Can you truthfully declare that a legible paving pattern has ever enhanced your enjoyment of an exterior space? What if a landscape design felt so thoroughly at ease with it’s context that it ceased to exist as a willful “design” altogether? What if a project blurred so perfectly into the neighborhood or region that the designing hand faded from view, just as a planting spills over the paver’s edge? An ecology of culture thus gives way to a culture of ecology, and paving patterns are rendered meaningless.
These are questions Terremoto, a small, adventurous landscape firm with offices in LA and San Francisco, is attempting to answer.
“Our work explores the relationship between built and natural forms, and we strive for strong conceptual and intellectual foundations to all our projects,” said Terromoto Design Director Jenny Jones.
Because of Terremoto’s holistic design philosophy between landscape, nature, and the local neighborhoods, they approach new projects with a long-term lense. From the plants chosen to the ongoing maintenance, all are factors are leveraged to help inform the complete design. This approach held true with a recent “Echo Park Court” project at one of Nico Echo Park’s residential buildings.
“Echo Park Court is an inspiring architectural study–its massing and scale make for interesting relationships between positive and negative space, between light and shadow, and between neighbors,” said Jones.
Nico Echo Park’s 32-unit residential property consists of 11 distinct structures which are all connected by a series of courtyards. This posed a unique challenge for Torromoto’s landscape design concept.
“We wanted to amplify the intricacies of the site with a diverse plant palette that made each small corridor or courtyard feel like a complete garden on its own. A communal garden that also feels like a private paradise,” said Jones.
As Nico Echo Park is committed to pursuing positive social and environmental outcomes, Terremoto tooks environmental considerations into account when creating the new landscape design.
“Many of the plants are irrigated by greywater from the communal laundry room,” said Jones. “We planted a diverse set of fruit trees, which thrive on greywater: citrus, pomegranate, fig, cherimoya, banana, and lychee.”
While using greywater on the plants is helping reduce our environmental footprint, there are other benefits of this new landscaping design too. “Just sitting in a garden will improve your mood,” said Jones.
With more projects on the horizon, Terremoto is hopeful about the future of landscaping and garden in Los Angeles.
“We’d love to see more lovingly cared for and ecologically diverse gardens. That is, gardens that get people outside with their hands in the dirt, growing things they can eat, communing with the bugs and birds that have shown up to eat too,” said Jones.