A new year, a new name! Project Groundwork is now SCJ Studio by Kevin McCoy

Our focus is the same -- turning your vision into a reality. The only thing that's changed is our name; we have been a part of SCJ Alliance since 2014.

Our excellent service and creative design continue uninterrupted. Whether a complete master plan, streetscape, playground, or an inviting landscape connecting your home to your garden, we are poised to make your project a reality. Site planning, site design, planting plans, ecological restoration and permitting – we do it all.

Our services, team, address, and phone number are all the same. 

Yarrow Point Lake Terrace by Mark Garff

seattle waterfront landscape architecture

On Lake Washington, an existing pool terrace was disconnected from the rest of the yard and and waterfront.  The site had a challenging slope, but it was no match for a thoughtful design and some earth moving equipment! 

A retaining wall at the edge of the exciting pool was replaced with a wide, generous stair welcoming guests to a new, bocce-style terrace below, complete with gas fire pit and stunning views.  A gentle, winding path leads down to a waters-edge patio with intersecting stone and concrete patterns creating a visually dynamic experience.  A small sandy beach and generous lawn complete the experience.  A California style planting palette with beach groundcover, perennials and elegant, flowing grasses highlighted with LED low-voltage outdoor lighting complete the vacation-home-in-the-city feel.

seattle yarrow point waterfront landscape
seattle yarrow point waterfront landscape
seattle yarrow point waterfront landscape design
seattle yarrow point waterfront firepit landscape
seattle yarrow point waterfront pool landscape

HGTV Ultimate Outdoor Awards Nomination by Mark Garff

We're thrilled to announce that one of our projects has been nominated for an HGTV Ultimate Outdoor Award!  This mid-century Seattle courtyard remodel can be found in the Love At First Sight Category and is one of our all-time favorite before and after transformations!  Show your support and vote once a day through April 5!  Click HERE to cast your vote.

Project Groundwork Team Member Honored With Student ASLA Award by Mark Garff

Congratulations to our own Alyse Wright, whose University of Washington student team just received an Honor Award from ASLA for their Kintsugi Garden design build project near downtown Seattle. Nice job Alyse and UW!

Alyse graduated from UW in 2014 and is now a full time Landscape Designer at Project Groundwork. When she began interning at Project Groundwork early last year, she was simultaneously working with her Bachelor of Landscape Architecture class to design and build the Kintsugi Garden.

Often after work, Alyse would head to UW to work in the shop. She learned to weld, and enjoyed crafting the metalwork which would become the frame for the site's gate and shelter.

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Check out all of the great details in person at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center and for more on the project from the ASLA, click here.

Hunts Point Pool Renovation by Mark Garff

An existing home built in 2004 on Hunts Point was in need of a landscape renovation. Project Groundwork transformed the existing, uneven and small pool terrace from “afterthought” to a focal point.  

Hunts Point Pool Renovation Project Groundwork Seattle
Hunts Point Pool Renovation Project Groundwork Seattle
Hunts Point Pool Renovation Project Groundwork Seattle
Hunts Point Pool Renovation Project Groundwork Seattle
Hunts Point Pool Renovation Project Groundwork Seattle
Hunts Point Pool Renovation Project Groundwork Seattle

The rough concrete terrace was cold and dark, feeling cramped and unloved around a small pool.  By reconfiguring two walls and changing them from concrete to cor-ten steel, the patio was transformed and expanded.  Now larger and all on one level, the owners have an outdoor amenity oasis with a built in gas firepit, ipe deck, a new privacy fence, planters and dramatic lighting. 
 
A new side garden with play lawn and spring-free trampoline for the kids included raised cedar planting beds, crushed granite steel edged walkways, lighting and thoughtful planting.  
 
Finished in 2015, the home went up for sale and, thanks in part to the amazing landscape, sold after only one day.


Project Groundwork has been featured on Houzz! by Mark Garff

We are excited to announce that one of our Seattle gardens, completed during the summer of 2014, was recently featured in an article on Houzz.  This edible urban oasis has become a favorite for it's contemporary details and strategic use of space on a small lot.  We appreciate the feature and look forward to sharing more of our work with the Houzz community!

Capitol Hill Modern by Mark Garff

Our client built a striking new home on the east slope of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.  To complement the clean lines of the facade we designed a simple, elegant landscape that sets off the home rather than competing with the bold architecture. 

Soft grasses offer contrast to the natural stone veneer, perennials brighten the mood, and planters add a bit of whimsy to the arrival sequence.  On either side of the main entry, roof runoff is dramatically routed down the face of the home in steel troughs to biofilter planters faced in stone. 

Around the back of the home, a small “leftover” space was transformed into a cozy patio terrace with bluestone slabs and crushed granite underfoot.  A view down into, or across the back patio area provides a serene foreground to the beautiful views to Lake Washington beyond.

