Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Years Awards for Sunset Plaza

I was given a wonderful surprise in my email box today. The house that we did on Sunset Plaza was awarded one of the top 10 Visuals by the Los Angeles Times last Saturday and the Grand Builders award by Builders Magazine. It was a wonderful experience to work with the owner Brad Blumenthal, and the Architect David Thompson from Assembledge on this unusual and warm take on a modern home. I designed the landscape, pool and jacuzzi, landscape lighting, and the hardscape. We used the hill and pool orientation to create a room below the pool that used a board forming technique in the walls. The structural concrete face was given a wonderful twist as our concrete walls were formed from over 2000 different recycled pieces of lumber to give it many different dimensions in the exposed concrete face of the interior walls which were over 14" thick and contained more than 3 tons of steel within them. It was fun collaborating with Brad and David to create a softness out of such incredible mass. There are some pictures here from an opening that we did that featured several artists and their fans and guests. The art was curated by William Turner of the William Turner Gallery and Kate Stern of the Frostig Collection. Pieces by Michael Kalish, Brad Howe, Frank Gehry, and some fanciful Bacci Balls placed on an upper landing by Brad and myself. Below is a link to the story that appeared on the house written by Debra Prinzing and a link to the Builder Magazine Award

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hotel Bel Air

   This month has been a very very busy one...  I have been working hard on creating the newest landscape and waterfeature additions to the Hotel Bel Air. I am pleased to be preserving the landscape and continuing the traditions of the beautiful grounds that have always been a beloved part of the Los Angeles Landscape.  It has been a fascinating and exciting journey.  Now I have to get back to the drawing board...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

CLCA Green Expo Greystone Mansion with Sheryl Crow, Tiffani Thiessen Smith, Bryan Cranston, Ed Begley Jr, and Cindy Dole

 Mike Garcia and I built the Garden of Peace and Stream at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills California to commemorate the CLCA Green Expo August 9th 2009. It was great to work with Mike who did a spectacular job and was a wonderful team member. It is in a public park in Beverly Hills that was once the home of the Doheny family in the 1920's. It is a terrific place to visit when in the Los Angeles California area.
   We donated this landscape and water feature  in honor of the CLCA with the hope that it would bring a peaceful moment to all of the visitors from around the world who stop by .

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Fairy Garden

This garden is very unusual in that the owners and I decided that unless the garden was built before the house was completed it could never have been realized . We selected and placed huge mature specimen trees, using a 120 ton crane and the biggest excavator that I have ever seen, plus a crew 14 men. We then created stone walls both real and fake to contain the tree roots and hillside. The shotcrete walls were carved in real time and shaped and textured to look like stone cliffs. We created a waterfall and walkways with bridges supported by fallen trees( Which are really made of steel and concrete made to look like fallen trees). The rails are all made of reclaimed twigs and branches using our special technique to assemble and preserve them. The Oak tree in the foreground is really a crutch supporting the Live Oak behind it. See if you can tell the difference. All of the steps and pathway were constructed of recycled wood found on the hillside. The property had been in the family for over 60 years. There were fence posts which we recycled from the original fence and tree roots from that era that were placed in the shotcrete while we were shooting the wall. They were made to look like the roots were growing through the fissures in the rock cliff. After our shotcrete was finished the house construction began. The owner fell in love with some very small Fairy's and invited them to live under one of the new oaks. We built a little castle for them to live in and so far they have been good neighbors.

Friday, June 26, 2009

We won 5 CLCA Awards!

Last Saturday 6/20/09 at the Petersen Automotive Museum we were awarded 5 CLCA beautification awards from the San Fernando Chapter. The Blumenthal Residence at 1430 Sunset Plaza received 3 Awards.
We won for:

1st place for Residential Estates

Outstanding Achievement in Water Features

1st place for Night Lighting (over 50 fixtures)

We also won for my other project "The Fairy Garden"

The Fairy Garden 1st place for Large Residential Renovation

Special Awards

The Fairy Garden: Special effects awards

It was a great night and a terrific event. It was especially gratifying because we were competing against members from San Fernando, L A, San Gabriel, and Channel islands chapters. I am proud of my crew who really did it all ! A special thanks to the owners Brad Blumenthal and The Smiths who made it all possible. Now we have to have a Big BBQ to celebrate!

Check out This post in Garden Design Magazine editor Sarah Kinbar's blog

Jonny Appleseed Video

This Video was created by a very talented film making student Annemarie Rouleau from Woodbury university. Her professor Dorinda Angelucci produced this and put the two of us together, which I am very grateful for. It features live footage of the house at 1430 Sunset Plaza, the Blumenthal residence in its final days of construction . Still pictures of previous projects are intercut to demonsrate some of my work.  We were very fortunate to win 3 awards for the Blumenthal project at the CLCA Beautification awards at the Petersen Automotive museum on Saturday June 20th. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A look back at a memorable project

The Tobias Garden

This garden was a joy to build for my wonderful client Helen Tobias. The Ginko trees installation day was one that I will always remember because Helene and her friends set up a table with a luncheon including wine and cheese while we moved the huge boxed trees into position with a 60 ton crane! This project was designed by Laura Saltzman and featured extensive use of reclaimed materials including broken concrete, and used bricks. 

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Tanner House - Zen Garden

Calm Zen Garden Completed...

 This Garden sits in the front yard surrounded by hedges where a lawn and Roses usually are. Beautiful Koi swim beneath your feet as you stand on an ironwood deck.  It is a relaxing space that takes you away from the city.

Pliler Residence

The Pliler Residence was a very challenging site in that the pool was cut into steep drop off. The pool has a unique feature in that the jacuzzi is raised above the deck and the water falls down the Glass tile mosiac off of its zero edge treatment.

Drought Tolerant garden

This garden was made up of entirely drought tolerant species. It is a natural compliment to the hillside behind and surrounding this property which has stand of cactus that are over 100 years old, planted by the original owners of the parcel in 1906.

The Lance Armstrong Residence

 Austin Texas just after completion and before win #7 for Lance
Motor Court and Cypress walk