Beth & Daniel Join PGAdesign

PGAdesign welcomes two new Associates, Beth Bokulich and Daniel Collazos. Beth brings a strong sense of landscape design and experience in organizing, preparing, and presenting projects both for the client and to community groups. She is adept at overseeing and advancing designs through the design development and construction documents phases and Beth welcomes the opportunity to work and design for her hometown of Oakland at PGAdesign.

Previously a chemical engineer, Landscape Architecture is a second career for Daniel, with this he brings a maturity to the profession. He possesses a rare technical background combined with artistic flare. Daniel has a love for design and water color painting and a strength in public speaking that accompany his background in both sales and development in the sphere of chemical engineering. Daniel's work at Middlefield Road in Redwood City shows his ability to take a design and convey it to the community. Fluent in both English and Spanish he is adept at seeking and encouraging community member’s input on design issues.

Doyle Drive Wins ASLA-NCC Historic Preservation Award

Link to ASLA-NCC award

PGAdesign won an ASLA Northern California Chapter Merit Award in the Historic Preservation category for the documentation of Doyle Drive through the Presidio of San Francisco implementing the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) program. This was a precedent-setting project initiated in 2008. PGAdesign developed the methodology for recording the existing conditions and the graphic techniques to effectively convey the information with the objective of making it readily accessible. It was a success as these drawings are now the go-to set for a myriad of disciplines. The measured drawings included plans, sections, view diagrams, a figure-ground plan, hand-drawn sketches, a period plan and typology sheets that depict features within the historic landscape.

Rotary PlayGarden Celebrates 1st Anniversary

Link to Rotary Club of San Jose anniversary video
Link to ASLA-NCC award

The Rotary PlayGarden won an ASLA Northern California Chapter Merit Award in the Parks, Recreation, Trails and Open Space category and the Rotary Club of San Jose celebrated it’s first anniversary with over 175,000 visitors to date. The fully accessible PlayGarden, located on City of San Jose’s Guadalupe River Park, is a first of its kind for San Jose and was funded by the Rotary Club of San Jose, designed by PGAdesign and constructed by Hensel Phelps Construction.

The video shows the process of the design which started as a vision of Rotarian Julie Matsushima, who, recognized that there was a disparity within extant play spaces that frequently lead to isolation for children with needs. She had a desire to see her twin granddaughters, Aimee and Chloe, play side-by-side, even though Aimee was born with cerebral palsy. It was her initial determination and connection as past president of the Rotary Club of San Jose, that began the drive to make the inclusive playground construction the focus of the Rotary Club's Centennial project.

The park’s legacy includes hiring and training staff with special needs to help maintain the park. In addition, Santa Clara County Office of Education and San Andreas Regional Center will support programming at the facility for their clients.

PGAdesign documents Thomas Church’s Parkmerced for HALS

PGAdesign is preparing Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) documentation of Parkmerced, the largest residential landscape designed by acclaimed mid-century landscape architect Thomas Church. PGAdesign has significant experience with HALS, a federal program for recording historic landscapes of cultural significance. The work is in collaboration with Page & Turnbull Architects who have prepared Historic American Building Survey documentation and Gordon Osmondson who has photodocumented the site.

Parkmerced was developed by Metropolitan Life as a response to the increasing demand for affordable middle-income housing during and after World War II. In addition to Church, other notable landscape architects were involved in the project, including H. Leland Vaughn, Robert Royston, June Meehan, Doug Bayliss and Lawrence Halprin.

PGAdesign recorded the landscape of the 192-acre site, revealing that Church’s original design is still intact in its present condition. Significant open spaces include The Common, an oval-shaped central park, and The Meadow, a large open space with an axial alignment. The site planning includes clearly defined pubic, semi-public and private open spaces throughout the complex.

Each of the garden court buildings encloses a semi-private courtyard. Church employed a limited palette of landscape elements including brick and concrete walls, strong masses of evergreen foundation plantings and irregular shaped lawns, but each courtyard is unique.

When completed, the original field notes and documentation set will be submitted to the National Park Service and the Library of Congress where it will be digitally published and accessible to everyone.

Drought-tolerant landscapes now the law

The 2015 version of California’s Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance is now official, and it stipulates tighter restrictions on water use for irrigated landscapes. Among the changes are increased applicability of the law for new developments, stronger restrictions on water use and increased irrigation efficiency requirements for most commercial and many residential projects. The changes were prompted by Governor Brown’s Executive Order directing the Department of Water Resources to update the ordinance.

PGAdesign's Bob Towar presented a summary of the updated legislation to a group of attendees at AIA East Bay in August, at an event coordinated by the Bay-Friendly Landscaping & Gardening Coalition. At the presentation, Bob stressed that the updated legislation effectively eliminates water-wasting landscape treatments such as non-recreational turf areas. PGAdesign takes the new legislation in stride and remains a leader in the design of drought-tolerant landscapes. Principal Karen Krolewski points to the recently constructed Lakeside Senior Center as an example of drought-tolerant planting design at home in its urban setting. Lakeside Senior Center was recently awarded an Honor Award by the American Institute of Architects, East Bay Chapter.

