Our Services

Landscape Architecture & Urban Design

Halvorson | Tighe & Bond Studio is a Boston-based practice providing landscape architecture, site planning, and urban design services. Halvorson creates timeless, engaging landscapes that are rooted in fundamental design principles and inspired by the dynamics of nature. Working within a variety of scales and uses, we connect the natural and built environment through design that is adaptive, resilient, and responsive to its unique context.

Halvorson's goal is to foster connections: between ourselves and clients, projects and their context, and most importantly, between individuals and the ever-changing qualities of nature that shape our daily lives.

More About This Service

Since their founding in 1980 as The Halvorson Company, Halvorson has helped institutions, municipalities, public agencies and private organizations realize their goals for exemplary landscapes and urban open spaces. Built on a foundation of long-term client relationships, Halvorson’s professional practice has grown primarily through repeat work and client referrals in both the public and private sectors. They are dedicated to listening and developing a comprehensive perspective before beginning design work and believe the best design solutions result from the best information and robust collaboration with all those involved in project planning, development, use, and maintenance.

Halvorson is known for design commissions that lead to fully realized, lasting projects—a testament to their emphasis on flexible spaces, durable materials, and community consensus—resulting in a comprehensive and practical knowledge of construction requirements.

To see more of Halvorson’s portfolio, visit their studio website: www.halvorsondesign.com

 

Our Services 

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Landscape Architecture & Urban Design & Open Space Planning 

Society places great demands on its open spaces, whether they are parks, streetscapes, campuses or multi-modal transportation corridors. We want our open spaces to satisfy a wide range of needs—and be designed to facilitate those specific interests or demands—while still remaining flexible and programmable destinations able to host a variety of events. These spaces also must reflect the values of our neighborhoods, protect our communities from the effects of rising heat and the impact of increased storm events, and serve both symbolic and interpretive functions by creating a sense of place through the art, environmental graphics, or incorporation of natural landscape features or historic elements.

Great open spaces must not only satisfy complex programmatic demands, but they must also be imaginatively crafted, well-constructed, safe, and maintainable. The task is difficult and requires broad-based skills. Halvorson has built an unparalleled portfolio of award-winning urban landscapes, including:

  • Public Parks & Plazas
  • Urban Landscape Plans & Design Guidelines
  • Transit-Oriented, Mixed-Use & Multi-Family Developments
  • Streetscapes & Retail Corridors
  • College & University Campuses
  • K-12 Schools & Playgrounds
  • Hospitals & Healthcare Facilities

Sustainability & Green Infrastructure 

Halvorson is a leader in advancing sustainable strategies through our project designs. For more than twenty years, we have designed and implemented green roofs, on-structure, and at-grade landscapes, developing innovative strategies that have set the precedent for sustainable design.

Sustainability is at the forefront of our work. As environmental stewards, Halvorson works closely with clients to identify key objectives and goals, developing tailored strategies adapted to the unique conditions of each site and project. Our contemporary approach to sustainable design considers a palette of integrated landscape strategies—stormwater mitigation, low-maintenance planting, responsibly sourced materials, energy efficiency, and the preservation of the site’s tree canopy—with the broader implications of long-term viability and minimal environmental impact.

Our design process thoughtfully articulates the balance between social benefit and environmental responsibility, creating impactful landscapes and open spaces that engage communities and provide inspiration for future sustainable initiatives.

Coastal Resiliency & Living Shorelines 

With the impact of climate change experienced more readily in our waterfront communities, resiliency is of great concern. However, true resiliency is much more than protection and risk reduction. While these are indeed important concepts that need to be employed as we respond to climate change and sea-level rise, we must also consider resiliency as a way to work in harmony with the environment and communities to create a vibrant, thriving public realm. Halvorson’s work along the waterfront aims to create multi-layered solutions, which not only protect but also provide opportunities for new and unique public open spaces, utility corridors, and multi-modal transportation opportunities.

Halvorson addresses these challenges with innovative thinking and through a collaborative team approach. We bring a depth and diversity of experience in resilient design—ranging from coastal to upland solutions, including flood barriers, living shorelines, and stormwater conveyance and storage systems. We understand both the natural and ecological aspects of these systems as well as the engineering and design considerations that ultimately create a complex system of adaptations to protect and enhance the community.

As thought leaders in resilient design, Halvorson is on the front line, developing adaptive measures that respond to sea-level rise and storm events, integrating solutions to mitigate coastal flooding, and exploring district-wide resiliency solutions to further protect our communities.

Cemetery Master Planning & Design 

Halvorson has been instrumental in the planning and design of some of the nation’s most precious historic garden and lawn plan cemeteries, including Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA, Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY, West Laurel Hill Cemetery outside Philadelphia, PA, and Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN. We collaborate with cemeteries—large and small, historic and contemporary, public and privately managed—to develop long-term master plans and beautification plans, explore options for alternative memorialization, and identify areas for expansion to allow these important cultural landscapes to continue serving their clients with plans and designs that reflect and reinforce each cemetery’s particular “spirit of place.” Through careful stewardship of resources, we help cemeteries develop attractive landscape-based approaches that improve the economic viability of their resources, as space is at a premium.

