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Archives for August 25, 2017

Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis shares spring gardening tips

THIS year marks Costa Georgiadis’s sixth season of hosting ABC’s Gardening Australia and the passionate landscape architect is still totally in awe of his job.

“I hadn’t had that specific card on my bucket list but it came along as a random thing and in a funny way it’s somehow been a wonderful chance for me to do what I love,” Georgiadis said.

“I brought with me a whole heap of things I’d studied and experienced, but at the same time I’ve learnt so much from the amazing people I’ve met.

“They’ve all just had a passion since childhood or an early age; whether it’s for orchids or beekeeping or butterflies or native plants or bonsai or vegetables. That’s going to keep me excited about this until the day they compost me.”

Georgiadis’s own enthusiasm began while growing up in North Bondi, where he spent time in his grandfather’s market garden and on his godfather’s farm.

A prime example of the random nature of his television gig had occurred before this interview, when he had spent the day in Bathurst at an aged care facility filming an upcoming story about hen power, which uses chickens for therapy with the residents.

But Georgiadis was also keen to speak about Gardening Australia’s annual spring episode airing at 6.30pm on Saturday, September 2, repeated on Sunday, September 3 at 1pm and also available on ABC iview.

The episode features Georgiadis exploring a meadow display in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden, Jane Edmanson will visit a collector’s garden of unusual, architectural beauties and Sophie Thomson will show viewers a spring garden bursting with colourful blossom and bulbs, while Tino Carnevale will reveal the secrets to planting a summer crop.

“I think some of the best things people can do in spring is think ahead to summer,” Georgiadis said.

“You want to make sure you’ve got your soil really well fed, that there’s plenty of compost to go on in late spring and mulch so that when the garden comes to the more demanding peaks of summer, your soil management and program has bunkered down to not only hold the moisture but also the minerals. You don’t want the heat of summer to hammer your plants and cause them stress.

“The less stress your plants have, the better show of flowers they’ll give and you’ll be feeding the insects and bees and birds to help act as nature’s natural pest control.

“The ground preparation we continue to do over spring will give us the conditions for the garden to thrive over summer.”


Build good composting and get your worm farm ticking along.

Mulch the garden now so it will be breaking down even better over the summer.

Think about getting your late spring/summer vegies into the garden.

Try sowing some seeds if you’ve been mainly a seedling grower. Growing vegies from seeds this year will reveal how easy and cheap it is.

Think about planting some herb pots. If you’re really in to parsley and basil, plant big bunches rather than a few here or there. If you get a good basil crop you can make a heap of pesto.

Find an area to plant a rosemary hedge so you can grow enough to give friends and family and share with neighbours.


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Punch List: Harvesting vegetables, fall flowers, cicadas and other Colorado gardening tips

Make the most of what’s left of summer. Maintain what’s blooming so they keep on keeping on. And then, best of all, there’s the pleasure of the harvest.

In the landscape

  • A little late August annual flower care will keep plants blooming well into fall. Deadhead spent flowers, pinch to keep growth in check and prune away dead leaves or branches for both in-ground and container grown plantings.
  • Water and fertilize regularly to keep plants happy. Toss annuals full of powdery mildew.
  • Replace worn-out annuals with fall mums, pansies and osteosperums. Or trend toward more foliage with coleus, ferns or indoor plants for an easy transition to fall.
  • Perennial plantings can look a bit tired this time of year. Snip off spent flowers and dried foliage to give them a fresh look. It’s not too early to start dividing overgrown clumps and replant or share the divisions.
  • Organic mulch breaks down quickly. Renew it now to keep soils cool and weeds easier to pull. Chemical-free grass from the lawn or straw works well for vegetable plantings. Wood mulch or bark chips to a depth of 3 to 4 inches reduces water evaporation, moderates temperature extremes and improves soil tilth as it breaks down.
  • Rock and gravel mulches generally don’t require regular replenishment. Many native and low-water plants prefer rock type mulch. Use to a depth of 2 inches around perennials, 3 inches for larger plants including trees and shrubs.
  • Fall bulb planting is just around the corner. Make your list and peruse online selections. They will be arriving in garden centers soon, shop early for the best selection.
  • Enjoy the sun filled days of summer. Invite friends over to enjoy the harvest and send them home with some extra produce.


