Casino Mine Ranch is a wonderful Northern California estate vineyard with a rich family history. When we were brought in to design the landscape, we wanted to respect the surrounding natural beauty of rolling hills and vineyards. It was intended to feel purposeful and natural, yet informal. In open areas where traditional shrub planting wasn’t necessary, but a more natural planting feel was desired, we utilized an annual/perennial wildflower hydroseed mix.
The existing Valley Oak tree on the property is several decades old, standing majestically at 75′ tall and over 40′ wide. The surrounding landscape had to complement the tree and keep it as the dramatic focal point of the site.
The pathway leading to the tasting room is adorned with welcoming plantings of rosemary, jasmine, and agaves, surrounded by Coast Live Oak, Crepe Myrtle, Strawberry, and majestic London Plane trees. Adjacent to the tasting room, a spacious artificial turf lawn spanning 5,000 square feet offers a picturesque view of the natural pond, home to water turtles and fish.
We incorporated decomposed granite for the planting and seating areas, utilized natural pavers for pedestrian walkways, and repurposed boulders, stone, and river rock to create sitting walls and planter accents. The challenge was striking a balance between hardscape and softscape, but the use of these natural materials successfully achieved that harmony.
There is also a classic ‘Wine Truck’ parked on the property which acts as another bar to fill patrons’ wine glasses. Ultimately, the design centers around creating several comfortable gathering areas for guests to sit, stand, and enjoy the beautiful surrounding landscape while enjoying a glass of wine.
Fort Worth Stockyards is a public/private partnership with the City to redevelop 70 acres of the historic destination where the visitors can experience an authentic glimpse into the American West. The longhorn cattle drives still take place twice daily for guests to enjoy.
One of the most popular attractions in Texas, the Stockyards includes 190,000 sf of historic horse and mule barns with existing brick facades, dramatic soaring interiors; carefully curated retail stores and restaurants, outdoor patios, and private dining rooms with sweeping views. BBQ joints, brewpubs, and live music venues. Mule Alley has been transformed into a vibrant entertainment district and streetscape unlike any other in the DFW market.
The “Legacy of Color” sculpture was refurbished and moved from American Paint Horse Assoc. headquarters to its new location, welcoming guests on Mule Alley.
Rustic paving of Thurber brick lies under the vehicular traffic, while pedestrian paving is custom patterns of brick and stone. Lush softscape materials comprise a dozen specimen Live Oak Trees and thirteen 25’ “Autumn Blaze” Maple Trees that line Mule Alley as well as Star Jasmine, variegated flax lily, Nellie R. Stevens holly, Breeze Dwarf Mat Rush, caramel coral bells, lime coral bells, and Furman’s red Texas sage.
At the end of Mule Alley is Hotel Drover Autograph Collection, celebrating the best of Texas hospitality.
Situated in the heart of the Sunset Strip and above the Pendry Residences, the Pendry West Hollywood Hotel offers 149 luxury guest rooms and suites for the discerning traveler who wants to experience the iconic Southern California lifestyle. Designed as a natural extension of the area’s rich history, the Pendry exudes classic Hollywood art déco through a fresh, contemporary perspective. Woven together, the interior and exterior environments create a layered, residential-style experience that ties the property into the surrounding community.
Approaching from Sunset Blvd., the hotel offers Ospero café and an upcoming live music venue. It presents a vibrant, modern façade of crisp lines and LED animation that connects with the energy pulsing on the Strip. Leading towards the entry, regimented, layered, tall Mexican Fan Palms and Medjool Date Palms line Sunset Blvd. and Olive Dr., continuing the surrounding street character.
From here, guests travel behind high Prunus hedge walls, which evoke the area’s residential neighborhoods’ exclusivity, to arrive at the spacious 115’ x 180’ entry piazza. Envisioned as the motor court of a private home, it features bold patterned concrete pavers in black and white that stretch from hotel to residential buildings and continue in marble once inside the hotel lobby. Towering, specially selected Coastal Live Oaks and California Sycamores are used to visually anchor the space and extend the feeling that this property has been part of the West Hollywood landscape for years. Additional tall hedge walls and a 15’ high Greenscreen wrap around the opposite side of the Piazza, creating an enclosed, secluded courtyard, with smaller, intimate spaces for guests to discover. From here, they can enjoy drinks or work on their laptop in a garden setting, surrounded by a layered, textural understory of sculptural planting. Custom Ipe wood and brass doors, cut into the hedge wall, also offer an entry to the property’s private, luxury membership-only, The Britely Social Club, which boasts cocktail lounges, a bowling alley, screening room, and a live entertainment venue, among other amenities.
