Landscape Architect & Specifier News

SEP 2017

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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Mountain View, California (pop. 74,066) is in the San Francisco south bay area, with Palo Alto to the north and Los Altos to the south. The south bay area of course is in the heart of Silicon Valley and is home to tech giants Apple (Cupertino) and Facebook (Menlo Park); Mountain View boasts the headquarters for Google, Linkedin and Microsoft. The project's initial focus was to create a green public space on a mostly paved .75 acre site with 9 residences. A Victorian house and barn were built on the site in 1910. In 1938 the lot was subdivided, with a home and some cottages soon constructed. In 2007 the city of Mountain View began plans to remove all the buildings to make way for the park. The city purchased two adjoining lots and demolished the buildings. The Victorian home remained until 2010. The city's programming of a small park (less than 1 acre) typically includes 3-4 benches, 2 picnic tables, a lawn, a drinking fountain and a play structure of some form. Robert Mowat Associates saw the opportunity for more than a traditional infill park. Early in the design work park concepts were vetted with city staff and subcommittee members. Once several park concept ideas were chosen, a series of public input meetings were held for response and input. The design charrettes put on by the landscape architects introduced the concepts of water treatment, recycled materials and habitat creation. Research and graphic presentations by the landscape architects convinced the city to go with a butterfly habitat concept, with a focus on Above & Inset: At the park entry is a custom western red cedar arbor and monumental signage flanked by Craftsman-styled recycled brick columns with 3' tall wrought iron fencing and gate. Inset into the brick columns are precast concrete butterfly designs. Two large Canary palms stand as sentries to the entrance, with Society garlic (Tulbagjia violacaea) festooning the planting beds. 64 Landscape Architect and Specifier News

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