Hewlett Packard Roseville
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Location Roseville,, California, United States

Scope Planning, Landscape Architecture

Size 500 Acres


Poplar-lined pedestrian walkways provide scale

Revised client perception of site to respect its unspoiled natural beauty

Trees provide luxurient shade but also thrive in harsh soil and weather

SWA Group acted as consultants to the architects Holland, East & Duvivier for a restudy of the existing master plan for the 200 Ha Hewlett Packard site at Roseville. This led to the drawing up of a new master plan for the 23,000 M2 service, repair and distribution facility on the site. SWA then provided full landscape architectural services for the upgrading of the surrounding landscape. The work included site planning through construction documentation for building placement, road layout, grading, entries, pedestrian ways, employee recreation areas, and all open spaces. The project also accommodated a modular building type intended to serve as a prototype for future Hewlett Packard expansion. At the time SWA was commissioned the 200 Ha Roseville site no longer served the needs of the company and seemed unsuitable for future uses or expansion. The property itself suffered from difficult soil conditions and a series of long, hot summers that had killed off all previous landscaping efforts. Hewlett Packard wanted a new master plan that would redevelop its facility and overcome what it considered a hostile environment. One of SWA Group’s primary tasks was to revise Hewlett Packard’s perception of the surrounding landscape. The landscape architects succeeded in convincing Hewlett Packard not to try to master the environment but to respect and appreciate its unspoiled natural beauty. For the vast majority of the site SWA re-established grassland wherever possible, planting large un-irrigated fields of native grass in the non-use areas. Against the background of the vast, open plain of the Sacramento Valley grasslands, and in concert with the equally vast, low profile facility, SWA decided that the landscape elements needed to be extremely bold and simple in order to be easily understood and enjoyed. For example, connecting interior and exterior uses with landscaping by providing a poplar-lined pedestrian walkway raised above the Chinese Elm-shaded parking lot, and leading it into the building. Oaks and Bradford pear trees were also a theme for this project. The pear trees were used to unify the recreational complex which included a baseball diamond, basketball court, and sand volleyball court. The trees also served to give these large uses both scale and shade. Shade was considered the key to creating an attractive outdoor landscape that Hewlett Packard’s employees would actually use and enjoy. SWA focused on introducing landscape that would provide both luxuriant shade but also thrive despite the harsh soil and weather. To that end trees were stripped of root competition, freeing them from shrubs, ground covers, and lawns. SWA maintained a permeable ground plan by providing localized and individual watering, as well as a sub-drain system to remove flash floods caused by inherent soil permeability problems.

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