Inclusive play Rotary PlayGarden opens in San Jose

Link to video

The Rotary PlayGarden opening day was a success. The fully accessible PlayGarden, located on City of San Jose's Guadalupe River Park, is a first of its kind for San Jose and is the Centennial project funded by the Rotary Club of San Jose and the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy. The project is also partly funded by the Santa Clara County Office of Education which indicates the level of integration the playground offers to children of all abilities.

The play area started out as a vision by Rotarian Julie Matsushima, with a recognition that the disparity of the play spaces often leads to isolation for children with needs. She had a desire to see her twin granddaughters, Aimee and Chloe, be able to play side-by-side, even though Aimee was born with cerebral palsy. It was her initial determination and connection as past president of the Rotary Club of San Jose that began the drive to make the Playground construction the focus of the Centennial project.

The PlayGarden focuses on providing multiple activities that accommodate a variety of needs, including spinning, rotating, swinging, sliding and tactile play. There is climbing, spinning and bouncing equipment, kinetic elements, sand, water play and even a wheelchair accessible carousel—all in a layout that encourages playing together. The restroom facility is a family style accessible stall and includes a bench for changing an elder child with disabilities.

The park's legacy includes hiring and training staff with special needs to help maintain the park. In addition, Santa Clara County Office of Education and San Andreas Regional Center will support programming at the facility for their clients.

Diana Pink appointed to Berkeley Design Review Committee

The Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board recently appointed Diana to the Berkeley Design Review Committee in her capacity as a licensed landscape architect. The seven-member committee is charged with the review and approval of design proposals for projects in non-residential districts. Diana welcomes the opportunity to contribute to Berkeley’s growth through inclusive, thoughtful planning and community participation. And as a Bay-Friendly Qualified Professional, she aspires to help the city of Berkeley develop its commercial potential in positive and sustainable ways; in a manner that promotes environmental stewardship and preserves historical and natural resources.


Chris Kent appointed to Albany Planning and Zoning Commission

Chris has recently been appointed to serve on the Albany Planning and Zoning Commission. Albany's commission is unique in that in addition to focusing on planning & zoning issues it also serves in as design review panel for new development. Chris has joined the commission so that he can have a greater role in his community.

San Leandro's first technology park near the San Leandro BART under construction

Link to Developer's web page
Link to article on KQED

The 7.5 acre technology park is spearheaded by developer Westlake Urban and is a multi-phase project that will include three office buildings, a parking structure, and pedestrian connections to the adjacent San Leandro BART station. The project includes a much needed connecting section of the Bay Trail which is currently a disconnected trail through the adjacent BART station parking lot.

Once home to the Del Monte canning factory, the parcel is bound by two railway lines and has stood vacant for many years. The project's first tenant is local company OSIsoft, founded by technologist Patrick Kennedy and associated with “Lit San Leandro,” the super-fast fiber-optic broadband loop touted to make connections 2000 times faster than typical internet hookups.

A 55-foot tall steel mesh statue named "Truth is Beauty" by artist Marco Cochrane and created originally for Burning Man festival has been integrated into the plaza and will be a focal point for the plaza.

Collin Jones Joins PGA

We are pleased to announce that, as of September 2014, Collin Jones has joined PGAdesign as a Senior Associate. Previously a Partner at PWP Landscape Architecture, Collin made the move to PGA to involve himself in local Bay Area projects and to enjoy the assets of a smaller firm – involvement in all aspects of practice, investment in community and personalized client service. Collin is a 1992 graduate from the University of Arizona, a LEED AP and registered Landscape Architect in California and Arizona. Collin brings tremendous design acumen, a depth of horticulture knowledge and solid business management abilities. Since joining PGA, Collin has worked on a high-profile public access project at Oakland Global (Oakland’s new bulk cargo distribution hub), a revitalization of the Trans Pacific Center streetscape in downtown Oakland, and a design for 1200 17th Street Mixed-Use in San Francisco. Collin is currently participating in the 2015 Leadership Oakland program sponsored by the Oakland Chamber of Commerce.

Assembly Appoints Cathy Garrett to Historical State Capitol Commission

In January 2013, the California State Assembly appointed PGA Principal Cathy Garrett to the Historic State Capitol Commission. This seven-member commission is the official body charged with advisory review of the restoration, development, maintenance and management of the historic State Capitol. The Capitol site is bounded by 10th, L, 15th and N Streets and is both a park and an arboretum. Dozens of monuments are found within the gardens. Since joining the commission, Cathy and the chair have taken on the task of having the first landscape master plan for the cultural landscape of the Capitol Park prepared.

