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The Country School

The Country School campus expansion project allowed us to create and enhance educational opportunities for both students and faculty. The landscape and gardens were designed as an integral part of the curriculum and innovative exterior spaces that serve as informal learning centers. Our designs deviate dramatically from a “landscape as decoration” approach to a “landscape as learning” approach for nurturing a child’s natural curiosity for exploring and discovery.

We created “classrooms” that were not confined within the walls of a building. Groves of citrus trees -- derived from the agrarian beginnings of the San Fernando Valley -- were used to delineate the outdoor classroom located adjacent to the buildings. A natural streambed was design to bisect a butterfly garden and a stand of Sycamores terminates into a frog pond, celebrating the local riparian environment. Recycled wood paving material was used on bridges spanning the creek and native plantings; while a pyramidal stack of custom concrete blocks were designed as a focal point for the campus. Used for informal and formal interactions, these “rooms” serve as daily hang out and lunch spots or venues for special events and performances creating opportunities for social, communal and interpersonal activities. Learning happens everywhere.

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