Minneapolis, MN (1986–1988)
The Regis Gardens are located in three attached greenhouses at the Walker Art Center. Two greenhouses provide linear planting frameworks and connect with a central atrium. The North House planting consists of a series of scrim walls covered with climbing vines alternating with flowering groundcover plants. The South House is composed of a series of vine-covered topiary arches. Designed by MVVA, the 16-foot tall archways were made with an innovative system of stainless steel superstructure, covered with non-ultraviolet degradable plastic mesh, and filled with structurally divided horizontal layers of growing medium along with an internal drip irrigation system. Creeping fig vine was planted at four-inch staggered centers.
Regis Garden at the Cowles Conservatory was designed in collaboration with the artist Barbara Solomon. Bachman's Greenhouse, a local nursery, collaborated in the research and development of the project, an effort that included conducting experiments to determine the growth response of the fig vine to variations of soil mixtures and irrigation rates. These investigations were conducted over the course of one year and included the testing of thirty-four different soil mixtures. MVVA was responsible for the design and detailing of the gardens, including paving, topiary structures, planting, vine scrims, furniture, and pool. MVVA also provided technical support to the architects, Edward Larrabee Barnes, on all issues related to climate control in the buildings as it pertained to making the conservatory suitable for plant growth.
The Regis Gardens received a 1989 ASLA Design Honor Award.