EPTDESIGN Principal Matthew Hall on Historical Relevance in Creating Landscapes

Long ago were the days when renters searching for an apartment were only focused on location, price and availability of the necessities. In today’s world, multifamily renters consider a variety of factors and increasingly want to live somewhere with a community feel that incorporates the area’s history and culture.

Landscape architecture firm EPTDESIGN has been helping apartment communities achieve this atmosphere since its start in 1962, researching each site’s ecological, cultural and built histories when designing spaces. Matthew Hall, a partner and principal of the firm, caught up with MHN to discuss how EPTDESIGN incorporates local and historical features into its multifamily projects and why feeling a local connection is important to residents.

MHN: What role does historic relevance play in multifamily landscape design and how can history be incorporated in a meaningful way?

Matthew Hall: History comes into play on a few different levels for multifamily. Some of our larger communities, because of the mere size of them, we’re essentially town building or neighborhood building. We’re taking historic precedent when we’re designing communities in association with the architect to create livable communities where the parks and amenities are located with walkable streets.

We have one client who is very traditionally based, with a lot of European precedent, so history comes into play just from the architectural style and the site planning. Densities are very high and land is very valuable so making the most of the site plan is important.

The other aspect of how history comes into play is more of a site’s geology and geography. We do a lot of research on projects to understand everything about the site, what happened on the site, what the water flow is, especially here in California where water is a big issue. So understanding what the previous uses on the site were and how the water flows across the site is important.

See the full article in Multi-Housing News.