  • Early morning, after the dew has dried, is the ideal time to harvest. The next best time is when temperatures have cooled in the evening. Harvesting wet plants can spread fungal diseases.
  • Harvest daily. Bring along a sharp clean knife or scissors and containers to hold the fruit and vegetables. Avoid bruising, which will reduce quality and lead to early rotting.
  • Refrigerate harvested produce immediately. The exceptions are tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic and winter squash. Roots crops, including carrots, leeks, rutabagas, turnips and parsnips, can be harvested when ready (summer or fall) or left in the ground and harvested through the fall into winter.
  • Tomatillos are ready for harvest when the fruit fills out the husks and the husks begin to break open. (In some cases, the fruit won’t break, so just feel for firmness.) Ripe tomatillos turn from green to pale yellow; some varieties turn to dark purple. Frequent harvesting keeps the plants producing until frost.
  • Onions can be picked and eaten at almost any growth stage through the summer. When ready for harvest their leaves will weaken, lose their color and fall over. Once fallen lift each plant to separate from the roots, but leave them in place for a week or so to cure for storage. Bring indoors and cut tops when dry. Store in mesh bags.
  • Melons are ready to harvest about 40 days after flowering when they are fully ripe. Read the seed packet, too — some early varieties can be harvested 80 days from direct seeding. Check the spot where it has been growing: pale green or white means immature, yellow-white or yellow-cream indicates ripeness.
  • Tomatoes are best harvested when ripe. The fruit color is glossy and the texture gives slightly, but not too soft. Cherry tomatoes will ripen first (if split, usually due to uneven watering, pick and use right away). Heirlooms will ripen before they are fully colored, so feel for tenderness. Cut out any cracks and enjoy the rest of the tomato. Paste tomatoes, such as romas, will feel slightly hard to the touch when ripe.
  • If wildlife is feasting on your tomatoes or other crops, fencing them out usually works well. If that’s not feasible, try a home brew of water and hot peppers soaked and strained. Or use several drops of Tabasco or similar sauce with some liquid dish soap and water. Direct the spray on the fruit — one bite and they’ll remember not to try that again.


  • Their late summer sounds are unmistakable — a continuous, shrill whine, like a sustained circular saw. The males are showing off the loudest bug music in the hopes a female cicada will say yes.
  • Cicadas click their legs like crickets or move their abdominal tymbals (muscles) to belt out their piercing love calls.
  • Colorado is home to several cicadas species — not the 13- or 17-year periodical ones they have out east. Here, they have a 2- to 5-year life cycle.
  • Females lay eggs in openings in tree and shrub branches. Hatched nymphs drop to the soil, where they spend the longest stage. Adults live for 2 to 6 weeks.
  • Cicadas are not locusts, which in Dust Bowl times were mistaken for swarming migratory grasshoppers.
  • Adult cicadas feed on sap and the watery fluids from trees and shrubs. Their nymphs feed on plant roots. Little damage is usually caused to plants, so controls aren’t recommended.
  • Rivers, streams and forests are natural homes for cicadas, but they’ve adapted well to urban landscapes.
  • Dog-day cicadas are a large green-and-white species. They’re block-shaped, up to 2 inches long and have transparent wings. Common hosts are cottonwoods and maples.
  • Putnam’s cicada, which is black with orange highlights, is found throughout Colorado. Hosts are honey locust, crabapple and maple trees.
  • Natural enemies include the cicada killer wasp, which looks like a giant yellowjacket, and cedar beetles, which are mostly found in eastern Colorado. A predator that’s relatively new to the Arkansas Valley is the Mississippi kite, a predatory bird that eats cicadas as its primary main course.

