2017 Award Categories
Design: Residential, Single Family Home
Marin Hills Residence
Scott Lewis Landscape Architecture
Landscape Architect: Scott R. Lewis
Designed to focus on scenic Mount Tamalpais, this project thoughtfully blends a new family residence with a restored native environment. The landscape architect and client made responsible water use a key goal, while aiming for a contemporary, restrained, and integrated design. Maximizing views and minimizing earthwork influenced the location of the home, courtyard, and terraces. The hillside was restored to its natural state by removing massive retaining walls and re-grading the slope, while preserving mature oak groves. The three-acre site uses drought-tolerant plants and is blanketed in native grass; no turf is used. Now, the property uses just 3% of the amount of water that the county would allow to a conventional landscape with turf grass and ornamental plantings on this same site. The client’s goals of restricting water use and establishing a light-handed aesthetic that blends with the landscape were achieved in this property’s transformation. Sophisticated, clean lines integrate with natural elements in this minimalist design that honors the site and its resources.
Fletcher Studio, Inc.
Landscape Architect: David Fletcher
Client: Unternehmerliste Pietta
Swimming in a mountain pool in front of the owners urban residence. A family carries out its dream before its residence on the mountainside. A pool is biologically purified like a fresh mountain river. This pool lets the owners experience the freshness of pure spring water and owing to finely adjustable watercurrents in the pool basin, it can be swum like a mountain lake. The landscape architects designed a self-regulating garden with sustainable approach to water and plants. With this project they made an important contribution towards the networking between ecosystems for amphibians and achieved a heightened experience which serves the client as an all year round wellness oasis.
On the Edge of the Continent
Shades of Green Landscape Architects
Landscape Architect: Ive Haugeland
On a windswept grassy ridge high above the Pacific Ocean sits a residence with awe inspiring views of the hills and the sea. Although breathtaking, the site posed the challenge of designing usable spaces and effective circulation on a steep hillside, while still maintaining its natural character. An infinity pool and a pool house were sited below the main residence with breathtaking views of the ocean. The concrete pool deck is broken up with thin planted strips and a fire pit. A stairway meanders from the main residence to the pool area, stepping graciously down the slope between drifts of waving grasses and coastal perennials. At intervals the stairway is broken up by generous landings, a bocce court, vegetable planters, and a native lawn, providing spaces for moments to take in the view. In addition to the built elements, we composed a drought tolerant plant palette. The plantings, which feature waving grasses, coastal perennials and interesting succulents, visually connect the terraces and weaves the design into the natural landscape.
Huettl Landscape Architecture
Landscape Architect: Joseph Huettl
This East Bay residence is the only Northern California home designed by the late Mid-Century Modern Architect Edward Killingsworth. The original landscape was overgrown with Juniper and pine and had very little outdoor living space. Referencing a Mid-Century Modern design language, the redesign involved removing several large, aging Monterey Pines, carving out a new outdoor living space on the side of the house, creating a new and more inviting front entry steps, and organizing the front hillside into a series of parallel terraces. Three separate water features add interest and life to the design. Ash White concrete and smooth masonry walls, combined with subtropical plantings of palms, succulents, clumping bamboo and perennials lend a certain “Palm Springs” charm to home. The water features enhance the liveliness of the frequent garden parties that the new design encourages. The heavy use of succulents and the judicious use of synthetic lawn create a luxuriant subtropical landscape that uses very little water.
Walking the Talk–Ichigaya Forest
Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, Japan
Principal Landscape Architect: John S. Loomis,
Client: Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.
Dai Nippon Printing Company’s “Ichigaya Forest” sets a stunning precedent of urban planning and landscape design towards making our urban environments more livable and resilient in the face of climate change. DNP’s branding statement, “today’s innovation is tomorrow’s basic,” was forefront when redeveloping their 5.4-hectare (13.3 acres), factory site in the Ichigaya neighborhood of Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo. The 141-year-old company certainly understands the relevancy of sustainability and resilience. Climate change is metrically identifiable in the megalopolis of Tokyo with a 3 degree Centigrade (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) increase in temperature over the last century. DNP and their design team understood that responsible urban redevelopment, locally and globally, must respond to—and combat—that change. To that end, DNP’s vertical and subterranean development coupled with printing modernization contributes to what will ultimately provide nearly 3.2 hectares (7.9 acres) of at-grade, privately owned and fostered public open space, coined “Ichigaya Forest.” With two of three phases completed, and performance being closely monitored, Ichigaya Forest is already worthy of notice, and the best is yet to come.
