As part of the original master-planning team, the environmental design firm was responsible for creating the vision of the place, establishing uses through demographic research, and then developing concepts that were carried out in the thousands of details that delight and communicate with the user.
Santana Row is one of the country's largest urban districts of mixed-use development and covers over 42 acres. The design work happened over the course of five years. The placemaking task meant coordination of hundreds of designers, artisans, and fabricators. Found objects such as a French chapel façade, antique metalwork, pottery, and fountains were imported from Europe and reconstructed on site to add a sense of history and patina. Custom designed and fabricated items included metal work, custom tiles, custom lanterns, chandeliers, fountains, street plaques, corner guards, and portals. The designers even named the streets, created building and residential identities with supporting logos, signs, addresses, and entry details.
In the design of signs – which were not only to help with wayfinding but also important in creating the sense of place – the designers thought of every nuance, creating the texture of an urban streetscape where the layering of information has the advantage of time.
"The designers of this project actually submitted this project as a series of four entries. What the jury felt was compelling about the design, however, was its cohesiveness as a single vision even though made with a great complexity of main design details, signs, landscaping, and color. The project showed exceptional virtuosity and deft handling of unique found objects as well as beautifully detailed signs, awnings, and custom light fixtures. Of particular skill was the screening of blank walls and service garages. To these were applied brilliantly conceived found objects such as antique doors, metal window grates, and elegantly designed painted emblems. All create a human scale pedestrian experience in the quiet zones of the project that are both compelling and evocative. Santana Row is a case study of a high quality retail and mixed-use environment that truly delivers a unique sense of place."
Paula Rees, Jeff Thompson (Design Principals); John Fulton, Linda Soukup, Renae Dekker (Designers); Greg Stadler, StreetWorks, Bruce Hale, Jon Bentz, Lynne Keeley, Ellen Sollod (Design Consultants)
SignTech Seattle (Principal Fabricator); Patrick Pusateri, Jose Ortega, Jil Smith (Artists); Ellipsis… (Production Assistance); Rainier Industries; Ann Sacks Tile