PORTFOLIO 

Gardens of Meditation and Solace

  
When located in a personal space, a meditative garden will best support the use of alternative and complimentary therapy.   The space should be small, quiet and removed of any distracting activities.  The garden offers refuge, sitting between the challenges of contemporary life and the distractions of the home.  The goal is to create a scenario that allows  the owner and visitors to reach a meditative mind without awareness or formal approach.   The larger site is separated into smaller isolated zones using different elements to enliven each of the senses.   A minimalist garden offers low maintenance and order with simple lines, little ornamentation, and restrictive planting.  Materials  for the project need to be immaculate in finish and hardscaping will be kept pristine.   Plants have been limited to the selection of eight species planted in repetitive groups, softening  the design without detracting from the clean structure. The site’s landscape architecture was inspired by the work of the masterful Japanese designer, Tado Ando. His spaces are created in relation to their natural context, with nature being the focus.   He treats water and light as if they were living things .  Combining these two elements with a subtle sensitivity can make us feel as though we are more alive.   A home should be a sanctuary where one can reflect on their life. With this project, we are striving to give the everyday rituals of daily life a greater  sense of quality.  The home and it’s multiple gardens favor the quiet without relying on purity alone.   Curves, when present, are at most a necessity dictated by the situation. Material selections, primarily of iron, concrete, and glass, are representative of the 20th century.
  

The Role of Water

  
Water brings many qualities to a garden of any size, but may be most important to a smaller urban space.  The sound of  moving water helps block out inevitable and persistent background noise from the street, enveloping the outdoor space in a calming aural blanket.  Care should be taken to find the ideal level of sound.  Too much can be an intrusion in its own right.  Being in the presence of natural sounds  such as birdsong  and water is closer to the original practice of meditation.   Water was  a central theme for this project.  Beginning at the entry way, a u-shaped pool  interacts with living spaces  before merging into the landscape on one side and into a waterfall on another. A deck running parallel with the pool provides a semi outdoor seating area with iconic lighting selections.  Finally, an exposed concrete stairway leads down to a waterfall  flanked by modern fireplaces that provide an attractive kinetic light.  Here, sound insulation by walls  and floors is  achieved using the inherent mass  and damping qualities of concrete.
  
  

  
Biophilic Design
  

  
  
Biophilia is the idea that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. The term biophilia was used by German-born American psychoanalyst Erich Fromm in The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (1973), which described biophilia as “the passionate love of life and of all that is alive.” The term was later used by American biologist Edward O. Wilson  in his work Biophilia (1984), which proposed that the tendency of humans to focus on and to affiliate with nature and other life-forms has, in part, a genetic basis (BRITANNICA). Anecdotal and qualitative evidence suggests that humans are innately attracted to nature. For example, the appearance of the natural world, with its rich diversity of shapes, colors, and life, is universally appreciated. Human divergence from the natural world appears to have occurred in parallel with technological developments, with advances in the 19th and 20th centuries having the most significant impact, fundamentally changing human interactions with nature. In its most literal sense, this separation was made possible by the construction of enclosed and relatively sterile spaces, from homes to workplaces to cars, in which modern humans were sheltered from the elements of nature and in which many, particularly people living in more-developed countries, now spend the majority of their time. A growing body of evidence shows that both workers and businesses benefit from biophilic design.  One study by Terrapin Bright Green found that biophilic design reduces absenteeism in the workplace, and a Manhattan bank found that it helped them to attract and retain staff.
  
For this project we wanted to incorporate the idea of biophilia into our interior design.  We considered not only the views from the inside out but also  the views from the exterior into the interior.   Incorporating biophilic design into the interior  through fine art would create a harmony  and avoid any interference from naturally reaching a meditative state.  Sohyun Bae’s The Nature of Water 1, The Nature of Water 2,  and Shekhinah were selected for the living room.  SoHyun Bae’s recent work is highly structured and reveals the aesthetic struggle between form and concept. Through a fiercely individual approach and persistent experimentation with technique and material, combined with a sensitivity to texture and her remarkable ability to render figurative motifs perceptively and discerningly she creates work that suggest a close relationship to nature, to harmony and to growth thereby expanding the boundaries between art and consciousness.  We believe that if one lets these paintings wash over them for a period of time, it would lead to a moment that is more contemplative and more meditative.
  

  
  

  
  
Kenzo Associates Headquarters
  
  

  
  
Kenzo Associates, a Japanese art firm, plans on moving its European base of operations from Zurich, Switzerland to the ancient Tuscan city of Firenze in central Italy.   The company specializes in European old master paintings, sculpture, and works-on-paper, and restricts its client base to public and large private collections with an emphasis on the Pacific Rim and far east countries.  Kenzo Associates has offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Shanghai, and Tokyo and has acquired the 15th century Florentine Pallazo Davanzati.
  

  
  

  
  
Design Concept
  

  
Kenzo Associates has employed our firm to assist on the remodel of their newly acquired palace.  We will be redesigning one level of the building into an exhibition space.  We will primarily be working on the exhibition space, the reception hall, and the catering kitchen.  Our Client wishes to build out the interior utilizing the most forward looking furnishes, finishes, and fixtures possible.  First floor B was originally chosen for the project but after further consideration, second floor C was deemed a more appropriate decision.  Elaborate designs, richly carved fireplaces, and gothic columns from the original design remain on the first floor to preserve the history of the Davanzati Palace.

  
Our Design of the interior is highly sensitive towards the original architecture of the Davanzati Palace.  Beams and columns in the reception hall and exhibition gallery will be replaced and a custom built fireplace inspired by the original will be installed.  A bar with high end Italian finishes and an industrial catering kitchen need to be suitable for entertaining clients, government officials, and qualified stakeholders.  The overall aesthetic will be a classic contemporary style that will honor both the history of the building and the wishes of our client.  To achieve this goal we will control every aspect of the project from the design of the interior architecture to the design of the flowers inside.
  
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  Interior Design
  

  
  
Our Design of the interior is highly sensitive towards the original architecture of the Davanzati Palace.  Beams and columns in the reception hall and exhibition gallery will be replaced and a custom built fireplace inspired by the original will be installed.  A bar with high end Italian finishes and an industrial catering kitchen need to be suitable for entertaining clients, government officials, and qualified stakeholders.  The overall aesthetic will be a classic contemporary style that will honor both the history of the building and the wishes of our client.  To achieve this goal we will control every aspect of the project from the design of the interior architecture to the design of the flowers inside.
    
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Final Rendering