Michael A. Gilkey, Inc. http://magilkey.com Just another WordPress weblog Fri, 01 Jul 2016 03:13:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.3.11 Gilkey Wins Two 2014 Home of the Year Awards http://magilkey.com/press-room/gilkey-wins-two-2014-home-of-the-year-awards/ http://magilkey.com/press-room/gilkey-wins-two-2014-home-of-the-year-awards/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 16:06:57 +0000 http://magilkey.com/?p=1812 We are thrilled to announce that Michael A. Gilkey, Inc. has received both the Platinum and Silver Awards in the 2014 Home of the Year competition, a program hosted by SRQ Media Group. The Silver Award was given to The Casey Key Pagoda Garden project, and the Platinum Award recognized our work at the Siesta Key Residential Resort

The judges’ comments for the Casey Key Pagoda Garden’s Silver Award included “the project hangs together quite well. I enjoy the movement from the rustic stonework to the refined pagodas…Truly beautiful and elaborate.”

And for the Siesta Key Residential Resort’s Platinum Award, the judges said the project was “spectacular in its simplicity and reservation. Beautiful contemporary expression of Florida’s ’50’s…This project successfully exercises a great deal of restraint to great effect. It quietly and beautifully sets the stage for outdoor life in a beautiful setting.”

See all of the 2014 Home of the Year winners in the March 2014 issue of SRQ Magazine.

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Longboat Key Residence http://magilkey.com/residential-new/longboat-key-residence-2/ http://magilkey.com/residential-new/longboat-key-residence-2/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 21:49:43 +0000 http://magilkey.com/?p=1836 Type: Residential Garden
Location: Longboat Key, FL
Year Completed: 2014


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Gilkey’s Work Featured in ASLA’s Year of Public Service http://magilkey.com/in-the-community/gilkeys-work-at-southside-featured-in-aslas-year-of-public-service/ http://magilkey.com/in-the-community/gilkeys-work-at-southside-featured-in-aslas-year-of-public-service/#comments Thu, 13 Feb 2014 18:32:42 +0000 http://magilkey.com/?p=1804 The Year of Public Service was established by the American Society of Landscape Architects’ (ASLA) Public Awareness Campaign to highlight the wide-reaching public service activities readily performed by landscape architects and to advocate for a higher commitment by all to community service projects. Michael A. Gilkey, Inc.’s continuing work with Southside Elementary School has been recognized by this national organization. The story follows in its entirety, and can be found here with full photography. 

What began as an ASLA member presenting a unit on butterfly gardens to students at Southside Elementary School has become a much larger project. For the last four years, Michael Gilkey, Inc. has been integrally involved in establishing an edible garden, a bird and butterfly garden, and even leading kindergarten classes in the creation of their own shoebox butterfly gardens. For his last project, each child chose one verbena, one coral honeysuckle and one white guara, all generously donated by Mariposa Nursery. The children learned about the life cycle of the butterfly, Florida’s soils, the purpose of mulch, a bit of design, and plant care.

When approached by the Southside Elementary garden team about the dire need for a front school façade makeover, Gilkey volunteered his time and design to create a butterfly and bird habitat garden that would welcome students and parents into the historic building. The garden was planted in early 2013.

With the Southside Elementary butterfly and bird habitat garden ready to welcome winged visitors, it was time to designate the space a Certified Wildlife Habitat. The National Wildlife Federation recognizes spaces that provide food, water, cover and a place for wildlife to raise their young.

This newly hatched monarch butterfly was the first full time resident of the Southside Elementary butterfly and bird garden, a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat.

Michael A. Gilkey, Inc.’s continuing donation of time, design, materials and installation services for gardens and habitats has established the firm as Business Partners of Southside Elementary School for four consecutive years.

