LPA Recognized by the San Diego ASLA

The San Diego Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects honored two LPA projects last week with Merit Awards — the outdoor learning spaces for Richard R. Oliphant Elementary School and the welcome plaza of 701 B Street, a San Diego office tower.

“These projects exemplify the talent of our landscape architects, who strive to find opportunities to design welcoming and functional outdoor spaces that meet the needs of their users,” LPA Director of Landscape Architecture Kari Kikuta says.

The design of the site for Oliphant Elementary School, a new comprehensive K-5 school located in Indio, California, received the Merit Award in the Institution Category. Throughout the campus, the landscape serves as a teaching tool, designed to deliberately enhance the student learning experience and provide awareness about the student’s context and environment. From the stormwater biofiltration planters and drought tolerant plant material, to a wind-powered kinetic sculpture garden, students are surrounded by lessons of sustainability. Classrooms open up and extend to the outdoors where students can connect with nature and enjoy varied educational environments.

Oliphant 4
Chalkboards placed outside for student artistic expression.

One juror specifically spotlighted the “arching chalk board that gives the kids an artistic easel to interact with.”

The transformation of 701 B Street's outdoor space, a Merit Award-winning project in the Commercial Category, took an aged, downtown San Diego street-level front door and repositioned it into a vibrant and welcoming space that opens up to an outdoor amenity plaza. The LPA design reduced the size of the indoor lobby and expanded the outdoor experience.

The outdoor plaza design includes a sculptural shade trellis and a dramatic water feature — the largest vertical water feature in the area. Drought tolerant plants treat run-off from the site while also creating a landscaped border for the plaza. The redesign put 701 B Street on the map and made the building instantly recognizable.

“Postage stamp size spaces always try to find ways to play with scale and create an inviting character and they did a good job here,” one juror commented.

The annual ASLA San Diego Chapter Design Awards were held virtually this year. All honorees are featured on the organization’s website.