormwater in a series of small linear swales along the side yard of the property.  The swales were planted with native, ornamental grasses, which clean and soak up the drainage like a sponge.   This simple solution creates a more aesthetically pleasing side yard and treats stormwater as a resource instead of waste.

PLEASE RETURN SOON FOR PROJECT PHOTOS.

 

A blighted former Railyard becomes a regional destination.

 

For her graduate thesis, Allie Cassel explored the transformation of an abandoned railyard in downtown Albuquerque, NM to a regional recreation, cultural and educational amenity.  The site plan reestablished depleted Rio Grande bosque habitat, mitigated stomwater from a massive urban watershed and remediated pollution from the former industrial site.  The project was never constructed and the property still sits as an amazing source of potential for the enlivenment of downtown Albuquerque.