A Word About Landscape Architecture and Garden Design

Archive for May, 2012

“Bau-Wau Haus” Wins Best Work of Art Award at “Barkitecture” By Brooks Kolb, ASLA

The sun rises over Bau-Wau Haus.

Bau-Wau Haus from the side.

Buyers (Center) with Team Ripple: Cecilia Carson, Chris Brooks, Brooks Kolb, 2 Buyers, Jim Dearth, Gregory Carmichael, Scott Smith, Victoria Bogachus

The evening of Thursday, May 24 was a date to remember as Luxe Interiors + Design Magazine hosted the first Barkitecture design competition and auction at the Seattle Design Center.  Conceived as a benefit for the Seattle Humane Society and Seattle Children’s PlayGarden, the event showcased the designs of ten teams, each comprised of an architect, builder, interior designer and landscape professional.  Simultaneously, a Parade of Dogs Costume show was held.  The evening climaxed with a live auction of the designer dog houses.

I am very proud to report that I was landscape architect for “Team Ripple,” led by architect Jim Dearth of Ripple Design Studio.  I’m even more proud to report that our “Bau-Wau Haus” entry won the competition in the “Best Work of Art” category.  Our design concept was based on the idea that the fashionable Modern Small Dog tends to eschew outdoor dog “houses” in favor of portable indoor crates, so we designed a sleek and artful dog crate that can be used both indoors and outdoors.  The crate serves both as a bed for doggie and as an elegant bench for the doggie’s human (translation:  what we would call the dog’s “master,” but you and I know that term is highly inaccurate!)  Jim Dearth’s subtle design features a limestone bench seat for the human and a comfy aqua-colored bed and spring-green pillow specified by interior designer Gregory Carmichael. The crate’s walls and doors are akin to a woven fabric of Ipe dog bones, precisely cut by a computer and mounted on stainless steel rods.  Curving bamboo-plywood cabinets from Teragren bracket the piece, providing space for dog bowl, leash and treats.

My landscape setting for “Bau-Wau Haus,” could have a name of its own:  “Dogj Mahal!”  Jim’s architecture resides in a nine-tray grid at the center of a cross-shaped paved walk in a plaster finish by Gail Miller, which looks like a miniature plaza. The overall composition is anchored at the four corners by Podocarpus macrophyllus trees from L & B Nurseries, commonly known as Yew Pine, which serve as abstract live minarets. The trees are set in tapering silver-gray fiberglass pots by CG Products.  Beneath the trees, diagonally alternate grid cells are paved with aqua-colored recycled glass chips from Bedrock Industries and decorated with art glass bones by Sherri Gamble of Sage Artistry.  The opposite diagonal grids are carpeted with a soft ground cover of Sedum hispanicum (Spanish Sedum) from T & L Nurseries.

Our Bau-Wau Haus sold for $1700 at auction to a happy couple who share their Pioneer Square condominium with two Chi-hua-haus.

Bau-Wau Haus would not have existed were it not for the fine craftsmanship of our excellent builder, Chris Brooks of Prestige Custom Builders, who had only about four weeks to execute the design.  Here’s to Chris and Prestige!

Architect:  Jim Dearth of Ripple Design Studio, www.RippleDesignStudio.com.

Landscape Architect:  Brooks Kolb LLC Landscape Architecture, www.brookskolbllc.com

Interior Designer:  Gregory Carmichael, www.gcid.com

Project Managers:  Cecilia Carson, Baker Knapp and Tubbs, www.bakerfurniture.com  and Scott Smith, Lee Jofa/Kravet, www.kravet.com.

Builder:  Prestige Custom Builders, www.prestigecustombuilders.com.


Volunteer Park Landmark Designation Wins Historic Seattle Preservation Award By Brooks Kolb, ASLA

Volunteer Park Reservoir and Gate House

At the Fourth Annual Historic Seattle Preservation Awards Ceremony, held at the Good Shepherd Center in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood on May 15, 2012, The Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks (FSOP) received the Community Advocacy Award for the Volunteer Park Landmark Designation.  One of eight awards given by Historic Seattle in 2012, the Community Advocacy Award commemorates FSOP’s hard work first to prepare the Landmark Nomination document for Volunteer Park and then to lead it through the review and approval process by Seattle’s Board of Landmark Preservation.  The Landmark Board applauded our presentation of the nomination in September, 2011, voting unanimously to approve the nomination and later to designate Volunteer Park as a Seattle landmark.

As a board member and then president of FSOP from 2008-2011, I led a 5-year long committee effort to research and write the nomination and submit it to the Landmark board.  The other three committee members contributing to the nomination are past FSOP treasurer and chief author Charlie Sundberg; past FSOP vice president and co-author Sue Nicol; and current president and editor Jennifer Ott, who graciously received the award on behalf of FSOP at the May 15 ceremony.

In a beautifully produced booklet for the awards ceremony, Historic Seattle wrote:

“The Community Advocacy Award goes to the Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks (FSOP) for the arduous work involved in preparing a complex and successful landmark nomination application for Volunteer Park.  The organization’s documentation of this complicated and highly significant cultural landscape serves to insure the preservation of Volunteer Park and fosters the on-going recognition of our unique citywide Olmsted legacy.

Realizing that Volunteer Park was the most comprehensively designed and faithfully preserved component within the citywide Olmsted-designed plan for the Seattle Park system, FSOP board members prepared…an impressive 110-page document that provides a thorough description of the park’s landscape features and elements as a whole, as well as specifically documents various component buildigns, structures, monuments and water features and small-scale design elements.  It includes in-depth contextual information regarding the national, local and neighborhood significance of the Seattle work of the Olmsted firm and the history and evolution of the park itself.”

Brooks Kolb Wins 2 Awards in May, 2012!

I am pleased to announce that as a key member of two terrific professional teams, I was the recipient of two awards in May, 2012.   First, on May 15, The Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks received Historic Seattle’s Community Advocacy Award for the Volunteer Park Seattle Landmark Designation at the Fourth Annual Preservation Awards Ceremony, held at the Good Shepherd Center in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood.  Then, on May 24, Team Ripple’s design entry for Luxe Magazine’s “Barkitecture” event and auction, held at the Seattle Design Center, won the award in the “Best Work of Art” category.  It is not often that I can boast of two awards in one month:  it has never happened before!  Look for more detailed information about both awards in two forthcoming blog entries.

Barkitecture at the Design Center on Thursday, May 24

Everyone who reads this blog is invited to “Barkitecture” at the Seattle Design Center, from 6 to 8 PM on Thursday, May 24.   Sponsored by “Luxe” Magazine Seattle, this fun auction will benefit the Humane Society and one other charity.   Ten talented Seattle area design teams are asked to design a dog house or work of “barkitecture,” which will be auctioned off.  I’m proud to be the landscape architect for “Team Ripple,” led by Jim Dearth of Ripple Design Studio.  Like all the other nine teams, our entry will be displayed on an 8′ x 12′ pallet and judges will review the entries for a variety of different award categories.  To make the event even more fun, there will be a dog show and dog costume contest, and I think there’s still time to enter your dog in the event.  Here’s a link to the invitation.   I hope to see you all there!  Barkitecture Invitation April 2012 Final