Each of the highlighted projects below is a product of extensive collaboration between clients and end-users, designers, engineers, contractors and agency representatives. The teams for each project varied depending on context and client but result is the same: a complete, thoroughly thought-out and cohesive project that builds out efficiently and cost effectively while bringing lasting beauty and unique character to a site.
In 1993 the ‘new’ Truckee Sanitary District Administration Building was constructed and with it the current plantings and irrigation system. The plants have grown weary and irrigation system has started to fail and, in addition, is inefficient by today’s water conservation standards.
In the fall of 2019, the agency contracted with LDC to provide a design that will refresh the landscape plantings and replace the aging irrigation system with a water efficient system that embraces the latest smart water drip irrigation technologies. The plan includes a controller that will adjust to daily and seasonal shifts in temperatures and precipitation.
The new planting design includes native and adapted non-native plants that are generally tolerant of dry conditions and thrive in the colder microclimate of the Truckee Region. Added foliage and floral color and seasonal succession of blooms accompanied by ornamental grasses will brighten the atmosphere and provide an abundance interest.
A new patio will provide a much-needed outdoor break and meeting space for employees and visitors.
Ms. Litchfield was instrumental in creating the final site design which included a horse corral and paddocks, vegetable garden with heat retaining raised beds, composting and chicken coop, an aesthetically pleasing combined stormwater/surface water conveyance system, site circulation, defensible space, green roof, interior green wall, dog run, sensitive area preservation and water conserving native plants and irrigation system. Materials from the site were repurposed into site features such as fence rails and retaining walls, as well as, interior siding.
Comprehensive Sign Program and Sign Design
As the Tahoe Forest Hospital District continues to grow, Robie Litchfield has participated in numerous projects working in close coordination and collaboration with hospital lead staff, project architects, engineers and project managers. Specific designs incorporate public spaces, stormwater management within a traditional Truckee landscape scheme.
From its early inception, the Measure C Projects team worked together beginning with monthly IPD (Integrated Project Delivery) meetings where the entire design and project management team met to collaborate on everything from site design to air conditioning. These intensive meetings that lasted a minimum of 4 hours brought out a fully thought out project that produced a project product that had relatively few surprises and moved relatively smoothly through the construction process.
Particular challenges presented opportunities to learn design for special needs clients such as cancer patients, the elderly, new moms, their families, friends, and staff in providing functioning outdoor spaces that meet the needs of all users.
The original architectural theme of the Cancer Center ran along the lines of the style termed “Truckee Territorial” or a mountain lodge motif. As the design progressed it became apparent that the roof lines of the proposed structure would pose a hazard to both pedestrians and vehicles when heavy snows built to a point of needing to deposit somewhere. This would not only pose a danger to people and property but create a maintenance nightmare.
Ms. Litchfield brought this potential problem to light and invited a well-known snow consultant to provide some insight into the potential ramifications of continuing with such a design theme which gave pause to the entire team leading to a total halt of the project.
Several months later the project resumed with a new contemporary design as is seen today. Ms. Litchfield is credited with helping to avoid future liabilities through the collaborative process and knowledge of snow behavior in the built environment.
At the Skilled Nursing Facility, Ms. Litchfield focused on outdoor spaces and activities for the elderly residents. On element that came out of that focus is a large concrete ADA accessible planter where residents can pull up on chairs and work planting their favorite herbs, vegetables or flowers.
The Comprehensive Sign Program is the result of a collaborative effort between the hospital district’s resident Interior Designer, Joy Meeuwig, and the sign manufacturing company and Ms. Litchfield in an effort to inventory existing signage and create a new vernacular for a campus wide program that will carry throughout the hospital campus. Through a process of providing a number of design alternatives, the project area has a readily identifiable and legible system for wayfinding and location identification.