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Jungle Plum Residence http://magilkey.com/residential-new/jungle-plum-residence/ http://magilkey.com/residential-new/jungle-plum-residence/#comments Mon, 03 Feb 2014 19:17:32 +0000 http://magilkey.com/?p=1796 Type: Residential Garden 
Location: Siesta Key, FL
Year Completed: 2013 

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Sarasota Herald Tribune Features Casey Key Project http://magilkey.com/press-room/1775/ http://magilkey.com/press-room/1775/#comments Tue, 24 Sep 2013 17:09:35 +0000 http://magilkey.com/?p=1775 The Casey Key Pagoda Garden, designed by Michael A. Gilkey, Inc. and built by Synergy Building Corp., was featured on the cover of the Sarasota Herald Tribune Real Estate Section on Sunday, September 15th. The article follows in its entirety.

On 1.2 acres of Casey Key bayfront, linked to one of the county’s largest mansions, is a dream landscape built for enlightened clients who seek the best and are willing and able to pay for it.

For Sarasota landscape architect Michael Gilkey, designing an Asian-inspired “pagoda garden” on that bayside acre has been a one-of-a-kind assignment and the project of his career, so far. It also won him the 2013 Residential Award of Excellence from the Florida chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.


Working with Joe Jannopoulo, owner of Synergy Building Systems, Gilkey conjured an intricate arrangement of gardens, pools, pagodas, moon gates, paths, a party deck, an 1,150-square-foot conservatory and even a grassy landing pad for a small helicopter.

Design took eight months before the first shovel hit sand, but it did not stop there. The design program evolved even as the project was built. Over the course of three years, Gilkey estimates, design took 18 months and construction and installation two years.

The house to which the pagoda garden belongs is well-known, at least to the philanthropic set and the Sarasota County Property Appraiser. With 19,700 square feet of air-conditioned area, it is the second-largest private residence in the county.

The owners hope to use their new pagoda garden both as a personal retreat and a place for fundraising parties for local charities.

“The intent was to create a unique retreat suitable for private use as well as entertaining, anchored by a world-travel inspired series of built elements and outdoor rooms,” said Gilkey.

Although the owners’ home, on a 2.5-acre Gulf-to-bay parcel, is one of the finest on the Gulf Coast, the bayside of the property was nothing but what Gilkey called “disturbed vegetation.” Some might use the term weeds.

“It was uninhabitable,” he said. “They had no view of the bay from their house. It was a big thing for me that the garden be connected to the house.”

At first, the owners just wanted a traditional Chinese garden with a koi pond, a greenhouse and some parking for guests.

“I didn’t have experience with a Chinese garden,” said Gilkey, a second-generation landscape architect, “but they wanted our interpretation of what that meant.”

Then the target started to move. A rose garden was added to the wish-list, and an edible garden. The pagodas and greenhouse added a structural challenge.

“I knew I was going to quickly get over my head,” said Gilkey. “I needed someone who can build it, so we brought in Joe.”

Jannopoulo and Gilkey did their homework and designed the structures and landscape over the course of about eight months. But “change orders” — the owners’ desire for additional features — meant design and construction often overlapped. Gilkey handed Jannopoulo more than a few sketches on napkins.

The greenhouse became a conservatory, sitting atop a 40,000-gallon stormwater vault that captures rain from the roof of the main house, with mahogany and glass. The koi pond is split into two sections — one for the fish, the other for plants that help filter the water. The three pagoda pavilions and two “moon gates” are solid concrete.

“That was Joe’s idea,” said Gilkey, who said metal framing was considered as a structural method for the pagodas. “One day he calls and says, ‘I’m a genius, I’m a genius. We’re building them of concrete.’

“The roofs are formed-in-place concrete. Watching them go up was amazing. It was a true design-build process.”

“This wasn’t a job where the owner came to us with a set of prints and said ‘go build this.’ This was a function of developing the entire site with purpose,” said Jannopoulo, “with Mike’s talent of being able to put all these items in place, and the client having a vision, and me being able to build it.”

Jannopoulo said the process was constrained by budget, site, time — “all the things that are important to the construction process. The koi pond turned into an authentic Chinese pagoda. The greenhouse turned into a conservatory for growing plants. The parking area turned into a traditional English garden. It all kind of evolved.”

“Once we did sketches,” said Gilkey, “and they saw things develop, they said, ‘Forget the parking. If we have a party, we will valet it. Let’s make more garden.’ ”

About the budget: When it was suggested that the project might have cost $2 million (a guess by this reporter), both Gilkey and Jannopoulo responded with blank stares. They know, but they are not saying.

