LEGOLAND® earns Landscape Architecture honors


LEGOLAND® Florida has been selected as the winner of a prestigious Award of Honor from the Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. The awards selection committee felt that the LEGOLAND® Florida project efforts stood out in exemplifying excellence in landscape architecture, and going above and beyond what would typically be thought of. Morris (MorrisTerra) along with ValleyCrest Design maintained 80% of the existing trees on site, often redesigning or relocating attractions and buildings to ensure that the trees would remain. In addition, the team relocated 20 mature specimens within the property, creating an instant “has been there forever” feeling in parts of the park, and improving the character of the spaces. The trees are one of, if not THE most important element in the feeling created at opening like no other park. The Landscape Architects, with the help of an arborist, studied each existing tree’s location, which were then documented and cataloged for its location relative to the conceptual masterplan, current health and appearance, expected viability during and after construction, and its ultimate value to guest experience. The Landscape Architects massaged, or in some cases redesigned the site plan many times over to minimize impact on existing tree canopy. Through those efforts, over eighty percent of the existing canopy on the property was able to be preserved in place. In addition, 20 large specimen trees weighing up to 78,000 pounds each were relocated by crane to strategic locations within the property, providing an instant character that many parks wait years and years to attain. LEGOLAND Florida is built on the former site of Cypress Gardens, Florida’s first theme park. The new park, designed to be a Park within a Park, is a place for families and kids 2-12 to enjoy together in a parklike setting with mindblowing LEGO models. Elements of Cypress Gardens were recycled for sustainability and budget including the majority of existing tree canopy, maintained or moved to create the “Most beautiful LEGOLAND in the world.” All existing concrete from Cypress Gardens’ non-ADA compliant walkways was recycled, separated, and ground for reuse as the sub-base for all the new hardscape areas within the park, substantially reducing the amount of material that would have to be sent to the landfill. Recycling old materials and reusing many of the existing assets of the historic Cypress Gardens gives LEGOLAND Florida a feel different than any other theme park. The intimate scale of the buildings, the extensive canopy of mature large trees, and the inclusion of the amazing LEGO models gives LEGOLAND Florida a genuine character unlike any other.

The Florida Chapter will celebrate all award winning firms and students during its Annual Conference being held at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center in Gainesville, Florida. The Annual Design Awards Gala is scheduled for 6:00 PM Friday, July 18, 2013 and attendance is open to all conference registrants and the general public.

Morris celebrates 75th Anniversary Year

Morris is entering its 75th year of continuous practice as an architectural, interior design, landscape architecture, and planning firm.
Throughout our 75 year history of design excellence, we have made an impact in our communities and the communities of all projects. We are advocates of innovative design and of its power to transform and enhance communities. We believe in a design approach that explores solutions from all sides, meets challenges from new angles, and uncovers perspectives that are often overlooked.

The knowledge and insight we have gained from our firm's history is evident with every new endeavor. Established in 1938, Morris quickly gained national recognition with many significant early projects such as the Houston Light and Power Headquarters, the Houston Central Post Office, the Bank of Houston, and the Houston Astrodome.

Today, Morris has completed projects in multiple countries around the globe, and has offices in Houston, Orlando, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and Rio de Janeiro. Our expertise is shared across all offices as we foster an environment that encourages creativity, expression, and energized collaboration. This inclusive strategy provides collaborative partnership opportunities with every client.

Since our establishment 75 years ago, our belief in the integrity and highest principles of design have remained unchanged. This year we celebrate our rich history of design excellence, and we will continue to create innovative solutions to address today’s complex design issues through our philosophy of AdvanceDesign

Morris merges with Huitt~Zollars


At the beginning of 2013, MORRIS merged with Huitt Zollars Inc. a full-service engineering, architecture, survey and construction management firm that specializes in sustainable design. Huitt-Zollars offices are strategically located throughout the western United States. The goals with this merger incorporate growing our business and accessing markets we have not been able to serve. The name Morris will remain, along with our leadership and key employees. Now we are a firm with more than 400 professionals with offices spanning across the sunbelt, up the West coast to Seattle and over to Colorado.

DALLAS, Texas (January 7, 2013)—Huitt‐Zollars is pleased to announce that, as of December 31, 2012, the firm of Morris Architects has become an operating entity of Huitt‐Zollars, Inc. “This transaction will significantly diversify our building design capabilities,” said Bob Zollars, founder and CEO of Huitt‐Zollars. “We are committed in the coming years to providing a truly integrated, balanced offering that delivers quality architectural and engineering services to both new and existing clients.”
Morris, which will continue to provide services under its current name and leadership, is entering its 75th year of continuous practice as an architectural, interior design, landscape architecture, and planning firm. Morris’ current headquarters office is located in Houston, where they are ranked in the top ten largest architectural firms by The Houston Business Journal “Book of Lists.” Other office locations are in Orlando, Florida and Los Angeles, California. Morris’ primary markets include Commercial Development, Corporate Offices, Higher Education, Health Care, Entertainment, and Hospitality. Morris is well known for its dedication to design excellence, with numerous national and local design awards from organizations including the Boston Society of Architects, the American Institute of Architects Houston Chapter, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Texas Society of Architects. Among their largest current commissions is the design of the new 1,000 room Marriott Marquis convention center hotel in Houston.
“Our current clients will find our commitment to service unchanged, and we are excited about the opportunities this presents for extending our market sector expertise and design skills to new cities, new clients, and new markets,” said Chris Hudson, former CEO of Morris, now Senior Vice President and co‐ leader of Huitt‐Zollars’ Buildings practice group.
Consistently ranked by Engineering News‐Record in the top 200 largest design firms nationwide, Huitt‐Zollars is a full‐service design firm, headquartered in Dallas, Texas with 16 additional offices located throughout the United States.

