Press Release - Countdown Begins for the Grand Opening of the Steven S. Koblik Education and Visitor Center




Architecture and Landscape: A Unique Approach

From its inception, the Steven S. Koblik Education and Visitor Center required a unique approach to architecture and landscape design. Set in one of the most beloved botanical gardens in the nation, and on a historic estate, The Huntington’s new entry complex had to be more than a highly functional facility to serve its research and education mission in a practical sense; it also had to reflect the institution’s respect for the early 20th-century architecture on the property and its commitment to garden design and horticulture.


The design team was tasked to create buildings that complemented the original estate. Working together, Architectural Resources Group (architect) and the Office of Cheryl Barton (landscape architect) developed a concept for a series of smaller structures at the scale of the original estate’s outbuildings, arranged around gardens and terraces. The resulting complex reflects a human scale. The buildings are simple and contemporary with relatively little ornament, and classical in proportion. The materials palette is equally simple—stucco, clay tile, and bronze—much like the historic buildings on the site.


All of the new structures connect to the landscape through trellises and loggias that provide shade, transitions from buildings to gardens, and definition of entrances and circulation areas. Interiors bathe in abundant natural light and feature carefully framed views to the gardens from which they derive their color palette.


The project’s gardens represent the natural history of the area, the property’s agricultural roots, and its more formal European landscape traditions.


Visitors enter the complex from the north, where the towering San Gabriel Mountains form a natural backdrop, and proceed through pepper and orange tree groves reminiscent of the early California ranches. After entering, visitors can gaze down an olive-lined allée that forms the axis of the entire complex, or meander through airy and ever-changing native and adaptive plantings in the central garden, where they will find outdoor spaces of various types: small, intimate spots for one to two people, hedge rooms for small groups, and plazas for larger groups. The allée terminates with the symmetry and vibrant color of the Celebration Garden in the south, where the new gardens dovetail with the formal historic landscape of the original estate.


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Thea M. Page, 626-405-2260,

Lisa Blackburn, 626-405-2140,

About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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