RHAA creates innovative inclusive playground


The Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto, California is one of the nation’s most innovative inclusive playgrounds — allowing every child and every parent the opportunity to play. Children can move through the trees on an elevated walk and swing, sway, spin and slide, all on surfaces and equipment without barriers. 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. Here children are powerful, not passive, able to take risks, climb higher, think harder, and foster friendships through play. By meeting the diverse developmental needs of children through universal design, the bridges we are building are physical, intellectual, communicative, sensory, and social; to embrace a truly inclusive place where all children can experience equality of opportunity, full participation, and independence in play.


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Civitas creates landscape immersed in history at Lane Field Park


Baseball veterans, including a participant from the final game played, were on hand to throw out a ceremonial first pitch for the recent grand opening of San Diego’s Lane Field Park, created by Civitas. The park was placed on the former site of Lane Field baseball stadium, home to the then-Pacific Coast League San Diego Padres from 1936-1957 – history that played an integral role in the design. At the same time, this new park is visually tied to the Port of San Diego’s massive North Embarcadero Visionary Plan, which includes the Civitas-designed grand esplanade that opened in November 2014 just across Harbor Drive.

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SWA Group designs Napa winery integrating infrastructure while preserving the natural landscape


Napa Valley Winery Site Inspired by Japanese Aesthetic Kenzo Winery, located in the hilltops of southern Napa Valley in California, is a high-end private winery nestled within a larger,
4,000-acre estate. The ecological framework of Napa Valley focuses on maintaining and enhancing the natural beauty of the landscape, whileallowing local residents and visitors the ability to enjoy the area and experience the culture of wine making.
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This Week in Landscape | 17 August 2014

Landscape on the Front Lines: Resiliency Begins on Site – 7.29.14 from Center for Architecture on Vimeo.

Fears over Heatherwick’s garden bridge | Jim Dunton | bdonline.co.uk
City planners have fears that the new bridge will significantly reduced or completely obstruct views and damage the area’s “historic fabric”.

Instead of Killing Lawns, we should be banning golf | Charles Davis | Vice
“It’s irresponsible for golf courses to be as green as they are in California,” said Keats. Instead of dark green fairways, “we could have California brownways, with rock and with dirt and with scrub—the kind of vegetation that naturally grows here. We’re not in Scotland. Why are we pretending that we are?”

Designing Tattnall Square Park’s Rain Gardens | Andrew Silver | City Parks Blog

Victoria Taylor: Landscape architect | Kevin Richie | NOW
“Apart from creative vision and attention to construction, a good landscape architect has a deep love for and curiosity about plants and the diverse beauty and dynamic processes of the natural world. That’s the bottom line, the critical foundation for the design of our spaces.”

Cal Poly names interim chair of landscape architecture department | Nick Wilson | The Tribune
David J. Watts has been named interim chair of the landscape architecture department of Cal Poly’s College of Architecture & Environmental Design.

VIDEO | Day in the Life: Landscape Architect

ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career recently produced a video Day in the Life: Landscape Architect. The video allows us to see a typical work day of Janice Nicol, landscape architect at The Office of Cheryl Barton. A great video that showcases the skills of landscape architects and some of the daily tasks they undertake.

Day in the Life: Landscape Architect from ConnectEd Studios on Vimeo.

Foothill College | Los Altos California | Meyer + Silberberg Land Architects


Foothill College serves as an influential example of the integration of Landscape Architecture and Architecture in post World War II modernism and was immediately bestowed many top awards upon completion.  One of the first junior colleges built after World War, and originally designed by architect Ernest Kump and landscape architect Peter Walker, the campus master plan was structured around the idea of an “acropolis”, with the campus located at the top of the hill.  Vehicles were relegated to the edges of the campus, and the pedestrian oriented campus core was dignified and tranquil.  A rolling campus green, large central grove and intimate academic courts that were an extension of the classroom pavilions created a successful hierarchy of landscape spaces and employed a distinct design language whose structural clarity remains today.  Withstanding the test of time the project was awarded the ASLA National Classic Award in 1993.

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Padaro | Carpinteria California | Arcadia Studio

Image Credit | Ciro Coelho

Image Credit | Ciro Coelho

The owners desired a modern aesthetic to symbolize a break from their past and to signify a new beginning in their lives. The resulting modern beach house and gardens integrated these needs employing the California tradition of contemporary indoor – outdoor living.

The project is located on an exclusive section of beachfront in Carpinteria, California. The owners, captivated by the south facing beach frontage, with sweeping coastal views and the Channel Islands in the distance, selected this narrow site raised on a modest bluff for its natural beauty. Various constraints posed a challenge for the design team. Most intrusive was the noise from railroad and highway North of the property, which would require buffering. There were privacy concerns to consider as well, with the neighbors close by on either side of the relatively narrow lot. The ocean side was constrained by a geologic bluff top setback while the right of way of the private street further reduced the available lot. The original beach house had a myriad of existing tropical plants and palms, which would purposefully be re-used in the new landscape.
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