Marin Landscape Architects Simmonds and Associates Breaks Ground on Challenging Pacific Heights Project

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Simmonds and Associates chosen to update 1960s Pacific Heights building with contemporary landscape design elements that elegantly cover unsightly garage vents.

One of the street front planters as it is today.

San Francisco Bay Area landscape architect Simmonds and Associates, Inc. was recently selected from a group of five firms to design the landscape for the 2200 Pacific Homeowners Association in Pacific Heights, San Francisco. Simmonds was chosen for their proven ability to creatively solve difficult design problems.

For this project, the building will be refreshed with contemporary landscape design elements to compliment the building’s 1960s architecture. Custom-designed planters will transform the building’s entrance under the porte-cochère, as well as the sidewalks facing Pacific Avenue and Buchannan Street.

Designing for the Pacific Avenue street frontage presented a special challenge due to large, unsightly vents that provide air circulation to the parking garage below—vents that cannot be blocked. Simmonds’ solution involves installing low granite-clad walls with planters on top to screen the vents, with barrel cacti planted in front of the wall adding an architectural feel.

The polished absolute-black granite walls are inset with stainless steel LED lights that will illuminate the bright green barrel cacti. The elevated stainless steel trays containing softer plantings over the vents, behind the wall, will provide interest and contrast to the surrounding architectural elements.

On the porte-cochère side of the planters, 3form Varia Ecoresin panels will screen views of the planting trays, but still permit natural light from the street to illuminate the semi-enclosed space. A small central planter along the street front will feature lit a stainless steel street number monument and more barrel cacti.

The planters under the porte-cochere will not receive a traditional landscaping treatment. Instead, the one by the building entry, approximately four feet wide and thirty-six feet long, will feature 3form Varia Ecoresin panels with a ripple-like texture in translucent blue.

The panels, which will lay flat above LED strip lighting, are a tribute to the San Francisco Bay, with a shoreline of stainless steel edging containing crushed glass “landforms.” The LED under-lighting will provide striking visual interest for residents and guests entering the building. On the wall above the installation, stainless steel ripples will enrich the view from the street.

The Buchannan Street planting areas will receive a simple soft planting similar to that of the street front planters, with a low border of black granite cobbles.

The project is currently underway and will complete in March, 2012.

For more information about this project or any of Simmonds and Associates, Inc.’s services, call them at (415) 460-0460 or visit them on the web at

About Simmonds and Associates, Inc.
Simmonds and Associates, Inc. is a Marin landscape architect, urban and equestrian design firm. They specialize in residential design, equestrian facilities design and sustainable commercial landscape design in the San Francisco Bay Area. The firm is founded on over tweny-five years of practice on three continents, bringing a vast and varied experience to their projects. Simmonds & Associates serves the San Francisco Bay Area.


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Warren Simmonds
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