Welcome Genevieve and Brendan!

We are pleased to welcome two new Associates to our Texas offices. Genevieve Buentello is a landscape architect and will be joining our Houston office and Brendan Wittstruck is an urban designers and will be joining us in Austin. A Laredo native, Genevieve spent much of her life in the great outdoors of South Texas.  It was her reverence for nature and wildlife that spurred her interest in landscape.  The haphazard growth and disregard for natural systems in her hometown piqued her curiosity in the built environment.  Her love and talent for fine arts combined with her love for nature...
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Postcards from Tokyo: Public Health and the Built Environment

As can be seen by our work with the Houston Department of Health and Human Services, we’ve long been proponents of linking the built environment and healthy communities. As Tokyo is one of the closest cities in the world to being “post-automotive” (more on that later), it’s really interesting to look at the health benefits of a walkable, transit oriented place. Now that we are all carrying tiny health monitors with us all the time, you can actually see some of how the built form changes the ways we get around. Looking at my daily walking distance over the last...
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Postcards from Tokyo: Introducing our Office

Several times a year, Keiji, Akiko and I visit our Tokyo office to catch up on projects, develop business contacts and deliver lectures to community groups and universities on social design and planning. This year, I thought it would be fun to write a short series of blog posts about our office, our work and the unique qualities of Tokyo itself! Asakura Robinson Tokyo is located in Yoyogi, a neighborhood in West Tokyo tucked between the major business district in Shinjuku and the world famous fashion area in Harijuku. Like all of Tokyo, the best way to get around is by...
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Practicing Environmentalism

It’s rare today to hear of design or planning firms use the word environmentalism to describe their work. We’re more accustomed to emphasizing sustainability and resiliency– words which are stamped with environmental consequence if not very precise in their meanings. To their credit, these words point to the increasing importance of environmental standards and performance in a world that is everyday being depleted of resources and facing new environmental challenges. In the 45 years since the first Earth Day spawned an environmental movement of broad popular support, environmentalism has never been so broadly accepted. Within design and planning culture, perhaps...
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Restoration Project Helps Usher in New Era at Menil Collection

Asakura Robinson recently wrapped up work restoring the water feature and entry plaza integral to the Menil Collection’s Byzantine Fresco Chapel, helping it prepare for a new series of art installations at the landmark building. The project built on Asakura Robinson’s experience restoring the Barnett Newman reflecting pool at the Rothko Chapel in 2004, and shared the similar challenge of updating a signature architectural feature with new, more sustainable materials while maintaining its seamless relationship to the building. The chapel, which opened in 1997, has been closed to the public for the last two years after the 13th century Byzantine...
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Planning Team Presents 5W/BB/EE Livable Centers Recommendations

On Tuesday, January 27th, just over 100 community members joined us for the Fifth Ward / Buffalo Bayou / East End Livable Centers public meeting. Our planning team presented the conceptual plan for the final recommendations, which is organized into six action-oriented themes: House, Eat, Create, Play, Connect, and Build. This Livable Centers study presents a unique opportunity to bridge two communities through the unifying feature, Buffalo Bayou. Public meeting participants shared their vision for the segment of the bayou, stressing the need to protect natural habitat and environmental quality, while developing an urban fabric that allows for increased community...
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HCC West Houston Institute Design Offers Attractive Solutions and Link to Nature

Located in the Westchase District on Westheimer Road, Houston Community College’s West Houston Institute will offer classrooms and labs, industrial makerspace, and public conference room facilities when construction is complete in fall of 2016. As the project’s landscape architect, Asakura Robinson has conceptualized an attractive space that also meets the institute’s functional needs for connectivity, gathering space, and stormwater drainage. As an added amenity, the east side of the campus will also offer a link to a proposed hike and bike trail. Of particular importance in the landscape plan is the pedestrian link to existing facilities. Not only will it...
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Sawyer Street Gets ‘Complete Streets’ Redesign

We’re happy to announce that we’re on the verge of wrapping up our Sawyer Street Complete Streets Vision. When the Old Sixth Ward TIRZ approached us to develop a new streetscape for Sawyer Street, we realized that this would be a unique opportunity to build on our Washington Avenue Livable Centers Study and to help support Houston’s nascent Complete Streets policy. The essence of the Complete Streets movement is a belief that streets should be designed for all users and mobility types, and that they should respond to many factors in addition to the volume of automobile traffic, such as...
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Got summer plans? Join our planning internship program!

UPDATE: These positions have been filled for 2015. Please follow us on Facebook or check back often for future opportunities. Asakura Robinson will be seeking two interns in the summer of 2015. This is the 4th year of our planning internship program. Both internships are full-time 12 to 16 week position working closely with Asakura Robinson’s planning staff on a number of planning processes. A position in Austin, Texas will be focused on transportation and neighborhood planning and urban design. A position based in Houston, Texas will be focused on environmental planning. Applicants will have the ability to work on...
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