News

Healdsburg High School Modernization / Basalt and Ice in a Drought-Tolerant Landscape

The recent modernization of Healdsburg High School illustrates design and construction ingenuity in drought-tolerant, accessible and educational landscapes. QKA, the architects, retained Carducci Associates to collaborate on a renovation of the school’s interior and exterior architecture, infrastructure and landscape. Carducci’s focus on Phase 2 saw the radical demolition of several building wings transform the school’s drop-off area into a sweeping plaza.

With an opportunity of this magnitude, Principal Vince Lattanzio and Senior Associate Tim Skinner (bios here) proposed a grand yet simple gesture. The administration desired an outdoor classroom with seating and gathering opportunities. As a response, the formal orchard layout of fruitless olive trees reflects the surrounding agricultural land of Sonoma County and blends harmoniously with the open plaza concept. Large freeform areas of synthetic turf soften the space and, along with neutral concrete paving, provide universal access to the entire plaza and outdoor classroom. The synthetic turf is also desirable from an educational program and maintenance perspective: it does not require irrigation or air- and noise-polluting mowers.

Basalt stone provides a sophisticated and natural seating opportunity, which creates a unique atmosphere at half the cost of cast-in-place concrete benches. The basalt sits directly on the synthetic turf, which has a deepened aggregate base to displace the weight and avoid expensive footings. The contractor had an ingenious method for craning the pieces into place and extracting their sling from under the stone without tearing the turf: ice. The crane set each piece of basalt in a super-elevated position on ice, and then removed the sling. As the ice melted, the stones eventually came to sit in their permanent spot. The students and staff alike fondly refer to the plaza as ‘their Stonehenge’.

Site Visit

Rosa Parks School Students Welcomed Back With New Play Yard

Nothing makes us happier than seeing kids show up for a new school year, and running with glee to Carducci Associates designed school yard improvements! Check out the new features at Rosa Parks School in Berkeley on school’s Facebook page, here. Associate Principal Wesley Bexton and Associate Karly Behncke (bios here) worked closely with a dedicated group of school staff, parents, and community members on this fast-paced project that incorporated a democratized, community committee and student data-driven design process, DSA submittal, approval, and construction, all in under nine months!

To quote the school principal:

“The Kids LOVE the new stuff, so do the parents and staff, WELL DONE and Thank you!”

Press Release

Community Workshop for Hill Recreation Area

A community design workshop for the Hill Recreation Area Master Plan was held on August 9th to give residents one last chance to provide input before the approval process begins. Many community members turned out to the see the master plans and listen to Vince Lattanzio discuss the design elements.

More about the workshop can be found at here.

Press Release / Community Meeting

Re-Brand Marks 40 Years of Design / Respect Reimagine Reinvent

In celebration of our 40-year anniversary, Carducci Associates set out this past year to develop a new logo and color palette that represents our design evolution. As we crafted a fresh identity, we felt it was essential to respect our roots and the original poster and logo, drawing upon a creative heritage that has allowed us to evolve into a vital modern design firm. We look forward to an exciting future—and to sharing our newly designed website!

Press Release