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Public Spaces

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Libraries | Parks | Community Centers

Libraries, Parks, and local community centers can all too often be forgotten in this digital age. In our effort to get people outside, Gates and Associates partners with various cities, counties and state agencies in order to refresh or create all-new public spaces for the local communities to enjoy.

This renovated LEED Platinum certified library, promotes green living and strives to educate the community on the facility’s key sustainability features. Expanding the LEED goal from within the Library to the exterior space highlights Palo Alto’s commitment to both community and environmental sustainability. The library grounds, originally built in 1958, now feature flexible spaces for community use and event staging, all while reducing potable water use by 40%. Pervious paving and biofiltration basins treat 100% of rainfall on-site, and 6,000 square-feet of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels create more than 15% of the facility’s energy. For an interactive look at more sustainable features of this project, visit the City of Palo Alto Website.

Built on a block-long site bordered by commercial buildings and live/work lofts, this 1-acre park offers its high density neighborhood a beautiful outdoor environment for play, relaxation and exercise. Gates held community workshops, using interactive graphics to elicit neighborhood input on park program and design, and finally to achieve consensus on a preferred plan.

Honored with the Award of Excellence from by the California Park and Recreation Society, the park includes educational and Bay-Friendly features, innovative play equipment, a restroom with a green roof, a multi-use lawn, picnic and seating areas, a half-basketball court and skate features. Fairs, festivals and other community events are hosted here.

In an effort to further the City of Palo Alto’s sustainability goals, Gates and Associates’ landscape design surrounding the newly renovated LEED-NC Silver Library narrowed in on every environmentally friendly detail. The refresh of three courtyards were planned to update the image of the library and aid the needs of the community. Gates conducted several public workshops during the design process to facilitate input from the community and cater to their use plan. Sustainability still in mind, biofiltration zones and swales were introduced in the existing lawn areas, and existing mature groves were preserved wherever possible.