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Zaytuna College Campus - USA

The Zaytuna College campus sits High above the San Francisco Bay in Berkeley California. This area is called seminary Hill, home to seminaries of many different faith communities. Recently purchased, the designated site for us to work on was bare, desolate, and exposed to extreme weather. Our goal for the site was to build a gathering place and student garden area surrounded by culturally appropriate trees and shrubs.

Together with Rhamis Kent, permaculture designer from the United Kingdom, we developed a welcoming and ecologically supported food production system surrounding one of the large campus buildings. Rhamis defined the raised beds to be reminiscent of cultural patterns in the Middle East. We used this interlocking hexagon pattern to create a multi-level and multiuse garden space.


We developed the raised bed design and structures to have benches, multi-level heights, and variable soil depth. This allowed for shade trees and shrubs to be incorporated with annual garden plants. It was decided to build large living walls on the west and south aspect of the building to hide the rather nondescript architecture and also add a cooling effect from the shade and resulting transpiration.


Climate:  Mediterranean
Annual Precipitation: 26.7 inches

Country: United States
Function:  College Campus

Size: NA

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