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Archive for the ‘Partners’ Category

NY Ballet Gala

Peter Martins’ “Mes Oiseaux,” costumes by Gilles Mendel/Photo by Paul Kolnik

On Thursday May 10th, 2012, Oehme van Sweden Principal Eric D. Groft accompanied Barbara Slifka to the New York City Ballet Spring Gala at Lincoln Center.  Cocktails were served in the lobby and on the terrace, followed by a performance including the world premeire of Mes Oiseaux (choreographed by Ballet Master and Chief Peter Martins, with music by Marc-Andre Dalbavie) and the world premiere of “Two Hearts” (choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, with music by Nico Muhly). The last performance of the evening was the classic Symphony in C (choreographed by George Balanchine and music by Georges Bizet). The night culminated with a dinner and dancing. The Actress Natalie Portman was the Honorary Chairperson and the Gala Chairmen included Emily and Len Blavatnik, Charlotte Moss and Barry Freidberg, and Marie Nugent-Head and James Marlas.

See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/11/new-york-city-ballet-spring-gala_n_1510688.html for more details and photos.

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While it’s obvious to anyone that the Washington Monument is the defining feature of the Washington, DC skyline and the centerpiece of the National Mall, a design for the grounds around the monument has never been implemented, despite two centuries worth of ideas.

In the spring of 2010, an independent committee of university professors, architects, and civic leaders started a competition to give Americans of all ages an opportunity to imagine creative and innovative ideas for the Washington Monument grounds and submit them for review. The initial stage of the competition took place in January of 2011, narrowing the field from over 500 entries to just 24.

Eric Groft & Ben Forgey

Eric Groft & Ben Forgey

On Wednesday, June 22, Oehme, van Sweden Principal Eric D. Groft joined fellow jury members David Hackett Fischer, a Pulitzer Prize-Winning George Washington Historian; Ben Forgey, an Architecture Journalist and former Washington Post architecture critic; Greg Hunt, FAIA, the Dean of Marywood University’s School of Architecture and Joy Zinoman, Founder of The Studio Theatre to review the finalists of the competition. The day-long adjudication process was an exchange of ideas, constructive criticism and some healthy disagreements, but consensus was achieved.

At a dinner at his Northwest, DC home the evening before, Chairman of the Competition, James P. Clark, President of the Virginia Society of the AIA, urged the jury to make a special effort to focus on the essence of the ideas presented, as not all entrants had the same rendering and visual presentation skill levels. This evened the field for all competitors, allowing a twelve-year-old to compete against a professional designer.

Jury Chair Greg Hunt, FAIA

Jury Chair Greg Hunt, FAIA

The results of Stage Two of the competition will be posted at www.wamocompetition.org.

David Hackett Fischer and Joy Zinoman

David Hackett Fischer and Joy Zinoman

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On Thursday Afternoon, May 19th, OvS Principal Eric Groft stopped by Garden Treasure Nursery in Sagaponock and walked a demonstration garden that owner Holger Winenga has established. Known as “The Wilderness,” the garden is a treasure of rare and unusual plants, a true horticultural delight.

Holger descends from a long line of horticulturalists, nurserymen and hybridizers of plants in Germany and OvS considers him one of the most knowledgeable nurserymen on the east coast.

Enjoy!

Lamium ovala

Lamium Ovala

Rodgersia podophylla 'Braunlaub'

Rodgersia Podophylla 'Braunlaub'

Rhododendron 'My Mary' (not narcissiflora) Holger

Rhododendron 'My Mary' (not narcissiflora) Holger

 

Anemone sylvestris with Senecio

Anemone sylvestris with Senecio

 

Anemone sylvestris

Anemone sylvestris

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On Tuesday and Wednesday, May 24 and 25, OvS Principal Eric Groft was in Houston, Texas for the Chung Mei Buddhist Temple Park Project presenting to the Temple and design team of Catherine Chao and Greg Yang, architects.

