Almaden Gardens

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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.

requirements and characteristics of the client (user). The second comprised the technology of materials, construction, and plants, including maintenance and a whole range of form determinants derived from the site conditions and quality. The third was a concern for the spatial expression, which would go beyond the mere satisfaction of requirements and into the realms of fine art."

"Church developed an aesthetic theory based on cubism. A garden should have no beginning and no end and it should be pleasing when seen from any angle, not only from the house. Asymmetrical lines were used to create greater apparent dimensions. Simplicity of form, line and shape were regarded as more restful to look at and easier to maintain. Form, shape, and pattern in the gardens were provided by paving, walls, and espaliered or trained plants" (Laurie 56).

The people of the Almaden Winery neighborhood, the beauty of form and plant material existing on the site, and the lead taken by Thomas Church has been our inspiration for this design project.


It is essential to sequence the implementation of the park design, with priority given to making the entire space usable. This does not mean that the upper area is the only part of the park in need of design. The park should be treated as a whole design problem with a whole solution to be implemented in phases.

The master plan for the Almaden Winery Park has been broken up into five main phases. With completion of all phases, the top of the site will be completely developed and the bottom of the site will be restored. These phases adhere to the natural order of events in the construction process. They represent affordable pieces of development. Each phase contains at least one main feature of the park, and the completion of each

phase will make a major contribution to the usable elements in the park.

The first phase revolves around completing the tot lot. It begins by cleaning up and regrading the entire top of the site. Then all underground utilities and irrigation lines are laid. This way, all heavy machinery work and trenching will be completed before children come to play in the park. One main pathway will be installed on the upper site to allow visitors to move through easily. Phase one will also include street trees and redesign of the parking lot. This will give these larger trees more time to get established. They will help screen the parking lot, shade the hardscape, and cool the area he gazeboes will also be restored to prevent them from becoming a safety hazard in the park.




The second phase revolves around installing the play lawn on the upper part of the park. It includes the completion of a second walkway on the upper site to allow easy and safe access to the new completed elements. All of the trees on the upper site will be planted. This will provide shade for visitors Trees will be planted on the south border of the rose garden to help screen the existing residence. The public restrooms will be com-

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