Posts by darrenshirai

The East Courtyard, looking northward toward the San Gabriel Mountains, October 2017. All photos AHBE Landscape Architects.

As AHBE Landscape Architects’ newest employee, there is much about our design legacy that is still a bit of a mystery. Recognizing this gap in knowledge, I thought it might be beneficial to acquaint myself with AHBE’s body of work by visiting projects close to my own home in Pasadena. The projects that I visited, including the Pasadena City College Technology-Arts Building, may not be highly publicized projects, but I immediately recognized cumulatively the firm’s 30-year body of work has made a positive impact upon numerous communities and the people nearby, including my very own.

The campus of Pasadena City College is open and accessible to the public, and nearby residents love the access to its safe, well-maintained outdoor open spaces. Pasadena residents, students, and the college faculty all use the campus at all hours of the day. The paseo running along the south side of the Technology-Arts building is a popular route for joggers and power-walkers from nearby residential areas. The paseo route plays a significant role in building a sense of community, an outdoor space where neighbors get to know their neighbors across its entire distance.

Before joining the team last month, I had no idea the space was designed by AHBE. However, now more than ever, I know firsthand the work my firm has done has left a positive impact across Southern California. During my research I discovered some pictures in our project archives revealing what the initial installation looked like back in 2013. I’ve collected a few to share below, showing the states of “yesterday” versus “today”, also proud in recognizing I’ll be contributing to AHBE’s “tomorrow”.


The views of the Paseo before and after, 2013 vs. 2017.


Paseo plantings detail, before and after, 2013 vs. 2017


Concrete seat-wall, before and after, 2013 vs. 2017.


North courtyard, before and after, 2013 vs. 2017.