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Modern Landscape Designer Breaks New Ground

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With a wild approach, award-winning designer Margie Ruddick pushes the boundaries of landscaping.
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  The Urban Garden Room brings nature inside—in this case to the lobby of the Bank of America Tower in midtown Manhattan. Inspired by the lush fern canyons in Humboldt County, California, Ruddick collaborated with her mother, the artist Dorothy Ruddick, to create imposing, monolithic sculptures that then were covered with ferns, mosses, and vines. “When you go there, people are very quiet,” Ruddick says of the space, which was completed shortly before her mother died in 2010. “If they’re talking, all of a sudden they stop. It smells like ferns and earth, and it’s a little humid. It’s a very quiet place, and it feels very healthful.”  Photo by: Cait Oppermann

    The Urban Garden Room brings nature inside—in this case to the lobby of the Bank of America Tower in midtown Manhattan. Inspired by the lush fern canyons in Humboldt County, California, Ruddick collaborated with her mother, the artist Dorothy Ruddick, to create imposing, monolithic sculptures that then were covered with ferns, mosses, and vines. “When you go there, people are very quiet,” Ruddick says of the space, which was completed shortly before her mother died in 2010. “If they’re talking, all of a sudden they stop. It smells like ferns and earth, and it’s a little humid. It’s a very quiet place, and it feels very healthful.”

    Photo by: Cait Oppermann

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  Over a 25-year career, Margie Ruddick has creatively defied convention to pursue landscape design on her own terms.   Photo by: Cait Oppermann
    Over a 25-year career, Margie Ruddick has creatively defied convention to pursue landscape design on her own terms. 

    Photo by: Cait Oppermann

  • 
  Ruddick collaborated with the New York architect Steven Harris on a master plan for the Shillim Institute in India’s Western Ghats mountains. “It took us about ten years,” Ruddick says. “There were a lot of environmental issues that we had to deal with, and there’s this very healthy, diverse forest where we said, ‘Don’t do anything there.’ It had a big sustainability component.”  Photo by: Cait Oppermann

    Ruddick collaborated with the New York architect Steven Harris on a master plan for the Shillim Institute in India’s Western Ghats mountains. “It took us about ten years,” Ruddick says. “There were a lot of environmental issues that we had to deal with, and there’s this very healthy, diverse forest where we said, ‘Don’t do anything there.’ It had a big sustainability component.”

    Photo by: Cait Oppermann

  • 
  Ruddick’s design for Queens Plaza in New York helped transform a neglected space into an easily navigable gathering spot. The concrete bases beneath the benches appear to “pop up” from the ground, Ruddick says. “It required a lot of design to make everything integrate.”  Photo by: Cait Oppermann

    Ruddick’s design for Queens Plaza in New York helped transform a neglected space into an easily navigable gathering spot. The concrete bases beneath the benches appear to “pop up” from the ground, Ruddick says. “It required a lot of design to make everything integrate.”

    Photo by: Cait Oppermann

  • 
  Ruddick continues to be involved with the Shillim Institute by serving on the board of the institute, which promotes sensible development.  Photo by: Cait Oppermann

    Ruddick continues to be involved with the Shillim Institute by serving on the board of the institute, which promotes sensible development.

    Photo by: Cait Oppermann

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