WESTGATE MIXED USE CENTER
Anaheim Redevelopment Agency
Over a 10 year period, WHITIN DESIGN WORKS has generated site plan and design concepts for a variety of development programs for this 25-acre former landfill and gravel pit site in West Anaheim. The history of the project site and adjacent lands is a cross section of the history of Anaheim. Sugar beet production and then Valencia Orange orchards were the dominant uses until the mid-1930s when much of the site was converted to sand and gravel extraction, leaving a large open pit by the end of the 1950s. Between 1958 and 1960, the site was leased to the County for municipal landfill.
In 2001, the Anaheim Redevelopment Agency assumed control of the site and retained WHITIN DESIGN WORKS to provide design oversight. Anaheim Westgate, a commercial retail center, is the most recent proposal for the former landfill site. WHITIN DESIGN WORKS developed landscape identity solutions which take into account the significant and on-going environmental issues including methane gas collection and ground water seepage.
WHITIN DESIGN WORKS took a bold design approach restricting planting to the perimeter of the landfill where it will have the greatest impact. The irrigated planting areas over the landfill portion of the site are contained in restrictive sub-surface containers utilizing a solid liner system to capture and direct all irrigation seepage off site. Planting is minimized at the parking lot on the landfill where there are significant technical issues, costs and long term plant health challenges.
The site narrative - about Citrus and Sunshine - is translated into the site landscape design. The agricultural land use and the orchard geometry are expressed in the choice of tree species and grid line plantings to establish a signature skyline identity for the retail center within a neighborhood of strip development. Sunshine - making southern California the ideal location for citrus orchards - is symbolized by a 30 foot diameter metal "Sunburst" sculpture recycled from a renovation at nearby Anaheim Disneyland.