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Posts Tagged ‘architecture’

This September, Oehme van Sweden principal, Eric Groft, will lead members of the Scott Arboretum on a tour of the lush East Hampton garden in The Springs on September 22nd of 2011.

The Scott Arboretum is the campus of Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. The members of the group are avid gardeners and many are regular volunteers at the Scott Arboretum.

The Arboretum has invited several members to join them on a four-day, three-night excursion to travel the Gardens of Long Island from September 20-23, 2011. Jeff Jabco and Julie Jenney will guide each member to experience the beauty of various public and private gardens spanning from the Oyster Bay area to the east end of the North and South Forks.

Here’s a glimpse of some of our work that will be featured during the tour.

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Oehme van Sweden principal, Eric Groft, recently celebrated the birthday of an old friend. Scott Paden is the founding partner of Paden de la Fuente Architects in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He is currently affiliated with OBLN Architectural Services, Inc. in Rockville.

Here they are enjoying a meal at Zest– an American Bistro on Barracks Row located across the street from the OvS office.

L to R: Shelley Rentsch, Scott Paden and Eric Groft

Scott Paden

Delicious Lamb Shank

Lynn Scott Paden and Ana Gemma de la Fuente founded Paden de la Fuente in 1985. Paden de la Fuente Architects have studios in the United States and Spain. They practice architecture and design in the United States, Europe, South America and the Caribbean. The scope of their service ranges from Master Planning to product design.

Happy birthday, Scott!

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August’s stifling heat has some advantages – many plants have been lured by the sun into their full summer exuberance. Oehme, van Sweden staff members spent a recent lunch break basking in the sun ourselves and enjoying lush plantings at the Federal Reserve campus in Washington, DC.

The Federal Reserve was one of OvS’ earliest “big breaks” – our first large government project, designed and planted in the late 1970’s. Bold sweeps of perennials and grasses marked a striking departure from the formal style of the surrounding federal landscapes. Over the decades, Oehme, van Sweden has maintained a close relationship with the Federal Reserve and recently designed improvements for integrated perimeter site security (including custom bronze bollards, raised planters that incorporate benches and walls, pedestrian and vehicular access and circulation, and kiosk locations).

During our lunchtime tour, OvS Principal Eric Groft pointed out ways in which the new design is integrated into the original and how the integrity of the original design (including now mature canopy trees, sweeps of ornamental grasses, and robust perennials) is honored. Eric was joined by OvS Associate Marisa Scalera (who has been involved in the Federal Reserve designs since 2003) and members of the OvS design staff including Christie Ciabotti, Lisa Cutshaw, John Knowlton, Nick Ries, and Liz Stetson.

See our website for photos of our work at the Federal Reserve.

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Harry Truman once said, “A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.” Nowhere is this more true than in the garden, where weather and climactic conditions hold the power to alter carefully planned landscapes in what seems like the blink of an eye.

Here at Oehme, van Sweden, we’re proud of the relationships we build with our clients and honored to have worked with many of them over the course of years and even decades. It is a true pleasure to revisit one of the gardens we’ve designed and witness its evolution over time.

Recently, we were contacted by one of our oldest and dearest clients, whose garden is now more than 15 years old.  Their nine acre, “New World Cottage” style property was featured on the cover of James van Sweden’s book Architecture in the Garden (with illustrations on pages 50 to 65). In March, the property suffered from the “winter hurricane” that devastated the southern New England coastline and they lost 12 enormous trees including a 48’ towering Red Oak and a “Rockefeller” Christmas tree that was 90′ tall.

The downed trees opened a view of a neighbor’s house, so our task was to restore privacy. Most of the damage was confined to an area of the property that really had not been a focus before and we used this as opportunity to reclaim this section and create a woodland valley of ferns in addition to the functional task of screening a neighbor.  Large, full specimen, 24′ high American Holly and a Maakia Amurensis/Amur Cork tree were placed. 

In addition, we updated the entire garden, adding shade plants where trees had grown, fine tuning the kitchen garden and the rock garden, and planting an Acer Triflorum/Three Flower Maple in the secret garden off the master suite.

The garden was ‘reborn’ and looks great. In the words of our clients, “Just arrived today for the summer. It is MAGIC! I am full up from the variety of beauty. There are no words except, of course-thank you!”

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