Posts Tagged ‘landscape design’

NJ Landscape Architects – Avoid Free Landscaping Plans at “All Costs”!

Friday, March 11th, 2011

NJ Landscape Architects – Avoid Free Landscaping Plans at “All Costs”!

 

Starting a great landscaping project with limited funds?  Here are five hardscape and planting suggestions that are GUARANTEED to save you THOUSANDS.

1.     Always start with a landscape plan (blueprint) prepared by a licensed landscape architect. This will ensure a balanced design and will allow you to phase the work as budgets permit.

2.     Pick materials and plants that will work within your budget. You can cut the cost of a project in half with the right choices in material. For instance, if natural stone isn’t in your budget, try pavers and save about 50%.  Larger trees and shrubs cost significantly more than smaller ones. Reduce the size and save 20 – 50%.

3.     Start the construction process by focusing on your main areas of concern, your focal point, and your most valuable asset. In general, focus on the areas you’re going to enjoy the most.

4.      When phasing a project, always look ahead to future portions of the project. Be sure to include any infrastructure components like conduit or irrigation lines early in the process so you don’t have to disturb your completed areas. An experienced landscape architect will help prevent you from doing things twice!

5.     At the start of every landscaping or swimming pool project, the best investment is a great set of plans prepared by a licensed landscape architect. A well thought-out set of plans takes a considerable amount of time to prepare, but they will help avoid hidden costs and minimize overruns in your custom landscape or swimming pool project. Don’t waste time with anyone offering you free landscaping or swimming pool plans. It’s a gimmick used to trap you into a situation where you never know the true value or cost of your project. Pay for the plans, and you will own the exclusive rights to them. Once they are in your hands, you can get an apples to apples comparison through a bidding process.

Please remember only a Licensed Landscape Architect can offer landscape architecture services. Anyone offering landscape architecture services must post their landscape architect’s name and license number issued by the state in which they practice. If any firm is advertising landscape architecture services and fails to post the proper credentials, please contact your state’s Board of Architects or your state’s Attorney General.

Antiques in Landscape Design Add Old World Charm

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Landscape Design can be elevated with the proper use of antiques, Cipriano Landscape Design shares techniques utilized in a New Jersey landscape design project

Over a decade ago, the old Hotel Dorset on 54th Street in New York City was sold to the Museum of Modern Art, who intended to use the building as an addition. The MOMA demolished the exterior of the building in order to transform it into art galleries and offices. In 2000, when the walls came down and demolition began, an antique medallion was salvaged from the original structure built in 1927 by architect Emery Ross. (Emery Ross and his sons played significant roles in the construction of many major NY buildings, including the World Trade Center.) For ten years, the salvaged antique medallion had a life of its own, until 2010, when it found its new home above an Old World swimming pool in New Jersey. Above the swimming pool, the antique was transformed into a working water feature with an additional custom sculpture set in the center of the piece.

A growing trend in swimming pool and landscape design is to incorporate antiques into projects. The story of this antique medallion represents the unbelievable journey of antiques as they travel for many years from their original sites to modern day landscape and swimming pool design. Skilled swimming pool and landscape designers have a keen-eye for one-of-a-kind pieces that can accent back yards in beautiful ways.

The key to the successful incorporation of antiques into a landscape design is establishing a style or theme and applying the antique treasure in a unique, practical, and appropriate way. Let’s use the antique medallion as a way of exemplifying these skills. The treasured medallion fits nicely above the swimming pool as a result of the Old World theme and elegant style. The swimming pool itself is small and designed for quiet relaxation, rather than recreation. As a result, the pool is able to reach a very high level of delicate intricacy. Along the back of the pool, there is a large barrier wall in need of decoration and a centerpiece. With concrete sculptures of lion heads and satyrs, as well as detailed precast concrete coping made to look like aged stone, this pool hosts the antique medallion quite fittingly. An antique medallion matches the Old World design and ornate style. The storied medallion also contributes to the mystical qualities provided by the sculptures.

