Shedd Aquarium, Chicago IL


Christine Nye, the Horticulturalist at the Shedd, asked Roy to work with her on a design for the new Oceanarium. The design objective was to provide food and shelter for migratory birds, engage people by demonstrating a higher level of beauty and to maintain the project at a reasonable cost. After Christine selected and located trees and shrubs, Roy designed multiple patterns of plant combinations using durable and native perennials.  Perennial patterns are connected through textures of grasses and sedges. The planting is durable, thoughtful, educational and adds to the broad definition of “What makes something beautiful?”

These are a few directional elements of the planting

  • –design the planting with 60% to 70% of the total plants used being natives
  • –put plant communities together that will reduce traditional maintenance costs
  • –demonstrate non traditional maintenance practices that will reduce costs
  • –enlighten the public on the opportunities plants provide for deep, rich styles of beauty
  • –educate the public on the connected well being of plants, millions of small creatures and people
  • –welcome the public into the planting, we’re not outsiders watching other worlds