“We still did this in the forecast time, and we did not have an open checkbook,” said Jannopoulo. “We had to stay frugal and budget-minded. Spend the money where it is important and create something great.”

“There is always a budget,” said Gilkey. “With Joe and I in the room at the same time looking at the budget, we were able to move this thing as we were constructing it.”

The garden contains a bayside deck in ipe wood for entertaining, a small zen garden with a deck for yoga and meditation, and other spaces and paths that are shaded with varieties of bamboo.

Nearly 200 tons of rock from Missouri and Tennessee was brought in and colored to match the rock found in China. Some pathways were made to look like a dried riverbed. Tabebuia trees stand in for cherry trees, which are not suited for the subtropics.

There is a geometric rose garden that would have pleased Mable Ringling. The edible plants include Florida blueberry, lychee, citrus, eggplant, mango, loquat and starfruit. Gold trees will add their spectacular color each spring.

Three waterfalls gurgle. Water in the koi pond is filtered every 90 minutes. Lily pads in the adjoining pond help remove impurities that could harm the fish.

Atop the arches of the two moon gates, the Chinese characters read “Mother’s Garden.”

“Of all the projects I have done in 15 years,” said Gilkey, “and all the architects and builders I have worked with, I’ve never had a true collaboration like this. The only reason this job was successful was the collaboration of builder, landscape architect and owners.”

One of them remarked to him, “Michael, I can’t tell you what it feels like to walk across the street and feel like we are on vacation. All the stress goes away.”

“It is their bit of solace,” Gilkey said, “and there is no better compliment. After all the money they spent, it would be very easy to have buyer’s remorse. But they absolutely love it. They love what they created through us.”

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Gilkey Project on Cover of Sarasota Magazine http://magilkey.com/press-room/gilkey-project-on-cover-of-sarasota-magazine/ http://magilkey.com/press-room/gilkey-project-on-cover-of-sarasota-magazine/#comments Tue, 24 Sep 2013 16:53:52 +0000 http://magilkey.com/?p=1771 The Casey Key Pagoda Garden, designed by Michael A. Gilkey, Inc. and built by Synergy Building Corp., was selected as the cover project for the August 2013 Platinum issue of Sarasota Magazine. The article follows in its entirety.

Boaters speeding down the Intracoastal Waterway off Casey Key may do a double take when they spot the three open-air Chinese pavilions with intricate red latticework and bold blue tile roofs—the tallest rising 27 feet above a meandering 48,000-gallon koi pond.

The pavilions and koi pond are the centerpiece of a remarkable new private garden—four gardens, actually: an Asian pagoda garden, an edible garden, a rose garden and a butterfly garden surrounding a formal glass conservatory—built for a philanthropic couple on an acre and a quarter across the road from their Gulf-front home, where, before 18 inches of fill dirt and 300 different plant species were installed, once stood a few rose bushes, some scraggly trees, a fountain and a patch of grass.

For landscape architect Michael Gilkey and contractor Joe Jannopoulo, it was the assignment of their young careers: a spectacular large bayfront property, an unlimited budget, a years-long timeline, and two eager clients with a sophisticated point of view.

“The homeowners asked me if I’d done anything like this before,” says Jannopoulo. “I said I don’t know anybody who has.”

The nearly three-year process was deeply collaborative and very much “an evolution,” says Gilkey. The designers were told from the start that the garden would need to be both intimate enough to be enjoyed by a family of four and comfortable enough to accommodate 100 guests or more at a fund-raising party. But partway into the design process, the homeowner announced that he’d also like to be able to land a helicopter on the property. Gilkey amended the plans to include a grassy landing area bordered by cheery yellow groundcover between the formal garden and the bay.

The pagoda garden was built first. Gilkey and Jannopoulo did months of research on Asian gardens. “We looked at thousands and thousands of pictures,” Gilkey says, “and a University of Florida graduate student from China walked the site with us.” But in the end they strove for emotional responses over faithful reproductions.

