When Burbank Water and Power built an award-winning electric power plant in 2005, it also replaced several existing substations located on the campus. In restoring the old substation sites, BWP saw an opportunity to achieve something greater. Los Angeles based landscape architecture firm AHBE Landscape Architects was commissioned to create an ambitious master plan for an EcoCampus that focused on transforming the grounds from an aging industrial site into a regenerative green space.
SWA Group has been named to provide detailed site planning and a Specific Plan for the 149-acre Solano360 mixed-use development that will transform the County Fairgrounds property at I-80 and Highway 37 into a year-round destination. The project will integrate a new County fairgrounds with entertainment, retail, hospitality, event- and meeting-space, offices and open space. Solano360 is a joint effort of Solano County, the City of Vallejo and the Solano County Fair Association. Continue reading SWA Group design Mixed Use Fairgrounds in California
The design for Palisades Garden Walk + Town Square has been shaped by an intense and collaborative community process and inspired by the California Arroyo Landscape. The resultant design scheme, the “Arroyo Wash,” presents a park that will be the new heart of the city. Fluid braided pathways appear to organically emerge from the entrance of City Hall extending outward and connecting neighborhoods with the Pier, the beach, and civic campus. Linear rolling topography reinforces the softness of the circulatory system and creates a series of “bluffs” that host overlooks and framed views of the city. Carved into the rolling topography are a series of “bays” that organize the site’s program and include space for small events and performances, an outdoor café, gardens, play spaces, and bike kiosks.
Water elements within the park also originate in Town Square and, through a series of runnels, extend into the serpentine, flowing topography of Palisades Garden Walk with increasing turbulence that ultimately softens the sound of traffic along the Ocean Avenue, on the site’s westernmost edge. An overhead lighting trellis also creates strong linkage between Town Square and Palisades Garden Walk and will be a feature element at the Corner of Ocean and Colorado Avenues.
CAPALab’s aim, by combining two main attractors (activities + green public areas), was to encourage the local population and visitors to use ‘the Estero’ and in turn take ownership of this essential resource.
‘The Estero’ is undoubtedly one of the most important natural reserves in Baja, California, however it has been forgotten by the authorities. Our aim was to draw attention to ‘the Estero’ by studying it’s history to understand how the first Indian settlers followed this water-body from Sierra la Laguna (mountains) to the sea. We also aimed to further investigate the environmental characteristics of ‘the Estero’; a unique ecosystem which forms one of the most important oases in Baja California.
‘The Estero’ is currently abandoned and in danger of disappearing.
We believe that if ‘the Estero’ remains as it is without key public attractors, there is a great danger that this area could be developed for hotels (or similar) and this incredibly valuable asset will be lost forever.
Therefore we believe it is in everyone’s interest to revitalise ‘the Estero’ for the continuing prosperity of the San Jose del Cabo community, environment and region as a whole.
CAPALab is a think tank laboratory based on a collective of architects, urbanists, landscapers, designers, artist and city thinkers with the aim to generate urban proposals for the area of Baja California Sur. (La Paz, Todos Santos, Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo and East Cape.) Founded by fabriKG
Christopher Hawthorne reported recently for the Los Angeles Times that Field Operations has won the project for the 7 acres around the Santa Monica City Hall beating out teams including Frank Gehry & Peter Walker. The Field Operations proposal was the only one without an architecture firm attached.
Christopher Hawthorne published his follow-up piece about Field Operations (James Corner) winning the Santa Monica Project which has a $25-million budget. His article includes some comments from his interview with James Corner. Hawthorne also summarises the developments that surround the site including the new Exposition light rail, a musuem and apartment developments.