Located across from Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden for over 60 years, Unity of Santa Barbara is an integral part of the Santa Barbara community. We recently had the pleasure of working with Unity on the renovation of their downtown campus. CJM::LA worked closely with both the Unity leadership team and congregation to develop a new design for their “front yard” space. What was once a traditional lawn with limited event capacity is now a beautiful courtyard suitable not only for outdoor services, but also weddings and other community events. Thank you to Allscape Design + Installation for an incredible job with the landscape installation, Stone Concepts for hardscape installation and VE Builders for carpentry work.
Our friends at DUNE Coffee believe that specialty coffee is for everyone, and should be accessible, approachable and fun. In May of this year, Santa Barbara City Council voted 7-0 to close State Street to cars in an effort to flatten the curve of Covid-19. The owners of DUNE wanted to use this opportunity to create an inviting, bold and unique experience for the community. Our concept was to create modular, multi-use seating elements for people to sit, perch or lean on while they chat, read, think, people watch or simply sip some coffee.
CJM::LA worked closely with the owners of DUNE and Allen Construction to make the parklet come to life. Allen Construction has been supporting the Santa Barbara community through their ‘Locals Helping Locals’ program, where they offer free labor to help local businesses stay open through the pandemic. We cannot thank the team at Allen enough for their hard work and collaboration, we could not have done it without them!
installation day time-lapse
This Santa Barbara seaside renovation is in an exquisite location with breathtaking views of the ocean and islands. The recent architectural improvements executed by Allen Construction significantly enhanced the home’s Spanish-style character and gave it a new vibrancy. CJM::LA’s master plan for the site included a blend of formal and informal plantings, new small play lawn, permeable paving, ocean view deck and trellis, and thoughtfully integrated hardscape elements. The overall goal was to implement our client’s vision for a relaxing and safe getaway retreat.
BEFORE + AFTER
Read Full Article:
First Look at the Blockbuster Development Proposed for the Funk Zone
April 27, 2020
We are excited to share some initial drawings for the SOMOfunk project via this recently published article. The SOMOfunk project will bring a new energy to the Funk Zone on Santa Barbara’s waterfront. Following is an excerpt from our landscape narrative:
THE LANDSCAPE DESIGN IS INSPIRED BY ITS NEIGHBORHOOD CONTEXT. WHAT IS TODAY KNOWN AS THE FUNK ZONE, HAS PREVIOUSLY EXISTED AS AN INDUSTRIAL AREA, A WORKING CLASS NEIGHBORHOOD, PART OF THE EL ESTERO SWAMPY MARSH AND A VIBRANT TRADE HUB. REMNANTS OF THESE USES REMAIN IN THE BUILDINGS, THE LAND, THE HARDSCAPE, THE PLANT MATERIAL AND THE SOUL OF THIS PLACE. THESE REMNANTS WILL BE RE-PURPOSED FOR USE AS HARDSCAPE, FURNISHINGS AND SCULPTURAL ELEMENTS THROUGHOUT THE PROJECT SITE. WHAT MAKES THE FUNK ZONE FUNKY IS ITS ABILITY TO SHAPE-SHIFT AND ADAPT, WHILE MAINTAINING ITS OWN IDENTITY SEPARATE FROM, BUT IN CONVERSATION WITH, THE LARGER SANTA BARBARA COMMUNITY. THE EXTERIOR SPACES AT THE PROJECT FIT SEAMLESSLY INTO THE FABRIC OF THE FUNK ZONE BY IMPLEMENTING FUN, COLORFUL AND QUIRKY ELEMENTS INTO THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT.
Click here to read the full article.
This dual-brand hotel features a large courtyard with multiple “outdoor living” features: fire pits, BBQs for guests, shady gathering areas and a large pool. The new building is surrounded with native California shrubs and grasses and roughly 25 new oak trees, all irrigated with recycled water.
Part 2: More myth-busting as we continue to address common misconceptions about landscape architecture.
Myth #3. Density means eliminating urban green space
FALSE: We can have both density & greener, healthier cities
Larger, denser cities are cleaner and more energy efficient than smaller, suburban towns. Suburban and rural towns may have immediate access to open space and wildlands outside city limits because of their more dispersed organization, but large cities can emulate natural ecologies.
Street trees, courtyards, green roofs and living walls, along with botanic gardens and parks provide a network of outdoor spaces that enhance the biological diversity of our cities and help provide essential infrastructure. This framework of planted spaces is able to capture and treat urban run-off, lower temperatures, improve air quality and provide resilience against climate change. Gardens and community farms also provide food and improve human health.
At CJM::LA, we help make our cities healthier and greener by advocating for more planting and functional outdoor space, especially in our densest multi-family housing projects; designing public parks, paseos, and green roofs; and improving city streetscapes.
Myth #4. Planting shouldn’t be done in a drought because plants use water
FALSE: Drought resilience is improved by planting smarter & better managing water resources
During a prolonged drought, there is less available water in the natural ecosystem, which negatively impacts human food and water security. Less water available in aquifers and other natural water bodies means less water for the agricultural industry and for our cities.
