This project restructures and enhances the landscape at the primary visitor entrance and prominent office building on a 4,000-acre engineering campus and automotive testing facility. The client wanted to present a visual image of sustainability without lawn or irrigation. Our team was commissioned to design this new look for the visitor entrance and adjoining grounds of Building 23, which was converted into a hybrid battery design center.
Lawn and overgrown junipers that appeared dated were replaced by angled ribbons of native plants and crushed stone. The bold, contemporary pattern reflects the sharp lineal geometry found on Building 23 and is reminiscent of the site’s straight test tracks. A curved wall with contrasting tall native grasses and low ground cover adds a visual element of motion to the landscape, again reflecting the site’s testing facilities. A new curved walkway to the building follows the natural flow of pedestrians to the site and provides a striking visual contrast to the uniform pattern on the ground plane.
This award-winning project was designed to LEED standards and is highly sustainable. By organizing the various ground cover, this design eliminates the perception that no-mow landscapes might appear wild or inappropriate for an office setting. The non-mowed and irrigated landscape is environmentally friendly, attractive, and enjoyable year-round.