Subtle, sustainable landscape stitches together the natural and the manicured
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DETAILS

LocationIrving, Texas, United States
ClientExxonMobil Aviation Department
Size200 acres

Exxon’s Corporate Headquarters is situated on 200 acres of rolling mesquite woodland in Texas’ Las Colinas Development. The design captures the essence of a subtle Texas landscape by careful selection of native plants and preservation of existing woodland and wetland areas. The building itself is surrounded by a more “domestic” landscape within a forest of old, gnarled mesquite trees, which required special care to avoid damage by over-irrigation.

The SWA design created transitions between the two landscapes through careful site design and low-maintenance planting based on native plant communities.  Visitors enter the site via a 2,000-foot road that winds up from a wetland in the lower reaches of the property to the mesquite forest. Planting schemes along the road emphasize three different landscapes: at the wetlands, 20,000 Louisiana irises and masses of native palmetto provide a trunkless ground cover; in the intermediate zone, swathes of red yucca, a Texan evergreen with a four-foot spike of long-blooming coral flowers predominate; and in the final approach, sumac lends its distinctive autumn color. The design stitches natural and manicured landscapes together with subtle rings composed of large sweeps of eight different grasses, each chosen for the specific site conditions. Over time, extensive reforestation has further strengthened this landscape.

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