525 is a once in a life-time project for Groundworks Office and we couldn’t be more happy to be collaborating on this project with Brick Architects! We found out very quickly that this project was going to require every ounce of creative placemaking mixed with an absolute reverence for history (more on that later) and the technical chutzpah to build a landscape fitting for this iconic mid-century modern classic in Palo Alto. If you’re a mid-century modern architect buff, I doubt you’ve ever heard of Tallie Maule, but I guarantee that you know his work. Prior to this gem he was the lead architect for Bay Area Rapid Transit’s Embarcadero Station, amongst a few other stations, anyways, he was a big deal in that early 60’s until his tragic death, imagine if he was still around today!
Our task has been to bring a new life into a plaza thats suffered from a few environmental conditions, most notably wind, but also the lack of vision for the potential of this grand public/private space. We immediately started working on what we thought was most critical, getting a critical mass of people using the plaza, making the space comfortable, but also visually dynamic with a complexity that was echoed in the building.