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Spotlight: The Dean, 2021 GRAY Awards Finalist

A closer look at The Dean, one of two finalists in the 2021 GRAY Awards Residential Landscape Design category.

The Dean

California Landscape Design with tropical and local plants and large planter boxes lining pathways

During the mid-1900s, the farmlands in California's Silicon Valley, developed rapidly into a mix of suburban homes, freeways, and industrial buildings. Today, as the area’s densities increase, the result is decidedly more urban, yet the expansive roadways of past decades still dominate as immovable infrastructure. The Dean is a new development situated within this context that results in part from the recently released San Antonio Precise Plan—a plan that identifies development along San Antonio Road as a revitalized neighborhood that is highly accessible to public transit options, bike ways, new parks, and supports a diverse mix of commercial and residential uses. The Dean facilitates an active pedestrian environment by linking older and newer neighborhoods together.

California Landscape Design seating area with oversized seating

At the heart of this nearly 6-acre development is a public paseo that creates linkages within this development to emerging retail environments on one side and existing neighborhoods and new parks on the other. The paseo is publicly accessible and features

seating, lighting, multiple public fountains, and a series of small amenity spaces along its edges. The project has four separate roof terraces, allowing easy access to the outdoors and views to the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains.

Roof amenities include dining opportunities, a pool, fitness, and gathering areas.

With a multitude of tenants sharing the exterior amenities, the development team took particular care to bring a sense of luxury and extravagance to those spaces. A glass-sided pool provides swimmers a view into adjacent spaces and buildings feature ground-level porticos that allow the amenity spaces to link together, create long site lines through the project, and give a sense of expansiveness that is often lost in typical courtyard type developments.

Landscape design with tropical plants and large fire pit feature

With densities approaching 100 units per acre, new housing concepts like The Dean must continue to adapt to changing expectations about outdoor living. The single-family residence—long serving as the ideal for a lifestyle that promotes a connection to the outdoors—must give way to new models that allow families and individuals to feel like they have space of their own, even within necessary development to increase density.


Design Team:

Jonathan Beaver, principal

Christopher Olin, lead design and project management

Paul Wroblewski, landscape designer

Lindsay Hawks, landscape designer

Collaborators: Studio, Landscape Architecture

BDE Architecture, Architect of Record

Studio T-Square, Design Architect

Kier & Wright, Civil Engineer

Marie Fisher, Interior Design

CS Illumination, Lighting Designer

Bright Green Strategies, Green Building Consultant

Deacon, General Contractor

Photography: Lincoln Barber

Date: October 2020


Additional Landscape Design, Residential finalist:

Rooftop Garden at the Lucille on Roosevelt

Check out the Quick List to see all of the 2021 GRAY Awards finalists!


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