Meet Jon Bondi, J2’S latest professional landscape architect hire

This Winter, Jon Bondi, PLA, ISA CA, and senior project manager, joined the J2 Landscape Architecture Studio. Jon sat down with us to share more about him, his experience, and why he chose J2 Engineers.

J2: What drove you to join J2 Engineers?
Jon: Client and personal interaction. I was attracted to how J2 is driven by building relationships.

J2: How did you choose Landscape Architecture?
Jon: Freedom of expression drew me to landscape architecture. There are elements of creativity that you can’t match in many fields in our industry. Landscape architecture has breadths and depths – something for everybody.

J2: What are you most excited about joining the J2 team?
Jon: The human element that J2 brings to their clients excites me. Everyone talks about developing relationships with clients, but it’s not easy. J2 does a great job with it, and I’d like to help them continue to grow and develop client relationships.

J2: Do you have a particular area of interest in your field?
Jon: With my background, you’ll notice I like to mix it up. I enjoy doing entitlement work down to the smallest, minute detail of planning in landscape architecture. I run the gambit. Variety is the spice of life.

J2: What types of projects have you worked on in your career?
Jon: A wide variety. A lot of multi-use, residential, and commercial ventures. I’ve also worked on educational facilities, institutional, government, and open-end services contracts with park authorities – even open-ended services contracts with engineering firms.

Additionally, I am a certified arborist and am sensitive to tree preservation, better street tree techniques, and healthier trees in our designs. Arborists understand the science that goes into the health of the tree. It’s not all about beauty; the design must work for the tree too. The tree must be a willing participant and have its needs met. I have a great appreciation for trees and believe if you take care of the tree, it will take care of you. Additionally, the fine, mechanical elements behind designing with trees¬¬ are essential for landscape architects to know and practice.

J2: What is the smallest project you have ever worked on in your career? Largest?
Jon: Small – a residential estate. These projects have exciting dynamics. Working within a personal family budget and property is an entirely different model than working within a corporation’s program.

Largest? I worked on all the landscape architecture work at a high-rise development in Arlington near the Clarendon Metro center – including rooftop gardens, ground planning, and streetscape. It’s a dynamic, mixed-use property with commercial offices and residential units. It’s a clever project with public art elements and considerations for the metro.

J2: What are your most significant skillsets?
Jon: I’m creative and a team player. I can jump in at a moment’s notice and sync with any team. I like to contribute to the creative process, be actively involved, and put myself out there.

J2: How do you see technology fit into your field?
Jon: It’s important to stay current, embrace new ways to do things more efficiently, and explore new ways to look at things. Things will change quite a bit, but landscape architecture is unique enough that technology cannot take over. Our field is about scaling human emotion. We build things for people to live in, work at, and use – office, residential, and community. LA is not just paperwork. We think about what our users will like and constantly bring our work back to the human scale.

On a personal note, tell us a little about you.

J2: Where did you grow up?
Jon: I grew up in central Pennsylvania, 40 minutes south of state college. I’m a Penn State Grad – it was a natural progression to go to State College since it was right in my backyard. I was lucky to go to a great landscape architecture program within a university with excellent resources. LA programs tend to be small. We had about 30 students in my class, and the teacher-student ratio was four to one. It was rewarding to be at a large university and have almost an internship-like experience.

J2: What do you like to do in your free time? Any special hobbies?
Jon: I’m passionate about doing projects around the house – woodworking, artistry, and painting. I like taking old furniture and rehabbing them into art pieces, keeping them out of landfills.

Thanks for chatting with us, Jon! We’re excited to have you join the team and bring your expertise to our Landscape Architecture Studio.

Visit J2’s Landscape Architecture page to learn more.