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  • Writer's pictureLGLA Landscape

The Cultural Landscape Foundation: Garden Dialogues 2017, Southern California

Join Lisa as she leads discussions at two memorable locations in one single day! As part of Garden Dialogues made popular by The Cultural Landscape Foundation, we are pleased to announce the opportunity to visit two wonderful gardens: Mar Vista's Light/Breeze House and Garden, and the gardens surrounding the home of Pasadena-based landscape architect Nord Eriksson.

The Light/Breeze House and Garden, remodeled and designed by Howard Rosen, architect, and Pamela Palmer of ARTECHO Architecture + Landscape Architecture, features a remodeled 1939 house set on a gentle slope in Mar Vista, with views out across tree tops toward the Pacific Ocean.

The Japanese concept of “hide and reveal” is experienced both spatially and temporally.

A flight of steps through a bamboo forest leads to a terrace populated by Howard’s succulent collection. The concept of home as garden pavilion becomes evident when, at the front door, one sees through the house to the back yard. Walls and ceilings of the house were removed to reveal an Origami-like volume for living now infused with light and air. Foliage in the front yard captures the ocean breeze, which is then funneled through the house to naturally condition the air. Walls are scrims of varying transparencies, which record ever-shifting atmospheric moods while bringing actual and projected images of the garden into one’s momentary experience.

Integrating new with existing two and three-dimensional geometries resulted in the creation of a spatial framework whose source is revealed when the shape of the pool becomes visible.

Nord Eriksson's home garden is equal parts laboratory and sanctuary, bringing together a lifetime of influences. The 1949 ranch-style home offered the chance to develop artful garden rooms on the 18,000 square foot lot. Largely a blank slate, the grounds beckoned for something new. Hints of Nord’s appreciation of Scandinavian, Japanese, and Mediterranean design can be found in the remade gardens.

The gently sloping land, anchored by a magnificent native Englemann Oak, was terraced to create interest, retain rainwater, and create a variety of spaces for family life and entertaining. A tapestry of textural paving weaves throughout… concrete, brick, slate, gravel and pebble are crafted into a soulful mix. Walls of arroyo cobble and concrete block trace lines in the garden, originally laid out by pioneering landscape architect Edward Hunstman-Trout. A sojourn to Spain and Mallorca allowed Nord to study resilient landscapes and influenced his design of the lap pool and plantings of the rear gardens. In the front yard, ivy has been replaced by a mix of grasses and salvias, with accents of agaves and aloes.



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