Does it make sense for a Landscape Architect to lead a project?


Does it make sense for a Landscape Architect to lead a project?

The short answer is yes. While most times you will see the Architect or Civil Engineer lead on a project, sometimes it makes sense for the Landscape Architect to take the lead role.

Recently, Gonzalez-Strength & Associates completed the design of a multi-disciplinary project for the City of Auburn, Alabama. The project was an addition to the existing City of Auburn Soccer Complex on Wire Road that included:

  • Three synthetic multi-purpose fields
  • A 20,000 s.f. recreation building with basketball and futsal courts
  • A bathroom building
  • A 200-space parking lot
  • An 80-space parking lot
  • Supporting infrastructure
  • A new traffic roundabout on the main entrance road into the project
  • Landscaping, irrigation, and hardscape design

In 2019 GSA received an RFQ from Auburn for the project. After reviewing the scope of work and disciplines that would be involved, it was clear to GSA that the natural choice was GSA's own Robbin Gregory. Robbin is a licensed Landscape Architect and Park Planner with many years of design, project management and project administration experience.

In addition, he has many years of construction administration experience, as well as a firm grasp on the principles of engineering. Robbin assembled the project team as well as gave the presentation that won the project. The project team included the following disciplines:

  • Architecture (Chambless King Architects)
  • Structural Engineering
  • MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing)
  • Lighting
  • Geotechnical
  • Civil Engineering (GSA)
  • Landscape Architecture (GSA)
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Cost Estimating

Robbin successfully led the team through 90% of the design phase, and then COVID struck. The pandemic and subsequent lock downs put serious challenges on the project. The team was introduced to a whole new way of working; zoom calls with the client and project team instead of in person meetings. There were serious slowdowns in production due to the pandemic and the project schedule was in danger of delay. Construction and material costs rose, threatening the project budget.

Through it all, Robbin kept the team on track and focused on delivering a quality product to our client and delivered it $50,000 under budget! The project was bided and is now under construction, and before long the citizens of Auburn will enjoy it.

So, while it is not always the norm to see a Landscape Architect leading a multi-disciplinary team on large, complex projects, given the unique expertise, and training that Landscape Architects possess; and particularly with Robbin Gregory’s many years of experience, sometimes it just makes sense.

When the need arises in the future, Robbin and GSA are there to successfully lead your project through their challenges.