Cultured Magazine

Winter 2012

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FernandoWongMiamiDec_Layout 1 11/21/12 9:01 AM Page 116 Lofty Landscapes Fernando Wong's latest collaboration involves worldclass architects and an historic Miami Beach property. BY SARAH HARRELSON Tell me about your plans for the new Saxony Hotel that you are doing with Roman and Williams. Roman and Williams are world-class talents. Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch are the type of designers that both inspire and teach through their brilliance. They are also just fascinating to talk to because they are experts on just about everything that I find of interest. Who are your gods? Which landscape designers do you admire most? My giants are Raymond Jungles and Sanchez & Maddux in Palm Beach. We're fortunate to be working with Raymond on the Saxony. Does landscape design succumb to trend like interior design? If so, what are some of the current trends? I do not think that it is quite the same. Although in South Florida there are certain palms that come in and out of vogue, sort of like pleats. What current project are you most excited about? We just finished a magnificent garden in Virginia replete with slate terraces and Pennsylvania Bluestone walls and fountains. We are also doing a garden for a townhouse in London next door to Valentino's. That's fun because I fantasize about him peeking over his wall at the garden I designed and being jealous. What is your dream job, or who is your dream client? Valentino! Just kidding. When I started out, my dream client was someone with an unlimited budget. That is still a nice thing, but now that I have been doing this for a while my dream client is someone who is clear about their likes and dislikes and respects the design process. For my part, I do enjoy collaboration and the give and take that comes from the duel of form versus function. How do you describe your style? I am a classicist in the sense that I always gravitate toward clean lines as well as scale and proportion. What are your favorite design/garden books? I consume books like food. Obviously, I love landscape books; my favorites are Fernando Caruncho, Luciano Giubbilei and Enzo Enea. What other fields inspire you? I am inspired by everything—fabric, jewelry, art and anything else I see. Which global city has the best landscape design? My favorite is Chicago. I love Millennium Park. Every time I go there I see something new and interesting. Also, you cannot help but be in awe of Central Park. It is almost 900 acres in the middle of New York City—that in itself is hard to wrap your your mind around. I also look to the work of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux for inspiration. 116 CULTURED An early concept rendering for the Saxony Hotel

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