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Insights and tips for gardening toward the end of August





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Marietta Garden Tour 2017 offers tips, beauty and a plant swap

If you’re interested in plants and pork barbecue, September 10 is the perfect day for you to head to Marietta. 

This year’s Marietta Garden Tour offers ideas and gardening insight for the end of summer and fall months, featuring eight gardens from small accents to multi-acre displays. 

There will also be a plant swap — bring one and swap it for another — as part of the day’s events, and seminars in landscaping will be offered during the day. The seminars are included in the ticket price, which is $10 in advance and can be purchased at Bron’s Deli, Marietta; River Road Produce, Route 441; Floral Designs, Mount Joy, and the Susquehanna Chamber of Commerce, Columbia. (You can also get a ticket on Sept. 10 at Community House, 264 West Market St.)

Proceeds benefit the Marietta Community House, where a pork barbecue will be held separately from the garden tour on Sept. 10. Dinner includes a pork barbecue sandwich, coleslaw, baked beans, chips, dessert and a drink for $9.


Fall veggies, slimy slugs, hungry yards: This Weekend in the Garden

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Tips for transplanting, cutting and collecting seeds for garden heirlooms



A summer trip to the family home place, whether it is in town or in the country, is a memory-maker for families. There they find not only special food and comfy chairs on a front porch made for sitting, they see plants that have been growing around the house practically forever.

These are plants that make memories because their ownership can include generations in a family or represent decades of friendship.

It is not hard to bring home a bit of these memories in the form of seeds or cuttings from special plants taken from a grandmother or aunt’s garden.

Thus they become heirloom plants.

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When the giver is being generous, some of these plants – including day lilies, Shasta daises, black-eyed Susans, hostas and irises – can be dug up and put into a paper bag to take home. This is basic transplanting. Just sink a shovel into the ground, bring up the root system with stems and leaves attached and put it in a paper bag or pot to take home and replant.

If only a portion of the plant is being given, it can be divided, with roots and stems gently separated and the mother plant replanted. This is particularly useful with perennials that produce clumps with baby plants around their perimeter.

Shrubs are a different matter, requiring a technique called cuttings. These shrubs – including spiraeas, viburnums, camellias, hydrangeas, forsythia and old-fashioned roses like Belinda’s Dream- can be propagated by this technique.

Most plants tend to be ready for taking cuttings in early- to mid-summer, which is just at the time of family reunions. The fresh growth that came out in the spring is now mature but not too woody to cut and root for new plants.

When such cuttings are taken too early, they tend to flop and deteriorate before roots emerge. The tip of the stem might still be a fresh, new green, but down the stem a ways, say 3 to 5 inches, it should be firm enough to use. Use clean, sharp shears for this work to reduce the chance of disease. The cut should be sharp and clean so that it does not crush the stem tissue. Keep the leaves, but if some are quite large, cut them in half to reduce the chance of dehydration during rooting.

Take more than one cutting because this is not foolproof. Opt for side stems instead of the tip ends and do the work in the morning while the plant has more water in its system. Transport the cuttings in a small plastic bag with damp soil or perlite around the roots and put them in a small pot of clean potting soil as soon as possible. Rooting powder is a help with this. Just dip the cut end of the stem into the powder before you put it halfway down into the soil. Water the soil well and keep the pot in a sheltered place, not in a hot, sunny spot.

New leaves will signal that the plant is rooting. As it grows, move it to a larger pot, then eventually to a space in your landscape.

A third method of saving plants is collecting seeds, commonly done with non-hybrid annuals such as sweet peas, cosmos, moon flowers and zinnias. Look for pods of flowers that have matured. Snip off the pods and store them in a paper bag kept in a cool, dry place until sowing time next spring.

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Brighton estate blends outdoor garden seamlessly into living space






The four-season garden in Brighton has color all year long.

