Posted on October 10, 2021
| 5:10 p.m.
Arcadia Studio, celebrating 20 years of landscape architecture excellence, collected three prizes at the Southern California ASLA’s Quality of Life Design Awards ceremony on Sept. 30, winning the top honor in both the residential and commercial categories and a merit award for historic renovation.
The Monastery – Honor Award – Residential Design
Derrik Eichelberger, Arcadia Studio’s President, designed the landscape for this home on a hill overlooking the Pacific. The space, which is planted with majestic trees and exotic plants but wild at the edges, was originally the home of the conductor Leopold Stokowski.
For many years it was the hideaway for Stokowski and his lover Greta Garbo. Later, other celebrities made the house their private refuge. During the 1940s, Lockwood de Forest Jr. was engaged by Stokowski to create a garden at the lower portion of the site, which featured a simple oval lawn framed by a low hedge, and anchored by six ancient Olive trees.
In 2004 plans began to replace the now ramshackle house with a modern residence designed of steel and glass. Eichelberger’s design embraces this aesthetic without diminishing the garden’s historic nature or rich landscape character. The resulting design knits the site together, embracing the existing landscape, and connecting the historic elements.
Presqu’ile Winery – Honor Award – Commercial Design
Laurie Roman and Puck Erickson, both principal landscape architects, designed this 200-acre site in the Santa Maria Valley. Following Hurricane Katrina and the loss of a beloved homestead, a Louisiana family pursued their dream of operating a world class winery
The site serves as a working winery, event and tasting destination as well as a private residence. The public and private spaces at Presqu’ile were designed to be filled with an ever-changing variety of food and sound; local musicians or world class touring bands, all are welcome.
An amphitheater, formed into the hillside with board form concrete walls and lawn terraces, welcomes visitors throughout the year and children quickly recognize the space as a place to test their agility. Play, whether adult play like bocce, or free exploration on trails to the organic garden, is always welcome at Presqu’ile.
“We are honored to accept this award in memory of Laurie Romano, a firm partner, who passed away one year ago,” the firm said.
Lotusland Japanese Garden – Merit Award – Historic Renovation
Derrik Eichelberger and firm partner and principal landscape architect Kalie Grubb collaborated with Paul Comstock Landscape Architecture to breathe new life into the centerpiece of Gana Walska’s beloved Lotusland, a nonprofit botanic garden open to the public for tours and educational purposes.
Though popular, the Japanese garden suffered from severe maintenance deficiencies, such as a clay-bottom pond with outdated mechanical systems and a challenging layout that limited accessibility.
The re-design incorporated a new, accessible path system through the garden, a state-of-the-art koi pond, waterfall and stream, as well as a new Lotus viewing deck that Walska had imagined in the original design but never realized. A number of new Japanese-inspired elements were designed and constructed, including a pavilion, bridges, and a Torii gate.