WHAT IS LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE?

WHAT IS LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE?

Landscape architecture includes the planning, design, management and nurturing of the built and natural environments.  Landscape architects work to improve human and environmental health in our communities.  We plan and design parks, campuses, streetscapes, trails, plazas, residences and other outdoor spaces that strengthen communities.

WLAM 2021 | Ecological Wellness

April is World Landscape Architecture Month, and CJM::LA is celebrating by highlighting a few recent projects that demonstrate our focus on wellness.¬† As the third in a three-part post, this week we’re highlighting recent projects that promote ecological wellness.

Two projects that demonstrate our focus on ECOLOGICAL WELLNESS include: the restoration of Alamo Pintado Creek as part of our Mattei’s Tavern project (currently in construction) and various seating and display features for the Ventura Botanic Gardens. The Ventura Botanic Gardens is a non-profit established in 2005 with a mission to “create and maintain public gardens for the preservation, education, cultural contribution & enhancement of the entire community.” The 100+ acre garden will exhibit and conserve plants from Earth’s five Mediterranean climate zones, which are all adapted to our local coastal region. The gardens use recycled water for irrigation and provide habitat for native animals, insects and birds.

Alamo Pintado Creek is a riparian corridor immediately west of the new Inn at Mattei’s Tavern. Our design team, along with¬†True Nature and¬†Watershed Environmental, developed a planting and irrigation plan to restore¬†5,000 s.f. of riparian woodland with indigenous species from local seed stock. Additionally, we’re planting over 25,000 s.f. of native shrubs and 50+ native trees within 50′ of the creek bank. The restoration area also includes a multi-modal public trail (for bikes, pedestrians and horses)¬†and stormwater biofiltration basin.


WLAM 2021 | Physical Wellness

April is World Landscape Architecture Month, and CJM::LA is celebrating by highlighting a few recent projects that demonstrate our focus on wellness.¬† As the second in a three-part post, this week we’re highlighting recent projects that promote physical wellness.

Two projects that demonstrate our focus on PHYSICAL WELLNESS include: the Ocean Meadows residences, a collaboration with DesignARC (currently in the permit process); and the renovation of Cabrillo Ball Park (completed in 2018). Both designs include outdoor recreation amenities for individual and group activities. Upon completion, Ocean Meadows will provide pedestrian and bike trail connections to the North Campus Open Space, a restored and preserved coastal open space for public access and passive recreation. It will also feature natural play areas for children and a shared residential street. Cabrillo Ball Park was an existing public ball field to which CJM::LA, together with the City of Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Department, added a circuit walking trail with exercise equipment, better lighting and biofiltration plantings to provide a sense of enclosure while maintaining important sight lines for public safety.


WLAM 2021 | Social Wellness

April is World Landscape Architecture Month, and CJM::LA is celebrating by highlighting a few recent projects that demonstrate our focus on wellness.

This year, our team has been getting outdoors and into nature, finding time to meditate and focusing on our individual health and well-being.¬† This inward focus has inspired us to define “wellness” within the practice of landscape architecture.¬† Wellness generally refers to the intentional pursuit of optimal health, which can be broken down into different categories: mental wellness, physical wellness, spiritual wellness, social wellness, financial wellness, etc.

At CJM::LA, we believe landscape architecture can enhance our cities and communities through the intentional pursuit of wellness:

Social wellness | We design community spaces for positive social interaction.
Physical wellness | We build safe environments for physical activity.
Ecological wellness | We conserve and restore ecological resources.

 

In a three-part post, we’ll highlight recent projects that promote social, physical and ecological wellness.

Two projects that demonstrate our focus on SOCIAL WELLNESS include: the Louise Lowry Davis Center renovation, a collaboration with Bildsten Architecture and Planning (currently under construction); and the Unity of Santa Barbara courtyard renovation, which was completed in 2020.  Both of these designs include beautiful expanded outdoor courtyards Рthe perfect locations for both community and private events.


