Pacific Palisades, California

St. Matthew’s Parish School is an expansive, yet walkable campus that fits naturally into the surrounding Santa Monica Mountains.  The landscape becomes an opportunity to enhance respect and responsibility for the natural environment while also providing for the need to frolic and play.  Native Californian plantings blend with the surrounding chaparral.  The plant palette was chosen for water-conservation, hardiness, low maintenance, and attractiveness to birds and butterflies.  Plants with common names such as “Kangaroo’s Paw” and “Lamb’s Ear” engage a child’s imagination and desire to interact with the environment.

Phase 1 is complete and includes a small play yard, planting areas, and hardscape around the new Kindergarten classroom building.  The fence around the play yard consists of vertical cedar slats of varying heights representing the notes of the school prayer song.

Phase 2 includes extensive landscape and hardscape areas serving two new classroom buildings. A large play yard, bamboo terrace, sand play area, and wood deck provide a variety of play experiences. An alphabet path of 26 concrete pavers leads to a boardwalk connecting the classroom buildings to the administration building.