Ideas That Matter

Poetics of Stone: from Material to Meaning - Lecture at the Palm Springs Art Museum as part of Modernism Week

Lisa Gimmy

Edris House for website


Our thanks to the many photographers whose skill and work, as displayed in the beautiful images we shared with you, have documented the remarkable projects we discussed during the presentation at the Palm Springs Art Museum during Modernism Week.



Arnold, C.D. and Higinbotham, H.D. View of Japanese Tea Garden From Lagoon. The Project Gutenberg EBook of Official Views Of The World’s Columbian Exposition. 2007. Wikimedia. Accessed 19 December 2016.

Angeles, Marc. The Black Desert House. Archdaily. 7 February 2014. . Accessed 23 January 2017.

Campbell-Lange, Barbara-Ann. John Lautner. Cologne, Germany: Taschen Publishing. 1999.

Church, Thomas D., Grace Hall and Michael Laurie. Gardens Are For People. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1995.

Coyier, Jack. Architect’s Garden. March 2013.

Cygelman, Adele. Palm Springs Modern. New York, NY: Rizzoli International Publications, 1999.

de Meuron, P. Herzog & de Meuron: 1981-2005. Madrid, Spain: El Croquis, 2005.

Design Onscreen. E. Stewart Williams. Denver Art Museum. Accessed 8 February 2017.

DOTW News. Petra Jordan. Destinations of the World. 9 December 2015. . Accessed 16 February 2017.

Ellis, John. Kun II. November 2010.

Eric. A Closer Look at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Imperial Hotel ‘Peacock Chair.’” 27 January 2017. . Accessed 16 February 2017.

Esto Photographics, Mamaroneck, NY.

Gibberd, Matt & Hill, Albert. Dominus Winery by Herzog & de Meuron. The Telegraph. 12 November 2013. Accessed 17 January 2017.

Golub, Jennifer. Albert Frey / houses 1 + 2. New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999.

Google. Wendell Burnette Architects. April 2016. Accessed 14 February 2017.

Pedro E. Guerrero. Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey. New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007.

Halprin, Lawrence. The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 1997.

J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles

K., Kathryn. Amiens Cathedral. Studyblue. Accessed 7 February 2016.

Kassler, Elizabeth. Modern Gardens and the Landscape. New York, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1964.

Levine, Neil. Fallingwater, Kaufmann House, Mill Run, Penn., 1934-1937. View from south, below second falls. Fallingwater and Pittsburgh. (Menocal, Narciso, Ed., Carbondale, Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press, 2000.

Lewis, Brian. Frey House II by Albert Frey. Lumis Photography. Accessed 2 February 2017.

McNally, Joe. Stonehenge Above. National Geographic. Accessed 6 February 2016.

Meech, Julia. Frank Lloyd Wright and the Art of Japan. New York, New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2001.

Museum of Modern Art, New York. Frank Lloyd Wright with Wingspread Model at the Exhibition, “Frank Lloyd Wright, American Architect.” Archdaily. Accessed 8 February 2017.

Nunn, Jennie. John Lautner. San Francisco Gate. 15 July 2011. Accessed 8 February 2017.

Nute, Kevin. Frank Lloyd Wright and Japan: The Role of Traditional Japanese Art and Architecture in the Work of Frank Lloyd Wright. New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993.

Oller and Pejic. Archilovers. . Accessed 14 February 2017.

Palmer, Pamela. Walking on Stone.

Pinterest. 1000+ Ideas About Herzog; 1000+ Ideas About Gabion Walls; Owl Creek Residence. Accessed 13 February 2017.
Pfeiffer, B.B. (2010). Wright: 1917-1942. Cologne, Germany: Taschen Publishing.
Reed, D. & Hilderbrand, G. (2012). Visible invisible. New York, NY: Metropolis Books.

Sarra, Valentino. Frank Lloyd Wright. Time. January 17, 1938. Vol. XXXI No. 3.

Sutherlin McLeod, Kelly. Hindry House, c. 1910.

Taylor, Isaac. Lascaux Cave Walls. “16 Places Around the World You Can’t Visit.” M2Now. Accessed 6 February 2017.

