On planting Pinus

Pinus tabuliformis striking a pose before it gets installed at Tencent’s Beijing Campus. It is such a pleasure to plant these beautiful trees. Next creative pursuit: a tree ballet, with cranes, swinging trees, hard hats…


On modular planting

How can we create complex plantings in construction documents?

The 4-acre roof of the Tencent Campus was an exciting challenge to take on. We wanted the planting to feel continuous and wild, but we also wanted to create a color scheme where the flower color subtly shifts from hot reds and pinks in the southeast corner, to soothing blues and whites in the northeast corner. Inspired by Thomas Rainer’s blog post and the beautiful modular planting by Dan Pearson at Millennium Forest, we designed a modular planting system. Each color represents a different plant layout. The contractor grids out the site, marks the color of each grid unit, and then lays down a corresponding stencil to spray paint the locations of each plant. The planting plan provides the details of which plant goes in each location, but the question of spacing and density is answered by the stencils, allowing the contractor to work efficiently and our role on site to be limited to making adjustments, rather than laying out each plant. .

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