Award of Excellence
Menlo Park, CA
CMG Landscape Architecture
Principal Architect: Chris Guillard
An expansive rooftop park simultaneously integrates and contrasts landscape and architecture. The building houses 2,800 employees on one level, with parking below the building on grade and topped by a 9-acre rooftop park. The architecture is reimagined as landscape, where mature trees above determine the structure below. The rooftop is designed as an immersive and naturalistic environment—a place where, despite the scale, one can feel enclosed. Organized around a half-mile loop, a network of paths weave through and around planting areas, providing a sense of discovery. Designed to accommodate walking meetings and casual conversations, the landscape provides a place of respite with gathering spaces, cafes, and meeting nooks interspersed throughout.
Honor Award (student)
Academy of Art University
For over a century, large stretches of the scenic Russian River have been dominated by industry, leaving small towns like Healdsburg, California with a broken link between the community and the beauty and resources of the river. With over 60% of the town’s riverfront occupied by a gravel processing facility on a site known as the Healdsburg Bendway, virtually no space is available for the needs of the people or environment. The Bendway Park proposal revitalizes a 100 acre industrial site along the river. Focusing on the issues of public access, economic viability, and environmental restoration, this proposal confronts the mismanagement of the Healdsburg riverfront with a vision of a practical and sustainable alternative. The unique site conditions and extensive input from local citizens have resulted in the transformation of this site into a vibrant post-industrial riverfront that will fulfill the needs of people and environment for generations.
San Francisco, CA
Jett Landscape Architecture + Design
Principal in Charge: Bruce Jett,
Client: Northpoint Apartments, LLC
The NorthPoint Apartments, built in 1969 in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, featured five podium courtyards designed by the office of Lawrence Halprin. Half a century later, as the landscapes had to be replaced due to waterproofing failure, the design team successfully reinvented the courtyard project while meeting two primary challenges: honoring Halprin’s legacy in a contemporary fashion; and reapportioning common and private spaces to meet changed expectations within the tight constraints imposed by the original flat-slab construction. The strategy is one of carefully proportioned spaces, animated by finely detailed abstractions of the natural elements of water and stone: an homage to Halprin in the materials he used with such insight. All five courtyards— four fully interior and one at the adjacent property line—share forms and colors that pick up on the language of the surrounding buildings, but are differentiated from one another in their geometry, palette of plant materials, and focal elements.
Law Estate Vineyards
Paso Robles, CA
Principal Architect: Ron Lutsko
Client: Law Estate Vineyards
At the Law Estate Vineyards near Paso Robles, California a new winery building, vineyards and constructed landscape were designed together to integrate with the 55 acre site and surrounding landscape. With the wine maker, the design team studied the property’s slopes and ridge line, views and exposure to locate vineyard blocks, barrel caves, the production facility, interior and exterior hospitality spaces, and areas for restoration while creating a dramatic experience of the winery and region. While the building and hardscape express a vivid contrast between production and hospitality spaces, man-made forms and natural, the planted landscape is designed to unify, expressing the rich play of native and agricultural landscapes found throughout the Paso Robles area. An orchestrated mix of formal and naturalistic plantings reinterprets an ancient design practice, borrowing the landscape of the Salinas River Valley to create a modern project that fits perfectly within a centuries old agricultural landscape.
A New Campus Creation: Universidad De Monterrey
San Pedro Garza García, Mexico
Principal in Charge: Rene Bihan
Client: Universidad de Monterrey
The Universidad de Monterrey’s new Roberto Garza Sada Center for Art and Architecture marks the first step toward a total campus that is healthy, sustainable and regionally representative. The landscape design uses the site topography to dramatic advantage and celebrates local ecology through an expressive native plant palette that immerses site users into a rich and verdant environment. The building and supporting landscape represent the first phase of a new, comprehensive campus master plan and a new relationship between place and pedagogy.
Design: Parks, Recreation, Trails and Open Space
Mission Bay Kids Park
San Francisco, CA
RHAA Landscape Architecture + Planning
Principal Architects: Cordelia Hill, Principal Emeritus
Client: Mission Bay Development Group
Centered in a new redevelopment area of San Francisco, Mission Bay Kids’ Park responds to the lack of playground space for approximately 800 children in a dense residential neighborhood. The park evolved from a demand by the local mothers groups for a playground that could meet the needs of children of all ages for active play. The park provides a safe place for their children to play and explore in an urban environment as well as a place for the community to gather and hold events. Two thirds of the park is a playground, while outside the playground is a lawn, picnic area, and plaza for all users. Through a public outreach process, families chose a design that balanced the need for active play equipment with the desire for nature play and interaction with the natural environment. The focal point of the park is a nature exploration zone where willow structures, log sculptures and stone stream beds offer opportunities for imaginative play. A large turf hill and redwood forest provide direct contact with nature.
