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Lifescapes International

Revisiting The Point on its 5th Anniversary

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Our work is never done… Our commitment to a project extends long after the landscape design and art direction/installation are finished.  We never consider it “off the boards“ or out of our minds. We go back periodically and check on the project, monitoring how it looks and feels to us and visitors alike.  We reflect on lessons learned, check on how it’s being maintained and inspect plant material to see if it needs freshening up. We continue communication with the developer(s) and report back to them, should there be a need to do so.

We take pride in our work, to make sure that the benefits of good design are long-term and resilient. Once the concept is forged and executed in the office, our field services team oversees the installation and monitors it to the opening, ensuring the vision and the intent of the drawings become reality. Recently, Lifescapes team members’ DanTrust (COO), Roger Voettiner (VP of Horticulture) and Mike Meyers (Senior Project Director) stopped by The Point in El Segundo, CA, for a ”look see.”  It’s been five years, this month, since its grand opening and The Point is beautiful and thriving!

Over time, projects develop their own habits and personality. The Point is no different. The plant materials have been swapped out occasionally, but have stayed true to the original design intent. We chose sustainable materials that were easy to maintain, so that the project looks as beautiful on day 1,825 as it did on day 1. Part of this success is contributed to finding the right landscape contractor and maintenance crew, ensuring that the plant material and hardscape are tended to properly and are regularly replaced, if necessary.

The exceptional part of The Point is the focus on its outdoor spaces, which have allowed it to seamlessly evolve into a safer place to visit in this new, covid world. The concept of outdoor, oversized living rooms has proven to be fruitful.  Spaced a safe length from one another, small family or friend groups were seen enjoying the environment, while comfortably socially distanced.

The ample patios are perfect for restaurant overflow, which is now required for eating establishments to remain open in California. The exterior tables are separated by “natural landscape barriers” including plant material, pottery and water features, so that visitors can enjoy the fresh outdoors, without any obstructed sightlines. Everyone is able to view the activity in the center courtyard from a safe and healthy distance.

“The Point, five years old now, has become the South Bay’s home away from home.  The intimate outdoor design, with a central grassy plaza and water features, has created a relaxed vibe for families and friends to connect.  The restaurant outdoor patios gracefully spill into the community plaza producing a dynamic energy.  Over the last few months during COVID-19, the outdoor spaces at The Point have become a peaceful escape for many.”

~Collette Navarrette, Federal Realty Investment Trust

There are always lessons to be learned when we look back in hindsight. The 2-acre central park, which has long been used for programmed activities, such as yoga, spin classes, craft and drawing classes for kids, concerts, and pop up store events, has been swapped out to artificial turf because of the amount of use the real grass was getting. What a great problem to have!! Turf is more durable for the constant foot traffic and dries faster than grass for those sitting on it.

Many changes, technologies and trends have impacted the industry during the last 62 years we have been in business, and we strive to evolve and learn from the projects that come before. As we continue to review and discover new ways to keep guests engaged, our ultimate goal as designers (and most certainly that of the developers) is to make the guests happy and wanting to come back for more.

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