Ambius was recognized at the 2023 International Plantscape Awards on January 19th in Tampa, Florida, earning 19 awards for innovative designs. The awards, which were part of the four-day Tropical Plant International Expo, recognized top industry designers and honored exceptional interior plantscape designs.
Ambius designers from across North America submitted entries in ten categories. Ambius brought home an award in all ten categories including, Service, Design and Major Renovation. In addition to the ten Platinum awards and eight Gold awards, Ambius designer, Charlee Storner, earned a Diamond award, the ceremony’s highest-ranking award.
“These awards not only showcase the exceptional talents of each of our Ambius designers, but they also highlight the passion and detail that goes into creating world-renowned designs,” said Lorri MacHarg, President of Ambius. “Operating with a mission to bring clients’ vision to life, our designers strive to ensure every creation is unique. We are proud of our designers and we are honored to receive these awards.”
Ambius designers won in the following categories:
- Train Shed, Designed by Charlee Storner
- Biophilic Campus, Designed by Peggy Calaro
- JLL, Designed by Bill Wishard and Kelly Wallowski
- Piper, Designed by Janice Nath
- Seabird Resort, Designed by Janice Nath
- Tropical Oasis, Designed by Alexis Scarfogliero
- Margaritaville, Designed by Roberto Soto
- Basis Powderhouse, Designed by Lise Ciccia
- 100 N Broadway Atrium, Designed by Roel Ventura
- Florida Turnpike, Designed by Erin Barylski
- The Puttery, Designed by Kelly Wallowski and Marla Lusby
Exterior Building Facade
- Townhouse Detroit, Designed by Lauren Mazzeo
- Cash App, Designed by Charlee Storner
- The Gantry, Designed by Lisa Filipiak
- Exterior Walls, Designed by Alexis Scarfogliero
- Watertown Mall, Designed by Lisa Ciccia
- Humana, Designed by Christina Steed
- Mercedez Benz Easton, Designed by Tammy Mclntosh
- Hanging Baskets, Designed by Bill Wishard and Patrick Barry
Read on to learn more about the projects.
Commercial Property Award-Winning Projects
As the new owner of 100 N. Broadway Tower, Larson Capital Management wanted to do something big to attract new building tenants. They were committed to doing something very unique for the only commercial building with a large atrium lobby space in the downtown St. Louis area. What they decided on was certainly big! At 30 feet long x 18 feet tall, this custom mixed preserved/replica moss wall display is the largest moss wall display in the Greater St. Louis area to date.
Given the massive size of the open atrium lobby floor and the moss wall itself, Roel was inspired by the mighty Mississippi River, only walking distance away from the building. To honor this majestic American waterway and its arching tributaries, which have played a major role in shaping the history of St. Louis, strong curve movement lines were infused into the moss wall’s overall design. In addition to the curve movement lines, texture and actual moss material were equally important in this design project. Pole, reindeer, and mood along with replica moss stones were selected and carefully glued to allow an overall cohesive finish. Furthermore, for building address branding purposes, the “100” logo was incorporated into the wall.
This design concept is the main theme for all four floors of this location. The General Contractor built the grids and installed all of the planter boxes, making the team’s jobs a little easier.
The client had interior plants in mind when this space was being built out for them. And because interior plants were included in the building planning phase of the project, the Ambius team was able to properly identify and select the right type of plant varieties and quantities before the space was even fully operational.
Approximately 1,300 low to mid-light plants were used throughout the four-story location in various different ways. The General Contractor built many different planters, such as privacy barrier planters, slim planters to allow even the tight spaces to have some greenery, and planters to line the booths located in break areas. There is even a built-in planter that was used as a false wall to the glass-encased conference room for privacy. Having views of nature while in a meeting is much more productive than blank or solid walls.
Overall, it was a lengthy and laborious process but the collaboration with the architect and general contractors allowed Ambius New York to create a beautifully designed, custom plant program for this long-time customer of Ambius who has entrusted us with their interior plant program at a global scale.
This unique project was actually inherited from another service provider. With 100+ hanging baskets, it took about 16 hours (8 hours each week) to fully service the floor for the first few months. Eventually, the team was able to reduce service to 8 hours total by implementing innovative methods such as watering via a hooked-wand approach. Doing so cut watering time for the 100+ baskets in half and eliminated the need for ladders.
The hanging planters work as functional plant decor — acting as baffling for sound travel in voided ceiling spaces. They thrive enough that they need bi-weekly trimmings, but to mitigate waste, the team implemented a sustainability program in which employees can utilize the cuttings that would otherwise be discarded.
In an effort to attract, keep and inspire their younger workforce, the client, a stylish modern headquarters in St. Louis, was looking to transform some key areas of social activity with inclusive festive decorations. Their fun and casual culture lends itself to playful and interactive enhancements that one may not normally encounter in a corporate atmosphere. The challenge was to deliver on the fun without going overboard.
Cash App’s stylish and contemporary St. Louis headquarters has been designed as a hybrid workspace with hotel-like amenities, again to attract and keep talent. In keeping with their fun and highly social workspace, they asked Ambius to come up with some playful holiday decorations for their common areas. The company owned a giant interactive blow-up snow globe for employees’ holiday photos, but that was the extent of their decorations.
The team decided to use the giant snow globe as inspiration and create a blizzard around it. The upper-level railings were used to hang light curtains, snow branches and ornament drops to enclose the space. Lit snowflakes led down the stairs to the snow globe which was enhanced with snow trees and white garland. Overlooking the atrium is a comfy hangout space. What better use of the space overlooking the blizzard than a chalet to relax and warm up in? The team rearranged the furniture to make the perfect spot to bring in an electric fireplace. Birch arrangements helped make the space more intimate and a photographic backdrop winter scene in a conference room window completed the illusion of looking out at the snow. Look closely and you’ll see additional details like faux fur rugs and throws tossed around, a set of snow skis, snow shoes, and hanging origami snowflakes!