WLAM | Landscape Architecture Myth Busting ‚Äď Part 2

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.

transplanted Mexican fan palms line the stairs at Bella Riviera workforce homes in Santa Barbara, CA

plant pockets and climbing vines beautify the drive aisles at the East Beach Collection in Santa Barbara, CA  | architect: WHA

live roof at the Hilton Garden Inn in Goleta, CA

textural plantings line the sidewalk at the Arlington Village apartments in downtown Santa Barbara, CA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

entry plantings at homes designed for Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County in downtown Santa Barbara, CA

citrus trees within over-structure planters create a beautiful courtyard at Bella Riviera workforce homes

mediterranean plantings within raised planters help create opportunities for outdoor seating

neighborly gifts grown in downtown Santa Barbara, CA

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.

Want more info? See these additional links about drought resilience and using green infrastructure to mitigate the impacts of other hazards, like wildfires and climate change.

bioretention plants treat stormwater runoff at the Direct Relief headquarters in Santa Barbara, CA.

Myth #5. All landscape architects have beards.

TRUE. See what our team has to say about their facial hair.


Does your beard prefer using pencil, pens, or markers?
Prismacolor Col-Erase pencil in Carmine Red for drawing and Chartpak AD Markers for filling in those greys! – Courtney Jane Miller, PLA, ASLA


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


WLAM | Landscape Architecture Myth Busting – Part 1

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.

Santa Barbara locals exercise at the oceanfront Cabrillo Ball Park

drought tolerant plantings frame lounge seating at The Everly hotel in West Hollywood, CA

raised planters create intimate spaces on the rooftop deck at The Everly hotel in West Hollywood, CA

entry plantings welcome you the Inn at the Pier in Pismo, CA

board-form concrete planters at Inn at the Pier in Pismo, CA

native creek restoration plan for Los Olivos, CA

permeable concrete pavers under construction at Unity of Santa Barbara

 

 

 

 

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.

‚ÄúFilterra‚ÄĚ proprietary biofiltration planters by Contech, with native Juncus patens

Direct Relief bioretention basin after a rain event: roof run-off captured and treated! 

we design spaces for people to get out, breathe, and decompress

we improve air quality with the addition of carbon-sequestering trees and plants

we support alternative modes of transportation: the ‚ÄĚTwist‚ÄĚ bike rack from Forms + Surfaces

preliminary landscape plan with a shared street, proposed in Goleta, CA

preliminary landscape plan and shared street for a residential development in Ventura, CA


WLAM | Why Landscape Architecture?

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.

At CJM::LA 

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 an initial site visit, Courtney and Cameron study the site plan of a residential property in order to analyze the existing trees and topography, views and opportunities for screening.

typical site analysis notes

Mari collects soil to send to the lab for analysis

as part of the schematic design process, Cameron does a quick sketch of a hotel pool renovation.

Nicole reviews schematic options for a residential backyard with our clients

hand drawings are converted into an illustrative plan using software such as Adobe Photoshop

 

Henri delivers plans

 

 

 

 

 

Courtney and Ryan from DMHA present construction documents at the Central Coast Board of Architectural Review as part of the discretionary review process

as part of the construction observation phase, Nicole oversees the installation of the permeable pavers at our Habitat for Humanity Sawyer Condos project in Carpinteria, CA.

We work closely with our suppliers, manufacturers and collaborators

vertical storage at Santa Barbara Forge

reviewing gravel samples from Decorative Stone Solutions

 

 

harvesting inspiration at San Marcos Growers

sourcing plant material at San Marcos Growers

We work on a variety of projects

We celebrate together too!

Beer festival at the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens

Virtual drawing game at staff meeting

Hatchet building, team building

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.

 

 


WLAM | World Landscape Architecture Month

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.


World Landscape Architecture Month

April is World Landscape Architecture Month, a worldwide celebration of the impact this profession has on our daily lives. As a part of our ongoing stewardship and education of this profession, this month showcases Landscape Architecture to the world via social media and invites the public to learn and share about what we do. We encourage you to join us in posting pictures from your neighborhood that highlight Landscape Architecture projects and design. Print out the card below and use it to feature your favorite designed space with the hashtag #WLAM2016

For more about World Landscape Architecture Month, please visit asla.org

NLAM Post

TILA Card Sheet(1)