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Photo by Sibyelle Algaier

One of the first projects I worked on soon after joining AHBE was the Cal Poly Pomona Business Administration Building, a landscape architecture project that eventually became one of my favorite projects. Cal Poly Pomona is my alma mater, so the project presented an amazing opportunity to contribute back to the school and campus.

Photo by Sibyelle Algaier

The Cal Poly Pomona Business Administration project – located adjacent to the iconic Kellogg Rose Garden, and on the site of the former Horticulture building and greenhouses – consists of three new Business Administration buildings, each designed by architects, AC Martin Partners.

Sketch by Calvin Abe

The formation of the new buildings was formed to create a courtyard to invite students to gather, study, and build relationships. The courtyard itself represents a physical and spatial metaphor for the various stages of business relationships: introduction, the forming of connections, negotiation, and social gathering. The outdoor spaces are where students first meet – beginning in the entry forecourt, transitioning to other more intimate and group social areas where building relationships seems a natural outcome of the welcoming environment.

Photo by Calvin Abe

The geometry of the courtyard was derived from the formal nature of the nearby Rose Garden, radiating from the concentric circles of the floral garden itself, while the pathways through the courtyard are lined with vegetative swales that act as biofiltration areas, treating stormwater runoff during the wet season.

Photo by Calvin Abe

Since the location of the new buildings required demolition of the existing horticulture building and greenhouses, we invited Cal Poly Pomona’s Horticulture professor to help choose specific tree species he preferred as part of the project’s plant palette, an extension and support of the horticulture program. Tree species in the palette eventually chosen included Calodendrum capense (Cape Chestnut), Acer Saccharinum (Sugar Maple), Schefflera elegantissima (False Aralia), and Maytenus boaria (Mayten Tree). I believe this collaboration between our team and the university’s Horticulture professor resulted in a playful planting design represented by an eccentric collection of plants that harmoniously work together, forming a unique botanic garden experience presented in an urban campus setting that matures and evolves every year.

The Cal Poly Pomona Business Administration courtyard in 2017. Photo by Mateo Yang

I learned a great deal working on Cal Poly Pomona Business Administration project – from how to layout hardscape joints, to the thoughtful process and relationship of where softscape, hardscape, and building meet – a particularly memorable and enriching first experience for a recent college graduate that showed me the process by which the conceptual became a reality.

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Welcome to our last in a series of Cal Poly Pomona Coastal Resiliency posts, featuring the observations of 4th year undergraduate students in the Landscape Architecture program.

With today’s post we mark the conclusion of our collaboration with the Cal Poly fourth-year undergraduate studio.  In the course of 11 weeks, the students explored both natural and manmade strategies for adaptations and mitigation for coastal resiliency in Long Beach. Almost as important, as practicing professionals we’ve noted we too learned so much from these “bravely curious” landscape architecture students instructed by Professor Barry Lehrman.

The students presented strategies in proposal of applications to their areas of focus in Long Beach during their final presentation at AHBE. We wanted to share with you some of their amazing strategic diagrams, inventory, and analysis these students have been working on during this quarter.

Ecological hotspots in Long Beach Estevan C. and Amanda F.

“Mapping out observed bird sightings in the City of Long Beach, a pattern was shown that not only does the rich ecology try to follow bodies of water, lakes and the ocean, but the areas with the highest density were places with the highest density of people.” – Estevan C. (more…)

Welcome to our ongoing series of Cal Poly Pomona Coastal Resiliency posts, featuring the observations of 4th year undergraduate students in the Landscape Architecture program.

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Working Scope of Site; Diagram by Amanda F.

The Lower Westside of Long Beach is an area especially vulnerable to sea level rise. Between three and six feet of sea level rise will cause significant impacts to public safety and property damage in this area. Both the NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer and the newly updated Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS v3.0) issued by USGS for Southern California help with spatial understanding of the potential impacts related to these environmental changes.

The Lower Westside of Long Beach is also one of the sites selected by a group of students to develop strategies for adaptation. According to student Amanda F., “Various strategies involving wetland habitat restoration will be implemented for the various scaled archetypes available within our overall 215-acre scope.” Her strategy is shown above.

Graphic by Iliana V.

Amphibious Neighborhood Adaptation Strategies graphic by Iliana V.

One strategy shown above and developed by Iliana V., permits the rising seas in by digging canals along existing roadways and right of way corridors, using the fill material to create new high ground. People living in this neighborhood might abandon their cars to high ground and travel around in shallow bottomed boats while waiting for water from storm events or tides to recede. This approach harkens back to a time when waterways were the dominant transportation and trade superhighways. While the strategy is burdened with a myriad of challenges, it shares some allegiance with the Dutch Room for the Rover Programme, which is redesigning the city to give the river space to flood safely.

We look forward to learning more about the student’s strategies during their final presentation at AHBE this Friday from 3-6pm.


For previous Cal Poly Pomona Partnership posts see:

Welcome to our ongoing series of Cal Poly Pomona Coastal Resiliency posts, featuring the observations of 4th year undergraduate students in the Landscape Architecture program.

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Photo by Barry Lehrman

Joining the powers of the left and right sides of the brain is central to the practice of landscape architecture, while tapping into our creativity and brain muscle allows our profession to give shape to previously unexplored opportunities. The Cal Poly Pomona students have been applying their minds to the science and art of our profession: see their observations on the process below.

Amphibious Neighborhood Team: Amanda F., Iliana V., Elise A., Andres R.

Amphibious Neighborhood Team: Amanda F., Iliana V., Elise A., Andres R. / Amphibious neighborhood strategies by Amanda F.

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Welcome to our ongoing series of Cal Poly Pomona Coastal Resiliency posts, featuring the observations of 4th year undergraduate students in the Landscape Architecture program.

The students finished their mid-term review last week, presenting their research, inventory, and site analysis for the city of Long Beach. After forming into five teams, each group explored both soft and hard infrastructure strategies, as well as adaptation and mitigation tactics towards coastal resiliency. It is predicted that in 20 years our sea level will rise by 1 foot. How do we prepare our coastal communities NOW to be resilient towards this climate change? We can no longer respond with familiar strategies and technologies, but we also need to explore new solutions that goes beyond our comfort zone by imagining what resilient urban infrastructure can be.

Students researched mitigation strategies such as the establishment of a living breakwater, a structure designed to shield the coastline and offshore breakwaters by slowing and lessening the impact of sea level rise. Techniques range from artificial reefs, oyster-culture, wetland restoration, and artificial tidal pools. Other strategies for adaptation considered by our student-collaborators included the creation of infrastructure to aid communities prepare and integrate rising sea level through natural system barriers such as wetlands; re-thinking our transportation infrastructure by creating canal-oriented communities was another explored possibility.

Diagram produced by the Cal Poly Pomona Landscape class

Diagram produced by our student collaborators of the Cal Poly Pomona Landscape Architecture program.

Alex W. writes:

As landscape architects, we may be able to implement strategies that do not negatively impact the culture of the coast while also mitigating storm surges and tidal incursions to the communities that live along the shore. The research we have gathered individually and as a class has prepared us to step up into the landscape architect’s number one responsibility: safety toward the user. The difficult challenge we face in attempting to meet this goal is facing nature at the height of its intensity. This will be no easy task.”

 


See our first Cal Poly Pomona Coastal Resiliency post “Sea Level Rise and Foreseeing the Future” here.