Situated within suburban Los Angeles Valley, the landscape of Crest Apartments is conceived of as a transitional environment that reflects the surrounding context as well as the buildings’ program. A flexible, multi-layered, and multi-textured surface is proposed that can support a multitude of social, experiential, and environmental functions. The ground plane is also conceived of as a stormwater management surface with permeable pavers, gravel, and grass on a cell substrate, and vegetated areas, anticipated to store up to 126,489 gallons of stormwater for reuse in the apartments’ lavatories and landscape irrigation. Because the surface materials must also support traffic loads, including parking and a fire lane, hardscape and softscape are blurred to allow the landscape’s quality to be the site’s predominate feature.
The ground cover plant selection and placement reacts to varying degrees of sunlight and shadow. Drought-tolerant plants were selected for their seasonal interest as well as their resistance to long periods of intense heat. In addition, the wildlife they attract will foster which creates a dynamic relationship between residents and local songbirds, butterflies, bees, and squirrels.