Melissa Langer

Clover Elementary

Clover Elementary School, Los Angeles

I visited the Los Angeles Clover Elementary school to participate in the native garden planting. The event was organized and run by a upper devision Landscape Architect class. The journey getting to the school was not an easy one. The meeting time was 8:15 A.M. on Thursday, May 16th. It was typical bumper to bumper morning Los Angeles freeway traffic the entire distance. After arriving late, I noticed I wasn’t the only one that underestimated the time it would take to get to our destination. The student in charge, Gabrielle, wasted no time instructing me to grab a shovel and start breaking up dirt clumps. The area to be landscaped was not that large. It was existing planter areas that had bermuda grass planted in it previously, and was located in front of two classrooms. As we were all working on breaking up the dirt, the children became very curious and wanted to join in and help. The teachers were happy to explain to the children what was happening and even asked if the students could join in. It was rewarding to see how interested all the kids were and some were very enthusiastic they would be getting a new garden. After the compost truck arrived it was our job to dispense it evenly over the planting area. The children dramatically reacted to the cow manure smell. After the compost was dispensed, a truck-full of mulch arrived. This was chopped up eucalyptus, pines, and cedars and smelled fantastic. The children also reacted to the “smelly” substance. It was funny to be reminded how different the younger generations are from current. Most of the Cal Poly students were appreciative of the earthy smell. The kids did not share the same attitudes. Throughout my time spent at Clover Elementary, small children were taking outside P.E, dance, and yoga classes. This molded a positive, upbeat mood to the area. It made working with shovels much more enjoyable, especially after glancing at the circle of children learning a formal dance. I had to leave the event early due to a midterm later that afternoon. I was disappointed I couldn’t stay and help more, but I was very happy I participated in the event. It always feels good to know your helping the community out in some way. The garden should be a great success and provide an ascetic view to teachers, students, and visitors.


The Penthouse of Neutra VDL Research House.
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Richard Neutra was an Austrian American architect that moved to southern California in 1923. He worked for many other famous talented architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Rudolf Schindler. His first works in the United States were the landscape architecture for Schindler’s beach house in Newport Beach.

Richard Neutra designed the Neutra VDL Research house with his son, Dion Neutra. The house was originally built in 1932 for Neutra’s family to live in. The house was 2,000 Square feet and is located in Los Angeles. Neutra sought out Duth philanthropist Dr. CH Van Der Leeuw for a small loan to start his project. This is how the name of Neutra VDL Research house came to existence. Three separate homes were designed to accommodate three families on a small property. In 1963, a fire destroyed all but the Garden house and the basement of the original wing.

Richard used natural light, garden patios and glass to create a sense of open space on the small property. Neutra states: ‘I wanted to demonstrate that human beings, brought together in close proximity, can be accommodated in very satisfying circumstances, taking in that precious amenity called privacy’. The walls of the VDL houses were made of glass and looked in on open garden patios. The layout of the house allowed for privacy in certain areas in every room. Many of the furniture pieces were built in to utilize the small space to the best ability. This also reflected on his modern approach to design. His style was modern, geometric, yet open and connected with nature. Neutra attended to the needs of clients in a realistic way. Neutra VDL Research house is a perfect example of this.

Neutra was most famous for his designs that incorporated nature into the architecture. The house has been reconstructed several times and remains to this day. The department of Environmental Design at Cal Poly Pomona owns and operates the house.


Udo Wellacher, Visionary Gardens, Modern Landscapes by Ernest Cramer, Published October 31, 1997

Berggarten in Graz Kienast vogt partner

Berggarten in Graz Kienast Vogt Partner from Udo Wellacher, Visionary Gardens, Modern Landscapes by Ernest Cramer
This abstract garden uses geometry to highlight different axis’. This creates movement within the landscape and visually stimulates the visitor.

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Sprig House paving from Udo Wellacher, Visionary Gardens, Modern Landscapes by Ernest Cramer

This concrete paving uses cracks to blend the hardscape and softscape into a unified relationship.

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Shoreline Design in the Forrer, Sulzer Garden on Lago Maggiore from Udo Wellacher, Visionary Gardens, Modern Landscapes by Ernest Cramer

The placement of rocks in this landscape mimics how they would naturally be. It creates peace and unity in the landscape.

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Blog Post 4

The Salk Institute in La Jolla houses a vast amount of intelligence. Cures for cancer are being researched. The polio vaccine was created here once upon a time. The large open glass boxes house the scientists busy at work. The test tubes, computers, electric equipment, and strange chemicals are dispersed throughout the laboratories. While walking through the dark, cold, concrete hallways of the Salk Institute the learning environment speaks to you. It flows with the wind and the sense of great ideas surrounds you. After walking down the aisles you reach a point where you are submerged by light and warmth. The openness of the architecture maintains focus on the horizon line with the open ocean below. The structure of the buildings gives you an idea that great planning went into this vast impressive building. The thought process had to be complicated yet portray a simple comfortable area. Moving to the sides you become more encompassed with the great heavy concrete walls. The thoughts running through your mind are that the walls contain so much knowledge, it makes you feel small. The tall vertical concrete walls dip down into light filtered resting areas. This is a place where scientists can take a break from the lab and feel the cool breeze flowing down from the ocean. It makes you think, how many great ideas have been accidentally thought of here, in this very spot? The Salk Institute represents knowledge. It represents hard work, the abilities of the human mind, and beautiful architecture. It’s important that such an influential assembly of people have a comfortable area to work in. The beauty of the ocean brings peace of mind to those it surrounds. Such a great building with that much beauty should go to the deserving, hard-working employees of the Salk Institute.

Blog Post 3

As we pulled into the dirt parking lot, there was some confusion about where to go. Once we met with the other members of the group, we were more confident in our direction. Walking into the vast concrete areas that were the Salk Institute, it was cold. There was an offshore breeze that flowed through the dark concrete hallways outside. The glass walls let us see into the workers offices, and showed us that it indeed employed the science type. When we met at the top of the building, there was instant visual satisfaction. The symmetry of the buildings and the ocean was striking. I did not know much about the Salk Institute before this trip, and I was not disappointed. There were tall vertical concrete walls that created a feeling of space. In the concrete were the different textures that made it intricate. The unfinished surfaces made the building softer, and more personal. The sun stained teak wood on the outside of the doors were evidence of the sun and the ocean. All the materials were meant to be easy. They require little maintenance and still maintain their beautiful qualities. Walking down the center of the platform it felt as if you could jump off the end and take flight. The fountain below had a soothing sound that was offset by the sound of the wind off the cliffs. The colors of the cool blue fountain water matched with the cool grey color of the concrete. They were in unison. We then walked down into one of the open courtyards. This area did not have an intense amount of light, but there was still a prescence of it. It would be a nice place to take a break from work and relax for a minute or two. It felt safe and protected. After this area we walked back around the building, admiring it from all angles.

field trip 3-3ft part 3-2ft group 2-1
The Japanese Friendship gardens pathway had curves as well as strait lines. The linear winding pathways created a pattern that I demonstrated as the figure. The ground is anything else, even if it was the same material (dirt).

Getting closer to the pathways more detail and patterns of the plants growing over the path became more visible. The curved lines are still apparent.

hen closely viewed, the pathway becomes more strait and more precise. There are less plants (ground) overlapping the area.