A blank canvas is how Joseph Nardone viewed his home in Brighton. When he and his husband, Bruce Gorman, purchased their Colonial-style home 15 years ago, the expansive backyard was pretty barren, with just a walnut tree and a few apple trees divided by a white fence.

With an eye for design, Nardone took it as a challenge to transform the space. The yard is now an oasis of sorts, with a four-season garden filled with perennials, evergreens and treasures from his travels.

There’s the antique gossip chair that intertwines so two people can face each other. Candle holders that were a gift from Mexico dot the landscape. And a cracked pot, literally, becomes a decorative accessory as it is repurposed to sit at an angle filled with greenery.

Design and garden is Nardone’s first love, as he grew up in the city’s Lyell-Otis neighborhood with Italian immigrant parents in an area filled with fruit trees. He loved to make settings look beautiful, but embarked on a corporate career with companies such as advertising agency Saatchi Saatchi and Eastman Kodak Co.

When Nardone’s division was eliminated at Kodak, he saw it as an opportunity to start anew. He launched Nardone Home  Garden in 2012, fulfilling his passion as a designer for indoor and outdoor spaces.

Being a designer gives Nardone a keen sense of style. Like an artist, Nardone looks at shape and symmetry and colors before incorporating his designs.

“I approach gardening first from a design standpoint than from horticultural,” he said.

The garden has been Nardone’s pride and joy as well as an evolving work of art for the past 15 years. He moves flowers and hedges with design plans in mind, much as he would redecorate his own home for the seasons. The pink rudbeckias that are currently in full bloom will be eliminated next year because the look doesn’t blend with the rest of the flowers. 

Boxwood hedges add layers of green. It’s the boxwood and evergreens that make it a four-season garden, with tall Degroot’s spire arborvitae as the centerpiece of the yard.

Every season has a different look. In early summer, the garden is white and green, an elegant mix of colors. In late August, bee balms and phlox provide shades of purple.

Nardone describes his gardening style as classic with traditional influence. 

“I typically try to bring in a timeless touch and classic elegance to my work,” he said.

That means mixing vintage with clean contemporary lines as long as the textures and styles work together.

The four-season room that was added on to the home seamlessly blends the outdoors with the indoors. It’s a favorite room for Nardone and Gorman, being able to relax and entertain. 

The 3,000-square-foot home is ornate and functional at the same time. The open-concept kitchen offers space for guests when entertaining. It is filled with the couple’s favorite things because Nardone enjoys shopping. But he is also a careful editor when it comes to design and moves pieces out of a room to bring things in.

Nardone enjoys having a sense of history incorporated into his home and garden, appreciating the stories behind his finds. 

“I’m not into the latest trends for the latest trend’s sake,” he said.

Fifteen years after he first painted the home’s canvas, it is still evolving, Nardone said. Just as his own life evolved from corporate to entrepreneur, pursuing a field he loves.

“I’m living the dream,” Nardone said.    



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Urban garden design taken to new heights

On Track St. Thomas wants to transform the former Michigan Central Railroad Kettle Creek Bridge into a park. Built in 1929, it was an engineering feat, and at its peak, the bridge carried 50 trains a day. Its rail days are gone and On Track wants to honour that past and build for the future by creating the St. Thomas Elevated Park Project.

A park in the sky isn’t a farfetched pie in the sky idea. The group was inspired partly by the High Line in New York City.

The Manhattan High Line opened in 1934 to transport goods to and from the industrial district. It too sat abandoned for 25 years. For 15 of those years, a group fought to prevent demolition with a proposal to repurpose the space for the public. After a lengthy planning and building process to convert each section from unused rail trestle to public landscape, the gardens and walkways opened in 2014.

The story of that journey from overgrown wasteland to a vibrant four-season garden is told by Piet Oudolf, a landscape designer who was part of High Line’s process, and Rick Darke, landscape designer and photographer, in Gardens of the High Line.

“It’s a central plaza, a cultural centre, a walkway, and a green retreat in a bustling city that is free for all to enjoy,” write the authors.