Situated eleven floors up on the top of the hotel tower, the pool area has a commanding, 180-degree view of the city. Guests can relax sitting along the theater-like steps of the flush-edge pool or lounge on chaises and sunbeds, nestled in clusters of pottery and hanging plants. Wolfgang Puck’s destination restaurant, Merois, offers alfresco cocktails and dining overlooking the pool, while The Britely members enjoy an adjacent open-air rooftop bar, lounge, and non-stop elevator access.
Overall, the property harkens back to an earlier era with a richness and class that travelers and residents alike are looking for.
Photo credit: Christian Horan Photography
Adjacent to Pendry West Hollywood Hotel, and across the piazza, the 40-unit Pendry Residences step down Olive Dr. to Fountain Ave. The slope created the opportunity for many of the residences to have one-of-a-kind private garden terraces with spectacular city views. Ranging from 430 sq. ft. to 3,800 sq. ft., these patios feature extensive entertaining space and lawn areas, outdoor kitchens, fire bowls, raised spas, and vanishing edge pools. Color tones are grey, sand, and cream with pops of orange, which complement the architecture.
Every effort was made to create the illusion that the private terraces are planted on the ground, rather than on rooftops, so residents feel more like they have their own private yards with promontory views. Artificial turf is low maintenance and provides a constant green understory.
To create an eclectic ambiance echoing the surrounding neighborhoods, the plant palette of each terrace varies in inspiration, from desert contemporary to lush tropical, featuring Kentia palms, dragon trees, African sumac, evergreen dwarf pink plumeria, and gold mound lantana.
All residents have access to a 4th Floor central garden space, “The Park,” which is visible from the main lobby. The communal lawn and accent planting come together to descend down the changing grades of the space on Corten steel-edged steps, both blurring the lines of landscape and architecture, as well as creating topography in a thoroughly architectural space. Ficus, Japanese blueberry, kentia palms, naked coral tree, tree aloe, dwarf agave, jade, and flax lily adorn the area with layers of verdant planting.
Guests can also relax at the 14.6’ x 50’ white porcelain-lined, flush-edge rooftop pool and spa with spectacular views of the Hollywood skyline.
Photo Credit: LaFlamme Media
Installations from 2015 – early 2019
Situated among a complex of 14 commercial buildings on the west side of Fifth Avenue in New York City, in the middle of the 200 ft. plaza promenade, are the beautiful and imaginative Channel Gardens that are the central axis of the center. The six granite pools, each with bronze-cast fountainhead sculptures of Tritons, Nereids and sea creatures, were designed by Rene Paul Chambellan.
The gilded bronze statue of Prometheus, sculpted by Paul Manship, hovers over the sunken plaza; and its companion piece; Atlas, by Lee Lawrie, sits as a forceful expression of authority in the Fifth Avenue forecourt. All of these components are part of the heritage of this iconic destination. We designed alternating garden scenes which accented the well-known historical art and fountains and offered NYC residents and visitors of all ages dynamic, colorful, floral settings ranging from the very whimsical to more formally floral.
From the Easter lilies that adorned the gardens in early April, to the joyful pink ducks that floated in the fountains in Spring. To the tropical 8′ high custom dragonfly which hovered amongst the array of bromeliads in the summertime to the golden hued abundant marigolds in September and the deep blue hydrangeas in Autumn.
In December, the vibrant red sparkling bands of ribbons caressed the lushly green foliage that connected the holiday angels (Designed by Valerie Clarebout in 1954, and always part of this seasonal celebration) and the statuesque and jolly winter snowman stood poised in late January. These gardens brought a resurgence of appreciation of this significant and treasured American urban destination.
The Plaza Coral Gables is a $700M mixed-use development in the heart of Coral Gables’ central business district and consists of approximately 2.1 million sf of space on three city blocks. The site also houses a historic building that was once the office of the City’s developer, George Merrick, which will be used as Agave Holdings’ new office.
The site design carefully balances the functional, environmental, and pedestrian requirements of its urban setting. Lifescapes was commissioned to provide elegant, distinctive surroundings for a luxury hotel, two office towers, dining, retail, and entertainment space, and approximately 170 residences.
