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EPTDESIGN Creates a Serene Environment for USC's New Parish and Catholic Center

Landscape design connects the university's new landmark to the surrounding USC campus
    LOS ANGLES, CA, June 08, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- EPTDESIGN, a California-based landscape architecture firm, has recently completed a project for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles at the University of Southern California (USC). Located on the north campus at 844 West 32nd St. in Los Angeles, the new USC Caruso Catholic Center features Our Savior Parish, a student recreational building and an open-air plaza on a 33,500-square-foot site. EPTDESIGN designed the tranquil garden setting that connects the center to the surrounding collegiate community.

The new 7,000-square-foot chapel and 14,000-square-foot student center are inspired by traditional Italianate Romanesque architecture and bear intricate stained glass, wood detailing and natural stone to match the rest of USC's brick campus. At the heart of the site is a central plaza designed to be a comfortable, collaborative and flexible space for students, faculty and staff to enjoy. The plaza is surrounded by a variety of tranquil spaces set amidst the landscaped gardens. The student center opens to a courtyard of cafe tables and lawn with sculptural deciduous California Sycamores that shade the plaza from spring through fall, and let the winter sun warm the space. The plaza and gardens can accommodate large events and intimate, informal gatherings.

"We worked with an inspired design team to provide a beautiful, yet functional environment for the new majestic stone cathedral and adjacent student center," said Stephen Carroll, ASLA, principal in charge, EPTDESIGN. "With sustainability, durability and the school's infamous pride in mind, our landscape design creates a haven for the student population on the stately urban campus."

EPTDESIGN's landscape reflects the surrounding architecture as well as the school colors. Porphyry stone paving was selected for its durability and complimentary color to the brick student center, while limestone pavers with intricate patterns compliment the stone cathedral and express the period architecture. Flowering gardens infused with USC's crimson and gold incorporate classic cutting garden plants, such as Rose and Camellia. EPTDESIGN also created a garden edge along 32nd Street to minimize the proximity to the surrounding urban environment.

In addition, the project earned LEED Gold certification. EPTDESIGN's landscape used water efficient techniques to reduce water consumption, such as a weather-based irrigation controller, a drip irrigation system including drip irrigation at turf grass areas, and shade trees and paving to reduce heat island effect. Ample bike parking was also incorporated to accommodate students and address LEED credit.

"Our goal was to create an instant landmark for the students on the north edge of campus," said William Marsh, project manager for the LA Archdiocese and USC's construction division. "EPTDESIGN's landscape architecture was integral in unifying the center with the rest of the campus and setting a peaceful tone for the space."

EPTDESIGN's design team includes Stephen Carroll, ASLA, as principal in charge; and Scott Horsley as project manager.

In addition to EPTDESIGN, other consultants on the project include MATT Construction, general contractor; Perkowitz + Ruth Architects, executive architect; Elkus Manfredi Architects, design architect (parish); Nabih Youssef & Associates, structural engineer; KPFF Consulting Engineers, civil engineer; GLUMAC, MEP; Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design; architectural lighting designer; Green Dinosaur; LEED consultant; and Hunt Design Associates, environmental graphics/signage designer.

EPTDESIGN will also be designing the landscape architecture for a variety of upcoming higher education projects in Southern California, such as the Pomona College Millikan Laboratory with EHDD, the Pomona College Studio Arts Hall with wHY Architecture, and the California Institute of Technology Olive Walk, among others.

About EPTDESIGN

EPTDESIGN is a California-based landscape architecture, urban design and planning firm with studios in Pasadena and Irvine, Calif. Founded in 1962, the firm is known for its collaboration and forward-thinking designs, and provides a high-level of service for campuses, municipalities, homeowners, organizations and developers. EPTDESIGN is comprised of a group of diverse personalities working together to make places that enrich communities and lives. Each design is created with the goal of balancing art, ecological integrity and technical expertise to make environments that are meaningful, well-crafted and enduring. For more information, visit http://www.eptdesign.com.


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Melinda Peffer
Creative Partners West

Los Angeles, California
United States
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