Landscape architects provide drought resilience by designing systems to comprehensively and efficiently manage water resources. By implementing bioretention basins, rainwater cisterns, efficient irrigation, greywater recycling and use of climate-adapted and native plants, we optimize our water resources and reallocate the potable water supply for drinking use.
It might seem counter-intuitive, but plants improve our ability to resist the impacts of drought by improving soil health, allowing soils to better capture and store water. Plants also sequester carbon, lower air temperatures, and if used in applications like green roofs, reduce building energy use and reduce the urban heat island effect. We shouldn’t eliminate plants because they use water. Instead, we should be smarter about how we supply plants with water and which plants we elect to use.
Myth #5. All landscape architects have beards.
TRUE. See what our team has to say about their facial hair.
How does your beard help you professionally?
It takes notes during meetings, reminds me about upcoming appointments and makes coffee runs. -Nicole Horn, PLA, ASLA, MCP, MLA
If your beard was a plant what plant would it be?
My virtual beard? Looks like a severely hedged and humbled Rhaphiolepis indica. My actual beard? Probably more like a Marathon 1 Fescue -Cameron Hunt, PLA
What do you call a landscape architect without a beard?
An architect -Janet Shotwell
What has your beard taught you about landscape architecture?
My beard has taught me about site analysis and creating extremely detailed technical drawings. -Mariella Dentzel
We encounter the work of landscape architects every day, although that work is often overlooked and experienced only in passing. Landscapes are the natural setting, the backdrop of our lives. However, the truth is that our cities and neighborhoods are carefully and deliberately constructed. Landscape architecture is the practice of fusing the natural, built and social environments to create a more engaging and dynamic world.
CJM::LA is excited to share the breadth of our profession by addressing some common misconceptions about landscape architecture in a two-part post.
Myth #1. Landscape architects design gardens and backyards
FALSE: We design all types of living spaces, not just your backyard!
This video by the ASLA shows how public parks can revitalize under-served communities. At CJM::LA, we provide a wide-range of design services for a variety of clients. A sampling of this diversity includes the following project types (as shown below): public park, hospitality, native creek restoration and non-profit.
Myth #2. Landscape architecture = “decorative planting”
FALSE: Landscape architecture is also essential infrastructure
Every project we design at CJM::LA is beautiful and functional. Landscape architects contribute to the essential infrastructure of our cities and communities through design and construction of storm water management systems. We improve air quality and reduce energy use when we plant trees. We support healthier living and reduce vehicle emissions by providing recreation opportunities, bike racks and designing safer streets.
The following images demonstrate how CJM::LA has incorporated some of these essential infrastructure elements: bioretention and filtration basins, exercise equipment, bike racks and plans for future shared, multi-modal streets.
As a part of our ongoing stewardship of the profession, this month we’re showcasing landscape architecture to the world and inviting the public to learn about what we do. This is the second post in our WLAM series, stay tuned for more each week during the month of April.
This week we are taking time to appreciate and share what we do and why it is important to us.
Landscape architecture is essential to nurturing our public health, safety and welfare. This practice is important to us because of its profound effect on the communities and people around us. The spaces we design cultivate the evolution of our lives, relationships, communities and much more.
Every day is different! We love the diverse nature of our profession and the variety of ways we apply our collective knowledge and skillsets to our daily workflow.
We oversee projects from site analysis through design development, construction and post occupancy
as part of the schematic design process, Cameron does a quick sketch of a hotel pool renovation.
We work closely with our suppliers, manufacturers and collaborators
We work on a variety of projects
We celebrate together too!
It is both this dynamic design process, dedicated team and the impact our work has on our community that keeps us dedicated to our practice.
April is World Landscape Architecture Month (WLAM), a worldwide celebration of the impact this profession has on our daily lives.
As a part of our ongoing stewardship of the profession, this month we’re showcasing landscape architecture to the world and inviting the public to learn about what we do! People hold profound connections to the spaces where they live, work and play. This year we are celebrating the relationship between us and our environment. We look forward to demonstrating the impact that thoughtful design solutions have on our collective quality of life. Each week we’ll be posting something new, stay tuned!
We encourage you to join us in celebrating the landscape architectural profession by posting pictures from your neighborhood that highlight landscape architectural design with the hashtags #WLAM2020 and #LifeGrowsHere.
Be sure to tag @NationalASLA
TO LEARN MORE
Find out more about Landscape Architecture educational opportunities here.
Are you a K-12 educator interested in sharing landscape architecture with your students?
Learn more about Landscape Architecture education for teachers here
Are you hosting a virtual story time for your child? Check this out:
Green Trees and Sam by Shannon Gapp, ASLA/Bolton & Menk.
On April 1, 2020 we celebrated 7 years in business! What started as a sole proprietorship in 2013 has quickly grown to become a thriving team of creatives. Today CJM::LA is a dynamic group of individuals who collaborate to produce design solutions that prioritize the environmental, economic and social sustainability of our communities. In addition to our contributions to the built environment, we also support our local communities via board positions, mentorship programs, internship/shadowship opportunities, volunteerism and contributions to the educational and professional institutions that support the landscape architecture profession. As we look toward the future, we are excited to expand our creative reach into new markets and develop new methods of executing our shared vision.
HERE’S A LOOK BACK
For a closer look at our most recent work:: CJM-LA_Portfolio 2020