SANTA MONICA - Santa Monica College wanted landscape architecture for its new science building that provides botany students and faculty a "living laboratory" for study. It includes a wide variety of organized plant materials to use for classes.
The landscape design is composed of several botanical demonstration gardens, each pertaining to a different condition in California: Oak Chaparral, Redwood Forest and Primitive (Ancient) Plants. The building is organized in two long volumes around a courtyard. Each side hosts a different garden, and classrooms exit onto the gardens. Varying light conditions within the building's courtyard and surroundings allowed for the different gardens. Paving and planting patterns are lively and decorative to complement the building's architecture and the campus setting.
The project was completed by Katherine Spitz Associates.