Posts Tagged ‘ASLA’

James Burnett Sunnylands Annenberg

James Burnett leading the tour of the Sunnylands Annenberg Center

On October 28th and 29th, OvS Principal Eric D. Groft attended The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) Board Meeting in Palm Springs, California. The meeting was held at the new Sunnylands Annenberg Center. Sunnylands is the 200-acre estate that was the West Coast home of Ambassador and Mrs. Walter H. Annenberg. Prior to her death in 2009, Mrs. Annenberg identified 15 additional acres adjacent to Sunnylands on which to construct a center and gardens for public programs. She commissioned Frederick Fisher and Partners to design the center and the Office of James Burnett to design the gardens. The nine-acre gardens now feature more than 50,000 low-water-use plants and include walking paths, a labyrinth, green lawn, and a natural wildflower area. Sunnylands Center and Gardens and the renovated historic estate are scheduled to open in early 2012, but the TCLF Board got a sneak peak during a walking tour led by landscape architect James Burnett.

The events of the weekend began on Friday evening, when Eric attended a book signing for Charlotte Freize’s new book Private Paradise: Contemporary American Gardens. Amongst the gardens featured in the book is Casa Luna, a garden designed by OvS on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Cocktails and the book signing were held at the home of Marc Ware, a Palm Springs resident featured in the book, followed by dinner at Johannes.

Saturday started off early with a tour of the Kaufmann Desert House designed by Richard Neutra in 1946. The home was later restored by Marmol and Radziner, with material input and consulting by Albert Frey. The home’s original gardens were designed by Patricia and Chester “Cactus Slim” Moorten around 1949-1950 and have been updated a number of times over the years.

Elrod House

Elrod House

Later that day, the group enjoyed a tour of Elrod House, a John Lautner-designed five bedroom, five and a half bathroom residence commissioned by designer Arthur Elrod in 1968 and featured in the classic James Bond movie, “Diamonds Are Forever”, in 1971. The home’s 60 foot-wide circular living is surmounted by a conical dome that fans out in nine petals between nine clerestories angled up to bring in light. Retractable curved glass curtain walls open the entire living room and pool terrace to panoramic views of Mount San Jacinto, Mount San Gorgonio and the full sweep of the valley below and mountain ranges beyond. The very rock of the ridge is incorporated into the design throughout the home.

Saturday evening, Eric drove to San Diego for the ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo with Mario Nievera, Keith Leblanc and Dennis McGlade. The drive over the mountains at sunset was an inspiration! And as anyone could imagine, so was the company and conversation!

Sunnylands Annenberg

Fountain/reflecting pool at the Sunnylands Annenberg Center


Detail of Fountain

Detail of Fountain


A pomegranite tree grown by Jack Benny's mother!

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If you are an avid Oehme van Sweden follower, you’ve probably heard that our newest publication, The Artful Garden: Creative Inspiration for Landscape Design, was released February 1st, 2011.

In celebration of the book’s release, the Cultural Landscape Foundation and the New York University’s Cantor Film Center will host an evening dedicated to the life and work of James van Sweden. The event will be held on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm.

A screening of selections from the van Sweden Oral History project will be shown followed by a panel discussion with clients and colleagues. The Oral History includes a downloadable transcript of the interviews featured on the Web site, and reflections by 18 of his friends, family, colleagues, collaborators and co-workers about his life, career and legacy.  

There will be a book signing held at the conclusion of the event. It is free and open to the public, courtesy of the New York chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Horticultural Society of New York and the New York Botanical Garden. Space is limited however, so reservations are required.

James van Sweden’s book will teach you how to think in ways you could never imagine, while providing all of the tools and tips necessary to turn his inspiration into something amazing.

Join us in New York on March 16th and help us celebrate the hard work and dedication of an amazing landscape architect.

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ASLA 2010 Annual MeetingPlants bring joy, inspiration, and beauty into our lives, feeding the soul and connecting us to the natural world. Although landscape architects are increasingly proficient with the tools and techniques of ecologically sustainable design, it is equally important to plant for beauty and delight. This past Saturday, September 11, Oehme, van Sweden Principal Eric Groft (ASLA) joined two other award-winning landscape architects who are distinguished in the fine art of planting design to discuss how to create works of landscape artistry with plants. The presentation took place at the American Society of Landscape Architects 2010 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC as was attended by more than 550 professionals.

In addition to Mr. Groft, the roundtable included Gary Smith of W. Gary Smith Design in Austin, Texas and Craig Bermann of Craig Bermann Landscape Design in Wilmette, Illinios.

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Secretary Ken SalazarUnited States Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was awarded the Olmsted Medal during the American Society of Landscapea Architects 2010 Annual Meeting and Expo. The medal recognizes individuals, organizations, agencies or programs outside the profession of landscape architecture for environmental leadership, vision and stewardship. Through his work as Colorado Attorney General, United States Senator and now with the Department of the Interior, Salazar repeatedly fought to protect America’s public lands. From fending off water diversion projects in Colorado to helping protect salmon in the Pacific Northwest, he demonstrates the rare ability to balance and resolve complex environmental policy issues that protect the country’s natural resources.

In his remarks, the Secretary thanked landscape architects for their commitment to protecting and preserving our nation’s natural treasures, and applauded the profession for designing “memorable places.”

Secretary Salazar’s remarks centered on America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative, launched by President Barack Obama this spring. The Initiative is a national dialogue about conservation and reconnecting Americans with the outdoors. During his remarks, Secretary Salazar outlined his plans to engage the public on his vision of protecting and preserving our natural and cultural resources, creating the next generation of great urban parks, and encouraging young people to spend more time in the outdoors.

Oehme, van Sweden congratulates Secretary Salazar on this honor!

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