Tuesday, July 21, 2009
New ResMed campus combines modern art and modern landscape
I don't typically list commercial buildings as wonderful examples of creative landscape design, but the new landscaping at the ResMed campus is artful, drought-tolerant, and very eye-catching and certainly bucks the mold for a commercial campus. It incorporates large scale public modern art installations so seamlessly that they integrate into the landscape, something I don't believe many site specific art installations manage to achieve.
There are a few things about this design that especially caught me. The first is the daringly large field of Mexican Feather Grass in the rear courtyard of the building. Hundreds, if not thousands, of grasses wave gently in the breeze. The effect is peaceful but kinetic and seems like a perfect distraction for a restful lunch area.
The next thing is how brazen the planting layout is. Plants are laid out in large rows, each row made up of a single species, usually about 4 plants wide. From a distance it reads as block of color (or will, once the plants grow up a bit more). The effect is modern but not stark.
The thing that is impossible to ignore is the gorgeous stainless steel sculptural element that begins outside the front entry to the building and flows inside into the lobby, tying the outdoors to the indoors. The art piece is made up of hundreds of small patches of chain mail, each patch about 8"x 8". They are each anchored to the wall only at the top, and each patch is so light that they move and flutter with the slightest breeze. The whole wall ripples, moves, and shimmers! It is absolutely simple in its conception and absolutely gorgeous in its execution. It is currently the most beautiful outdoor art installation I know of in the city and can be seen from the street, so drive by! The address is 9001 Spectrum Center Blvd.
Interested in an artful garden of your own? We'd love to help! Please go to www.sageoutdoordesigns.com and fill in the contact us form. Sage Outdoor Designs is a San Diego landscape design firm. Our Principal, Kate Wiseman, has been a San Diego landscape designer for the past ten years- ask how she can help transform your garden into the one you always wanted.