To JHA, “Landscape Architectural Design” means the aesthetic combination of plants, hardscapes like roads, walks, plazas and landforms in a manner that is both ecologically sensitive and functional.
Our design philosophy embraces the concept that the land is sacred and development should harmonize with its natural attributes. Forests, waterways and variations in terrain offer creative opportunities for locating roads, structures, parking and various amenities.
Ideal environments should include areas for quiet study, comfortable social gathering spaces and large assembly areas suited to the owner’s purpose. Each of these should be linked by transitions appropriate to the use, scale and surrounding architecture. Safety and aesthetic concerns should address lighting, vehicular circulation, security.
Landscape maintenance issues should also be anticipated in the design process. Durable construction materials should be recommended. Selected plant materials should be of proven hardiness and aesthetic merit. Sustainability should permeate the thought process.
Our primary concerns include pedestrian and vehicular circulation, with emphasis placed on safety and access. To achieve these ends, we apply sound design principles to lighting, security. We combine appropriate plants, site furnishings and hardscape materials into plazas, walkways and entrances that complement the existing architecture and invite, as well as direct, the user. Effective Landscape architectural design requires a sensitivity to history, effective maintenance standards and aesthetic coordination with the infrastructure.
Corporate, academic and institutional campuses have been the focus of JHA site work. To remain sensitive to their special needs, JHA maintains affiliation with the Campus Planning professional interest group of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
To better understand plant materials, JHA maintains a research nursery for the purpose of confirming hardiness, adaptation to native soils and maintenance requirements. Special attention is applied to the use of organic fertilization and organic control of insect and fungal infestation. This nursery is inspected and licensed annually by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
Forests, waterways and variations in terrain are to be accentuated and incorporated rather than clear cut and bulldozed.
As landscape architects, we must communicate and coordinate with a variety of professionals; engineers, surveyors, architects, planners, lawyers, and maintenance personnel. We have assisted clients in their dealings with zoning boards, planning commissions, historical review boards and various government agencies.