December 14, 2011 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Created from a lightweight concrete, plants, and moss, artist Robert Cannon refers to his sculptures and containers as Terraforms, which literally means “earth-shaping” or the process of “deliberate modification of the atmosphere, temperature, surface topography or ecology to be similar to those of Earth to make it habitable by humans.”
Last summer, Cannon created a number of pieces for this expansive “terraformed” terrace on New York’s Upper West Side. The nearly 3000 sq ft wrap terrace commands impressive views of Central Park as well as magnificent sunsets over the Hudson River.
The modern terrace, whose planting plan was created by Jungle in Williamsburg and installed by Vert Gardens, was was conceived as a series of outdoor rooms connected by meandering terraformed stroll gardens.
The lightweight containers have hidden casters which enable the owners to rearrange the terrace and also allow for easy roof maintenance. At night the garden is lit with light spilling out from the bottom of the containers, powered by hidden LED’s in the bases.
Working in ferro-cement, Cannon creates a metal mesh armature which he covers with layers of stucco cement to form a strong weather-resistant shell which he then fills with soil and plants, including Scotch and Irish Moss as he did for this project. Ideal for urban settings, each piece has a built-in irrigation system making it virtually maintenance free. Cannon does not cast the sculptures from forms–each one is unique.
Photos supplied by Robert Cannon.