Cemeteries satisfy a wide range of needs in today’s world. They perform symbolic as well as practical functions—as areas for reflection and healing—and are expected to reflect the values not only of their governing institutions but of the wider culture as well. Each memorial landscape has its own unique identity, and understanding that identity is always the first step for Halvorson. In addition, our experienced team of planners and designers collaborate with cemetery directors, management, and staff to ensure that recommendations not only conform with the spirit of the place but make management and marketing sense as well.

Urban Forestry & Horticultural Soils Design to Optimize Landscapes 

Halvorson’s landscapes are often located in highly urbanized settings. These are challenging environments to create and maintain natural systems vital to the establishment and long-term health and vigor of urban trees and their soil. We understand and appreciate that healthy city trees are an essential part of the urban design and climate change toolkit, for mitigating urban heat, improving air quality, and enhancing our public realm. Halvorson is committed to researching, implementing, and advocating for urban trees, advocating on behalf of our clients and municipalities for more expansive soil volumes in order to achieve robust urban tree canopies that stand the test of time.

Our particular expertise in the urban soils arena includes developing custom soils mixes, which support pedestrian travel while optimizing the horticultural conditions for street trees. Our approach is based on maximizing the reuse of existing soils, expanding horticultural soil volumes beneath paving, and enhancing the availability of air and moisture for tree uptake through sustainable design practices, utilizing pervious paving, rain gardens, rainwater harvesting, and reuse.

Public Approvals Process & Permitting Support 

Halvorson’s extensive experience with public approvals, permitting, and established relationships with local governing agencies allow us to manage the approvals process effectively and anticipate potential challenges to avoid delays to the design process. Our history of successfully managing complex projects and interdisciplinary teams has prepared us well to manage the complexities of design, permitting, phasing and implementation.

Our permitting expertise also extends into the statewide permitting related to waterfront and landfill sites. Our waterfronts have complex requirements associated with not only active uses, but also ecological requirements and accessibility to public land in the former tideland areas up and down the Northeast coast. In addition, our extensive work in the urban realm, and the growing work in once-industrial areas, has allowed us to develop an understanding of the impacts associated with contaminated soils and a knowledge of the permitting and design required to develop landscapes and hardscapes over capped structures that survive and thrive.

Community Outreach & Engagement 

A successful landscape or open space lives long after the design and construction team has completed their work. This success only comes from a community that is invested and actively involved in its design. Our experience has shown the best way to foster this culture is by creating a thorough and engaging community process.

Halvorson works closely with clients and project stakeholders, including the community, to ask relevant questions, establish a meaningful dialogue, and develop/communicate responsive design solutions. This dependable, partnering approach enables us to deliver clear, implementable plans and beautiful built landscapes that resonate, inspire and delight.

We have been involved with dozens of public and private stakeholder group processes, providing community outreach and engagement through design charrettes, pop-up events, surveys, urban site tours, community meetings, and presentations. We have the ability to create clear, informative graphics and presentations that enable participants to better understand and visualize the design, allowing for productive discussions and efficient decision-making. Halvorson creates well-developed, compelling visuals—that may even be used for fundraising purposes—to help generate excitement and support.

Integration of Art & Interpretive Design / Placemaking Elements 

Halvorson gets inspiration from the genius loci of each site. Our work aims to achieve improvements that reflect each project’s unique sense of place while building on features that occur on the site.

Many of Halvorson’s public realm projects incorporate local craft, artist-designed installations and/or interpretive elements. The integration of art elements often involves working with the stakeholder groups, community, and the artist(s) to come up with features that speak to and resonate with the community. If done right, these elements can extend and provide meaning to the project.

Streetscape Design / Complete Streets / Multi-Modal Design 

Halvorson’s expertise in urban streetscape design allows us to utilize strategies and tactics that best suit the unique character and neighborhood desires for each streetscape project we undertake. Placemaking opportunities provide rhythm, character, and interim destinations along the street and sidewalk, and we work to identify opportunities for pedestrian-scaled amenities within the landscape.

By employing these techniques, thoughtful streetscape design contributes to the development of a healthy community, and in turn, enhances the economic appeal. Our vision for complete and livable streets provides consistency and clarity for multi-modal use and enhances aesthetics and safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, bus riders, and vehicles.

Halvorson implements improvements that complement functioning roadways. We develop a palette of urban design materials and detailing to coordinate with each city or town’s design aesthetic and heritage, and our extensive experience with urban street trees and structural soils allows us to propose tree and planting options that thrive instead of just survive. As landscape architects, we prioritize the presence of landscaping because we understand that it contributes to traffic calming, resulting in safer streets for all.

Working in collaboration with engineers and transportation planners, our designs result in the functional and attractive balancing of multiple modes of transportation, with an emphasis on developing urban streetscape flex zones in support of pedestrians, bicyclists, and bus riders, in addition to drivers.

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