Landscape Architect & Specifier News

AUG 2013

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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Right Plantings are limited to tree wells and planters that safely direct pedestrians to designated crosswalks at intersections and the mid-block promenade crossing. An allée of tall date palms (Phoenix dactylifera) give a civic scale and sweeping shade to the overly wide and otherwise stark transit-only street. An understory of pink flowering deciduous trees (tabebuia impetiginosa) add welcomed greenery. the trees, known for tolerating coastal conditions, will grow to 25 feet. the species was introduced into cultivation in Southern California in 1964 by the Los Angeles State and County Arboretum in Arcadia. Above the twin acorn streetlights atop ornamental steel poles were maintained for the transit corridor, keeping with the downtown's historic lighting precedent, although new pedestrian-scale lighting here (see opening spread) and in the nearby east Village Arts District melds with the contemporary site furnishings. and the Metroline culminating at the Transit Gallery, pedestrian traffic can be intense. Planting areas were therefore limited to tree wells and planters that safely direct pedestrians to designated crosswalks at intersections and the mid-block promenade crossing. The allée of tall date palms (Phoenix dactylifera) give a civic scale and sweep shadows across the overly wide and otherwise stark transit-only street. An understory of flowering canopy trees (Tabebuia impetiginosa) produce shade for pedestrians and transit patrons. Sidewalk planters sport drought-tolerant and emphatic plants—agaves, aloe, Bird of Paradise, myoporum, and senecio—impart a coral reef-like feel, yet are tough enough to withstand and curb pedestrian traffic. During construction, a significant challenge was maintaining the transit hub for the city bus routes and 52 Landscape Architect and Specifier News the MTA Blue Line that runs through the Transit Gallery and connects Long Beach to Los Angeles. There was considerable public outreach with downtown residents and adjacent business owners during the design work. Exceptional collaboration with the adjacent property owners resulted in key aesthetic landscape improvements off-site at adjoining parking garages and hotel service entrances that could have been overlooked eyesores. The outcome of the recreated Transit Gallery is a civic space that gives transit users and downtown visitors a comfortable, safe environment, connecting the natural seaside environment through transportation and art. As lead consultant, MIG landscape architects played a key role in conceptualizing and orchestrating the client's goal of a "bold transit hub with a sense of place, specific to Long Beach."

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