GREENinc   N e w s

July 2017

It seems like the big news this month is that Instagram has overtaken Facebook in popularity. At least at GREENinc, that is. Which I suppose is not surprising given that we are visual people and like to share images. So you should follow @greeninc_la on Instagram.

Something that did appear on our Facebook page this month was GREENinc’s annual open day for prospective students of landscape architecture. 15 prospective students attended on the day. It’s great to see the future of our profession in these young people! Also this month, the masters degree students from the University of Pretoria came to GREENinc for a crit. So quite an educational month.

A rendering of the entrance to the UP Javett Arts Centre
A rendering of the entrance to the UP Javett Arts Centre

’til next time.

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June 2017

It’s really wonderful to have user feedback, and we have received some in this lovely little video from the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital. For spaces to be this appreciated by their users, they have to be well made and not just well designed. The South African Landscape Contractors Institute awarded Life Landscapes an Award of Excellence for their work at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

Work is advancing at another of our important projects, the Javett UP Arts Centre. Anton shared some photos posted by the architects, Matthews Associates.

And, just because, check out this cool lift mechanism (I nearly said “new” but it was invented in 1853). Ever since the Great Glass Elevator, we’ve all known that lifts should be able to do more than go up and down.

A big congratulations to our Florence for achieving her higher certificate in accounting sciences from the University of South Africa!

Urban design for a mixed-use development in Eikenhof
Urban design for a mixed-use development in Eikenhof

’til next time.

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May 2017

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital has remained in the news over the past month. Anton posted a snap of an article in a local newspaper (I think it was the Rosebank Gazette, I’d better reference it properly) on a donation artist Marco Cianfanelli had made to the hospital. Marco decided to donate the royalties from his artwork depicting Nelson Mandela at the Capture Site Museum to the hospital, which was Madiba’s brainchild and a project close to his heart. The hospital was also featured in an article on Archdaily, check that out here.

Anton, Annamari and Wallace visited Berlin this month to present our project at IGA Berlin 2017. The presentations on the International Garden Exhibition, by all the landscape architects involved, formed part of a conference on “Open Spaces in a Growing City” which was organized as part of the IGA festival. Anton posted photos of our garden and the water play park.  IGA Berlin 2017 runs until October, so perhaps you visit it yourself this summer in Berlin.

GREENinc's "African Bouquet" garden at IGA Berlin 2017 this month
GREENinc’s “African Bouquet” garden at IGA Berlin 2017 this month

’til next time.

 

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April 2017

Our Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital landscape was published in World Landscape Architect magazine at the beginning of the month. Founded on the principles of therapeutic landscape design, the landscape has a wide range of moods from playful and exuberant to calm and contemplative and also features many sculptural elements. See new photos and read the in-depth article here.

IGA Berlin 2017, the international garden exhibition, opened on the 13th of this month. The exhibition includes nine cabinet gardens from around the world including GREENinc’s “African Bouquet” garden. The work of landscape architects from Australia, the UK, China, Brazil, Lebanon, Thailand, Germany and Chile is also represented. Check them all out here.

In a nostalgic moment, James posted images from our Hollard Street Upgrade, completed in Johannesburg 16 years ago. Remember that one? Have a look at the images here. They look suitably faded, but digital images can’t fade can they? Obviously camera technology has improved since then, or maybe we’ve just developed a taste for brighter images? Or maybe James used his “old photo” filter.

A rendered view of the landscape for the UP Javett Arts Centre
A rendered view of the landscape for the UP Javett Arts Centre

’til next time.

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March 2017

So what did we have this month on Facebook? A video, some sketches and plenty of photos.

There are quite a few new photos of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, still representing a small selection of the 4,000-odd that Andrew took there in some kind of photographic frenzy. You didn’t have that kind of freedom in the days of film, did you? Also, James posted past and present shots of the pool area at Thaba Moshate Hotel. It is amazing to see how the trees have grown in less than 3 years. And I got in a shot of a bio-pool I have just completed  – it’s really just a water feature you can swim in, I suppose. And the client says the birds love to swim in it too. Check them all out here.

Anton posted several sketch urban explorations. And these.

’til next time.

Play equipment at the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital
Play equipment at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital

 

 

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February 2017

Anton recently posted a news item from the Daily Mail stating that ministers in the UK were looking at developing housing on unused railway land, and that parking could be moved underground. This sounds like a great idea anywhere. Here in South Africa we have acres and acres of shunting yards in our major centres, and a couple of years back we worked on a competition proposal to put those in Johannesburg underground and create an inner-city park fringed with high-density housing. I hope somebody is still mulling that idea over. Anton also posted a link to Rooftops Canada’s article on their social housing programme in South Africa.

Andrew posted images of University of Cape Town students’ work after serving as an external examiner for the Masters of Landscape Architecture programme there two weeks ago. Well done to the students and good luck to Gavin, who has returned to complete his Masters at the University of Pretoria after working for a year at GREENinc. Right outside of where he’s sitting, the first sod has been turned for the Javett Art Centre which we are proud to be working on. In fact Gavin reports that a large number of spadefuls have been removed now. We’ll be keeping a very close eye on this one.

