“As I look at all the spaces we’ve designed, the one thing that the most successful projects all have in common is the impact the outdoor amenities have on the use of the space after construction.”
-Brandon Reed, CVO Loft Six Four
Successful landscape architecture projects occur when the project team (architects, developers, engineers, etc.) are aligned. They also thrive when there's a defined outdoor program that specifically relates to the architecture - not just existing as a standalone entity or silo.
More often than not, the outdoor amenities and gathering spaces are the highest value areas of the development outside of the architecture, and should truly be celebrated. Our intent is not just to design the specific amenities of a building - We make it a goal to create unique and original landscapes for our clients on each and every project, every time.
Here is a closer look at our design process and how we’ve built our strategy for success.
Understanding The Users (Demographics)
The first question we always ask in the design process is about who will be using the space, what their interests are, and what they enjoy doing in spaces like this (also known as understanding the user demographics). It’s easy for designers to see the developments they are designing as a work of art or a place for them to show off their talent and skill… but at the end of the day, who does that benefit? If it’s not designed and built around the people who will be using the space, then is it really solving for the user?
We are designing exciting and creative original spaces for the users. We think about the experience that those using the space will be seeking, and what will give them them a memorable interaction. We place an emphasis on combining form and function, so the site is beautiful and completely functional.
Understanding The Challenges (which are the raw material for the Opportunities)
It’s important to do the research. We spend a lot of those early days in the project just trying to learn more about the complex problems and what ways we can help identify new solutions. What are the challenges of the space? What are the opportunities to solve those problems? What are the architects, developers, or stakeholders 3 biggest goals of the project? What are the most important things to deliver and that at the end of the project will make them raving fans?
Defining The Space
We take a somewhat minimalist approach to the work that we do and emphasize the phrase “design by deduction.” It doesn’t mean that we design small or that one design style is all that we do (we are not a style shop); but many of the principles from minimalism are engrained in how we think. We make sure that every single line matters. And in the design process, if we can’t find the purpose for why that single line exists, then does it need to be there? Should it be changed, redirected, removed, or enhanced?
The landscape is honestly such a minimal part of what we do. Meaning, the landscape plantings and the vegetation chosen - those elements are intended to enhance the work and support the overall design idea. We look at it more as a composition.
Inspiration From Others
Although we are based out of Utah, we put a major emphasis on not being “Utah” in all of our design work. We're looking heavily at places like the Thailand or Copenhagen Denmark that are quite forward thinking in how they solve complex problems with unique and beautiful solutions.
If you look at Steve Jobs and his innovative approach to his work at Apple, you’ll see that everything he did was intentional and he had the eye of a craftsman. The way he incorporated design even into the way his products looked inside the back panel were beautiful. That’s how we find our inspiration and we focus on every little detail and how they all tie back to the overall “Big Idea”.
Implement The Narrative (What's the Big Idea?)
We’ll work on concepts in the initial phases, and we’ll start to propose design solutions to the problems laid out above. We always outline a visual narrative “story” document that helps set the stage for the project. We also produce precedent images to help frame the ideas and the flavor of the idea we’re proposing with the stakeholders, and of course, support our visionary and original solutions.
These are just a small glimpse into the design approach with Loft Six Four. We make it our firm’s approach to solve for every unique challenge that comes up, and to present ideas in a way that allows us to be the best designers and problem solvers that we can be. We are ever evolving as a design studio, as individuals, and as a collaborative design team.