Keeping up with social media and green•eye•design’s other pages around the Internet, sometimes updates and posts here become neglected. To change all that, here are some recent drawings and work:
As always, click the image to embiggen
Another client in Great Falls:
A commercial space in McLean, VA:
This is something to pin up and show clients how the design is developing, below are the finished sheets:
Several months ago I began discussing with The Virginia Hospital Center the possibility of designing several planting areas scattered around the hospital grounds, difficult, high traffic or neglected areas of opportunity. During the course of those conversations we were offered a fabulous opportunity: Develop & design a new outdoor space at the confluence of three major structures: Between the main hospital building & the Women & Infants health center and above the subterranean Radiation Oncology suites.
click images to embiggen
It is the Oncology Department which is the driving factor in this project; a new, state-of-the-art Linear Accelerator (pdf file) and its encompassing support suites are to be built below the space, resulting in a seven million dollar major engineering and architectural change to the facility.
To date, the space seen above has over time become a bit of a catchall in terms of engineering solutions– by that I mean, the outdoor environment has been utilized primarily as a repository and support system for the existing radiation suites below.
Here we see the cooling units for the Cyberknife® suite and supporting equipment. Obviously maintaining optimal temperatures is critical with multimillion dollar equipment, and this space represented the nearest, most cost-effective location.
The raised planter in the foreground is an integral part of the radiation shielding assembly, which consists of several feet of reinforced concrete, lead lining, brick, and of course the several feet of earth inside the planter. The planter’s shape reflects the radiation oncology suite below ground.
A space was opened up at ground level in order to crane in various pieces of heavy, precious medical equipment, and a skylight was seen as a beneficial solution in case repairs or replacements ever had to be made in the future. Unfortunately, it’s been plagued with leaks and has been quite a liability overall.
This much taller planter is part of another suite’s shielding assembly, and again the brick and earth are absolutely critical in terms of radiation abatement. Removing this planter would result in hundreds of thousands of dollars being incurred in additional lead shielding and the structural support required to bear the additional load (around forty additional tons on this small footprint).
Stowmwater runoff is dealt with inefficiently, as a problem to be moved as quickly as possible away from the space.
It strains credulity, but a stairwell (over on the left) pops up into the space as well, a mandatory fire safety element the need for which thankfully will be eliminated with the new construction.
An abandoned door into the space will be removed with the construction, but what of this narrow ‘hallway’? A recent awning removal reveals stained brick which adds to the feeling of disjointed uneasiness.
As patients/visitors drive in, this is what they see from curbside.
Conclusions: This is a fabulous area, rich with the patina of age and full of unique design challenges. In my next post, I will start to lay out our design process, our goals, and how we will achieve them.
Sometimes I need to play around with different spatial configurations and set-ups in order to see what works best for a particular site, these quick fence sketches exemply that…
Click images to embiggen
We were recently engaged to do the design, installation, and maintenance for several lovely massive pots flanking the front entrance to The Country Club of Fairfax. These are combinations of pussy willow, curly willow, Redtwig Dogwood, dried hydrangea blossoms, and Virginia Juniper, along with Southern Magnolia tips. They are quite large (the larger containers have an overall height now of about 8′-9′) and now really frame the entrance well. Cheers!
click images to embiggen
One of the administrators kindly sent me a photo of this garden, designed a number of years ago for a small private school in Northern Virginia, looking splendid in summer:
I thoroughly enjoyed designing this space, including the stone benches, which I sketched from scratch and had hand carved.
Each year I like to send out a gift to our clients, as a way of saying thanks for their business and as a way of expressing my appreciation for their trust in allowing me to shape their home or business spaces. For several years I have been aware of a stockpile of vintage mason jars in our basement– the previous owner of our house was an ardent canner and ran a huge veggie garden in our backyard. This year I brought up a bunch, cleaned & sterilized them, and now we’re using them to ship ridiculously tasty (if I do say so myself) home made granola. The recipe is a riff off of a nice one by Alton Brown. Whereas Alton calls for vegetable oil, we’re using unprocessed coconut oil, which imparts wonderful flavor to the mix. We’re also adding:
Dried fruit (apple, pineapple, plums, currants, raisins)
Sunflower seeds (unsalted, roasted)
So I was very happy to learn that the residential clients for the project on Elmwood Avenue in historic Oak Park, IL wanted to move forward before things got really cold (and the ground unworkable). These past few weeks have been controlled insanity as a major renovation/addition project is ongoing at the house, so what’s a little major foundation planting? Why not, right?
Looking down the driveway towards all the construction materials. The long side of the house will remain undeveloped until the spring, this will allow freer access for all the large construction vehicles and also ease the repaving job. Plants would scald pretty easily being so close to burning hot, newly-laid asphalt. As well, painting the house will be much less time-consuming without having to work around foundation plants.
Tidied up, edged with new sod, and hardwood mulch laid. There are several shrubs & one tree, a Chinese Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum), which will be planted in early spring.
For the past month we have been actively soliciting donations for our first annual charity: water fundraising campaign we’re calling ’200 Miles, 1 Well’. Why water? Several weeks ago I spoke about this issue while out on a training ride, check it out:
The idea for the fundraiser is simple: In the second week of November, Dave Bockman & a select group of equally crazy cyclist friends will hop on our bikes and not stop until we’re 200 miles from where we started. Consider making a personal or corporate donation? Thanks from all of us!