Industrial Oasis

Honor Award - General Design
Steve Martino
The site, located in a central city industrial area, is one of hundreds of similar buildings surrounded by asphalt, overhead power lines, and razor wire. The clients both artists, craftsmen, and Arizona natives bought this building for their expanding business and wanted to make an environmental contribution to the area. The clients wanted to demonstrate sustainability in every part of their operations. Their landscape goal was to minimize the asphalt and bring a small piece of the desert back into this gritty part of the city. (Landscape plants have been stolen out of the site here) The building’s entry opened directly into an intersection with a streetscape of tall fences and razor wire that sat directly behind the city sidewalk. The neighborhood is actually pretty vibrant with the constant flow of delivery trucks and overhead planes. We created a small entry courtyard and de-compression area that softened the view to the intersection and created a small courtyard space where employees could bring out a table and chairs for lunch. The existing roll-up delivery door was retained and when open connects the small courtyard with the interior of the shop and warehouse for a view to the courtyard and let morning sun into the warehouse. This modest project’s landscape made a huge difference to the site and as well as making a contribution to the neighborhood. Asphalt was removed and replaced with permeable paving in the landscape areas. Native landscape plants that re-seed themselves were planted. The plant selection brings butterflies and humming birds to the site. A simple drip irrigation system supplements the rainfall.

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