4th Street in Berkeley, California, evolved from a warehouse street into a fashionable retail district, touted as one of the country’s “Five Best Shopping Streets” (SF Chronicle 1996). Simmonds and Associates has played a significant role in this redevelopment by creating a site and landscape designed for shoppers.
Simmonds and Associates was engaged to develop the pedestrian links, plazas and streetscape for the northeast quadrant of 4th Street and acted as the prime consultant for Drew Properties in architect selection and directing façade design. The phased project required extensive liaison with the City of Berkeley and numerous public meetings.
The plaza that we designed at the key pedestrian intersection acts as an informal gathering space and visual lead in to Garden Lane, a new street extension we created and lined with retail shops, and one of the first extensions of the retail district in many years. The warehouses received new façades, in bright earth tones, stucco and wood, with trellis elements accentuating the three dimensional feel. Simmonds & Associates worked closely with the architect to create these dramatic elements that compliment the luxuriance and interest of the planting. They are also scaled to relate to historic Delaware Street, to which Garden Lane leads. The overscaled planters offer a disctinctive feel that differentiates Garden Lane from 4th Street propper. The abundance of planting, and street furniture were designed to invite shoppers to linger, and stroll slowly down Garden Lane, as they do on 4th Street.
The second phase of development saw the retail conversion continue east to Virginia Street. Simmonds & Associates provided lead consultant once again, in addition to providing planting design for the 4tha nd Virginia street frontages.