A grand lawn with a large water feature and children’s play area serves as the focal point of the park-like setting. Outdoor eating areas, open lawn for events and lounging as well as numerous seating niches are spread around the project to encourage people to stroll, eat, and enjoy the garden experience. A walking promenade along the retail frontage allows for partially covered passage so visitors can have a unique indoor/outdoor experience. The centerpiece food venue adjacent to the grand lawn invites guests to grab a quick bite and relax along the turf edge. This area also serves as the entertainment hub and will allow the hosting of seasonal events and festivities ranging from small concerts and parties to holiday tree lighting and ice skating.
Central to Los Angeles’ South Bay, The Enclave is a 2.5-acre restaurant-retail center between two commercial towers with 500,000 sf of newly renovated A-class office space. The focus was on adding food, retail, and social offerings to the surrounding neighborhood.
The key to the design was creating functional outdoor spaces. The nearby office tower lobbies were renovated to provide access to the outdoors with retractable walls, allowing fresh air exposure and views of the garden, and in the retail center, restaurants spill out to patios for open-air dining.
Two organic orchards and herb gardens were also added alongside the office buildings, offering seating among citrus trees and herb planters. Tenants can enjoy a fresh orange on their lunch break and take in the sweet-smelling fragrance of the fruit trees.
We created “destinations within destinations” with a variety of options for guests and nearby employees to relax or work outside (made easier by available Wi-Fi and charging stations). Various ground covers throughout the property define spaces and make them feel separate and intimate. Seating has different perspectives, so some people can sit low in reclining chairs, while others can sit at café tables with a higher vantage point. The two fire pits surrounded by colorful, eclectic rocking chairs, bean bags, and Adirondack chairs offer guests an opportunity to enjoy the outdoor experience even on the chillier Southern California evenings.
Multi-functional, flex spaces provide eclectic and fun areas for socialization, games, and meetings. The many recreational activities throughout the property include ping-pong, four-in-a-row, cornhole, and stack and tumble towers. There is also a “conference table” in the plaza where employees can host gatherings.
The design was purposeful in that it wasn’t long and linear, but rather invites exploration. Creative traffic flow allows for nooks and new enticements around every corner.
Several eclectic water features zig-zag throughout the property: one such fountain features repurposed musical instruments as art, another is made from vibrant, colorful cylinders in varying heights, and a third features yellow spheres (reminiscent of The Enclave’s bright yellow logo). The commitment to art is seen all over the property from the colorful elephant wall mural that welcomes guests from the parking lot to an art installation reflecting the Southern California lifestyle (made of surfboards in an array of patterns and colors hanging on the wall near an entrance/exit point).
In addition, inspirational quotes carved into the pavement provide motivation and “Instagrammable moments” as you weave throughout the center.
Photo credit: Patrick Tang
A public-private partnership project with the City of Glendale and Caruso Affiliated, The Americana at Brand is a 15.5-acre regional landmark situated in the heart of the city and features a 2-acre generously landscaped, vast open central public park at the project’s center and battery-operated trolley rides through the main square and around the perimeter.
Abundant mature trees, colorful flower beds and a beautiful dancing fountain (Waters of Americana) with the Spirit of American Youth sculpture by Donald Harcourt DeLue rising from the center make up the centerpiece. Integral to the property is 238 apartment homes and 100 elegant condominiums with lush garden and pool areas, seating surrounding an outdoor fireplace, 75 shops and boutiques, 17 restaurants, a multi-screen theater complex, children’s play area and ample parking.
Situated on a five-acre cultural campus in the heart of downtown Las Vegas, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts delivers the best and brightest performances to both the residents and visitors in Las Vegas. Its central garden courtyard, with decorative paving, canopying Ash Trees, and vine-covered trellis allows additional space for special gatherings, displays and intimate functions.
It also is the home of the new Discovery Children’s Museum and the Nevada Ballet Company. The nearby Symphony Park features a large, multi-functional gathering space for events, festivals and concerts; with overhead lighting and a colorful, sculptural art piece entitled Pipe Dream (Fanfare For The Common Man) by Tim Bavington, inspired by Aaron Copland.
The concept for the landscape environment at The Waterfront Redondo Beach encompassed shopping and restaurants, lagoon renovation, theater, boutique hotel, pier enhancement and office space, as well as reconfiguring the pedestrian and traffic flow. Eleven acres of landscaped open spaces and gathering places featured play areas and abundant seating, and a fully-programmable, open environment for movies or concerts in the park, art shows, and community events would make up this historic coastline.
Lifescapes understood the importance of maintaining the integrity of the surf community, while infusing a modern, vibrant, urban energy, as well as adding value to the surrounding community. Adding a public marketplace would bring in visitors and locals alike, and rejuvenating the public lagoon by removing the seawall for clean seawater to enter will provide year-round recreational activity.