Thomas Jefferson School of Law
The Landscape Architecture found around and within the Thomas Jefferson School of Law is in pitch perfect harmony with its new East Village campus. Scrupulously designed, the vertical campus is bursting with an extensive variety of highly sculptural, drought tolerant plant species purposefully scattered throughout the exterior spaces on the street level, and thoughtfully placed on multiple upper-floor outdoor terraces. Of particular note to our jury was the 5th floor terrace, home to a thriving, 5’ high, 85’ wide living wall planted in the form of a sunburst, that gradually transforms into a wave. This impressive living art piece sits behind a granite study counter, and ranges in color from gold, bright lime, dark green and purple. The intermingling of plants and sprinkling of color among the steel and glass of the building somehow manage to create a stimulating sanctuary in the heart of downtown. A visitor to the Orchids & Onions website commented that “Outdoor spaces like this in a downtown environment make for an active and interesting place to work, learn, and live.”
- Project Address: 1155 Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
- Project Owner/ Developer: Thomas Jefferson School of Law
- Owner Contact Name/ Email: Dean Rudy Hasl
- Project Architect/ Designer: Nowell & Associates Landscape Architecture/Greg Nowell
The stunning and sustainable architecture of the new Thomas Jefferson School of Law is only further enhanced by its thoughtfully planned landscape, designed by Greg Nowell and his team at Nowell & Associates. A variety of aloes, succulents, echeverias, passion flowers and other blooming plants, vines, cacti, palms and foliage plants fill the exterior spaces of the street level, 5th floor and 8th floor terraces, while the interior atrium welcomes students, faculty and visitors with specimen cycads and giant bromeliads, reminiscent of the days when dinosaurs ruled the earth. The first floor, wrapped in pittosporum “golfballs” on the west side, is complimented by the bright orange blooms of terrestrial orchids. The main entrance is decorated with matching windmill palms accessorized with agaves, cordylines and lined with vertical and architectural sanseverias. Agaves and cordylines also highlight the impressive multi-trunk Mediterranean fan palm on the corner of the property. The fifth floor boasts an 85 ft long and 5 ft high living wall, made with a variety of echeverias, sedums (low-growing succulents) and sempervivum, and is planted in the form of a sunburst that gradually transforms into a wave. This impressive living art piece sits behind a granite study counter, and ranges in color from gold, bright lime, dark green and purple. The wall’s wave introduces a red-tinted wave wall, that serves as the perfect background for a planter filled with several varieties of colorful passion flower vines, both fruiting and not, as well as an interesting array of cacti, ranging from barrels to fenceposts. Most of the cacti here display surprising blooms on occasion, in addition to their interesting shapes and sizes, and are planted amongst hearty agaves and colorful yellow bulbines. Planters wrapped around the 5th floor terrace are filled with lipstick aloes, fire and ice echeveria, cordylines and an impressive specimen dragon tree. The building’s 8th floor displays an interesting array of rare and unusual cycads with one in particular featuring a large and bright orange seed cone. Western redbuds are planted amongst soft sysirinchiums that complement the redbuds with deep violet flowers. Pre-historic looking zamias and bright orange aloe Africanas round out the eye-catching display, all surrounded by an variety of echeverias in numerous colors and textures. The landscape ties in well with the discovery of pre-historic fossils from the beginning stages of construction, from plant selection to ground cover.