A lesson in mitigating slope and maximizing luxurious livability

With its magnificent pool and spa setting, outdoor kitchen, vegetable gardens and meandering pathways, the Drue Residence in Lafayette is an outdoor entertainer’s dream.

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 But it did not begin this way.

Camp and Camp was hired to solve the homeowner’s challenge and desire to create a usable rear yard on a 2:1 slope with a relatively small flat area at the base.  Originally the project was ignited by the owners’ need for a larger parking garage and accessory dwelling unit along with a desire for outdoor entertaining.

Camp and Camp’s design team looked for creative solutions at every turn including lifting the pool edge so they could gain two vertical feet. From there, a raised bond beam set the stage for the rear pool wall and the elevated spa above. The final ascension to the pinnacle of the property: the exterior fireplace and roasting pit, and its adjacent living area, serves as the ideal outdoor entertaining and gathering place with views of the Diablo Valley.

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 The design team also optimized conditions for the property’s thriving vegetable and herb gardens.  Each zone of the yard is accessible through meandering garden walkways with stone slab stairs.


April is World Landscape Architecture Month (WLAM), an international celebration of designed spaces around the world. This month-long celebration of landscape architecture and design, established by the American Society of Landscape Architects, aims to demonstrate how landscape architecture affects our daily lives.

 In celebration of WLAM, we have picked two of our dynamic public and private projects, recently designed by the talented team at Camp & Camp.



Once a lost railroad town, this now dated commercial area is set to transform into vibrant village living and retail businesses near Downtown Walnut Creek

Camp and Camp is honored to have been selected by Hall Equities Group to handle the urban planning and landscape design for Saranap Village—a mixed-use revitalization project located in West Walnut Creek, at the intersection of Boulevard Way and Saranap Avenue. Retail highlights may include a high-quality grocer, family friendly sit-down restaurant, wine bar, and local coffee shop. The residential component of the project will include apartments as well as condominiums and townhomes.

Camp and Camp is involved in the extensive public infrastructure improvements, including the design of a landscaped roundabout featuring a site specific public art structure, that emphasizes a village environment.

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Saranap Village is a dynamic, out-of-the-box project with so many creative facets at play. It’s thrilling for us to collaborate with such a visionary developer and talented design team,” said Terry Camp. “The history of the site is also truly fascinating. Saranap is perhaps one of the last public right-of-ways in the County. The County’s plan originally called for a wider expressway, as it had been expanding as an industrial and commercial area over time. However, at Saranap’s core is a robust community, with great history and tremendous potential—an area ripe for redevelopment. Our client’s vision was to see a true village, giving a sense of place and community, allowing Saranap its rightful place in the vibrant mix of Walnut Creek.”

Saranap Village’s urban plan and architectural design ethos, above all, set out to create a vibrant, pedestrian friendly environment. This will be accomplished by narrowing roadways and creating a roundabout to slow traffic, adding street parking for tenants and visitors, as well as designing public plazas. A dramatic sense of arrival is experienced via unique signage and a striking public art installation soaring 25-foot high—all of which will adds vitality to this new shopping and living district.

Saranap’s history is yet another interesting tale. An unincorporated pocket near the freeway interchange, where 24 meets 680, you could drive from Lafayette to Walnut Creek and pass through Saranap without ever knowing it.  Saranap is a long-lost railroad town and, ironically, the only place that honors it is the Saranap Filling Station at the cross of Boulevard Way and Olympic Boulevard. The filling station sits where the train depot used to. This dates back to 1911, when passenger service on the Oakland & Antioch line came down from Bay Point, headed for San Francisco Bay.  By 1913, it took just an hour and a half, by ferry and electric rail, to get from the city to the destination called Ramon Junction. Summer homes sprouted up. Soon a branch line to Danville was in the works, and it was decided that Ramon Junction needed a more dignified name. Thus, the name Saranap was born from one of the two main landowners’ mother, Sara Napthaly—an abridgement her first and last names.