Vibrant community gathering space expresses cultural character through art and design
{"autoplay":"true","autoplay_speed":"8000","speed":"1000","arrows":"true","dots":"false","loop":"true","nav_slide_column":5,"rtl":"false"}
{"autoplay":"true","autoplay_speed":"8000","speed":"1000","arrows":"true","dots":"false","loop":"true","nav_slide_column":5,"rtl":"false"}

DETAILS

LocationSan Juan Capistrano, California United States
ClientFrontier Real Estate Investments
Size9.5 acres

SWA was tasked with creating a neighborhood gathering space and exterior dining hall that is an exercise in contradictions — open and welcoming, while able to be walled off. By blending urban planning, landscape architecture, interior design, and architecture with an understanding of retail real estate, the team was able to quickly establish development yields and comprehensive visions for the site. This method can help clients establish land value and facilitate real estate transactions, as occurred in this instance after an intensive retail placemaking workshop. Taking plans a step further, SWA created a comprehensive vision for the landscape that was used by developers to help gain the support of residents and businesses.

To embrace the neighborhood’s signifiers without using symbols, the answer was art: in the forms of security, cultural identity features, and welcoming gathering spaces. In addition to custom fencing depicting the native plants and weeds that existed across the site pre-development, the act of opening the gates is a play on lifting back the weeds that represent the neglect this underserved neighborhood once experienced. Despite a series of construction challenges, the result is a vibrant outdoor space rooted in the local Long Beach community’s cultural character.

Related Projects

Rodeo 39

As larger big-box companies continue to close their brick-and-mortar stores, each leaves behind a sizable void within the communities these centers once served. Rodeo 39, seeks to break the models of traditional retail that are founded on convenience and visibility and shift the focus to community aspirations and user experience.

The 31,000-square-foot ...

Jianhua Mixed-Use Center

Located at the Western base of Baiyun Mountain, this mixed-use center captures the landmark peak’s influence on the site. In contrast to a modern architectural facade, the fluid and organic landscape suggests the erosion of the preexisting baserock by the adjacent creek. Stone is the main landscape material, and CNC technology is used to accomplish the organic...

Downtown Summerlin

Downtown Summerlin is a 109-acre, high-end retail and entertainment lifestyle center forming the heart of a 22,500-acre master-planned community in the western suburbs of Las Vegas. The landscape design emphasizes the need for comfort and shade while drawing upon the natural desert environment as a visual source for materials, colors, and textures. By distilli...

RIT Global Village and Global Plaza

Global Village, a pedestrian-only infill neighborhood adjacent to Rochester Institute of Technology’s academic core, and its mixed-use centerpiece, Global Plaza, create a social heart for 17,200 students and 3,600 faculty and staff. The landscape architects and architects collaborated on an urban design that establishes multiple “crossroads” ...

Shaoxing Paojiang Sales Center

As a model home sales center, the first concern of this project is to guide visitors from the entrance to the exhibition center in an elegant and impressive way. Shaoxing is famous for its natural and cultural heritage, which inspired the design of several elements: a “blue galaxy” pool, southern concept frame wall, galaxy walk, inkwell pool, and flower garden...

Pearl River Tower

Pearl River’s 70-story tower reaches a maximum height of 309.4 meters and is an exemplar of self-sustaining, high-performance, environmentally intelligent architecture. The project’s landscape design reinforces the principles of sustainability and zero-energy usage accomplished by the building’s siting, architecture, and engineering. It creates a v...

Downtown Summerlin

Downtown Summerlin is a 109-acre, high-end retail and entertainment lifestyle center forming the heart of a 22,500-acre master-planned community in the western suburbs of Las Vegas. The landscape design emphasizes the need for comfort and shade while drawing upon the natural desert environment as a visual source for materials, colors, and textures. By distilli...

Poly Pazhou Mixed-Use

The iconic architecture and riverside context that characterize Poly Pazhou were inspirations in this SWA/SOM collaboration, which also took adjoining development in the burgeoning region into account. Broad, sweeping landscape, featuring diverse local plant species, embraces both the soaring buildings and the Pearl River corridor, extending its spatial charac...