During 10 years at Los Angeles design firm Rios Clementi Hale Studios, landscape architect Mark Tessier earned his chops doing tony residential gardens, streetscapes, schoolyards and corporate campuses. Now, after four years at the head of his own office, Tessier is most jazzed about a recently finished SoCal project, the WestEnd lofts in Marina Del Rey that packs the amenities of high-end private landscapes into one geared toward the multitudes.
There is always time to celebrate a new talent in New York — it’s one of the many things that the city does best. In 2008 the buzz was about Daniel Richards, the young Aussie who joined the New York City-based landscape design firm Plant Specialists. Come see what the talk is all about:
GD: What brought you from Sydney to New York?
The L.A.- and Paris-based Cao-Perrot Studio is an international partnership comprised of Vietnam-born artist Andy Cao and French landscape designer Xavier Perrot. A third partner, photographer Stephen Jerrom, documents their work: hybrid environments, or “places for dreaming,” that blend landscape and art.
“The Bay Area can stand in for almost any climate zone — desert, prairie, Northeastern seaboard or even Japan,” says Bay Area-born-and-raised horticulturist, landscape designer and now television host Gary Gragg when discussing Superscapes, which premiered on HGTV in 2009. Read on to find out how Gragg, owner of Golden Gate Palms & Exotics nursery, translated his lifelong passion for landscaping and everything horticultural into a television show that he hopes will hook younger viewers into seeing garden design as cool.
Landscape design has gone vertical at the Flowerbox Building in New York’s shabby-gone-chic Lower East Side. There, 36-year-old Brooklyn-based garden designer Mac Carbonell’s avant-garde and sought-after approach is epitomized on the eight-story modernist façade, for all to see.
Q. You still garden with your mother Lynn, a serious rare-plant collector. What did you learn from her, growing up in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania?
Courtney McRickard is talking — and talking and talking — about different species of bamboo, eco-friendly concrete and recycled glass. Sustainable design is McRickard’s passion as well as the focus of her Denver, Colorado, landscape-design firm, Three Sixty Design. While the 35-year-old is juggling several projects in and around the Rockies, she’s most excited about volunteering for PlatteForum, a community art center in Denver where inner-city kids create artwork and assist master artists with their installations.
Textile designer Sina Pearson lives and works in SoHo, but it is her travels — especially to her garden in Washington — that inspire the saturated stripes and vibrant abstracts of her outdoor lines. Every month she escapes to her remote island home that’s surrounded by a semiwild garden (and adjacent to the 1950s A-frame beach house of her childhood). Idea-gathering sojourns to locales such as Sweden and Mexico also inspire the designer’s high-performing textiles for residences, hotels, restaurants, offices and outdoor settings.
Andrea Lecusay travels between Hawaii, the Mainland and Bali to service her clients, who include Pixar animation director/editor Lee Unkrich and Nike Brand President Charlie Denson. Her boundless energy is expressed not only by creating dramatic landscapes replete with custom-designed furnishings, lighting and accessories, but now her company, Lakshmi Interiors, is launching a line of outdoor furnishings as well, ensuring that good design that is also affordable and sustainable is available to everyone, even if you aren’t responsible for finding Nemo.
Holland’s 79-acre Keukenhof gardens may be the world’s most spectacular, open-to-the-public trade show: an explosion of some 7 million flowering bulbs, showcasing the offerings of 93 Dutch bulb suppliers in a vivid, ephemeral annual spring display. For the 60th anniversary season (March 19-May 21, 2009) — which also celebrated the 400th anniversary of the Dutch ties to New Amsterdam (New York City) — the responsibility for designing and planting this cheery floral galaxy fell on the youthful shoulders of its new chief designer, 31-year-old Jasper van der Zon. — CG