Nestled under a giant Banyan tree in Cypress Gardens, Florida, Morris Architects | MorrisTerra recently received the Outstanding Project award from the Florida Urban Forestry Council for its restoration, preservation, and stewardship work at the LEGOLAND Florida theme park. The award was shared by the firm’s landscape architecture partner, ValleyCrest, and LEGOLAND Florida.
Morris Architects | MorrisTerra has a long tradition of being environmentally sensitive, economically sustainable, and financially responsible. This project was no different. Not only did the firms involved need to restore the Cypress Gardens site, which housed Florida’s first commercial amusement park, but it also wanted to preserve and maintain the site’s natural character and beauty—all while accommodating LEGOLAND Florida’s planned rides and attractions. Achieving this goal meant keeping as many trees and plants in their original locations as possible and relocating others amid construction.
From concept through construction, the solution was Vectorworks Landmark software.
“Early in the design process, when some of the LEGOLAND people were coming to the office for a workshop, we plotted the Masterplan out at 6′ x 20′ to cover the conference room table, so everyone could mark on it,” says Todd McCurdy, FASLA, Principal and Director of Landscape Architecture and Planning at Morris Architects | MorrisTerra. “It worked great!”
McCurdy adds that the Stake tool in the Landmark product aided in their intelligent site planning process.
“We used Landmark to do our layout of the park, including locating LEGO models, and all the trees that we moved and saved,” adds McCurdy. “In Miniland, the part of the park where there are miniature versions of Washington D.C., New York, and other places, we used Landmark to provide coordinate geometry for every LEGO building, light pole, roads and walks. It was like laying out a city, but at a tiny scale—and more colorful.”
For the LEGOLAND Florida project, Morris Architects | MorrisTerra was a Design-Build partner with PCL Construction Services, Inc. (PCL), and the firm shared landscape architecture duties with ValleyCrest.