Santa Monica College’s (SMC) new Quad, a four-acre heavily landscaped area that college officials say has transformed the look and feel of the campus, has won the 2009 Los Angeles Architectural Award in the Landscape Architecture category.

Sponsored by the Los Angeles Business Council, the awards are considered the premiere architectural honors for projects in Los Angeles County.

“We are very excited to have received this prestigious award,” said Greg Brown, SMC director of facilities planning.

“The Quad has truly transformed the campus and has given it a university feel. It’s become not only a place for students to relax and visit with friends, but is now the preferred hub for outdoor concerts and special events such as Club Row and the community-oriented Picnic on the Quad. It has truly changed the way students interact on campus.”

The SMC Quad opened last August at the start of the fall semester. The $9 million project — funded by Measure U, the SMC bond approved by voters in 2002 — features a promenade of pavers lined by palm trees and flanked by two large water fountains. Grass areas, trees, large planters and seating areas fill out the Quad.

The project was designed by tBP Architects and Meléndrez landscape architects.