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Corte Madera, CA

Size. +/- 16,000 sqft.

Completed. Fall 2018

Market. Retail Renovation

Project Role. Conceptual Design - Full-Service Documentation

About. The South Plaza at Town Center Corte Madera has served as a lively open-air mixed-use retail center with various shared amenities servicing the community. The project proves to be a breath of fresh air offering new spaces to gather and enjoy.

Challenge. This renovation project called for unique site conditions such as addressing settlement issues and utilizing the existing infrastructure.

Solutions. Design decisions were thoughtfully made to bring life back to this gateway. Solutions include wrapping existing concrete planters with cumuru slats, placing new stone caps, building a deck over existing stairs to the west, using planters to catch slope changes, and building a large planter bed over existing stairs to the east to offer more space for the existing specimen tree.

Inspiration. The space is arranged around an existing camphor tree, offering elements that were found in the previous entrance but with updated natural features. The tree offering plenty of shade created opportunities for seating areas around it. Embracing the existing built elements and grade transitions, the space has been transformed into a fun, charming, and relaxing environment.

A Bit More. This was my first tree placing and on-site planting layout - definitely was a highlight of the project, where I was able to physically get up into the planters to visualize and layout the placement of the plants, swapping certain ones out for others.


Existing site conditions: unleveled paving, specimen camphor tree

Photo credit: Carl Okazaki

upper plaza_west 1.jpg

Custom bench element hugging informal play lawn.

aerial 3.jpg

Aerial view of space.


Plant palette pays homage to local Bay Area centric planting.


Shady nook.

lower plaza 3.jpg

Extended deck area built out over existing stairway. Custom perforated panel illuminates by night offering a whimsical aesthetic.

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