Designing an Identity

A quick landscape study for a client.

This is part of a much larger conceptual idea I have for frontage in front of 3 office buildings.

These 3 buildings and 2 others form a “campus like setting” that is divided by one public two lane road. 1 building on one side of the street and the others across the way.


My idea is to create some consistent “landscape frontage” to tie all the buildings together. Bringing cohesiveness to the site and the campus.

Where you would see this particular type and style of planting you would recognize those buildings as part of X corporation.

Tree ares along with a berm planting
Tree ares along with a berm planting

The drawing represents some loosely determined tree plantings with irregular size and shaped berms in between-topography dependent. The berms would only have two types of plantings;  a low spreading groundcover and a rambling plant with multi-season interest(we are considering a Sumac sp.).

This rendering shows the concept, I have kind of squeezed things together here-let’s call that artistic license. I also did not get into rendering a berm with a lot of rolling topo. This drawing along with several others is a set of initial drawings to see what kind of interest we capture with the client.

Alternating Rhythm

A note about design principle(s). Showing large groups of deciduous trees, then a bed area with berming, back to another group of trees is definitely a rhythm pattern, some would call it alternating rhythm.

A pattern often used poorly. How so?

Think your local Wal-Mart or cheesy strip mall. What do ya got? Let’s see . . . 1 tree(Bradford Pear?!?) go 30ft . . . 1 burning bush?!? go 30ft . . . 1 tree and so on, and so on . . .you’ve seen the drill.

My hope here is to convey the concept of a collection of irregularly placed trees, with these rolling berm area’s in-between.

Berms not Breastworks

A note on these rolling berms . . . I do not, I repeat . . . I do not-start the rolling berm inside the bed and leave the grass/lawn area flat around said berm . . . I hate that, I repeat . . . I hate that!

The terrain starts rolling in the lawn space and just continues up into the bad areas. These are not Indian Burial Mounds nor are the Civil War Breastworks . . . everyone clear on that? Good.

Whew, I feel better now.

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.

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