Brownell Middle School / Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Carducci Associates is thrilled to have been part of the Brownell Middle School campus replacement project for Gilroy Unified School District, which culminated 3 years of hard work when the school was officially opened to the public on August 12. Although Carducci Associates has been working alongside Aedis Architects and Flint Builders since 2018 on this site, Brownell has been a part of the Gilroy community since 1949, when it opened its doors to seventh and eighth graders. Few alterations were made to the original campus since its initial construction, and Carducci Associates is proud to be part of the newest chapter at Brownell. Measure E, passed by Gilroy voters, made the campus replacement possible; clever management by the design team, the GUSD facilities team, and contractor meant Brownell was reconstructed with all the elements that the District deemed vital to a 21st century learning environment.

In designing the site, Carducci balanced outdoor spaces for play, gathering, and teaching. Prior to the pandemic, the design team emphasized carving out ample space for outdoor learning in a variety of settings, including semi-circular concrete seat walls surrounding central areas for instruction, to less formal decomposed granite pathways with boulder seats in a grove of newly planted oaks. Carducci also designed courtyards inside classroom pods with ample boulder seating surrounding Shade loving greenery and wide concrete patios outside maker space garage doors. The patios will enable students to spill out from maker spaces to tinker and collaborate. Carducci is pleased that these spaces are in place and will play a crucial role of keeping students and staff safer, while enriching student learning opportunities.

In addition to the instruction-centric outdoor spaces, Carducci designed what has now been dubbed the “pollination station” packed with nectar-rich pollinator-friendly shrubs and grasses adjacent to a flexible, outdoor space for a student garden. New fruit trees provide a backdrop for a space that may be adapted for growing food or conducting science experiments that can be aided by an outdoor power pedestal intended to make this garden area as adaptable as possible for the school’s specific future needs. In addition to these upgrades, Carducci also designed a river-themed coated asphalt pattern in the central campus that reinforces biophilic themes while reflecting solar radiation to keep students and staff cool in hot Gilroy weather. Brownell also benefits from entirely new natural turf playing fields with more efficient, modern irrigation. The fields have been sited adjacent to the updated gymnasium and newly striped sports courts, away from classrooms to minimize disruption. Finally, in a nod to the community that made the modernization possible, long-lived native Valley Oaks flank the edges of the campus to provide shade along Carmel and 3rd Streets, in order to extend improvements beyond the campus.

Video credits: B43Productions

Image Credits: Flint Builders

Event / Press Release / Video

Carducci Spotlight: Emily Adler

This is Emily Adler. She has been interning with Carducci Associates since May 2021. We hope she enjoyed her time with us working on interesting designs and 3D Models, attending project site visits and developing construction documents. We wish her the best for her final year at Pennsylvania State University.

Here’s our first Carducci Spotlight in series with many more to come. With that said, meet Emily!

Emily, what are some of your hobbies?

Hiking, art, knitting, traveling, cooking, and sports.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Carmel Valley, California.

What’s your earliest landscape memory? Or, what early landscape memory is most important to you?

My earliest and most important landscape memory would be hiking Half Dome when I was 8 years old. This impacted me because prior to the hike my family spent months training and traveling to hiking areas in central California. So, I spent a lot of time in the outdoors and I have always really enjoyed being in nature.

Do you have a favorite landscape?

My favorite natural landscape is the Big Sur coastline because of its raw, natural beauty. Also, my favorite built landscape is Copenhagen because of its innovative and creative urban planning. The biking infrastructure, vibrant parks, and children’s playgrounds make it easy for people to enjoy the city.

What’s your favorite plant to work with and why?

Sedum because of its environmental resiliency and ecological benefits. It has many variations and is great for green roofs and storm water management.

If you could design a landscape and budget (and value engineering) weren’t an issue, what would it be?

I would design a temporary art installation that is pertinent to the area and excites the community. It would be something similar to Society’s Cage or Christo and Jeanne Claude’s work.

What are you drawing inspiration from right now?

Currently, I am drawing inspiration from exploring San Francisco. I have never lived in a city before so it has been exciting to discover new areas and be in a city with so many spirited outdoor spaces.

What potential for sustainability most excites you on one of your current projects?

I am not working on any projects currently… but projects that focus on ecological restoration and coastal resiliency excite me!

What made you want to become a landscape architect/landscape designer?

I have always been passionate about art and nature. I believe landscape architecture gives me the opportunity to be a steward of the land and engage the community.

Feature / People

Yi Jin Kim is Promoted to Principal

Carducci Associates is thrilled to announce the promotion of Yi Jin Kim (Jin) to Principal. Jin has helped lead the Carducci team as lead designer, and as an Associate Principal for the last five years she is ready to take on the leadership role of Principal. 

Jin has been an integral and energetic design professional of the Carducci team since 2002. With a passion for designing beautiful and sustainable outdoor spaces for the public and private realms, Jin’s portfolio of design work includes corporate workplaces, schools, parks, retail and hospitality properties. Her respect for the environment and sensitivity to budget and schedule is matched by her commitment to form and aesthetics. Her design talent, collaboration skills, polished graphics and strong technical background leads to a highly proficient communication of landscape design intent and clear construction documents.

She recently completed the conceptual design and construction documents of the new 30-acre Don Biddle Community Park in Dublin, California, which is about to begin construction. She is currently designing several major projects including the landscape for the new Performing Arts Center at Sonoma Academy, a 5-acre corporate outdoor workspace for a biotech company, and two public high school sports field complexes and tennis centers.

We are pleased to have her in a leadership role as she will be a valuable asset for the future of the Carducci team.

Illustrative Plan of Don Biddle Community Park


2020 ASLA Student Awards / Karishma Joshi & Xiaoyu (Nikki) Zheng

We are very excited to share that our very own Associate Karishma Joshi has been awarded the ASLA Student Honor Award in Analysis & Planning and our intern Xiaoyu (Nikki) Zheng has also been awarded the ASLA Student Award of Excellence in Urban Design. Below are some highlights of their projects and associated links to learn more about each of them.

2020 ASLA Student Award: Award of Excellence: Urban Design

Project Name: Rethinking a Fundamental Human Act: Landscape as a Solution for Open Defecation

Project Summary: In “Rethinking a Fundamental Human Act: Landscape as a Solution for Open Defecation” Kate and Nikki proposed design solutions based on a theoretical framework highlighting causes, conditions, and effects of open defecation. In the context of Raipur, India, there are few spaces of conscious design intervention that provide both practical and aesthetic value. The team came up with alternative built-environment solutions that respect local cultural behavior and human dignity to tackle this pressing world issue.

Contributors: Kate Noel, Xiaoyu (Nikki) Zheng

For more information about this award winning project, click here:

2020 ASLA Student Award: Honor Award: Analysis and Planning

Project Name: Tenacity—Integrating Sea Level Rise and Urban Growth Prediction Modelling in Design Scenarios in Tampa, Florida

Project Summary: Tampa, Florida is expected to grow considerably over the next decades, yet is one of the most vulnerable U.S. cities for flooding. Simply continuing on the present course,or even in line with current planned growth, will do little to mitigate flood risk, but informed development that incorporates resilient tactics will ensure long-term resilience in uncertain climate scenarios. This study analyzes three possible development strategies, and recommends one that could mitigate the impact of sea-level rise.

Contributors: Karishma Joshi & Jiali Liu For more information about this award winning project, click here:

Rethinking a Fundamental Human Act: Landscape as a Solution for Open Defecation (Images above)
Tenacity - Integrating Sea Level Rise and Urban Growth Prediction Modelling in Design Scenarios in Tampa, Florida (Images above)

Award / People / Press Release