With a pedestrian-scaled project, DES had the opportunity to create an environment that invites building occupants and visitors to connect with the outdoors and the surrounding downtown community. It started with the design team working closely with the city arborist to maintain a heritage coast live oak tree. This mature tree became the signature element of a newly created courtyard. Raised planters and pots frame the courtyard while a central fountain brings tranquility to the space. The multi-level courtyard is the main outdoor amenity for employees, but the exterior landscape, characterized by native grasses, and ornamental trees, clearly establishes a connection between this mixed-use project and the surrounding tree-lined community.