This summer, the New York Botanical Garden celebrates Roberto Burle Marx, the modernist landscape architect who worked with Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer. Roberto Burle Marx’s path to becoming one of the most celebrated landscape architects of the 20th century was about as direct as his sinuous garden designs. Raised in Rio de Janeiro, he moved to Berlin to study painting and found inspiration in the city’s Dahlem Botanical Garden. When he returned to Rio to continue his education, he still considered himself a painter but began to experiment with a new medium: native plants. His work was noticed by architect and urban planner Lúcio Costa, who asked Burle Marx to design a garden. The painter-turned-landscape architect became dedicated to expanding his horticultural palette, and commissions from other architects, including Oscar Niemeyer, followed. Burle Marx developed a joyful style defined by large groupings of plants employed like swaths of color on a canvas. His gardens were structured around around bold architectural forms and features, and bolder plants like the explosively colorful bromeliad and the sculptural leaves of the elephant’s ear. Favoring neither common nor exotic plants, Burle Marx was instead fascinated by the effects of plants. He collected, studied, and propagated native Brazilian species—dozens that he discovered bear his name—and he became a passionate environmentalist and advocate for the conservation of the rainforest and the native landscape. The exhibition will feature a garden designed by landscape architect and Burle Marx–protege Raymond Jungles in the spirit of Burle Marx’s work, as well as a gallery of the landscape architect’s original paintings, prints, drawings, and textiles. “From children’s playgrounds, to art, to sculptural vine trellises, to murals, to incredible gardens, you [can] see his passion in everything that he did,” said Jungles. “He was always creating; that’s what gave him joy.” The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx opens June 8 at the New York Botanical Garden and will be on view until September 29.
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Artist Dale Chihuly has returned to New York City with his first show in ten years: a grand exhibition in the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). The showcase, titled CHIHULY, includes glasswork sculptures that will be radiating throughout the gardens all summer long, by day and night. With site-specific installations, CHIHULY aims to interact with the landscape of the gardens to build a dialogue between movement, color, and light. “The New York Botanical Garden is the perfect setting for Dale Chihuly’s art,” stated Gregory Long, chief executive officer and The William C. Steere Sr. President of the NYBG. “Our historic landscape is an open-air museum, providing a thrilling opportunity for our visitors to see the spectacular installations, especially when they will be lit at night.” During “CHIHULY Nights” the sculptures come alive with light amongst a program of special activities and events. Adults and children are welcomed to experience evening celebrations, with art programs, films, poetry events, and concerts that all take place once the sun goes down. Tickets for "CHIHULY Nights" are available to be purchased here. The exhibition, which runs until October 29, 2017, features over 20 installations and early works by Chihuly. The entire exhibit allows viewers to see the evolution in Chihuly’s work, as well as the development processes of specific artworks. Some of the installations are reconfigurations of well-known Chihuly pieces such as Chihuly’s Tower and Chandelier, but older works and personal drawings of the artist will also be on display at the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building. The exhibit also allows a unique interactive experience through a virtual tour. Guests can access the tour on their smartphones and engage with the installations based on their specific locations—the tour's digital map includes additional information on the artwork and the artist’s process in conceiving it, as well as a social platform to post photographs captured by visitors. For more information, visit the NYBG website.
The New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects announced the winners of their annual Design Awards. For the 2014 edition, 5 submissions received honors and additional 13 were chosen for merits from a field of 70. Participants from various New York-based firms provided designs for sites found within the city as well as other parts of the country. Award-recipients will be displaying their designs at the Center for Architecture beginning on April 3rd through the end of the month. Native Plant Garden, New York Botanical Garden The 3.5-acre installation by Oehme van Sweden Landscape Architects features a large pool fed by cascading water surrounded by native flora. Wooden boardwalks lead visitors through a variety of settings illustrating the diversity of the local landscape. The garden is consciously designed to illustrate how the landscape responds to seasonal shifts. SIRR Coastal Protection Plan, SCAPE Landscape Architecture In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, ex-mayor Michael Bloomberg instituted the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency. SCAPE played an important role on the multidisciplinary team, collaborating with engineering and planning firms to consider urban responses to climate change and the destruction it fosters. The SIRR report established a series of short and long-term goals that transcend the traditional mono-infrastructural solutions of seawalls and floodgates. Southern Highlands Reserve, W Gary Smith Design This private garden in Western North Carolina is dedicated to the preservation and research of the plants of the Southern Appalachian Highlands. Smith's design entails a number of pathways that offer diverse experiences through distinct planting strategies. The 120 acres are also populated by outdoor gathering spaces created by more heavily manicured stonework. West Point Foundry Preserve, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects Mathews Nielsen created a sustainably designed park for this historic location in upstate New York noted for its role in Civil War weapon manufacturing. The plan makes use of existing walkways and rail lines to connect ruined structures and educational displays and establish a narrative for the site. The minimally invasive park takes pains to preserve and highlight the natural ecosystems that surround the foundry. Chelsea Cove, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates This riverfront park extends over three piers to provide 8.5 acres of open space to the surrounding neighborhood. A land bowl helps to shelter to the majority of the lawn from the adjacent West Side Highway and the site counts an entrance garden, sculpture installation, carousel, and skate park amongst its amenities. Offering expansive views of Hudson, special engineering efforts were undertaken to ensure that the park was resilient and sustainable in the face of rising water levels and extreme weather. The following projects were listed for Merit Awards: Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 5, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates The Deconstructed Salt Marsh, SCAPE Landscape Architecture Gateway at the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Andropogon Associates Harlem River Promenade, Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners Hallet’s Cove, Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners Hudson Square Streetscape, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects Into the Woods, Nancy Owens Studio Midtown Manhattan Sky Garden, HMWhite Site Architects Rainlab at Dalton School, Town & Gardens Swingtones, Strafford, Supermass Studio Landscape Architecture Tongva Park & Ken Gensler Square, James Corner Field Operations Reconstruct Forest Edge, Keith LeBlanc Landscape Architecture Zones of Experience: Symbolism as a Master Planning Tool for St. John’s University, Louis Fusco Landscape Architects
As architects like Herzog & de Meuron and Jean Nouvel tap into the potential of vertical gardens, they'll often seek the expertise of Patrick Blanc. For the past thirty years Blanc developed vertical gardens while researching adaptive strategies of plants at the National Center for Sceintific Research in France. His research of plant growth in nature's more hostile environs, such as hanging off of stone cliffs or springing from rocks next to waterfalls, has yielded a uniquely urbanistic solution for gardening. For the next ten days there's a small window of opportunity left to see the work of Blanc at its most luxurious. The botanist designed the New York Botanical Garden's annual Orchid Show which ends on April 22. As a bonus, this also happens to be the moment that the Gardens' 250 acres are at the height of their springtime burst.
While it is more restrained than many of the high designed garages currently popping up in Miami, the new garage at New York Botanical Gardens, designed by Ennead's Suzan Rodriguez with Desman Associates, marks a distinct departure for bland lots frequently found around New York. The garage opened to the public last Friday and promises to sport a vertical garden on all four sides once the plantings catch on to and climb up the Greenscreen wire trellis. The trellis wire rests between 'V' shaped vertical columns that derive inspiration from tree-limbs. But one can also detect a modernist influence, perhaps Pier Luigi Nervi's George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal? The effort goes a bit beyond the call of greening duty, as its not actually located in the the gardens. It sits on a former industrial site across the street and over the bridge of the MTA's North Harlem local line.