Magical Bridge Universal Playground
Palo Alto, CA
RHAA Landscape Architecture + Planning
Principal Architects: Cordelia Hill, Principal Emeritus
Client: City of Palo Alto
The Magical Bridge Playground is about bridging the physical and social barriers which prevent children of all ages and abilities from uniting together in play. Working with the Friends of Magical Bridge and the City of Palo Alto, the playground was designed to give children of all abilities the opportunity to play independently and cooperatively. Children can move through the trees on an elevated walk, or hunt for hidden treasure in the Willow Grove, or swing, sway, spin, and slide, all on surfaces and equipment without barriers. To help children who may be unable to learn quickly how to maneuver through a large space, the playground has distinct zones for different types of activities: spinning, swinging, sliding, climbing, and exploring nature. The play opportunities are diverse, to meet the diverse developmental needs of children without segregating by one’s ability to participate in a particular type of activity.
Einwiller Kuehl, Inc.
Principal Architects: Liz Einwiller, Sarah Kuehl
Client: Caltrans/State of California
At the request of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Caltrans, the design team proposed a small footprint intervention in a rapidly evolving industrial site near the base of the Bay Bridge in Oakland. Focused at the IERBYS (Inter-urban Electric Rail Bridge Yard Shop) building, the terrace was placed to frame the historic train portals as well as to define a plaza in the foreground of the building. The stated goal of the plaza was to establish a bicycle pedestrian rest area for users bound for the new bike trail on the Bay Bridge. The arrival from the bike/ped path was given the importance as the primary entrance and the plaza design maintains the open view to the end of the building in keeping with the historic setting of the train approaches. Inspired by the water views from the now demolished mezzanine of the building an elevated terrace frames the plaza and defines an intimate foreground to display the historic facade. Standing at 8 feet above the ground transforms the experience of this site from visually cluttered industrial lands to a waterfront experience on three sides. Providing this experience to visitors makes the case for a park in this location as well as showcasing up close viewing of the industrial waterfront not available anywhere else in the Bay area. A monolithic stair faces the plaza looking north, but also flips and provides a bench at the top for views south. A ramp is wrapped around the terrace to provide universal access to the experience. The use artificial turf at the elevated level provides a symbolic icon of ‘lawn means park’, but also was a practical material for a site without water available for irrigation. At the upper level views to the north and south show the narrow spit of land and the Bay edge, suggesting the beautiful quality of this land at a peninsula and bridge approach. Views to the west are centered on the tower of the new Bay Bridge which cannot be seen from the ground level. Using the terrace is a peaceful park experience in its own right, but it also provides a wonderful moment of re-orientation to both the Bridge and to the Bay. The project came about as part of the construction of the new Bay Bridge and there was a wonderful opportunity to tell a bit of the story of that construction through the re-use of bridge building by products. Cable Spools that provided strands of cable to be bound together into the large cables for the bridge were re-made into spool chairs of three types: vertical waiting spool chairs, lounge spool chairs, and double wide double sided spool chairs. The transformation of these ‘leftovers’ into the site furniture made this project more site specific and authentic at this location. In addition to the spool chairs, a large spool showing the cable, the cable compacter, and a sample piece of bound cable are on display to complete the story. The massive lifting beams leftover after setting the tower pieces in place were also saved to frame the bicycle parking and to remind all of the scale of the tower seen mostly at a distance. Each of these elements were saved to strengthen the design character of this place and to demonstrate the potential for adaptive re-use of the industrial lands while still keeping their industrial qualities. The paving for the plaza was established using highway striping techniques deployed in a more complex pattern. The surface of the plaza is asphalt and the pattern was established with criss-crossing highway stripes that all lead towards the doors of the building, but also suggest movement and provide character to the empty plane. The design is a nod to Caltrans, a solution to a tight budget, and very graphic. The project together with the building became the site of the opening ceremonies for the Bay Bridge. Executives from many parts of local and state government got to experience the terrace and the plaza and because of that many have become supporters of a park in location.
Battery East Vista
San Francisco, CA
Meyer + Silberberg Landscape Architects
Principal Architect: Ramsey Silberberg
Client: Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
Battery East Vista, one of the last remaining unimproved elements of the Presidio Bay Trail, has been transformed into an active theatrical overlook to the Golden Gate Bridge. In close collaboration with the Parks Conservancy and National Park Service, our team created an elegant and elemental design for the historic military site. The challenge was to preserve the open character of the landscape and reveal the beauty of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, while creating a place to accommodate thousands of daily visitors arriving by foot, bicycle and car. The solution was fundamentally simple: by reconfiguring the trail to align with the historic “covered way” that linked the earthen batteries, the circulation and relationship between the overlook and trail is greatly improved, while simultaneously recalling the history of the site. A pervious concrete plaza with terraced seating welcomes visitors to experience contemplative or active recreation at various elevations onsite. Interpretative signage and instructive scopes highlight park connections to surrounding historic military fortifications, offering ample opportunities for outdoor exploration and learning.