Diana Pink Promoted to Senior Associate

PGA celebrated the promotion of Diana Pink to Senior Associate with cocktails and dinner at the Tribune Tavern. Diana joined PGA in February 2013 and quickly proved herself to be an indispensable member of the team. A renaissance woman with design talent and strength in all aspects of landscape architecture, Diana is managing multiple market-rate housing projects. Her expertise with Revit software and technical detailing has benefitted the entire PGA support team. She is also managing a new fire station in Cherryland, a new Sprouts Grocery store in Oakland, and major rehabs for Madison School and Golden Gate Recreation Center in North Oakland.


Chris Pattillo Wins National ASLA “Outstanding Service Award”

Founding Principal Chris Pattillo was recognized at the 2014 ASLA convention in Denver, receiving an award for Outstanding Service. This national award recognizes volunteers who make notable contributions to or on behalf of the Society. Chris received the award for her work promoting and educating the public about the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS). The HALS program was created in 2000. Chris and partner Cathy Garrett founded the Northern California chapter of HALS in 2004, and use that platform to promote the HALS mission to save and document cultural landscapes. Since that time, PGA has completed more HALS work than any other private firm. Chris created the HALS Heroes initiative that encourages members to prepare documentation. In 2010, she conceived the HALS Challenge, which was subsequently adopted by the National Park Service. Since then, the number of new HALS short-form submissions from throughout the country has increased each year.

New Staff at PGAdesign

In addition to Senior Associates Collin Jones and Diana Pink, PGA has other new talent. Like Collin, Sarita Govani joined PGA from PWP. Sarita graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BA in 1997 and a Masters in landscape architecture in 2007. In addition to working at PWP, Sarita spent time at the offices of Marta Fry Landscape Associates and Cecil Group in Boston.

Near the end of the big recession, Kelly Flairty accepted the offer of an admin position at PGA, even though she has a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Ball State University. It did not take long for the Partners to recognize Kelly’s many talents and promote her to an Associate position. Kelly is now the project manager for Lesley Towers in Menlo Park, a senior housing high-rise, with Ann Phillips Architects. Kelly also readily juggled the rehab of 15 Berkeley Housing Apartment sites, and is working with Associate Partner Karen Krolewski to produce the contract documents for a new park at the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah.

Karen Krolewski Invited to Join Bay-Friendly Coalition Board of Directors

The Bay-Friendly Coalition is a California nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable landscaping in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Coalition encourages practices that reduce waste and pollution, conserve natural resources, and create vibrant landscapes and gardens. The primary goal of Bay-Friendly is to lessen the impact of conventional landscape practices on the environment. Since joining the Board, Karen has been involved in helping the Coalition transition from a private entity to a public body. Updates to the rating system and scorecard are in the works to make the Bay-Friendly program more user-friendly and encourage the practice of Bay-Friendly landscaping.

Chris Kent Appointed to CED Dean’s Advisory Council

The CED Dean's Advisory Council is a select group of alumni and friends who care deeply about the College of Environmental Design, and serve as its ambassadors with fellow CED alumni and others whose professional and philanthropic interests align with CED's purpose. Council members provide strategic planning advice to assist the Dean in promoting CED to constituencies beyond the campus. Members bring their expertise to the college, informing the Dean about notable trends in the architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning fields to help shape CED's activities, programming, and facilities development. Dean Jennifer Wolch chose Chris for this prestigious appointment in response to Chris’ previous commitment and involvement as a professional-student liaison.

PGA Celebrates 2014 PARKing Day With a “Surf’s Up” Theme

Continuing an annual tradition, PGA staff planned and executed this year’s PARKing day event. For several years, PGA has celebrated PARKing day by designing and constructing a mini parklet in one parking space in front of our downtown office. This year’s event involved importing bags of sand, a surf backdrop, a surfboard and wetsuit-clad Joe Marwell, a “muscle man” cutout for posed photos, Beach Boys background music, and even beach toys for passing toddlers. At lunchtime, we barbequed hotdogs and lounged on beach chairs while explaining the purpose of PARKing Day – to demonstrate that there are better ways to utilize our land than paving it for parking.

Cathy Garrett Tapped for National Association of Olmsted Parks Board

The National Association for Olmsted Parks (NAOP) is a coalition of design and preservation professionals and representatives of numerous Olmsted organizations around the United States. Its concern is the legacy of landscape work left by Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. and the firm continued by his sons. NAOP is the only national organization dedicated solely to preserving the Olmsted legacy by providing the advocacy, research and education needed to protect, restore and maintain these exemplary parks and landscapes.

Chris Pattillo Reappointed as Chair of Oakland Planning Commission

Three and a half years ago, Mayor Quan’s first appointment to Oakland’s Planning Commission was Chris Pattillo. Chris’s peers picked her as chair in 2013 and supported a second term that runs through June 2015. As a member of the Commission, Chris has contributed to six specific plans that are being developed for West Oakland, the Broadway-Valdez neighborhood, the Lake Merritt-Chinatown area, and Coliseum City. As chair, Chris advocated for a new Commissioner training manual and sought to inject a more respectful and responsive approach to public input.