Collaborating with Thielsen Architects provided the owners with a sold design team--working together with one voice to build their dream home.

Capitol Hill Modern Home Seattle Project Groundwork Landscape Architects
Capitol Hill Modern Home Seattle Project Groundwork Landscape Architects
Capitol Hill Modern Home Seattle Project Groundwork Landscape Architects
Capitol Hill Modern Home Seattle Project Groundwork Landscape Architects
Capitol Hill Modern Home Seattle Project Groundwork Landscape Architects
Capitol Hill Modern Home Seattle Project Groundwork Landscape Architects
Capitol Hill Modern Home Seattle Project Groundwork Landscape Architects
Capitol Hill Modern Home Seattle Project Groundwork Landscape Architects
Capitol Hill Modern Home Seattle Project Groundwork Landscape Architects

Photography by Miranda Estes

Mercer Island Waterfront Estate by Mark Garff

A Mercer Island couple wanted to transform and upgrade the usability of their waterfront landscape.  A large, mushy lawn with no walkway to the dock or the water isolated the house from the waterfront.  The owners, having lived in both California and Cape Cod, wanted a beach-like feel to the new landscape, better access to the water, and more amenities.  

Project Groundwork transformed the waterfront by adding large concrete slabs and stairs to provide hard-surface circulation to a new sandy beach, complete with salvaged, cedar logs around a deconstructed wood-burning firepit, invigorating the space and creating a place to relax and entertain right on the water. 
 
Closer to the house, an ipe deck built around a new Paloform gas firepit created a new outdoor room. for enjoying endless summer evenings. A large deck overhead was covered underneath and rain-proofed, allowing more light into the lower floor rooms and brightening the look and feel of the already beautiful home. LED landscape lighting completes the improvements.

Photography by: Miranda Estes

 

Madison Park Shoreline Renovation by Mark Garff

Shoreline restoration is the ultimate combination of art and science.  Get either wrong, and you’ve got an unhappy clients and unhappy regulators!  For this Madison Park project on Lake Washington, our client wanted to remove an outdated, dilapidated and ugly bulkhead.  

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Mid Century Courtyard Remodel by Mark Garff

Small gardens benefit from shorter timelines and attention to detail that is sometimes lost on larger landscapes.  With this particular client, the design was very collaborative, with our designers providing guidance and ideas while working on the layout together.  Working from concept to installation took only four months!  We’re excited to see this garden grow and evolve as the plants mature and grow together to form drifts and soften the edges of the spaces. 

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Project Groundwork and SCJ Alliance to Merge by Project Groundwork

Since Project Groundwork's founding in 2007, the design studio staff has blended the professions of Landscape Architecture and Civil Engineering. This emphasis has been applied in our management structure, as well as in the execution of site design and corridor projects. We attribute a large part of our firm's success to this holistic approach. 

Earlier this year Project Groundwork announced the departure of Principal Engineer Heather Ostenson. "I realized early during our transition that we needed to find a civil engineering group to join forces with in order to continue our well regarded style of site and corridor design," shared David Stipe, Project Groundwork's Principal Landscape Architect. "Changing our approach to project execution was not really an option in my mind," said David, who recognizes the value of the blended business model when providing site/community sensitive, creative, client driven services.

"I am pleased to be forging a relationship with SCJ Alliance, an engineering and planning company, which will allow us to continue blending both engineering and landscape architecture at the outset of projects. The merger of the two firms creates the horsepower and depth of services I dreamed of developing when we started 
Project Groundwork in 2007,"
David said.

The Project Groundwork Site Design and Landscape Architecture studio will be headquartered in Seattle, WA at the current Project Groundwork office, with continued management by Mark S. Garff, ASLA, LLA.  The Wenatchee group of landscape architects and designers will continue at the current Wenatchee, WA office.  SCJ Alliance's well regarded Wenatchee planning and engineering team will join Project Groundwork in their Wenatchee office.  SCJ Alliance also has offices in Lacey and Vancouver, WA; Boise, ID; and Westminster, CO.

"We are delighted to be joining forces with Project Groundwork. It's a tremendous opportunity for both firms," said SCJ's Eric Johnston, Principal Engineer. "Incorporating a design component at an earlier stage in a project is a huge benefit to our clients. The merger creates a full range of complementary, professional services under one roof. Project Groundwork's site design and landscape architecture services, and SCJ's transportation planning and design, civil engineering, and land use/environmental planning services."

Project Groundwork is known for developing sound, innovative, design solutions both for public sector clients in the fields of shoreline and upland recreation, as well as for private clients incorporating recreation focused amenities in new communities.

For more information about available professional services visit either firm's website at www.projectgroundwork.com or scjalliance.com.