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jonathan espalin landscape design portfolio


•Selected Projects• •1• Neighborhood Garden at Lansing Street, San Francisco. Fall 2009 •2• Rio Becerra, Mexico City. Spring 2010 •3• The Grove at 540 Mission Street, San Francisco. Fall 2009 •4• Entry Gardens, Private Residence, San Bruno, for the San Francisco Garden Club annual design competition. Spring 2009 •5• Forest Park, Community Agriculture, and Topographic Dwelling in Lincoln Park, San Francisco. Spring 2009. •6• The Wall and the Edge: Adaptive Reuse Housing at the Oakland Estuary. Spring 2008


Neighborhood Garden at Lansing Street, San Francisco. Fall 2009

•1• Neighborhood Garden at Lansing Street, San Francisco. Fall 2009 This site, currently the ruined foundation walls of an old brick warehouse, will be transformed into habitable outdoor space for neighborhood residents who have no gardens of their own. The site structure is largely defined by walls: a combination of leftovers from the former warehouse and new concrete walls constructed both along the lines of the former building, and oriented north-south to enhance ones experience of sun and shade. Activity primarily occurs on raised decking, which provides a space for residents to inhabit the trees, raises one over the bustle of city life, while remaining attuned to the surroundings. A Heightened experience of natural processes of change and fluctuation is provided by rapid- growing deciduous trees (Populus fremontii) and mixture of meadow and woodland vegetation. The tree placement creates an inviting and welcoming experience from the sidewalk and forms room-like outdoor spaces.


Rio Becerra, Mexico City. Spring 2010

•2• Rio Becerra, Mexico City Spring 2010 This site is part of a series of proposed hydrologic interventions along the path of the intensely polluted and largely culverted Rio Becerra. The hydrologic aspects of the site function seasonally. In the rainy season, the site holds and transpires a large volume of floodwater that would otherwise endanger the neighborhood. In the dry season, the higher waste flows are safely treated using a series of subsurface flow wetland channels and retention pools. Adaptations of the native basin vegetation are used to mitigate pollution and flood risk: the wetland channels and floating water treatment pads are planted with Salix bomplandiana, the native willow, giving the sense of large hedgerows traversing the site. Other seasonally flooded areas are punctuated with groves of Taxodium mucronatum, eventually growing to a size to rival the huge freeways which surround the site. These performative features are integrated into a matrix that includes new housing, roads, and space for commerce, efficiently integrating spaces for living and hydrologic infrastructure.

•3• The Grove At 540 Mission Street San Francisco, CA fall 2009 The Grove at Mission Street provides an unexpected piece of ecologically functioning woodland within the dense heart of Downtown San Francisco. Despite the apparent contrast with the surrounding city, The Grove capitalizes on one of the greatest strengths of both the city and the forest: their dense, vertical multilayered structure. Within a city or forest, multiple processes overlap in a single system. The tree planting is of Metasequoia glyptostroboides, chosen for their verticality, rapid growth, lacy translucency, and seasonal change. The ground plane consists of a sunken hollow to capture stormwater from the surrounding roofs and pavement, and is planted with a woodland understory and kept free of foot traffic to allow ecological and soil process to happen unobstructed. Human activity in The Grove occurs on a series of raised wooden decks and paths, terminating 30 feet over Mission Street, in the canopy of the Metasequoia. The sidewalk is routed into the grove to integrate it into urban street life in a way parks and plazas seldom are. The Grove contains and envelops the traffic, offering enticement for pedestrians to inhabit a place of wonder and refuge within the gridded bustle of downtown.

•3• The Grove At 540 Mission Street.

San Francisco, CA fall 2009

•3• Grove at 540 Mission Street Decking Structure Design Development. The Mission St. Grove project continued with detailed development of the decking structure with 3d drafting in RinoCad, along with materials and construction research.

