The newly created natural playground replaced a traditional play space that consisted of plastic structures that no longer gave the students a unique play experience. The new playground is a natural space that offers a myriad of learning opportunities to the students, including topics such as science, music, reading, and horticulture. Some of the features include gardens, a science observation area, a dedicated space for music and movement, mud and sandpits, and wood stump seating for picnics and story time. The primary objective of the new space is to help enrich the children’s physical being, cognitive skills, and social and emotional aptitude.
The playground is divided into two sections based on the ages of the students. The area for the older children features a large sandpit where many kids can explore their creativity and play together. A wooden water runnel extends into the sandpit and provides an opportunity for the kids to watch water flow into the sand. A custom bridge enables the children to climb and see the space from a higher elevation. The custom playhouse is a popular space for kids to bake mud pies in the make-believe kitchen. Students can sit and relax in the bamboo sukkah or walk through the structure to get to the opposite side.
Furthermore, the area for the youngest kids includes two slides that are built into a fescue hill and a custom sandbox, which includes a cedar cover that folds back in order to create seating. Throughout the space, log steppers are arranged to encourage the kids to jump from one to the next. A council ring provides a space for instructors to teach class outside. During the lesson, students sit on the logs arranged in a semi-circle, which assists in creating a culture of participation.
The new, innovative playground is now a space where children can play and learn in a natural environment and inspires them to use their multiple senses and play with more vigor, engagement, and imagination. Check out the project photos below!
Clarence Davids & Company is proud to announce that our work at Grand Plaza in Chicago, Illinois won a 2017 Illinois Landscape Contractors Association Excellence in Landscape Award. The project scope was to transform the dated pool deck into a hip Miami-style space for entertaining and outdoor leisure. The client wanted to enhance the sun deck outdoor areas that were previously based on function into aesthetically appealing spaces that drew their young luxury apartment residents in, as well as, attracting new residents to their building.
One of the biggest priorities of the project was to take the previous outdoor grilling/dining area that consisted of freestanding grills with tables and chairs and elevate it into elaborate built in kitchen and bar areas. Because of the large space we were allotted, we were able to design in two large outdoor kitchen/bar areas. They each consisted of a large commercial size grill, outdoor sink, ice chest and a miniature refrigerator. Each built in kitchen accommodates bar seating to add to the upbeat ambiance the client was looking for, as well as additional seating space. They are also both covered by a pergola to add shade to the sun deck. The outdoor kitchens are built with a cultured stone veneer with granite counters.
One of the other elements to the project was to transform the tired landscaping into a healthy rejuvenated backdrop to our newly designed spaces. Another important priority for the client was to create a clean and open lawn space that could be used for towel and blanket overflow seating. On the weekends the pool area can get so busy that they run out of seating for their residents. Our newly designed lawn area took the place of multiple crab trees that had previously made the pool area dark and claustrophobic. By opening up the pool area, the terrace feels like a totally different place. The terrace border planting is filled with flowering hydrangeas, roses and large drifts of Panicum grasses that enhance the breezy fill of the deck.
Another feature that was important to our client was the addition of Cabanas to the Pool Area. In an effort to keep up with the competing luxury apartment rentals Pool Cabanas are the new hot things. These Cabanas are open for daily rental to the residents so that they can enjoy an intimate pool space to hang out with their friends and family.
Finally, in an effort to update and tie the entire pool and dining spaces together, a new outdoor furniture scheme was put together. This included dining furniture, lounge and spa pool chairs and deep seating furniture for the Cabanas and other intimate spaces. As well as, the addition of new cantilever umbrella’s to create shade spaces. The color scheme consisted of Miami Orange, Spa Blue and Granite grey to create the clean hip Miami style terrace the client was looking for.
The renovated pool/dining terrace has been a huge success and well received by the client, residents and guests. Take a look at the photos below!
Clarence Davids & Company is proud to announce that our work at Gaelic Park in Oak Forest, Illinois won a 2017 Illinois Landscape Contractors Association Excellence in Landscape Award. Our challenge from the client was to take a steel and concrete patio area overlooking an enormous gravel parking lot, 1000’s of feet of chain-link fence, a five story radio tower, playground and soccer field and transform it into their dream event and wedding venue.
We started this project by removing the declining Ash trees. Next, we created a natural water feature to serve as a backdrop and provide both a focal point and a photo opportunity in the space. The waterfall feature, with staggered spillways, offered visual appeal as well as the gentle sound of flowing water. A stone bridge was installed at the end of the falls to complete the feature. It was now time to add our structure-a pergola large enough to comfortably accommodate a large group. The paver patio under the pergola joined a meandering paver path to connect the existing outdoor area with the new event space. This also provided the romantic feel of “walking through a garden” that our client requested. An additional challenge was to revitalize the area along the existing patio so that it would meld together with our newly created event space, while not blocking the spectator view of the soccer field. This was no easy feat. We were able to strategically plant some columnar trees to mask the fence and goal posts and soften the area by installing some low bushes and perennials. At the transition spot, we installed a semicircle stone seating area which could easily adjust from a photo taking “nook” to a conversational fire pit area. Our final challenge was installing the perfect combination of mature plant material for immediate screening with trees and bushes that would mature into the space and both perennials and annuals to provide seasonal blooming and color.
In the end, we were able to take an eyesore, an under-utilized outdoor space and create exactly what our client envisioned; a multi-functional event space which would attract new business and provide a colorful, natural extension of their existing venue. Check out the photos below!