It all started with a series of photographs that captured the wild beauty of the self-seeded landscape that grew along the tracks when the trains stopped running.

Since that time, photography has played an important storytelling role. It is evident flipping the pages of the book’s close-ups of plants. Colours and textures change with the seasons and contrast with the concrete cityscape. You could enjoy the publication simply as a stunning coffee table picture book.

But it is much more. Gardens of the High Line takes readers from the design competition to how it is used today, from dating app and wedding photo backdrops to experiments in lawn care without herbicides, pesticides or fungicides.

Oudolf expresses an approach to design that incorporates both the romantic and the practical: “For me, garden design is not just about plants, it is about emotion, atmosphere, a sense of contemplation. You try to move people with what you do. That is a big part. A garden isn’t a landscape painting that you look at, but a dynamic process that’s always changing. You must keep in touch with it all the time.”

Being in touch began with the design. Instead of ripping out the wilderness that had naturally sprung up after the trains stopped, those types of plants inspired the ones incorporated in the new beds and many original species were included. The species of perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees were chosen for their hardiness, sustainability, and textural and colour variation, with a focus on native species.

Readers follow the evolution and care of those plants through the seasons. The book is organized to follow the design’s assumption that people enter the garden by ascending the Gansevoort stair at the south end.

The first chapter, Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes, examines “revolutionary developments in industry, urban aesthetics, horticulture and ecology that led to the creation of an unprecedented urban landscape that has unique global resonance.” It illustrates the contrasts of the garden: old and new, now indigenous plants originally brought from other continents, the senses stimulated and the intellectual triggers, the transitory nature of a garden and the endurance of good design.

The largest part of the book is Gardens of the High Line. With a map to orient readers, it portrays each section, including care, habitat and seasonality. In Hudson River Overlook, the authors highlight the views, the perspectives of the surrounding area. The Sundeck and Water Garden provide a place to interact with water or simply sit and listen and look at it.

All gardeners know the challenge of a difficult space. They can take heart from Northern Spur, where growing conditions and shallow planting depth were just two of the issues presented by the site.

“High Line horticulture is a continual experiment dedicated to determining the most beautiful and appropriate plants and plant associations for each of the varied garden habitats. This approach ensures the gardens will be a living model of responsible gardening.” The details are outlined in several chapters, allowing readers to take advice for their own spaces, or apply to a similar project such as the St. Thomas Elevated Park.

One landscape architect quoted believed High Line is one of a kind in its totality. James Corner said, “You just can’t take it anywhere else. Its life, and the energy it has, are drawn in large measure from unique context.” The authors don’t entirely agree, saying that the pattern of plantings and the type of stewardship provided can be reproduced and should be emulated. “We hope this book will serve as a beautiful memory of a great place, as a guide to the infinite opportunities it presents to practice the art of observation and as an inspiration to all who, publicly or privately, seek to elevate the nature of modern landscapes.”

Or you can become lost in the lush images, and daydream about being in one of the High Line’s lush landscapes.

Janis Wallace is a London writer.

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Antiques can add personality, focal point to a garden | Lifestyle …

Adding antique garden ornaments to the landscape blends horticulture with history. One-of-a-kind pieces will personalize your property, and over time may grow into something richly rewarding — financially as well as artistically.

“Really outstanding good old pieces such as a swan bench, unusual large decorative urn or piece of sculpture will continue to go up in value, but really more important to my client is the same artistic pleasure that placing a certain piece in their garden gives to them,” said Aileen Minor, owner of Aileen Minor Garden Antiques Decorative Arts in Centreville, Maryland.

Some of her garden antiques have been installed in the U.S. Capitol, the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and in private collections around the United States, Germany, England and France.

The definition of “antique” is somewhat elastic but generally applies to objects more than 100 years old.

“What makes a piece worth collecting? I would say rarity, design detail, all original parts and age,” Minor said.

Garden antiques are most commonly made of wicker, metal or stone, and range from pergolas and gazebos to cemetery headstones and fountains, from ironwork, fencing and gates to outdoor furniture and windows.

