HJA Design Studio · 50 East Ocean Blvd. Suite 101 · Stuart, FL 34994
Phone: 772-678-7200 · Email: info@hjadstudio.com

HJA Design Studio Receives Prestigious Award for Landscape Architecture Design at The Vero Beach Hotel & Club

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Bestowed an Award of Merit to HJA Design Studio

The Florida Chapter of ASLA announces awards for outstanding landscape architecture work once per year. One of HJA Design Studio's most well-known and prominent projects has once again been recognized for design excellence.

"The Vero Beach Hotel & Club set a new standard for successful projects on the Treasure Coast," said Michael Houston, Principal of HJA Design Studio. "Prior to the ASLA award, HJA Design Studio received an Urban Land Institute Vision Award and the hotel received the AAA Four Diamond rating. We are very excited for the project and our client, but even more so for our staff for all of their hard work and dedication to receive such accolades."

The Vero Beach Hotel and Club is an award-winning 83-room all-suite hotel nestled behind the Atlantic Ocean dune line and within a comfortable walking distance of Vero Beach's exclusive restaurants and oceanfront shops. As a result of a remarkable recovery effort, this once dated and hurricane ravaged-hotel site is now a boutique destination resort for tourists and an inviting gathering place for local residents providing a variety of amenities, including the now famous Indigo Restaurant, Heaton's Reef Bar & Grill, a private beach club, a heated ocean view pool, fitness center, golf privileges and the White Orchid Spa.

In 2004, both Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne made landfall on the small oceanfront community of Vero Beach, leaving behind massive destruction and a blighted downtown. Situated in the town's oceanfront core, the approximately two-acre property consisted of a severely damaged hotel building, an asphalt parking lot, an outdoor pool and spa and a cabana building. Vegetation that survived the storms was overgrown, wind-torn and severely stressed. An adjacent one-acre parcel was acquired several months after the project got underway, which led to staging the design development in two phases. Informed and considered decision-making was required during every step of the site planning process, from the functional use of topography and site layout to hardscape, lighting and plant selection, all of which complemented and reinforced the resort's new West Indies architectural theme.

"Through close and efficient collaboration with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, HJA Design Studio created a singular resort experience in the context of a seaside garden that at the same time embraces the principles of a sustainable project," said Albert Jacob, Associate Principal of HJA Design Studio and the lead designer of the hotel. The existing beach access pier and ramp was replaced with a smaller dune cross-over leaving a wide beach expanse for potential turtle nesting areas and protection of native flora. To further protect nesting sea turtle activity, the hotel up-lighting, as well as pedestrian path and pool deck light levels respect reduced illumination requirements and are regulated by motion sensors.

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The pool area at the Vero Beach Hotel & Club.

The creation of intimate outdoor spaces and strict attention to details has culminated with multiple awards and recognition for the project.