Next, the seamless integration of the antique requires that it be a practical addition to the overall swimming pool and landscape design. In this case, the antique was transformed into a fountain. Six other fountains line the barrier wall, so naturally the centerpiece should provide the largest stream of water. A small trough was designed for the center of the medallion. The fountain in the medallion represents the antique’s usefulness to the swimming pool. Many antiques seem randomly thrown into swimming pools and landscapes so that designers can say there’s an antique in their design. This antique is the highlight of the entire yard, and it actively demonstrates this by serving as the swimming pool’s largest water feature.

Finally, an antique has to fit seamlessly within the swimming pool and landscape design. While most antiques are unique, some shine as one-of-a-kind treasures. In the medallion’s case, a hand-crafted concrete sculpture of a seahorse was placed in the center, bending around the fountain spigot. The seahorse has the head of a real horse and the fin of a mermaid. The intricate sculpture at the center of the antique medallion provides character to the antique just as it benefits the look of the elegantly mystical pool as a whole.

In conclusion, an antique addition to a swimming pool or landscape must be appropriate to the design, practical towards the goals of the design, and unique in its contribution to the overall project. Expand your landscape and pool design ideas with useful antiques. You can successfully incorporate antiques such as terra cotta medallions, columns from India, fire bowls from Turkey, and extravagant neoclassical rotundas into a swimming pool or landscape design. All you have to do is decide on a style and theme. Use your imagination. Search for that one-of-a-kind treasure that will set your yard apart from anything anyone has ever seen before. If you head in the right direction, keeping in mind appropriateness, practicality, and uniqueness, you could stumble across the perfect accent to your custom swimming pool and landscape.

Bill Moore, Certified New Jersey Landscape Architect of Cipriano Landscape Design Goes Four for Four in Zoning Approvals for Custom Landscaping & Swimming Pool Projects.

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

RIDGEWOOD, NJ: The design = a modest-sized swimming pool for a small suburban lot.

The property = Special Flood Hazard Area (flood plain) in Ridgewood, NJ.

Cipriano Landscape Design is working within the New Jersey DEP guidelines to create a project with no additional fill in the flood plain. According to owner Chris Cipriano, “Re-vegetation of the disturbance area is also required while municipal guidelines dictate the design. Our team studied setbacks, percentage of impervious area on the lot and total percentage of above grade structures. We found that the percentage of above-grade structures seeking variance relief was over the maximum limit. Our lot was actually undersized for the zone it was in so if the lot actually met the minimum size, there would be no variance.”

Bill Moore, a Certified New Jersey Landscape Architect on the Cipriano Landscape Design team, created the design. A comprehensive site plan was devised by Cipriano Landscape Design’s site engineer. An application was presented to the DEP and a well-crafted and persuasive introduction by an attorney was part of the plan that was approved by the Ridgewood zoning board of adjustment.

Furthermore, Bill Moore received an approval for a variance from the Borough of Franklin Lakes to construct a temporary access road through a non-disturbance buffer. Moore worked with the site engineer to address the site drainage in formulating a cohesive plan. Cipriano Landscape Design also worked with the Borough of Franklin Lakes’ municipal engineer, municipal shade tree commission, neighbors and health officer.

In November 2008, Moore received approvals from the Borough of Saddle River for a soil moving plan for a newly constructed estate with a resort-like swimming pool complete with waterfalls and a grotto, multi-tiered patios, outdoor kitchen, and a full service cabana. The NJ landscape architecture firm’s biggest design challenge faced in this approval was getting an 8 foot waterfall within the 4 foot grade change limit.

Bill also contributed a landscape master plan for the Allendale Plaza “C” variance application granted in September 2008. The project started as an expansion to existing retail space. The Allendale zoning required a minimum number of parking stalls per square footage of retail space which the site could not accommodate. As part of seeking relief for the parking ordinance, the applicant proposed to make additional improvements to the property to benefit the neighboring businesses and residents. The role of Cipriano Landscape Design was to supplement the additional improvements portion of the application. Various parking island plant beds and perimeter plantings were carefully designed to create year ‘round interest with seasonal flower displays. Planting also included shade and flowering trees within the parking areas.