Family heirlooms certainly qualify.

Each person has his or her own idea about what constitutes a collectible, said Troy Rhone, owner of Troy Rhone Garden Design in Birmingham, Alabama.

“Typically, I look for pieces that are over 120 years old and have a unique history,” Rhone said. “I’m not as concerned about the price because I’m usually looking for a specific item for my gardens.”

Rhone studies each piece to determine if there are markings to determine who made it, signs of wear and tear, and areas that might deteriorate quickly.

“Not many pieces can stand the test of time when exposed to weather, so using pieces that have proved their sustainability is something most people are drawn toward,” Rhone said.

Many people shape their garden antique collections around a theme. Some may want to match a Victorian-era setting, highlighting the looks of their home and neighborhood. Others simply want practical antiques spotted tastefully around their landscape.

“Collectors do collect pieces based on forms such as antique hitching posts or interesting sculpture,” Minor said. “But more often they are looking to find unusual pieces such as a fountain for a focal point in a garden, or are looking for an attractive antique or vintage bench or settee for seating in their garden.”

Estate sales, auctions and antique dealers are good places to look, Rhone said. “They can be a great resource when searching for a specific item. Most of the time it’s pretty easy to have shipping arranged.”

Living at a time when so much is mass-produced, it’s nice to have something that no one else has, Rhone said.

“That is easily accomplished with an antique that was handmade,” he said. “No one else is likely to have that exact piece so it allows a space to have individuality, which is what makes one garden stand out from the rest.”

Secure them, though. High-end antique pieces are prime targets for thievery. — (AP)

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Enhancing outdoors

Spring is a good time to considering landscaping, says Gillian Vine

It is well known that a good-looking garden can increase the value of a property and may mean a faster sale.

Even if you are not thinking of selling, spring is a good time to consider enhancing your property.

Landscaping falls into two areas. ”Hard” refers to the construction of things like walls and fences, while ”soft” landscaping is all plants, from groundcovers to trees.

You can do it yourself – some people have a great eye and practical skills – or hire a professional landscape designer. Whichever option is selected, there are some basics to keep in mind, like having somewhere to sit, no matter how small the garden.

Start by considering what you want. Is it important to have an area for children to play, with a sandpit, trampoline or climbing frame? Would a barbecue area suit your lifestyle? Do you want a vegetable garden, space for a glasshouse or a new shed?

Have you the time or enthusiasm to work in a garden or is an easy-care option preferred? Remember that easy-care does not mean no-care and – depending on the chosen features – there will be work, such as mowing lawns, pruning trees, trimming hedges or painting fences.

Make a file of clippings of ideas that appeal, then sit down and make rough sketches of what could go where.

Having decided what you’d like to do but before going any further, find out if any building consents are required. Putting in a pool, adding new buildings or extensively altering existing ones are obvious situations where consents are required but there are others where you must have a permit, even if doing all the work yourself.

Examples include fences over 2.5m, retaining walls over 1.5m, decks, platforms, bridges and boardwalks more than 1.5m high, as well as most plumbing work. You may even need consent to demolish that tumbledown garden shed.

There is a fee and a wait while the application is processed. Obviously, it pays to get this process out of the way as early as possible, so work is not held up.

Landscape designs drawn up and carried out by experts are not cheap because you are paying for their expertise. However, some designers will draw up planting plans with recommended plants so you can do it yourself as funds allow.

The Landscape Industry Association of New Zealand is the professional body for landscapers and it is recommended that you check the membership list on their website ( to ensure any designer you want to use is accredited. Get two or three quotes and a clear indication of when the landscaper could start and about how long the work will take.

When approving the design, be sure that trees and shrubs are to your taste and check how quickly they will grow. Ease of care may be important: for example, a box edging or topiary tree requiring regular trimming could be too much to cope with.

Be realistic about your budget. A common complaint from landscapers is that people have no idea of the cost of materials or how labour-intensive the work is.