Timmerman, Bill. Desert Courtyard House. Archdaily. . Accessed 18 January 2017.

Trieb, Marc. Landscapes of Modern Architecture: Wright, Mies, Neutra, Aalto, Barragán. New Haven, CT: Yale Books, 2016.

Wendell Burnette Architects. Desert Courtyard House / Wendell Burnette Architects. Archdaily.; . Accessed 14 February 2017.

Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra at Taliesin, 1924. Crosse, John. Socalarchhistory. Southern California Architectural History, 18 May 2011, . Accessed 8 February 2017. Richard Neutra. Society of Architectural Historians, Southern California Chapter. . Accessed 8 February 2017.


All other images provided by Claus Best and Lisa Gimmy.




Gere Kavanaugh, multidisciplinary designer, featured in Metropolis Magazine

Lisa Gimmy

Our friend Gere Kavanaugh is profiled in the July/August issue of Metropolis Magazine. It’s an entertaining and in-depth interview that explores her history and her multi-faceted, continually evolving career in design.

Gere Kavanaugh in Metropolis

Photography by Brian Guido, courtesy Metropolis Magazine

Gere and I share a passion for ceramics. This photo, in which Gere is wearing a coat of her own design, was taken on an expedition to see Ralph Bacerra’s mural at the Western Asset Plaza in Pasadena.

Gere Kavanaugh in Metropolis

Gere was among the first female graduates at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, along with Ray Eames, Florence Knoll, and Ruth Adler Schnee. She is a renaissance woman who has applied her prodigious talents to graphic design, exhibition design, interiors, furniture, fabrics, and toys, just to get started.

Gere Kavanaugh in Metropolis

Photography by Brian Guido, courtesy Metropolis Magazine

Gere was awarded a 2016 AIGA Medal in recognition of her lifelong achievements and contributions to the field of design. AIGA has posted a brief biography and a charming video to its website.

And, look for Gere Kavanaugh, Designer (Metropolis Books) on bookshelves this Fall!

This issue of Metropolis honors their 35th year in print, and it is additional cause for celebration that the periodical, which has consistently reached across professional disciplines, has achieved this milestone. Gere’s interview is part of the “Perspectives” section, which also profiles Denise Scott Brown and Allegra Fuller Snyder. The issue also features stories on the top interiors of 2016 and an excellent article with Charles Waldheim on the origins – and future – of landscape urbanism. Don’t miss it!

Gere Kavanaugh in Metropolis

Open Day Gardens in Southern Marin

Lisa Gimmy

The Garden Conservancy continues to astonish and delight with its Open Days Program. Earlier this month, I visited two outstanding gardens in Southern Marin. The first, located just outside Stinson Beach, features remarkable granitic outcroppings.


The owner has introduced many exotic plants over the years. I particularly love this juxtaposition of Westringea with dark green native Cedars in the background


The second garden was George Hargreave's Garden of Sculpture in Bolinas. The weather was perfect for enjoying this jewel of a garden, located on the southwestern tip of the city and oriented towards Bolinas Bay. Hargreaves Associates planned the garden with bold strokes, juxtaposing planar tiers with sculptured mounds planted with dune grasses.


The tour was perfectly timed with the flowering of native species.


Thanks to the Garden Conservancy's many volunteers, who make visits to gardens like this possible. For further information on the Open Garden program, visit the Conservancy's website by clicking here.

The Lightest Touch: Isabelle Greene’s Enduring Design for the Lovelace Garden

Lisa Gimmy

Lisa’s story on the Lovelace Garden, designed by Isabelle Greene, FASLA, is in the current issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine. The garden is best known for its beautiful swimming pool. Greene pioneered the use of natural stone in swimming pools and spas, and the Lovelace pool is one of her masterworks.

Isabelle Greene's Enduring Design

The article focuses on Greene’s design process, which resulted in the superb fit between site and program. Photos by Marion Brenner, Associate ASLA, accompany the story.

