Oaks School Greenspace

designed by /

Location: California / USA / Type: School / Built: 2016 /
Show on Google Maps / Published on January 26, 2024

The Oaks School is a progressive, independent K-6 school established in 1985 and located in the heart of Hollywood – adjacent to the historic Hollywood United Methodist Church. Since its creation, the school’s curriculum has successfully fostered the belief that joy of childhood and the joy of learning can go hand in hand. However, the school has struggled with its own sense of identity separate from the church and had very little outdoor green space. The project was intended to enhance that identity and provide the urban campus with much needed green space for recreation, discovery, play and dining.

In the creation of the project, three 1920’s era bungalow buildings and an old playground were demolished, several existing retaining walls were incorporated, and the plan preserved as many existing trees as possible. The program required that there would be no loss of parking stalls.

The landscape architects designed a large-scale improvement project that created a distinct entrance for students and parents, a new central green space with jogging paths, and took advantage of the site topography to create a series of terraced native gardens with decomposed granite walks that link the campus together. In addition, the campus expansion program called for shaded seating areas, an amphitheater, a climbing wall and new play features. The result was a tactile, naturalistic environment designed for children, an urban oasis with opportunities for outdoor classroom activity and individual discovery. The former main entry, which once doubled as a trash area and raised loading dock, was transformed into a verdant, welcoming space that features a vine covered timber trellis, new stair and ramp, drought tolerant plantings, sign graphics and native Oak trees.

The project was done in close collaboration with the school’s leadership and a community of parents to help fund and execute the creation of this wonderful place.

Project Data

Landscape Architecture: Studio One Eleven

Year completed: 2016

Photo credits: Carlos Hernandez

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