While in the area he visited TreeSearch Farms, which turned out to be a treasure trove of plants. Not just your ordinary nursery and not a collection of the rare and bizarre either, it is just the type of place those here at OvS love. Eric had asked his tour guide Erik Hansen of McDugald Steele (potential installer for the garden and park) to show him a nursery owned by someone that is passionate about horticulture. Well … Treesearch Farm Owner Heidi Sheesley was the right pick – she knows her plants! Eric and Heidi were off and running sharing plant knowledge and stories of J.C. Raulston, Michael Dirr and Tony Avent. The perfect plantsmen afternoon!

Treesearch Nursery

L-R: Lucky (Heidi's toy rat terrier), Heidi Sheesley, Eric Groft and Erik Hansen

Heidi is a sensitive and sensible plants person. She collects and propogates plants that will do well in her region, always pushing the limits but not trying to reinvent the wheel either. She loves ornamental grasses and the natural look, but does not go to the extremes of the native purists. All very much simpatico with the OvS philosophy. Eric looks forward to a long and fruitful collaboration with TreeSearch and Heidi.

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Oehme van Sweden has a long history of work in the coastal areas of the United States. From the rugged Maine coast, to charming Nantucket, to the beaches of Sagaponack, to the coastal areas of North Carolina, we have designed gardens that are not only beautiful, but withstand the tests of time, weather and use.

In this short video, OvS Principal Sheila Brady talks about why she loves working on coastal properties. View the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LucjVLGTGg

For more information on our work, including our projects in coastal areas, please see our website at www.ovsla.com.

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Oehme van Sweden is in the process of planting a slope as part of our work at Westchester’s Ridge Hill, a 1.3-million-square-foot regional mixed-use shopping center under construction in Yonkers, NY. Ridge Hill is located along the New York Thruway (I-87) in Yonkers. The property is being developed by Forest City Ratner with H3 – Hugh Hardy and John Fontillas design architects and Studio 5 Architects, Architect of record, DTS of White Plains, NY Civil Engineer. 

Holger Winega of Garden Treasure Nursery delivers 4350 Pycnanthemum muticum to Ridgehill in YonkersNY, pictured here with John Knowlton of Oehme van Sweden and Associates (photo by Eric D. Groft)

Aspen Landscape laying out and planting the Pycnanthemum at Ridgehill

Now that is a steep slope!

Romero Texiera of Aspen Landscape and John Knowlton of Oehme van Sweden (Photo by Eric D. Groft)

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Earlier this fall, Oehme van Sweden Principal Eric Groft had the pleasure of speaking at Guild Hall in East Hampton as part of the Garden as Art: Designers Choice talk and garden tour. For this event, Eric was honored to be introduced by longstanding client (and very good friend) Barbara Slifka. Barbara gave a truly moving introduction of Eric, which we are priveleged to be able to share here:

This is going to be a very personal introduction. You can read all about Eric’s academic and professional background in your programs. I have known Eric for about 25 years. We first met when he was the Project Manager on my Sagaponack beach house, and since then we have worked on two other projects—one in New York and another again in Sagaponack. We have also become good friends.

Working with Eric – and Jim van Sweden and Wolfgang Oehme (the founding partners of Oehme van Sweden) – has been a very educational experience. It was as though someone had lifted a curtain in front of me and I was seeing gardens for the first time. Eric has a truly trained and professional eye. When he is involved on a project, it is the total effect he is interested in, and not just plants or flowers or trees, but the whole landscape. This includes the hardscape – the fences, the paths, the swimming pool, the driveway, the scale of the pots. All of this is important, and all the details matter, because they all add up to the final vision.

Working with Eric, I was exposed to a whole new way of looking at plants – his sense of scale, his interest in texture, his interest in shapes, and his interest in colors (all year long – winter can be beautiful!). All of a sudden I was noticing movement, the way plants flow and interact with each other, and the volume of plants needed to make a statement. For me, being exposed to Eric has brought a wonderful new dimension to my life. I love formal gardens, but once exposed to Eric’s special taste and talent, I hope your eye and personal taste will change forever.

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