Friday, June 12, 2009

In praise of gardeners

A garden is a complex of aesthetic and plastic intentions; and the plant is, to a landscape artist, not only a plant – rare, unusual, ordinary or doomed to disappearance – but it is also a color, a shape, a volume or an arabesque in itself.
~ Roberto Burle Marx

Roberto Burle Marx is internationally known as one of the most important landscape architects of the 20th century.

An artist of multiple facets, besides being a landscape designer he was also a remarkable painter, sculptor, singer, and jewelry designer, with a sensibility that is shown throughout his work.

Born in São Paulo in August 4th, 1909, Roberto Burle Marx moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1913.

During the years of 1928 and 1929 he studied painting in Berlin - Germany, where he was often seen at the Dahlem Botanic Garden's greenhouses. In this garden he noticed for the first time the beauty of the tropical plants and the Brazilian flora.

His first landscape project was a private garden for a house designed by the Architects Lucio Costa and Gregory Warchavchik in 1932. Since then, his landscape works improved as well as his painting and drawing.

In 1949, he bought a 365,000m2 estate in Barra de Guaratiba, in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, where he started to organize his big collection of plants.

In 1985, he donated this estate to a federal government cultural organization, Pró-Memória National Foundation, which is nowadays called National Institute for Cultural Heritage - IPHAN.

Roberto Burle Marx died in Rio de Janeiro in 1994, at the age of 84.

In 1955, he founded a landscape company, called Burle Marx & Cia. Ltda. (Burle Marx & Company), where he started to develop landscape design, along with the implementation and maintenance of his residential and public gardens. In 1968, Haruyoshi Ono, a landscape architect, became his partner.

Burle Marx & Cia. Ltda. landscape studio, created by Roberto Burle Marx in 1955. The office develops landscape projects, and implements, maintains, and restores gardens. It is also requested as a consulting board, giving supervision and orientation in landscape and environmental issues. In addition, it owns a small nursery that produces and sells plants

O desenho das pedras portuguesas, marca registrada do
calçadão, foi refeito mais recentemente pelo
paisagista Roberto Burle Marx a partir de um desenho
que já existia na Avenida Atlântica original e que foi
trazido da Praça do Rossio, em Lisboa. “O que se diz é
que essas ondas do Burle Marx são mais sensuais e mais
bonitas que as de Portugal”, conta, em jeito de
provocação, o historiador Carlos Kessel.

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