Landscape Plaza Around Union Gap’s New Civic Center Doubles as Public Gathering Space

SCJ Studio, our landscape architecture group in Ballard, teamed with Seattle’s ARC Architects to design a civic center for the city of Union Gap, Washington.

Centered around a new city hall and police station, the design transforms what was once a city block of asphalt, devoid of green, into a vibrant civic space. The landscape serves as both an entry to the new facilities as well as a public gathering space with dynamic paving and lots of seating.

“We loved working with ARC Architects to give the residents of this small central Washington town a vibrant, new civic center. It was rewarding to transform a huge asphalt parking lot with zero plants into a vibrant park-like space that’s now full of life,” said SCJ Principal Landscape Architect Mark Garff, ASLA.

Mark says his team takes great pride in listening to clients and then bringing their vision to life with design solutions that exceed expectations, are site-sensitive and appropriate, and match the project constraints.

The Union Gap space is activated by a grove of trees providing a visual ceiling, swaths of low water plants, a simple and modern palette of hardscape materials, and custom steel and wood benches. The thoughtful organization of all these elements provides a dynamic and flexible space for all who visit.

Mark leads SCJ Studio which specializes in residential gardens and site planning, as well as public and urban spaces, parks, ecological restoration, and navigating tough permitting requirements. They are strategic thinkers and enjoy challenging work.  “Our landscape architecture team in Ballard is part of a larger group of talented landscape architects across the firm,” shares Mark. “We all work collaboratively with SCJ’s engineers, planners, and biologists.”

See more Union Gap civic center photos, and other Ballard team landscape architecture projects, at

Photo Credits: CJR Photo




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