Almaden Gardens

Cover (Home)



Site Analysis

The Design

Phase 1 - Getting Started

Phase 2 - Becoming A Park

Phase 3 - A Nicer Park

Phase 4 - Finishing Touches

Phase 5 - Icing On The Cake

Design Memo

(Not included in Catalogue)







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For the Almaden Gardens Plan as PDF, click here.

May 8, 1997

To: Almaden Group and Omar Faruque

From: Valerie

On Almaden Gardens Design (with a capital "D")

When folks enter a place that has been beautifully designed, they rarely consider the thought processes of the designer as they enjoy the space. And well they shouldn't: the place was designed for enjoyment, not analysis. As designers, we know that a beautiful setting is rarely a happy coincidence. Gorgeous views are retained while intrusive ones are screened. Spaces lead gracefully one into the other causing the user to believe she/he is creating a magnificent experience simply by choosing the perfect route. Unity and surprise intrigue the visitor; a form that is seen in the rose garden reappears in the tot lot. The park has an ambiance that is familiar, connected to the archetypal park in the user's mind. At the same time the park is unique with a personality as no other. It takes artists and scientists years of education and experience to create this vision that seems so simple and easy to the average user.

was designed by a master, manicured by full time gardeners for years, and populated by mature, living wonders. The foundation that this garden was built on, the agricultural heritage of Santa Clara Valley, the legacy of the wine making families, the genius of Thomas Church, and the beauty and humility of the park's botanic survivors, deserves more than a mediocre design that fills a recreational checklist. It calls for a masterful design, unifying the users' needs with the final remnants of the park's previous incarnation as a private garden.

For questions or concerns, please contact the Webmaster.                                                                       Last updated on: 01/18/2004

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