Three projects in the La Jolla area were recognized with Merit Awards when the San Diego chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects held its 2022 Design Awards in Landscape Architecture on June 30.
The local winners are A Garden in a House in Muirlands, the UC San Diego Ridge Walk and The Boardwalk on Science Center Drive.
“Garden of Arts”
In the Single Family Home category, the Garden of Arts, which highlights a private home near Nautilus Street, was described in judges’ comments as “a beautiful project with a variety of interesting spaces and surprising elements.” The texture and colors of the plant palette and the building materials complement each other very well and demonstrate a clear expertise in plant design.”
Michael Brennan, senior landscape architect at Carson Douglas Landscape Architecture and past president of the ASLA San Diego Chapter, said the homeowner is a retired architect who built the home in the 1990s in the Bauhaus style.
“We wanted to create a landscape that would stand up to that and be a real complement to the architecture,” Brennan said. “It was a big challenge, so we wanted to take on that challenge. We had the full range to dream big.”
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The garden’s distinctive features include steel “landships”, arches that guide people through the garden, and a “splash pad” that catches water and directs it into a bio-trough.
“We really wanted to embrace architecture that’s rooted in a kind of modernism but more playful,” Brennan said. “It’s not just about lines and symmetry. It’s about asymmetry and composition and embracing the arts. So we wanted to create a sense of artistic expression and a beautiful space.”
UCSD Ridge Walk
Designed by Spurlock Landscape Architects, the UCSD Ridge Walk project includes upgrades to a walkway that meanders through campus. He was honored in the “Institutional” category of the award.
Judges’ comments said the project “does a great job of accommodating both foot and non-motorized traffic on a very busy campus. It is thoughtful, well planned and functions as an integral part of the entire campus.”
Spurlock Landscape Architects marketing manager Emily Dowgiallo said in a statement that the company was “extremely honored” to receive the award.
“As the UCSD campus and academic programs have grown, so has the need for greater connectivity both in the student body and in terms of accessibility and wayfinding,” she said. “This Ridge Walk improvement project is just one of many pedestrian corridor projects UCSD is embarking on to improve student life. … Spurlock is proud to be an integral part of its development.”
According to Spurlock, the work includes 7.5 hectares of hardscape and landscape. Construction of the first phase, from the north end of Revelle Plaza to the main gymnasium, was completed earlier this year.
The Boardwalk on Science Center Drive
The Boardwalk on Science Center Drive, a $164 million life sciences campus just north of UC San Diego, opened earlier this year and was recognized in the commercial category.
Judges’ comments stated that the project’s ‘boardwalk element’, designed by GroundLevel Landscape Architecture, ‘works very well in the context of the larger circulation pattern. There is a pleasing balance between the open areas, seating and the pathways that connect them.”
The Boardwalk includes three buildings with more than 190,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. It is intended as a showcase for Healthpeak Properties, which already operates approximately 2 million square feet of life science office space in San Diego.
GroundLevel representatives did not respond to the La Jolla light‘s request for comment.
American Society of Landscape Architects
Founded in 1899, ASLA is a national professional association of landscape architects that, according to the organization, represents around 16,000 members in 48 professional associations, 76 student associations and six student associations.
The Design Awards are held every two years and are “the biggest thing we’ve done as an organization this year,” Brennan said.
“It’s tremendous for the companies that win awards,” he said. “You get a lot of exposure and it’s a big deal to be recognized in a professional environment.”
Learn more at asla-sandiego.org. ◆