Pinehurst I
 

Cecil Howell is a designer whose practice includes landscape architecture, cartography, and product design. For more on her landscape architecture practice, click FIELD. For more on her maps and products, click OBJECT. News and musings below.

 
 
NEW PROJECT | Pinehurst Farm, in upstate New York, is a multi-generational 400-acre farm with 70 milking cows and over 300 cousins who regularly visit the land. The goal of the masterplan is to provide a framework for the long-term stewardship of the land, including sensitive, low-impact development of new residences and roads to allow family members to develop smaller, more cost-effective homes

NEW PROJECT | Pinehurst Farm, in upstate New York, is a multi-generational 400-acre farm with 70 milking cows and over 300 cousins who regularly visit the land. The goal of the masterplan is to provide a framework for the long-term stewardship of the land, including sensitive, low-impact development of new residences and roads to allow family members to develop smaller, more cost-effective homes

 
 
 
 
TENCENT CAMPUS TREE PLANTING | 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…

TENCENT CAMPUS TREE PLANTING | 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…

 
CALIFORNIA | The above quote from Anton Picon inspired me. If mapping is how we conceptualize large landscapes, how do we use it to describe the abstract and physical territories that landscapes occupy?  Picon goes on to say:  “But the non-linearity of the interaction between what happens beneath the eye and what is recreated by the mind, using culture as a reservoir of visual and emotional references, has seldom been acknowledged. Hence the recurring confusion between memory and history plagues many reflections on the question. Although many of the features of digital culture seem to be adverse to memorial aspects, beginning with the impression that it bathes in the everlasting present of online sociability, digital culture can actually throw a new light on how memory interacts with the other dimensions that shape landscape. The presentist attitude generated by real-time encounters cannot indefinitely postpone the realization that our world cannot be reduced to the thin layer of stimuli and responses that belong to the immediate present.”

CALIFORNIA | The above quote from Anton Picon inspired me. If mapping is how we conceptualize large landscapes, how do we use it to describe the abstract and physical territories that landscapes occupy?

Picon goes on to say: “But the non-linearity of the interaction between what happens beneath the eye and what is recreated by the mind, using culture as a reservoir of visual and emotional references, has seldom been acknowledged. Hence the recurring confusion between memory and history plagues many reflections on the question. Although many of the features of digital culture seem to be adverse to memorial aspects, beginning with the impression that it bathes in the everlasting present of online sociability, digital culture can actually throw a new light on how memory interacts with the other dimensions that shape landscape. The presentist attitude generated by real-time encounters cannot indefinitely postpone the realization that our world cannot be reduced to the thin layer of stimuli and responses that belong to the immediate present.”

 
ON MODULAR PLANTING | 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.

ON MODULAR PLANTING | 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.

 
BROOKLYN BACKYARD |  Diospyros kaki   An illustration of ripe persimmons by Amanda Almira Newton, one of the nine illustrators (six were women) who painted over 7600 prints of fruits, nuts, and vegetables for the USDA. The USDA used these paintings in an effort to catalog the different cultivars, and diseases, of the rapidly expanding market of US grown fruits and vegetables. Her work is now housed in the Pomological Watercolor Collection at the USDA. She was also the granddaughter of Isaac Newton.  What this beautiful drawing did not capture is the humble origins of this fruit; the persimmon flower is roughly 1/2” in diameter, nestled in the brackets that later hold the fruit. Pictured here in a backyard in Brooklyn, it is nonetheless striking, despite it’s size. Basically, this is a PSA: Persimmon trees are incredible and they can grow in a New York City backyard

BROOKLYN BACKYARD | Diospyros kaki

An illustration of ripe persimmons by Amanda Almira Newton, one of the nine illustrators (six were women) who painted over 7600 prints of fruits, nuts, and vegetables for the USDA. The USDA used these paintings in an effort to catalog the different cultivars, and diseases, of the rapidly expanding market of US grown fruits and vegetables. Her work is now housed in the Pomological Watercolor Collection at the USDA. She was also the granddaughter of Isaac Newton.

What this beautiful drawing did not capture is the humble origins of this fruit; the persimmon flower is roughly 1/2” in diameter, nestled in the brackets that later hold the fruit. Pictured here in a backyard in Brooklyn, it is nonetheless striking, despite it’s size. Basically, this is a PSA: Persimmon trees are incredible and they can grow in a New York City backyard

Persimmon drawing by Amanda Newton.png