Moon gates with undulating blue-tile roofs that usher guests into and out of the pagoda garden, for example, evoke “a romantic feeling of the journey we’ve gone through with the owners,” says the landscape architect, rather than hewing to one particular period or style. Above the moon gates’ traditional circular openings are Chinese letters that spell out, “Mother’s Garden.”

Jannopoulo constructed the striking red two-story Chinese pavilions, open to the light and air, out of hurricane-proof concrete clad in furniture-quality African mahogany. Ornate roof tiles, blue to signify the sky, were made by hand in China, with symbolic statuary—a phoenix, a dragon with curved horns—placed at the curves of each roof to ward off evil spirits.

The traditional elements of plants, water and rocks are at the pagoda garden’s core. Seven towering, 20-foot-tall tabebuia trees were placed strategically throughout; when their delicate purple trumpet blossoms appear in early spring they will fill the sky around the Asian garden with color. At the southern terminus, they planted a sausage tree that, in 20 years, will stand 50 feet tall. Statuary from the homeowners’ travels peeks out from a forest of eight varieties of bamboo, among them golden Hawaiian, delicate weeping Mexican, Timor black and stately oldhamii, also known as giant timber bamboo. Tucked among them are a private meditation space, a yoga platform and a raking sand Zen garden.

One hundred-ninety tons of rock—nine semi-trucks full—were shipped from Tennessee and Missouri to recreate the natural feel of an Asian garden; Jannopoulo says it took six months to place the rocks just so in and around the koi pond. Cascading over the rocks on the bayside is fragrant Arabian lilac.

The Asian garden’s plants, like the rest of the nearly 300 species throughout the property, were chosen and sited for a natural flow. “We wanted it all to look natural, soft, not purposeful—like nature did it,” says Gilkey. “We chose plants that will flower in different seasons, so there’s a different star of our show every few months.” With all the gardens now complete, the couple has hired a full-time garden manager to maintain the plants and their vision.

One hundred of those 300 species are edibles, and many of them adjoin the Asian garden: Barbados cherry and tamarind trees, jaboticabas, starfruit, dwarf pomegranate, mangos, loquats, papayas, lychees, figs, Chinese persimmons, Persian limes, a banana garden and on and on.

Now the designers and the homeowners are enjoying the fruits of their labors. “I walked the site with the homeowner a few weeks ago, and we were picking blueberries and mulberries and cherries off the trees and eating them,” says Jannopoulo. “It was the first time in all these years we walked and laughed and enjoyed the garden. I knew our work was done. Now it’s the plants’ turn.”

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Casey Key Pagoda Garden Wins ASLA Award of Excellence http://magilkey.com/press-room/casey-key-pagoda-garden-wins-asla-award-of-excellence/ http://magilkey.com/press-room/casey-key-pagoda-garden-wins-asla-award-of-excellence/#comments Tue, 24 Sep 2013 16:31:14 +0000 http://magilkey.com/?p=1764 (St. Petersburg, Florida, July 19, 2013) — Last night, the Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects held their annual Design Awards banquet, and presented the only 2013 Award of Excellence in the Residential Category to Michael A. Gilkey, Inc. for The Casey Key Pagoda Garden.

The Casey Key Pagoda Garden is nestled on 1.2 acres overlooking Blackburn Bay, across the street from the owners’ Gulfview residence. The intent was to create a unique retreat suitable for private use as well as entertaining, anchored by a world travel inspired series of built elements and outdoor rooms. Through a true collaborative design-build process with Synergy Building Corp. and world class craftsmen from across the country, the result is an experience that transforms the user while remaining cohesive [/videofile] and conscious of its Southwest Florida context.

Three other Awards of Excellence were presented in different categories last night, one in the Institutional Category and two in the Planning and Analysis Category.

Click here to view the embedded video.


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Casey Key Project Featured in April Sarasota Magazine http://magilkey.com/press-room/casey-key-project-featured-in-april-sarasota-magazine/ http://magilkey.com/press-room/casey-key-project-featured-in-april-sarasota-magazine/#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2013 17:28:27 +0000 http://magilkey.com/?p=1706 Michael A. Gilkey, Inc. was happy to be included in the April 2013 issue of Sarasota Magazine for a project we designed and installed on Casey Key. The full text of the article follows in its entirety.

