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Ron Henderson
L+A Landscape Architecture

Pawtucket Bridge Park

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation, Ron Henderson of L+A Landscape Architecture and Thurlow Small Architecture investigated the transformation of the proposed stormwater retention basin into a publicly accessible park that would connect the School Street neighborhood to the Blackstone River. Pawtucket Bridge Park merges transportation engineering, ecological logics, and public space that culminates in a cantilevered overlook, which affords prospects to the river below and the illuminated trusses that carry Bridge 550 over the Pawtucket River above. A linear water channel collects shallow water runoff from the bridge deck for infiltration, while landforms accommodate larger water volumes up to 70% of the 100-year flood stage as part of the variance obtained by RIDOT from CRMC. The park balances public infrastructure with safe public access to provide new ways to see and experience Bridge 550 and the newly designated Blackstone River Valley National Historic Park.

About The Designer

Ron Henderson, FASLA is a landscape architect and architect. He is the Director of Landscape Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology and Visiting Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard GSD. Previously, he was Professor of Landscape Architecture and Asian Studies / Stuckeman Chair in Integrative Design at The Pennsylvania State University and Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Deputy Director of the international Master of Architecture Degree Program (EPMA) at Tsinghua University. He has also taught at Roger Williams University and Rhode Island School of Design.

He is founding principal of L+A Landscape Architecture, a widely recognized and published studio practice based in Rhode Island USA. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and was selected for a 2012 Creative Artist Grant by the U.S. - Japan Friendship Commission for research in Japan. He received concurrent M.L.A. and M.Arch degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.Arch from the University of Notre Dame.