One obvious way to overcome this is to have lower, less expensive expectations, while the other is to have the work done in stages. The second path may be frustrating but, in the end, will produce the external space you envisaged at the outset.

As one Australian designer put it, ”Patience can be your best friend when it comes to achieving great results.”

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Herzog & de Meuron reveal mountaintop campus project in L.A. …

Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron have revealed new renderings for a new headquarters for the Berggruen Institute in Los Angeles. (Courtesy Herzog de Meuron)

Plans call for minimal,
low-slung structures perched above native landscapes. (Courtesy Herzog de Meuron)

The complex will be connected via a linear park as well as a collection of public paths. (Courtesy Herzog and de Meuron)

The project will be marked by subdued structures articulated mainly in raw concrete and untreated wood. (Courtesy Herzog and de Meuron)

(Courtesy Herzog de Meuron)

Herzog and de Meuron’s proposal calls for taking up only 10% of the site,
leaving the remaining areas as natural habitat. (Courtesy Herzog de Meuron)

Herzog and de Meuron’s proposal calls for taking up only 10% of the site,
leaving the remaining areas as natural habitat.
(Courtesy Herzog de Meuron)

Swiss architecture firm Herzog de Meuron has revealed renderings for a new 447-acre mountaintop campus for the Berggruen Institute, a policy-focused consortium of think tanks funded by billionaire Nicolas Berggruen.

The complex—made up of a collection of subdued structures that occupy only roughly 10% of the overall site—is being planned to include a private residence for Berggruen’s family, 15 scholars’ residences, and a series of gardens strung along a publically-accessible linear park. The campus is anchored on its southern end by a low-slung research center with views towards Downtown Los Angeles. The campus will be located on a mountaintop that was formerly used as a landfill; the project site consists of a portion of the mountainside that was scraped and flattened in the 1980s in order to cap the landfill. That previously-disturbed 32-acre section of land will contain the development in its entirety, with the remaining 415-acres of the property persisting in a more-or-less natural state.

Plans call for minimal, low-slung structures perched above native landscapes. (Courtesy Herzog de Meuron)

The linear site is organized with the private residence at its north end, the scholars’ residences at the center, and the linear park and research center at its southern tip. The research center—dubbed “the Institute Frame” by the architects—consists of a rectangular structure containing a large courtyard at its center. The building is lifted 12 feet off the ground and contains a variety of indoor-outdoor connections along the elevated sections. The Frame’s courtyard will contain natural landscaping, a spherical 250-seat lecture hall, and a large reflecting pool, among other components. The frame structure will also house visiting scholars in a collection of apartments, with plans calling for 26 scholars-in-residence units and 14 visiting scholar units. The Frame Institute will also contain meeting rooms, study spaces, offices, artists’ studios, media spaces and dining and reception areas, according to the release.

Regarding the pared-down architectural approach, Jacques Herzog of Herzog de Meuron told the Los Angeles Times, “We want to use the spheres in the purest possible way, to make them almost immaterial. Not an expression of new technologies or a heroic engineering solution. They shouldn’t show any sign of effort or structural expression. We were just interested in this idea of the purity of the form—in its innocence, so to speak.”

Herzog and de Meuron’s proposal calls for taking up only 10% of the site, leaving the remaining areas as natural habitat. (Courtesy Herzog and de Meuron)

In a press release announcing the project, Nicolas Berggruen stated, “By building our campus here on the Pacific coast, we hope to advance the position of Los Angeles as a world center for ideas, linking the East to the West. By commissioning this visionary design from Herzog de Meuron, we demonstrate our intention to make an important contribution to the architecture of Los Angeles and the world.”

The complex will be connected via a linear park as well as a collection of public paths. (Courtesy Herzog and de Meuron)

Gensler will work as the executive architect on the project, with landscape design to be performed by Michel Desvigne Paysagiste and Inessa Hansch Architecte. Although the project has already begun initial planning review, a timeline for the project has not been released.

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