Vail Valley Bizwatch: Colorado Land Art Studio
Vail, CO, Colorado
Business name: Colorado Land Art Studio, Inc.
Date opened: June 2002.
Owner: Cristian Federico Basso, Colorado Licensed Landscape Architect.
What goods or services do you provide? We provide landscape architectural services including high-end design for residential, commercial and government clients throughout Colorado. Clients can also purchase landscape amenities such as lighting and outdoor resort furniture though our office.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
In any given project we are typically responsible for conceptual design, design development, approval process, construction drawings and construction administration. Our office limits the number of residential projects per year to one or two. We believe that the most important service we can provide is to new and existing communities that value outdoor space, living and activities as much as they do the homes they live in. It is important to pursue a balanced design inspired by social/human behavior, alternative/sustainable solutions, ecology, art and history.
What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? We believe that the landscape is a backbone for a community, whether the project is your back yard or a large community project.
We have the tools to know when it is best to conserve and protect or build and develop the land in any given project. We are often given a list of constraints and guidelines for all projects. We believe it is our job to understand and respect these constraints but also to question the “experts” so the end result of the project benefits the client, the environment and the local community.
What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? Our typical client is fairly educated about why a landscape architect is needed for their project. We take the time to educate clients so there are no surprises as the project develops.
We believe openness and honesty is the best policy. If everyone on the design team understands their role and involvement, the project has a better chance of being successful.
Since we are nationally recognized designers, our customers demand and receive a finished product that surpasses their expectations. The designed landscape is a living, breathing piece of art that continuously evolves through time.
Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: My family is from Florence, Italy and I was born in New York City and hold dual citizenship. I graduated from Temple University in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture. I graduated from Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 1995 with a masters degree in landscape architecture.
My work has been published by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and recently a residential project I designed in Vail, was published in LUXE magazine. I have recnetly finished implementing a master plan for a commercial resort property in Vail in addition to a rooftop garden and four high-end residential properties in Eagle and Pitkin counties. In March of 2009 I received my Colorado state license for landscape architecture.
What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? While visiting family in Italy I was asked to help my cousin, who lives in Kenya, with a “terrible” landscape problem. He explained that his house was surrounded by gardens loaded with fragrant jasmine. On any given day, from out of nowhere, a hippopotamus would run through the garden damaging the jasmine trees while biting off the jasmine blossoms and mindlessly trampling the garden vegetables.
My cousin was serious and wanted me to tell him what I thought he should do to protect his beautiful gardens. After giving this careful thought, and letting him know that I had no prior experience with hippos damaging gardens in the United States, I suggested moving the jasmine.