California State University, Long Beach
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Architect, Landscape Architect Firms Chosen For Campus

Published: February 15, 2011

It’s always difficult to replace a legend. Even harder to replace two. Steinberg Architects in Los Angeles and the SWA Group will try.

In a relationship that began in 1962, highly regarded Edward A. Killingsworth, FAIA, served as the long-time campus master plan architect and great friend of CSULB. When he passed away in 2004 at the age of 86, the task of finding a worthy replacement began.

“For more than 40 years, Ed Killingsworth was the master plan architect and really the visionary for the way the campus looks today,” said Sue Brown, CSULB’s director of physical planning and construction management. “He was certainly instrumental in shaping the way buildings are on campus in making sure they fit the architectural fabric of the university.”

Killingsworth worked in unison with Ed Lovell, the university’s long-time master landscape architect who died in 2009 and was responsible for giving the campus its lush, park-like appearance, highlighted by the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden and more than 3,000 flowering peach trees.

After a lengthy process, the university recently selected Steinberg Architects and the SWA Group of Los Angeles to continue their predecessor’s vision, while injecting their own creative mark. Steinberg will provide overall master planning services while SWA will focus on landscape architecture.

“CSULB is a great campus and we are honored to be working with the university to address the immediate campus needs while planning for the students, faculty, and staff of tomorrow,” said David Hart, executive vice president at Steinberg Architects. “To follow someone like Ed Killingsworth is a privilege and a challenge, but one that we’re really excited about. There’s a good architectural and landscape framework here that we intend to maintain and further enhance.”

Steinberg Architects will help with the ongoing master plan and development of the campus, but initially there are several initiatives it will be working on, including working with SWA on the landscape component of the plan. The plan will look at a number of sustainability initiatives in an effort to come up with a comprehensive approach to make the campus look even more cohesive.

Architect, Landscape Architect Firms Selected for Campus
PHOTO BY DAVID J. NELSON

CSULB is dedicated to preserving the environment and reducing its reliance on fossil-based fuels. The landscape master plan and the physical master plan will be unified to guide future growth and development of the campus, incorporating strong sustainability principles. These include water-use reduction, storm water surcharge, tree planting and replacement, plant palettes, site furnishings and lighting fixtures.

“In the recent past, the campus has been more project focused as we’ve managed the campus landscape. The role of a landscape architect is to envision how all the different landscape forms come together around our buildings, circulation paths and roadways. They will partner with grounds and our office,” continued Brown. “It’s going to be an exciting and creative challenge in determining how we design and maintain our campus landscape over the next 20 to 30 years.”

“It’s a very beautiful campus and has a great structure in place,” said Gerdo Aquino, president of SWA Group, one of the most highly recognized landscape architectural and urban design firms in the world. “One of our first initiatives is to create a landscape master plan that overlays the educational goals and objectives of the campus with the additional objectives to become sustainable, create more walkable areas and maintain open spaces, as well as optimize the way in which water is used on campus.”

So, while replacing the architectural legends that created the CSULB campus of today is indeed a tall order, Brown feels confident that Physical Planning and Facilities Management in partnership with Steinberg and SWA will carry on the proud legacy of campus planning excellence…and then some.