The project: An older ranch-style residence set between the road and bay on a Casey Key Gulf-to-bay property. “This is the winter home of a single retired woman who has a lot of cool art inside,” says Gilkey. “She’d done a lot of renovation inside, and now she wanted to bring the ‘cool’ outside, too.”

The concept: “The arrival is very important to us, so we recreated a dune system in the front yard with clean beach sand and sea oats to make it feel like you’re walking through the beach to enter the house,” says Gilkey. To further the beach resort feel, he added 20 cabbage palms to the nearly 50 already on-site.

Foliage choices: The key is working with what’s already there, says Gilkey. In this case, he kept the vivid poolside royal poinciana and mature screw pines, and—in a nod to the caustic Gulf of Mexico environment—added beach-friendly plants like dune sunflower, silver buttonwood, Indian hawthorn, carissa, crown of thorns, kalanchoe, and bromeliads in front and back “to add a sculptural quality.”

The focal point: Gilkey designed an art-glass sculpture to replace the maintenance-heavy fountain in the front yard. (It was fabricated by his sister-in-law, Sarah Hines of Somewhere Glassworks.) “It’s my interpretation of Gulf sunsets, with waves rolling across the sand picking up the sunset tones,” he says. “We used art glass to echo the reflective quality of water.” The sculpture is lit at night with fiber optics.

The reaction: “You’re only finished with a project if your client loves it,” says Gilkey. “The homeowner told me—what do the kids say these days?—‘it’s off the chain.’”

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Gilkey, Inc. Hires Landscape Associate Ryan Hynko http://magilkey.com/press-room/gilkey-inc-hires-landscape-associate-ryan-hynko/ http://magilkey.com/press-room/gilkey-inc-hires-landscape-associate-ryan-hynko/#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2013 17:02:40 +0000 http://magilkey.com/?p=1699 March 26, 2013 (Sarasota, FL) – Michael A. Gilkey, Inc., a full-service landscape architecture studio in Sarasota, Florida, is pleased to welcome new associate Ryan Hynko, a recent graduate from the University of Georgia. 

Ryan is assisting company president Michael Gilkey, Jr. and landscape architect Gavin Cain with all phases of the design-build process. He is a member of The American Society of Landscape Architects, and currently pursuing licensure in Florida.

“I am honored at the opportunity to begin my career in Landscape Architecture at Michael A. Gilkey, Inc.,” says Ryan. “It is exciting to grow roots in a young company with such a strong relationship to the community and the profession.”

For more information or a partial portfolio of work to date, please visit magilkey.com or call (941) 924-0132.

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Gilkey, Inc. Celebrates Cain’s Licensure http://magilkey.com/press-room/gilkey-inc-celebrates-cains-licensure/ http://magilkey.com/press-room/gilkey-inc-celebrates-cains-licensure/#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2013 16:20:43 +0000 http://magilkey.com/?p=1693 March 26, 2013 (Sarasota, FL) – Michael A. Gilkey, Inc., a full-service landscape architecture studio in Sarasota, Florida, congratulates landscape associate Gavin Cain, one of Florida’s newest licensed landscape architects (LA #6667142).

In addition to passing the nationally administered Landscape Architect Registration Examination, a Florida landscape architect must complete a professional degree program in landscape architecture as approved by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board, undergo a minimum of one year of approved practical experience under the direct supervision of a licensed landscape architect, and pass a specific test on plant materials and specialized aspects of practice in Florida, including laws and regulations.

“To become a licensed Landscape Architect has been a pinnacle professional goal of mine since I was 16 years old,” says Gavin. “I have been blessed with many great opportunities to this point in my career, but none have been greater than working at Michael A. Gilkey, Inc. The talented and experienced team at the company have helped guide and develop a strong foundation for my career. Sarasota is a beautiful place and I look forward to what the future has in store. This is just the beginning.”

For more information or a partial portfolio of work to date, please visit magilkey.com or call (941) 924-0132.

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