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El Segundo High School
El Segundo, CA


Mark Rios
Tony Paradowski
Carolyn Sumida


Rios Clementi Hale Studios designed the campus landscape master plan for historic El Segundo High School’s renovation in 2005. Working with CO Architects, we created a cohesive landscape plan that enabled ease of circulation within and around the school for pedestrians, cyclists and autos while also creating a network of open spaces to be used for students, faculty and the community.

We carefully studied movement, programming, sustainability, academic needs and open space requirements to create the plan. Organized around two main “quads”, the campus interior extends out from these larger spaces to give structure to a series of smaller courts with related functions. This high-performance school needed to have high-performance spaces. Each quad and related courts were designed with one idea around a primary functions, but were still designed for multi-use situations.
The landscape adheres to the LAUSD “cool schools” program that encourages schools to plant more trees. Adding more trees creates more shade, planting areas and can reduce air conditioning costs by up to 20%. The added planting area space also works with the school’s goal to reduce stormwater runoff; each new tree has the potential to trap and hold 50 gallons of rain each year. The overall plant palette is made up of low-maintenance, drought-resistant plants including local and state natives. Plants were selected to reflect the school colors of blue and gold, both in their flowers and foliage.