•3• Grove at 540 Mission Street Decking g Structure Design g Development. p


The Oak Grove at Merry Hill: Entry Gardens, Private Residence, San Bruno, CA. For the San Francisco Garden Club Annual Design Competition. Spring 2009

The redesign for the front entrance to the Merry Hill estate creates a usable and ecologically sound space, whose form is intimately related to the larger native landscape of the California foothills. This larger landscape patchwork of oak groves and grasslands, with concentrations of human settlement, gives the project its inspiration and essential form. By using only native plants, except for the enclosed vegetable-growing area, the garden is both connected to its environment and requires little to no irrigation once established. Only the new vegetable garden will require any summer irrigation. The main driveway is moved far away from the house, creating the maximum possible usable space in close proximity to the house, no longer allowing the automobile e to dominate the landscape. The Garden is organized into a sequence of spaces for increasingly private activity, as one moves away from the entrance gate and visitor parking: the guest parking and event path appear first; guests traverse a through the oak grove on the north side of the house. The oak groves consist of deciduous Quercus kelloggii (Black Oaks), near the South and West faces of the house, which allow light to penetrate in the he winter and evergreen Quercus agrifolia for privacy and a solid visual background near property edges.

A circular seating seating area is the centerpiece of the grove, and used can be use ed by both family members and as extra seating for events.

The Meadow area in front of the house functions as a transition zone between the oak grove and the enclosed vegetable garden. Seating walls imbedded into the slope in the meadow in front of the house allow owners and guests a place to sit to observe sunsets.

Planting Zone 1: Woodland Understory/Shady Microclimates Trees: •Quercus kelloggii (Black Oak) deciduous, use near house for seasonal shade and sun •Quercus agrifolia (Coast Live Oak) evergreen for property edge privacy and dark background •Heteromeles arbutifolia (Toyon) small trees near street and fence Hedge and screen: •Rhamnus californica (Coffeeberry) evergreen screen Ground Plane: •Fragaria chiloensis (Wild Srawberry) low mat •Polystichum munitum (Western Sword Fern) evergreen accent for shadiest, dampest spots •Dryopteris arguta (Wood Fern) fern for dryer spots •Heuchera spp (Alumroot) seasonal color Planting Zone 2: Grassland/Meadow/Sunny Microclimates •Muhlenbergia rigens (Deer Grass) main structural grass •Sisyrinchium bellum (Blue-eyed Grass) violet accent •Iris douglasiana (Dougls Iris) violet/white accent •Penstemon spp. (Penstemon) red, hummingbirds •Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) pink accent •Delphinium (Larkspur) from seed •Eschsholzia californica (California Poppy) from seed Planting zone 3: Riparian Rain Garden/Bioswale •Salix lasiolepis (Arroyo Willow) dominant •Juncus patens (California Grey Rush) flood-thriving ground cover •Heuchera micrantha (Alumroot) color accent on edges •Iris douglasiana (Dougls Iris) color accent on edges Planting Zone 4: Vegetable Garden/Orchard Fence Cover: •Vitus vinifera “Thomson’s Seedlelss” grapes Ground Cover: •Chameamelum nobile (Chamomile) •Thymus serpyllum (Spreading Thyme) Fruit Trees: •Peach, Apple, Pear, Nectarine, as desired •Vegetable Plants Annually

The garden contains passive stormwater management device in that form of a Riparian Bioswale. The flow of water from both rain events and the neighbors’ irrigation that flows down the hill is now captured along its path and used to nurture a community of riparian vegetation in a swale located to the west of the driveway. The water becomes a horticultural asset rather than an erosion problem.

Deciduous trees provide summer shading and winter light to the south and west facing rooms of the house.


Forest Park, Community Agriculture, and Topographic Dwelling in Lincoln Park, San Francisco. Spring 2009. A former golf course in the northwest corner of San Francisco is transformed into a multifaceted community resource, a new piece of city that integrates inhabitation, local food production and public forest. The forested area brings the stripe of biologically active land on the bay edge into the city. The golf course hills are re-graded to facilitate, based on hill aspect and water courses, a diversity of ecotypes from open scrubland, to oak forest, deciduous woodland, to coniferous forest, to riparian woodland, greatly increasing the biodiversity of the area. The forest plantation also interacts with the new buildings, to shelter them from weather extremes, and integrate them into the surrounding landscape. The new building construction providing housing and commerce is strategically imbedded into the steep hillsides, integrating the buildings, bunker-like, into the site’s topographic form, and providing unobstructed public access to new park space on the roof. Despite the development, the entire surface of the site remains a public park. The roof space additionally provides an unprecedented public view over the mouth of the bay. Community allotment gardens on the southern hill slopes near the city provide a 20 by 20 foot patch of soil for participating local households to grow vegetables. Existing remnant military bunkers are repurposed as gathering and tool storage places for the community gardens.