Isabelle Greene's Enduring Design

Isabelle worked with owners Jon and Liliane Lovelace for forty years to perfect the garden. We hope you enjoy reading about this superb and enduring landscape masterpiece.

Isabelle Greene's Enduring Design

All photographs by Marion Brenner

Download this Article as a PDF

Upcoming California Preservation Foundation Webinar to Explore Mid-Century Landscapes

Lisa Gimmy

Preservation Foundation Webinar

On Tuesday, September 29, 2015, Lisa will be participating in a 90 minute webinar exploring the fundamentals of mid-century landscapes. Hosted by the California Preservation Foundation, the webinar will be moderated by Neutra scholar Barbara Lamprecht and will feature five presentations by noted landscape architects and historians. Lisa will focus on her landscape design for Richard Neutra's Hafley House. The restoration of the house, headed by Kelly Sutherlin McLeod Architecture, was recently honored by both the Los Angeles Conservancy and the California Preservation Foundation, and received a Docomomo 2015 Award of Excellence.

Preservation Foundation Webinar

For more information on the upcoming webinar and to purchase tickets click here.

All photographs by John Ellis.

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Garden Conservancy Open Day Showcases Architect's Garden

Lisa Gimmy

Garden Conservancy Architects Garden

Join Lisa on Sunday, May 3, 2015 at the Architect's Garden! The Garden Conservancy Open Day Los Angeles celebrates spring with this long-standing annual event as it hosts the tour of this Bel Air garden. As seen in the New York Times Magazine, this oft-published project will be open for visiting anytime between 10 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Several other gardens are on view that day for these self-guided tours. Tickets for single site tours are available, as well as a ticket packet for multiple tours. For further information please click here - and we hope to see you there.

Garden Conservancy Architects Garden

Photography by Jack Coyier.

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Los Angeles Conservancy Award for Neutra’s Hafley House

Lisa Gimmy

Los Angeles Conservancy Awards

Congratulations to KSMA and the project team for being recognized with a 2015 Preservation Award from the Los Angeles Conservancy for their work on the Olan G. and Aida T. Hafley House! Kelly Sutherlin McLeod Architecture, Inc. led the project team consisting of Mannigan Design (Contractor), Griswold Conservation Associates, LLC (Architectural Conservator), Structural Focus (Structural Engineer), Barbara Lamprecht, M. Arch (Architectural Historian /Neutra Scholar) and Lisa Gimmy Landscape Architecture in the restoration this Richard Neutra gem. This residence is a rare example of Neutra’s design in that it features a pitched roof and was designed in tandem with the adjacent Moore House.

Los Angeles Conservancy Awards

The new landscape design creates a seamless relationship between inside and outside, and its simplicity and spareness compliment Neutra’s design. The geometry of the garden echoes the strong horizontal lines of the architecture, and the rough gravel and exposed aggregate hardscape compliment its precision. Sculptural succulents punctuate the ground plane and establish a dialogue with the linearity of the house.

Los Angeles Conservancy Awards

The lawn at the rear of the house is shared visually by both residences. The existing turf was replaced with native Bent Grass, which maintains the historic visual element but is low-maintenance and low-water use. For more information on the Hafley House and its award, click here.

All photographs by John Ellis.

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A Fresh Look at an Iconic Landscape: The Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden at UCLA

Lisa Gimmy

UCLA's Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden will be a focus of The Cultural Landscape Foundation's What's Out There Weekend (November 8-9), featuring the long and fruitful career of Los Angeles landscape architect, Ralph Dalton Cornell.

tclf ucla tour

Ralph Cornell was the campus landscape architect at UCLA and was responsible for the look and feel of the campus as it expanded beyond the Royce Quadrangle. Cornell's signature plantings of Canary Island pines, Eucalyptus, and sycamores continue to give UCLA a beautiful and distinctive landscape character.

