No doubt the estate had been magnificent in its day, particularly given its location on the shore of Lake Michigan in Winnetka, Illinois. By the time Mariani Landscape got involved, however, both the 1928 home and the property surrounding it needed lots of work.
In fact, the landscape was essentially barren and littered by a number of antique stone statues, lanterns and iron gateways that were either in disrepair or didn’t fit the architectural style or space. Mariani dubbed the job its “Italian Renaissance Project” and set to work.
The results of that effort have brought another major award to the firm. Earlier this month, the Chicago-Midwest Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art chose Mariani Landscape’s Winnetka project as the winner of a 2015 Acanthus Award.
One of the nation’s largest residential landscape design, installation and maintenance firms, Mariani Landscape brought new life to the site, mitigating a number of challenges along the way. For example, when the property owners indicated they weren’t likely to use the pool, Mariani essentially converted it into a water feature with the introduction of arching jets.
One of the lead landscape designers, Sara Furlan, said the Italian Renaissance Project was a dream job for the Mariani team.
“The homeowners gave us complete creative freedom,” Furlan said. “It allowed us to really explore the possibilities that this unique environment provided, while complementing the architecture of the home with classical sculptures, geometric greenery and decorative pergolas.”
The Acanthus Awards recognize excellence in landscape design, architecture, interior design, preservation and restoration, the allied arts and craftsmanship, unbuilt work and student work.