Preserving a Historic Museum Garden

Preservation for the historic Huntington Museum Garden used specialized design-build on a tight timeline

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Restoring History on a Tight Timeline and Budget

The Huntington, one of the world's great cultural, research, and educational centers, is also home to more than a dozen gardens spread over 120 acres. The Japanese Garden, with its distinctive moon bridge, koi-filled ponds, and the historic Japanese House, is a visitor favorite.

In 2011, The Huntington sought to renovate the garden and the building, both originally opened in 1928. The objectives were clear: Renovate the existing garden and bring it up to modern accessibility and sustainability standards; restore the historic Japanese House; and expand the garden with a 2-acre ceremonial tea garden featuring an authentic Japanese Tea House.

The timeline was tight, the scope of work broad, and there was intricate preservation work involved.



Leveraged Resources and Modern Upgrades Preserve Historic Value

The Huntington chose us as their design-build partner and brought us in early on the project lifecycle. This enabled us to design a "constructible plan" with a specific budget, thus ensuring the client more reliable costs and strict schedule adherence while minimizing the risk of unnecessary change orders or design revisions.

The work was highly specialized and by leveraging our in-house design and construction resources, we made it happen. Our tree care experts helped successfully relocate several high-worth Japanese Black Pines and our connections with preservation experts guaranteed that knowledgeable, skilled professionals oversaw the restoration elements.

Together our landscape designers, horticulturists, construction specialists, and irrigation experts renovated the entire shoreline of the garden's original koi pond, along with all of the iconic bridges, while maintaining the area's mature plant material. The pond's water volume was nearly doubled and the mechanical system was upgraded to provide state-of-the-art water quality and an environmentally sustainable habitat for the koi. Irrigation systems throughout the gardens were modernized and now serve as the model for The Huntington's ongoing irrigation retrofit program. Our design-build team also created new walkways to improve pedestrian traffic flow and bring the garden into compliance with today's ADA standards.



Single-Source Solution, Zero Project Delays, and on Budget

Thanks in large part to our team's streamlined and well-honed design-build delivery system, the work was completed on time, on budget, and with absolutely no delays.

The Huntington's Japanese Garden has been restored to its original splendor. At the same time, the improvements our team made to the garden's infrastructure have improved the visitor's experience, furthered the center's sustainability goals, and helped ensure that the Japanese Garden will continue to be counted as one of the most beloved and iconic landscapes at The Huntington.

Delivering Landscape Development Excellence

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