Forest Park, Community Agriculture, and Topographic Dwelling in Lincoln Park, San Francisco. Spring 2009.

Vegetation Zones


The Wall and the Edge: Adaptive reuse housing at the Oakland Estuary. Spring 2008

•6• The Wall and the Edge:

Adaptive reuse housing at the Oakland Estuary. Spring 2008 Each student was given a several acre parcel within a troubled and disused section of the Oakland Estuary waterfront, and a strict program of mid-rise housing over parking garage podium with requirements for a pool, sports field, and setback for the San Francisco Bay Trail. My site includes a historic Port of Oakland warehouse building and piers, around which I based my development. The walls of the warehouse now form the basis for an enclosed and elevated garden for residents, and the remnant piers serve as punctuations and outlooks along the bay trail.

Jonathan Espalin: resume p.1 530-902-2627 Employment: Jan 2010 – May 2010: Michael Painter Design, San Francisco. Landscape Design Intern January 2009 – May 2010: Department of landscape Architecture, UC Berkeley. Graduate Student Instructor: Landscape Plants and Horticulture, with professor Judith Stilgenbauer. •Presented new plants in the field twice weekly to a class of graduate and undergraduate students. •Maintained course website. •Gave independent plant review field walks. August 2009 - December 2009: Department of Landscape Architecture, UC Berkeley. Graduate Student Instructor: Introduction to Landscape Graphics, with professor Walter Hood. •Solo taught weekly drafting and freehand drawing tutorials for undergrads and graduate students. •Facilitated professor’s lectures and critiques. June 2009 – September 2009: University of California Botanical Garden. Propagation Assistant September 2008 – September 2009: Blake Garden, UC Berkeley. Garden Assistant. Landscape construction and maintenance. 2006-2007: Davis Hardware Co. Garden Center. 2007: Garden Center Plant Buyer 2006: Garden Center Sales •Organized plant ordering from wholesale vendors. •Created store displays with current plant stock. •Planned and implemented physical organization of the nursery. •Planned and supervised watering and rotation schedules for plant stock. •Supervised and directed nursery staff. •Provide customer service and garden design/management consultation 2004 - Present. Self-employed as mixed-media artist and occasional planting designer. 2002 - 2003 Art Studio assistant internship at UC Davis with Temo Moreno. 2000 - 2002: San Joaquin Delta College Tutor Center. Academic Tutor •Tutor community college students in writing, science, and social science 2000: Multi-Cultural Media Productions •Soundtracks, model making, and Production Assistance for independent filmmaker.

Jonathan Espalin: resume p.2 530-902-2627 Skills: planting design and selection; hand drawing and sketching; computer graphics: CAD, Rino, Adobe (especially photoshop); HTML; site analysis; grading Education: Fall 2007-2010. University of California, Berkeley. Master’s of Landscape Architecture. 2005: School of Contemporary Art. Pont-Aven, France Painting 2002-2004: University of California, Davis. B.A. In Visual Art. Painting, Sculpture, and Printmaking. 1999-2002: San Joaquin Delta College. Stockton, CA. Studied music, visual art, and horticulture. Awards: American Society of Landscape Architects, Student Merit Award 2010 UC Berkeley Graduate Student Instructorships: Spring 2009 Fall 2009 Spring 2010 Third Place, San Francisco Garden Club Design Competition, 2009 UC Berkeley Academic Fellowship, 2007-2008 Viewer’s Choice Award, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 2006 References: •Darcie DeLashmutt, Senior Associate, MPA Design, San Francisco. 415-434-4664 •Judith Stilgenbauer, Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, UC Berkeley. •David Meyer, Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, UC Berkeley. •Lauri Twitchell, Manager, Blake Gardens, UC Berkeley. 510-524-2449 •Jesse Sareñana, General Manager, Davis Hardware co. 530-758-8000 •Josh Uhart, Garden and Pet Buyer, Davis Hardware co. 530-758-8000 •Steve Moore, Multi-Cultural Media. •Chip Sullivan, professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, UC Berkeley. 510-642-2938 •Gina Werfel, chair, Department of Art, UC Davis.


student landscape design portfolio

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