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Rios Clementi Hale Studios
Los Angeles, California

Rios Clementi Hale Studios was originally founded in 1985 as Rios-Pearson, evolving into Rios Associates in 1990. At the end of 2003, the firm changed its name from Rios Associates to Rios Clementi Hale Studios in recognition of its broad leadership base and collaborative design methodology. It has been widely recognized with more than 65 international, national, regional, and local design awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects among other organizations. Accolades also include being named 2007 Firm of the Year by the American Institute of Architects California Council, and a 2009 Finalist in Landscape for the National Design Awards bestowed by the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design. The firm, no matter the juncture, continues to pursue thoughtful, comprehensive design for projects of all scales and complexity. Rios Clementi Hale Studios' collaborative, crossdisciplinary approach is exemplified by its partners--Mark Rios, Julie Smith-Clementi, Frank Clementi, Bob Hale, and Mark Motonaga--each of whom brings a special depth of training and experience to the design studio.



Grand Park, Los Angeles, California


Grand Park is located on what was an underutilized urban site in downtown Los Angeles' Bunker Hill neighborhood, with 90 feet of grade change along a four-block area. Rios Clementi Hale Studios' challenge was to transform this largely overlooked open space into a landmark urban park that would become a destination for residents and visitors of Los Angeles County. The goal was to provide a unifying place that would appeal to the region's diverse communities, as well as to visitors from around the world, enticing and complementing visits to downtown LA's neighboring cultural and civic landmarks. Grand Park--the first phase of a broader Grand Avenue revitalization plan to be realized--has been transformed from an underutilized open space into a vibrant urban park supporting a variety of active and passive programs.

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IAC Office Building, West Hollywood, California


Rios Clementi Hale Studios collaborated with Rana Creek to create a living canopy of plants that extends up the street facade of this seven-story brick building. Consisting of a five-story trellis landscaped with more than 11,000 plants, the wall brings nature to a busy commercial intersection, and encourages native habitat by attracting hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. An ingenious irrigation system saves 100,000 gallons of potable municipal water per year by re-using existing nuisance water that was previously pumped daily from the building's garage. The project also includes a landscaped plaza and a new entry lobby to correspond with the enlivened building.

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Center for Early Education, West Hollywood, California


Rios Clementi Hale Studios and Center for Early Education (CEE) worked together to apply landscape programming to the challenge of creating an efficient, engaging, and educational solution that brings ecological learning moments to young children. The resulting features--or interventions--involve the school's main entryway, circulation paths, rooftop, and underground garage. The interventions include a distinctive, planted entranceway that forms a vertical landscape or living wall; pockets filled with native plants hanging from main outdoor circulation stairway railings; a rooftop turret containing a solar-powered weather station and an interactive wind turbine; and an irrigation system that is fed from a collection tank in the underground garage to irrigate plants throughout the campus, while demonstrating water use and conservation.

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Sunset Triangle Plaza, Los Angeles, California


The Sunset Triangle Plaza is the prototype for a series of public plazas that Streets for People (S4P)--an initiative of the City of Los Angeles Planning Commission and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health--hopes to open in Los Angeles during the next few years. Working under the constraints of a very limited budget and an equally tight timeline, the landscape architects and community members utilized simple, easily enacted solutions to make a bold statement. Paint and planters allowed the team to recapture the street in months. Rios Clementi Hale Studios outlined the Sunset Triangle Plaza with rows of planters working as bollards to demarcate the 11,000-square-foot site. In addition to planters containing drought-tolerant plants (generously donated by Monrovia nursery in Azusa, California), moveable bistro tables with umbrellas and chairs, and a whimsical painted street surface help create a community atmosphere and a respite in the middle of a busy neighborhood. An existing pocket park complements the new plaza.

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As seen in LASN magazine, October 2017, Firms.









October 20, 2019, 5:55 pm PDT

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