Cornell's best-loved work, the Sculpture Garden, lies at the heart of the north campus, where it took the place of a parking lot.

tclf ucla tour

tclf ucla tour

The process of this transformation will be discussed on a tour co-led by Lisa Gimmy and Leslie Cozzi, Curatorial Associate of the Grunwald Center Collection at the Hammer Museum. Additionally, they will be bringing to light the little-known design contributions made by Cornell's partner, Howard Troller, and sculptor Malcolm Leland. Leland, best known for his architectural pottery and facades for the Los Angeles County Hall of Records and the American Cement Company Building, collaborated with the landscape architecture team and designed the bridge that forms the connection between Bunche Hall and Dickson Art Center.

More information and registration for this free event on Saturday, November 8th can be found on the TCLF website.

tclf ucla tour

tclf ucla tour

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Lisa Leads Garden Tour at Midcentury Modern Gem

Lisa Gimmy

Lisa Gimmy, ASLA, worked closely with the owners of this mid-century modernist Los Feliz home, designed by Eugene Kinn Choy in 1952, to update the courtyard and the area around the pool for this active family with young children. Graceful steps now separate the outdoor dining terrace from the pool area and lanai; groupings of planters and a bench soften the edge between the pool and the tall retaining wall. Trailing rosemary at the top of the wall and colorful drought tolerant succulents are important components of the new plant palette.

Join Lisa on Saturday, April 26, 2014, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for a dialogue with the owners and gardener Sabine Hoppner of Waters Edge Gardening.

Midcentury Makeover

The Cultural Landscape Foundation presents: Garden Dialogues: Southern California

Gain exclusive access to private gardens and hear from the landscape architects and their clients about the creative process. Garden Dialogues provides unique opportunities for small groups to experience some of today's most beautiful gardens created by some of the most accomplished designers currently in practice. Hear about the inspiration for their projects and the collaborative effort among the owners, designers, and gardeners.

Photography by Jack Coyier.




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Peter Walker's Gift

Les Sechler

Peter Walker, FASLA, inaugurated USC’s annual School of Architecture lecture series with a presentation of “Reflecting Absence", the National 9/11 Memorial in downtown Manhattan.

Pete’s talk, “Before the Memorial”, summarized his journey as an artist, beginning with studying and collecting work by minimalist artists such as Carl Andre.

Peter Walker 911 Memorial

Carl Andre, Photo Wikispaces

Peter Walker Orchard Project

Carl Andre: Secant  Photo: The Orchard Project

Pete described his visit to Vaux le Vicomte, Andre Le Notre’s garden masterpiece outside Paris, and his realization that  the creation of a flat plane not only brings focus and importance to the objects resting on it, but literally commands the space above it.

Peter Walker Vaux le Vicomte Garten

Vaux le Vicomte  Photo: Wikipedia

The Nasher Sculpture Center in downtown Dallas exemplifies Pete's skill in using flatness to great effect. For anyone who hasn’t seen the Nasher, put your Texas bias aside and book your ticket! (And, while you're in Texas, get down to Houston and see the Menil!)

At the National 9/11 Memorial, Pete deployed the concept of flatness to create a platform for the enormous voids that commemorate the trade center and the people who tragically lost their lives on that day. A forest of 416 White Swamp Oaks, arrayed in lines across the plaza, creates a setting where visitors can contemplate the voids.

Peter Walker Voids

9/11 Memorial  Image: Peter Walker Associates

Pete’s contribution to the plaza compliments the initial design created by Michael Arad, whose competition entry presented the idea of preserving the footprints of the destroyed towers. The PWP team faced tremendous challenges in creating the planted plaza.  His lecture included details about the planting of the oaks, and also acknowledged the contributions of his fountain and lighting designers in resolving the technical challenges of making the enormous fountains and illuminating the forest.

This difficult, politically fraught project has taken over ten years and is not yet complete. Pete’s contribution to the design brings beauty and grace to the experience of remembrance.

Lisa Gimmy Landscape Architecture is a professional consulting firm offering master planning, site planning, and landscape design. Since its founding in 1992, LGLA has designed landscapes for schools, campuses, boutique hotels, buildings, public parks, estates, and private residences. At LGLA each project is viewed as an opportunity to explore a series of relationships: between the site and the region, architecture and landscape, and most importantly, between the landscape and the people who will use and enjoy it.

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