Have a look at the master plan and perspective sketches of Mon Tresor, the mixed-use project were are working on in Mauritius and renderings for the Modderfontein CBD and Gateway Precinct Plan, east of Johannesburg.  Catch a glimpse of a special export to Germany,  one of the wire plant containers woven by a rural cooperative for our IGA Berlin project. And feast your eyes on the the planting at The Houghton, with the Eucomis autumnalis the special seasonal ingredient.

’til next time.

Perspective for the Modderfontein CBD and Precinct Plan
A perspective rendering prepared for the Modderfontein project

 

 

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January 2017

I hope you’ve managed to switch off, shut down and get away to some wild landscapes in the past month, leaving your gadgets and screens behind. If you have, you might have missed some of the eye candy and more sober brain food that was posted on our Facebook page, so now you’re in for a treat.

Like the striking, almost haunting winter shot of our kabinettgarten at the Internationale Garten Ausstellung which opens in April in Berlin. There are some more photos from the garden showing detail of concrete work and timber and a sketch showing how potted plants will transform the space in the spring. Check out the many sketches Anton added to the GREENinc Sketchbook album , including some more of the kabinettgarten.

And if you haven’t done so already, you have to check out the presentation the team prepared for Khama Plaza in Gaborone, Botswana. You’ll see why I say so.

There are two articles on cities, one on smart ones vs dumb ones (“There’s community and there’s commuting. Let’s not confuse the two“.) and one on visualization software that lets you compare the density and texture of different urban areas, producing figure/ground images of streets and blocks at a set scale. In case you ever need to compare Irvine and Tunis objectively. You never know.

Finally, there were some photos of the final petals to arrive in the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital and an article on connecting patients to nature at the Copenhagen Diabetes Centre.

Wishing you a wonderful 2017.

’til next time.

Perspective rendering of our proposal for Khama Plaza in Gaborone
Perspective rendering of our proposal for Khama Plaza in Gaborone

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November 2016

There has been lots of activity on our Facebook page this month, and plenty of photos to look at.

Andrew shared a video of a flock of fabric cocktail umbrellas in an atrium. OK, not actual cocktail umbrellas – see for yourself. Also on a fine sculptural note, Anton posted an image of lattice structure for Maropeng. James posted several aerial photos of the Botswana Innovation Hub building taking shape. And some of a crowd getting into shape at Freedom Park. There were also some aerial photos of The Houghton. And most recent, a whole lot of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, which has playful courtyards and serene ones.

I hope you have time to enjoy some of these in the frantic race to the builders’ holidays!

’til next time.

Play Courtyard at the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital
Play Courtyard at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital

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October 2016

Earlier in the month, Anton posted a photograph of GREENinc’s own garden in Parkhurst, Johannesburg on Facebook. It’s actually a forest courtyard, and one of the courtyard walls is Baragan pink, which is always a talking point. The pink makes me think of Avatar for some reason, but makes a great backdrop for the trees.

Andrew shared a video on wind turbine trees. They don’t have any of the disadvantages of traditional wind turbines – they won’t blight rural views, chop birds up or make disturbing noises. What’s not to love?

Anton also posted a link to a video published by Architizer in which Mohsen Mostafavi describes how and why landscape architects have jumped the garden fence, as it were, to become the go-to professionals for large-scale design around urbanization. Professor Mostafavi is the Dean of  Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Watch it here.

Andrew posted photographs of phase 4 of The Houghton under construction – check them out, the design is emerging from the chaos! Beautiful stonework. And Annamari has posted a photo of the Story Screen being installed at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

’til next time.

The Healing Garden at the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital
The Healing Garden at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital

 

 

 

 

 

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September 2016

Right, I thought I’d better write our September newsletter today or I will have missed September altogether. I was going to do it much earlier in the month but then I had to go to Copenhagen. I wouldn’t necessarily have thought of going there but my wife had been invited to go to a conference there, so I had to go and look after her. Of course it’s one of the major design capitals of the world and quite a nice place too, so it wasn’t too bad. The bicycle is the main mode of transport there, there are cycle paths everywhere and you can take your bike onto the train without wrapping it up and putting it in a box (take note Gautrain). The Designmuseum Danmark has a beautiful exhibition on called Learning from Japan – I hadn’t realised how strong that influence was, but the displays of Danish chairs and vases along with the early Japanese ones that influenced them made it obvious. Today, the Danes go to some lengths to make coffee cups without handles, like traditional Japanese cups. They have silicone sleeves or double insulating sides (don’t ask me how they make those – do they extrude them?) so that your morning brew doesn’t burn you. The museum also has all those Arne Jacobsen chairs and Georg Jensen coffee pots you would expect to see and lots of beautiful things you wouldn’t and couldn’t.

There are many recent landscape projects in Copenhagen that you may have seen published, from Superkilen with its striking stripes to the pockets of planting carved out of the paving outside Noma, which has large plate glass windows that we pressed our noses up against, not having booked a table six months ago. But there is beautiful detailing everywhere you go from the benches at the stations to the paving in the pedestrianised shopping streets. Actually, it’s a very nice place. Click here for other things to see there.

I could have written this newsletter last week, but then I had to go to  Zanzibar. This time it was for a project we are doing there though, more about that later. Meanwhile, back at the office, Anton has been drawing and drawing – see more videos on our Facebook page.

’til next time.

Made by GREENinc - perspective of a mixed-use development
Made by GREENinc – perspective of a mixed-use development

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