Green Landscape Journal Blog: Arrival in Geneva

Listening to a Welcome Presentation at the U.S. Mission: Right to Left, Kate Tooke, Michael Lindquist, Natalie Ross and Colleen Gilfrich

Posted by Natalie Ross
Graduate Student, Landscape Architecture, University of Minnesota

From Green Landscape Journal: A Blog by the Team of Landscape Architects Working to Redesign the U.S. Mission Grounds

On Sunday August 1st (in varying states of jet lag) we finally converged on Geneva for our two week stint as Landscape Architects for the U.S. mission.   The city is incredibly well taken care of; colorful flowers stand out everywhere against the clean streets and sidewalks.

Our digs are pretty great – a renovated barn turned ambassador’s residence with pictures of Obama and Oprah Winfrey displayed prominently when you first walk in.  From the 3rd floor window are views of mountains, celebratory fireworks (we arrived on Swiss National Day, this country’s equivalent of Independence Day)  and a glimpse of a bright red Lamborghini parked on the grounds of a nearby mansion!  The Swiss definitely have good taste.

Sunday saw us settling in to the residence and getting to know each other better – but there’s no rest for the wicked and on Monday morning we were going full steam ahead at the mission with a morning full of security briefing and afternoon conversations about sustainability.   By the end of the day we had already split into 3 teams and were hashing out ideas for the new grounds.