Morris Architects becomes MORRIS

In an effort to better represent the work we do, Morris Architects has dropped the word “architects” from the name of the firm.
Since the company does so much more than just architecture, including landscape architecture, planning, interior design and urban design, it made sense to have a firm name that was inclusive, instead of exclusive. As a result of this, MorrisTerra is brought back in under the MORRIS umbrella, tightening perceptions of the relationship.

LEGOLAND® Waterpark Opens on time & under budget

LEGOLAND Florida opened their new attraction, the LEGOLAND Florida Waterpark on time and under budget recently. As a part of the opening festivities, LEGOLAND coerced 1355 people into the park early, to help break the World Record for most beach balls in the air at one time! Principal Todd McCurdy, FASLA and Jim Pope, AIA were in attendance along with our clients, press, and many happy people!

LEGOLAND® Florida and MorrisTerra presented with Urban Forestry Award

LEGOLAND Florida and MorrisTerra are presented with a Florida Urban Forestry Council Award for stewardship of Cypress Gardens and conservation in park.
Awesomeness. The beautiful framed painting that is the award was presented by Kimberly Paulson representing the Urban Forestry Council.
The presentation to LEGOLAND® General Manager Adrian Jones along with representatives from MorrisTerra, ValleyCrest and LEGOLAND Landscape took place at the Banyan tree in the Botanical Gardens at LEGOLAND Florida. Check out the video

Nice write-up in the Dayton Daily News

Patterson Canal Boulevard received a nice write-up in the Dayton Daily News this morning, including some nice quotes from the Mayor and other important people in the City.

“Patterson Boulevard was part of our future plans, so we were able to put the money toward that,” said Steve Finke, assistant director of Public Works. The city is covering the engineering and planning costs.
The city commission approved use of the money for the project on Wednesday.
The project includes widening sidewalks, planting trees, flowers and shrubbery, adding a bike lane and installing 12-foot-high pylons with decorative lighting along the four-lane boulevard.
“It will be a history walk with 10 pylon markers that show the history of the canal and the city,” said Finke.
“It ties Riverscape to Fifth Third to Cooper Park to the Oregon District,” Finke said. “It provides a better experience to draw people from the ballpark to the Oregon District.”

We at MorrisTerra are quite excited that this is proceeding and would like to congratulate the City for its vision of walkability!

Dayton Daily News

LEGOLAND® announces Waterpark

Scheduled to open in time for summer 2012, the LEGOLAND Water Park will feature a wave pool, Build-A-Raft lazy river, tube slides, body slides and an interactive water-play structure - DUPLO® Safari.
Key areas of LEGOLAND Water Park attraction include:
LEGO® Wave Pool – Families can catch a gentle wave or simply cool off in this perfectly sized wave pool where the waves are just big enough for all ages to enjoy 
Twin Chasers – Friends ride tubes 375 feet down an intertwining pair of enclosed water slides before plunging into a refreshing pool below
Splash Out – The thrill seekers of the family can ascend to the tallest point of the water park attraction and choose from one of three unique slides, then speed down a 60-foot drop  and “splash out” into the water below
Joker Soaker - A fun, interactive playground with various lengths, heights and types of slides that offer something different for every member of the family.  Guests can wade in the surrounding pool and be surprised with a torrential spill from a 300-gallon bucket
Build-A-Raft River - Families can imagine, design and build a unique LEGO vessel and set afloat on a maiden voyage around the 1000-foot-long lazy river, set amongst  playful LEGO Friends, flowering vegetation and palm trees
DUPLO® Splash Safari – Toddlers will rule at this  water play area with shorter slides and interactive, larger-than-life DUPLO creatures. 

MorrisTerra lands Legoland

Things are looking good at MorrisTerra these days. We were just awarded two exciting jobs, one for the most famous theme park company (which has to remain nameless), and LEGOLAND® Florida. LEGOLAND® Florida will be the biggest LEGOLAND® Park ever at opening and will offer a unique mix of more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, including spectacular LEGO® models and other interactive elements for the whole family to enjoy together. Following a rigorous search, LEGOLAND Florida has chosen PCL Construction Services, Inc. (PCL) as the builders for Florida’s newest family theme park teamed with Morris Architects, and with MorrisTerra and ValleyCrest Design partnering on the Landscape Architecture for the world famous Cypress Gardens site. LEGOLAND Florida opens in fall 2011 and will be a 145-acre interactive theme park dedicated to families with children between the ages of 2 and 12. With more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, LEGOLAND is geared towards family fun.

Interview and "Featured Member" of Land8Lounge

Todd McCurdy, Director of Landscape Architecture and Planning has been interviewed "above the fold" and is a "featured member" on Land8Lounge, the premier social networking website for landscape architects worldwide. Land8Lounge is less than a year old, but already has over 3500 members from around the world. They recently recognized the work done at MorrisTerra with an in-depth interview and an elevation of Todd to “featured member” status.

Green Protocol Signed by US and Brasilian Designers

Green Protocol Signed by U.S. and Brazilian Designers
Representatives from a consortium of U.S. and Brazilian architecture and design organizations in June signed a protocol in Manaus, Brazil, calling for increased cooperation between professionals in each country in the area of green building design. Among those signing the document were Brazil-based professional architecture organizations CONFEA Brasil and CREA Amazonas; the Texas Society of Architects, a state component of the American Institute of Architects; and Orlando, Florida–based Morris Architects, which has offices in both the United States and Brazil.