Rabben/Herman design office was formed by William Rabben and Dan Herman in 2000 to bring their clients quality design based upon a collaborative approach to problem solving. The founding principals commitment to these two principles is reflected in every aspect of the firm’s work.

R/HDO provides personal service and believe the participation of our clients enlivens and strengthens the design process. The opportunity to achieve great work comes naturally from the involvement of committed clients. Each project represents an opportunity as well as an obligation to enrich the quality of life for those who will experience our efforts long after a project is completed.

We firmly believe that Landscape architecture is a visual language and we are committed to using that language to provoke perception, reaction, and most importantly strong feeling. Several decades of design and construction experience have led to the following fundamental concepts:

  • Each project should attain a higher level of communication through narrative content by incorporating contextual elements that tell a story about the place and its larger surroundings.
  • Projects should involve a fusion between architecture and landscape, rather than treating each as separate expression.
  • Projects must be based on a thorough understanding of the dynamics of the natural and the built environment, as well as an awareness of the client’s operational requirements, budget, and schedules.
  • Landscape design must be approached openly, without preconceptions, and must look beneath the surface to create fascination and perceptual content.
  • Projects are successful when they meet the needs of the people using them. Often that can simply mean a comfortable shady place to sit, convenient and understandable access, clear orientation, and distinct object-subject relationship.

Our challenge as an active team of designers and master planners with a wide range of expertise is to assemble and choreograph all elements of the required program to create outdoor environments that express a clear design concept and meet both technical and functional requirements.

Landscape Architecture

We offer a full range of services from Conceptual Design through Construction Observation phases. We also offer landscape master planning for projects in the early stages of definition or obtaining government approvals.

Our services encompass the full range of the built environment including hardscape design, landscape planting, outdoor lighting, water features, and irrigation design. On many projects we are also responsible for managing and coordinating the work of other team members including civil engineers, electrical engineers, and graphics designers.

Our clients include developers, architects, institutions and government agencies. Recent project examples include: Jeju Mountain Resort, Jeju Island, South Korea, Ocean Park, Hong Kong and The Bowers Museum, Santa Ana.

Urban Design

These projects typically involve developing a framework for the long-term implementation of projects in an urban context. Often prepared in conjunction with architects these plans identify overall uses, FAR’s, setbacks and other critical development criteria. Our component focuses on the development of programmed and un-programmed outdoor public spaces. These include waterfront areas, public plazas, pedestrian connections and district or project entries.

Clients include developers, architects and government agencies. Project examples include the Arts and Theatre District in Costa Mesa and the Specific Plan for Saint Judes Medical Center in Fullerton.

Master Planning

Our master planning services include both land use plans and site specific plans that illustrate building massing, parking layout, and the development of outdoor public and private spaces. Project types include resorts, theme parks, new communities, office/business parks and recreational parks.

The land use plans include determining the suitability of a site for development, the type and distribution of uses and appropriate densities, and the layout of vehicular and pedestrian circulation systems. Typically our assignments include overall plans at larger scales and smaller scale enlargement plans of key areas. We often work in conjunction with the client’s economic consultant to insure the long term financial success of the proposed plan. In addition to the preparation of plans we also assist our clients in public participation programs and consensus building, Specific Plans and General plan amendments and rezoning applications.

Much of our master planning work is done in conjunction with visitor attractions. Examples of these project types include: the Dapeng Bay Redevelopment Plan, for the Taiwan Bureau of Tourism, the Legends Resort District and Theme Park in Dubai, UAE, The Nine Dragons Resort in Zhejiang, China and the Second Phase of Floraland in Chengdu, China