Research, Planning, Analysis and Communication
Lovelace Residence HALS Documentation
Principal in Charge: Chris Pattillo
Client: Lillian Lovelace
The Lovelace garden meets the significance criteria of the National Register of Historic Places as an example of the contemporary California Regionalist Garden. This style found expression from the late 19th century to the contemporary period through a succession of landscape styles, including what has been variously called the “New Garden” or the “Post-Modernist Garden.”
Commissioned voluntarily by the property owner, Mrs. Lovelace, the design team documented her garden development, started in 1972 by the legendary Isabelle Greene, providing a complete, high-level set of HALS documents. Lovelace felt that Isabelle’s ephemeral work as a landscape architect made her one of the masters worth documenting. The resulting documentation included: hand drawn sketches to capture site character, Autocad images, and illustrative work showing shadows, trees, and foliage to best convey the attributes of the ground plane. Some of Isabelle’s own sketch work was included showing the progression of her design. Evident in final report is Isabelle’s environmental sensitivity and reactiveness to her site. It helped set the stage for future ecological trends that govern the industry today.
Rule Lake Metropolitan Park: A Celebration of the Rhythm of Water
Principal Landscape Architect: Hui-Li Lee
Client: Nanchang Economic Development Administration
Rule Lake Metropolitan Park is one of the major urban stormwater lakes in Nanchang, China. The city is situated at the delta of the Poyang Inland Estuary, where the unique rhythm of water brings richness of life, yet at the same time unpredictable flood damages. Building upon an existing seasonal lake within extreme water-level changes, the project was challenged by the tension between the untamed natural beauty, and public safety. In the regional planning phase, the landscape architects worked closely with urban designers, municipality and flood district authorities to identify suitable development areas and existing natural resources, and successfully defended the ecological sensitive zones for preservation and recreation. In the site planning and design phase, the team refined the interfaces of urban stormwater green infrastructure and connected these LID facilities into the park elements. The Metropolitan Park program and amenities are carefully planned and allocated per their compatibility with draught or flood, thereby increasing its resiliency, and turning the most difficult tidal zones into celebrated lakeshore characters.
Lower Polk Alleyways District Vision Plan
San Francisco, CA
Client: Lower Polk Neighbors/Andrew Chandler
The Lower Polk Neighborhood is a distinct and vibrant part of the unique collection of neighborhoods that characterize San Francisco’s celebrated urban heritage. It is a diverse, richly textured mixed-use neighborhood with an unusually porous fabric of Alleyways that are underutilized midblock open-spaces. This “found ground” was the impetus for the Alleyway District Vision Plan. By reframing the perception of these alleys from “backstreets” into active contributors, these smaller streets are re-scripted and physically re-programmed to support the busy street-life activity that extends late into the evenings. Six alleys extend outward from the Polk Street commercial spine forming a finer urban grain at the core of this changing neighborhood, which has no access to open space. Reclaiming them as “living streets” was a crucial component to creating enjoyable civic places dedicated to high-quality pedestrian experience within the neighborhood, as well as contributing to a healthier city. The Alleyways now take front stage, shifting the focus from “back of house” access-ways to a new green infrastructure of ‘place’ at the heart of the district.
Design: Historic Preservation
Ghirardelli Square Plaza: Revitalizing an Icon
San Francisco, CA
Principal in Charge: Brian Jencek,
Client: Jamestown, L.P.
From Woolen Mill to Ghirardelli Chocolate to our nation’s first major adaptive re-use project, the 160-year old Ghirardelli Square serves as one of America’s most enduring icons. In 1962, Lawrence Halprin and William Wurster, repurposed the historic factory buildings into a tourism destination, organized around a public plaza. Recognizing the cultural value for future generations, the Woolen and Ghirardelli Buildings were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Since the 1980’s a series of exterior alterations departed from Halprin’s 1960’s vision, introducing challenges including inaccessibility, poor visual connections, excessive clutter, hindered Bay views, incompatible materials, and circulation pinch points. Over time, these challenges hindered use of the plaza and contributed to the Square’s decline. Commencing in 2014, our team was selected to lead the Vision and Master Plan, Design Guidelines, and design projects to revitalize the Square and steer future improvements. The city approved Vision Plan identified 14 on-going projects focused on improving public access; day, night and year-round uses; transportation connections; regional plantings; and compatible material and furnishings palettes.