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Posts Tagged ‘landscape design’

On November 5, OvS Principal Sheila Brady spoke on “Distilling the Essence of Native Landscapes” at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. Sheila’s talk was part of the Conservatory’s Native Plant and Sustainability Conference, an annual event celebrating native plants and sustainable landscape management.

Sheila’s presentation focused on Oehme, van Sweden’s work on the New Native Plant Garden at the New York Botanical Garden. In a significant departure from the habitat-based model that has shaped many previous native gardens, the approach to the New Native Plant Garden distilled the visual essence of the region’s native landscapes without replicating them. Sheila highlighted the diversity of native plants that were included in the garden, and the selection and enhancement of patterns from nature.

Joining Sheila as presenters at the Conference were Patrick Cullina, Vice President of Horticulture and Park Operations for the High Line elevated park in New York City; Dr. Linda Johnson, Professor of Plant Sciences, Ecology and Native Plant Communities at Chatham University; and Dr. Carol Mapes, Professor and Chair of the Biology Department at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.

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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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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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It’s that time of year again … students all over the country are returning to colleges and universities and school is once again in session. This year, Oehme van Sweden will also be going back to school – only in our case, we’re revisiting our alma maters in our capacity as landscape architects!

Lisa Delplace and Bob Hruby of Oehme van Sweden recently visited the University of Maryland for the kick-off meeting, marking the beginning of the firm’s work on the 2011 facilities master plan update. OvS’ talented team of consultants are eager to dive into this exciting project, and Bob in particular is looking forward to making contributions to his alma mater!

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Oehme, van Sweden & Associates is pleased to announce that two of our projects have been selected for the Sustainable Sites Pilot Program. The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES™) is a partnership of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the United States Botanic Garden, and was created to promote sustainable land development and management practices that can apply to sites with and without buildings.

The two Oehme, van Sweden projects that have been selected are:

  • The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center: A 38,000 square foot facility, completed by Oehme van Sweden & Associates in 2009. The site contains a Rain Water Glen that filters storm water run-off and a 16,000 square foot green roof open to the public.
  • The New York Botanical Garden’s New Native Plant Garden: To be completed in 2012, this is a 3.5 acre garden made out of sustainable materials, designed to attract visitors with the diversity and beauty of native plans. This project was generously funded by the Leon Levy Foundation.

Projects accepted as part of the SITES pilot program will be the first to demonstrate the application of The Sustainable Sites Initiative: Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks 2009, released on November 5, 2009. Feedback from the pilot projects will be used to revise the final rating system and inform the technical reference manual.

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Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Oehme, van Sweden & Associates blog. Founded in 1977 by Principals Wolfgang Oehme and James van Sweden, both fellows of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Oehme, van Sweden is widely known for our artistic design solutions that balance sustainable practices with concerns about life-cycle costs and maintenance. Our deep appreciation of nature and consistent focus on horticulture are the inspirations behind our “New American Garden” style of landscape architecture, which is based on the year-round qualities of the natural environment.

Today, Oehme, van Sweden’s twelve professional landscape architects create outdoor environments that honor the legacy of our founders while breaking new ground in the field of landscape architecture. Through our blog, we look forward to sharing our inspirations, exploring new developments in the field of landscape architecture, and keeping you abreast of our latest news.

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