Marfabout: Gardens in 2015

A home tour followed the Marfa design symposium, so of course, I turned that and my trip into a garden tour. No photos were allowed inside, though there were many great ideas – I compensated outside.

Musical pairing from the Eagles – James Dean, of course! (unsure that album cover was designed by local Boyd Elder, but you can find out and why I picked that song…hint: Giant)

Some galleries of many things I enjoyed; hang on, it’s a big post –

Now, off to the actual design symposium and my other wanderings, when I should have been designing… way.

I paid dearly for this later…but it might pay off even more later.

I forgot to capture the presentation of the first speaker, both architects now based in Tucson (Dust).

But the next speaker was a fellow Carlsbad native, even the same high school, is now a Brooklyn-based architect. Kelly Armendariz went into his works, many are commercial renovations in the Big Apple, but not to be left out was his own Marfa home in progress.

Serious Desert SW representation!

I’m glad the hard work of Tucson’s Brad Lancaster defining what should underpin all our work, continues to become mainstream in urban and landscape design. He’s the same smiling and fired-up / yet laid back guy who I shared ciabatta bread and vino at my old ABQ house years ago, in my other life.

And some homes on the tour…

The panel of architects, interior designers and engineer involved in a promising hotel being built by the railroad tracks in Marfa…the Hotel Saint George. A hotel actually stood on the same site decades ago.

Carlos is someone I’ll collaborate with to a degree on an upcoming residence, while it turns out that Nunzio and Mary Alice are 2 of the 1200+ firm HKS whom I’m working with on health care projects in El Paso. A small world.

I’ll close out on parts of the symposium and my own tour related to being more bike and pedestrian-friendly…and upping the economic bar for any great place that’s proud of itself and its place. (pay attention El Paso and NM: no more wannabe, learn to be)

I hope to post photos of the gardens from two years ago, at the last symposium, but the “day” job calls.

See anything you like, or that could benefit from water harvesting and other best design practices?

I hope you enjoyed this mega-post, too!


6 Replies to “Marfabout: Gardens in 2015”

  1. Thanks for another great post. Love seeing places like this. Texas is high on my must see list (mostly west Texas). Some amazing designs and ideas. I wish my pocket book could keep up with my tastes.

    You’re welcome, it’s a unique town for good landscapes like Tucson is, but in different ways. I recommend going far to the E (the Lost Pines), then come back west, so you can see the change *and* the different towns, ecology.


  2. I loved the mega-post. Each group of photos was practically a post in itself, so full of good views and food for thought. I like that Tucson seems to have its own share of bright folks (it’s closer!), and I love that last place with “locals and near natives.”

    As much as I admire the stark, minimalist designs (the negative space with black pines, for example), there’s always a little voice in the back of my head asking, what does this do for the animal & plant life displaced by this project? I know, a real hippie/tree-hugger kind of thought, and my yard with its pavers and pots and crushed rock is as good an example as any of habitat destruction at its worst, I’m afraid!

    Thanks for the great post!

    You’re welcome, too much for 5 pics, so…! The symposium was a highlight, too. The Tucson folks & Brad do speak in SoCal, some areas use his ideas.

    Minimalism – I think it’s not enough habitat. The next level of design can retain some minimal but still be maximal for the fauna and flora. That would rethink what “negative space” can be so it’s not too negative…for me, it was as hot as 1000′ lower El Paso in the evening, rock and adobe radiated heat until 10 pm. Hence my tiny sketch, w/ some passive water harvesting.


  3. I really enjoyed the tour homes but what I’m finding fascinating as a prospect is that elevated tea house/ranch shack project you’ve been hinting at. A truly innovative cross-cultural idea seems to be revealing itself (sort of a reverse strip tease!) and I can’t wait to see more.

    Thanks, and that new project with the entire property, the tea house it’s own part…wow! This must reflect travels between wet, green Houston to dry, open Marfa. I may have to post on the inside of the tea house… More to come on that project. Going out to start soon!


    1. Cotyledon in California, so it is available

      Thanks, good thing this is a residence, so for only a few of the less common plants I might get some. Saw these –
      – but most list it at USDA z 9a or 9b…only a small area of El Paso is 9a…my project is over 4000′ elevation in z 8. Ugh!


  4. Fascinating tour/post. Not being a designer I just enjoyed it for all the interesting places.

    Thanks, I don’t understand all the things I see there, but some I do, and it’s all enjoyable!


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