Hospitality Award-Winning Projects
Ambius Washington D.C. was tasked with assisting The Puttery design team with their upscale, high-tech mini golf venue that also provides dining and cocktails. Their goal was to put a modern spin on the decor to create a fun and welcoming environment, utilizing primarily replica materials, with additional live plants added in other areas. A custom flowering dogwood was the centerpiece for a feature area and social media photo opportunities. Other areas included replica plants hanging from beams, ceilings and trellises, and an area of the course with a desert theme and replica cactus. Unique and colorful planters were also sourced and procured to hold items such as custom bonsai and agave.
This installation was ultimately so successful that it became the first of seven additional projects for this client across North America.
Ambius San Diego had the honor of working in collaboration with the ownership’s stylist team at the Seabird Resort in Oceanside, CA, a project that was in the planning phase for 10 years. The Seabird Resort is a luxury hotel and part of the Hyatt family. It was designed to feel like a Hampton Estate, warm and welcoming with families in mind and is located just steps from the beach and the Iconic Oceanside Pier.
Our partnership on the project began very early in the construction phase. The client wanted locally sourced plants and found items for the final touches of decor for this property. Plant selections were very specific in order to create an organic vibe, and were sourced from local growers. Many local artists also contributed to this project, from woven chandeliers to handmade pottery. The colors and textures of the planters had to complement the environment around the property, using blues, greens, and terracotta pots. Exterior-grown phoenix roebelinii were brought indoors to create a canopied warm welcome in the lobby, with assorted base plantings for birds nest fern, monstera deliciosa, and pothos.
The design bar was set very high on this project, and the outcome is one that Ambius San Diego is quite proud of. It turned out just as planned and was one of the team’s favorite design challenges.
A brand new luxury hotel was set to open in the heart of Tampa, Florida — the first 5-star hotel to open in the city, making it even more remarkable. The hotel group had a very specific design in mind for their interior landscape program. The design required a variety of tropical plants of varying heights in beige and white, cylinder containers. Over a four-week period, the team installed 650 plants, consisting mostly of large palms and a few other varieties. The plants were then grouped in clusters of different quantities and sizes, depending on their location. The randomization of the plant design aimed to provide hotel guests with a nature-inspired and biophilic experience.
Each space was outlined with various plants to create separation and give the illusion of privacy, even though the hotel is extremely large and has many people buzzing around at all times. The Ambius Tampa team is very proud to have brought to life exactly what the client wanted.
Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort brings an entirely different resort perspective to South Florida with its unique, authentic, “no worries,” tropical vibe and the feeling of escape that instantly meets visitors as they walk through the door. Ambius Ft. Lauderdale was tasked with the fun job of taking that vibe and creating a holiday decor program to match.
This hotel is about 30,000 square feet, with many spaces to be decorated. Because of the existing beach theme, traditional holiday colors didn’t really work. Instead, the team chose a color concept inspired by the sea, sand, and sky, using real seashells and starfish mixed with shiny fiberglass ornaments. Ambius Ft. Lauderdale also utilized ten trees, 32 pieces of fully decorated garlands, 26 36” teardrops, a 7-foot beach-decorated sleigh, a Santa display, menorahs and much more!
Creating and installing this design was a challenge because the design required a lot of heavy materials and glass ornaments to be used without compromising the safety of guests or installers. Nonetheless, the Ambius Ft. Lauderdale team was able to deliver exactly what the hotel wanted and the holiday guests gave the hotel a lot of great feedback from their stay during that time.
Multi-family Award-Winning Projects
This project came about because the client wanted to add some type of greenery design to their building’s exterior. The building was just finishing construction after many delays during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The solution? A two-story exterior replica green wall.
This project was over 2 1⁄2 years in the making. Conversations regarding options and pricing began back in May 2019, but COVID had other plans. Finally, in December 2021, the team was able to install the wall. The building design and expensive stone walkways made installation somewhat difficult, but Team Ambius North Florida was persistent and finished the installation in two days. After all of the time and planning and then re-planning, the wall was completed and more importantly, the client absolutely loves it!
Located in the heart of Washington DC’s Union Market District, The Gantry is the premier multifamily property in the area and needed a standout holiday design.
As a dedicated partner of Ambius, they have come to expect world-class custom holiday decorations to complement their award-winning interior designs. Ambius Washington D.C. focused on complementing these interior spaces by customizing the holiday decorations specifically for the space. Using vibrant traditional colors, the design team was able to enhance their space for the holiday season using a classic and elegant holiday theme. Current residents and future residents that visited the space enjoyed the holiday displays and at times, you could see someone snapping up a photo in front of the delightful holiday tree.
The transformation of an old Boston area community school to a high-tech office space brings the “outdoors in” with a multi-panel living wall that is intimately scaled yet an obvious focal point facing an outdoor green courtyard through glass walls. The vision and concept are as if the indoor and outdoor green spaces were meant to gaze upon each other in a biophilic match made in heaven. The living wall boasts colorful, vibrant, and lush plants above artfully placed reclaimed wood paneling to add to the journey of pure natural discovery every step of the way. Restoration of the space collectively brings together this dynamic commercial urban oasis with original features like cement columns and brick surfaces softened by the biophilic environment created to breathe new life and energy into the redefined space.
In collaboration with Sebastian Mariscal Architectural Designers, the Boston Ambius team delighted Basis Powderhouse by creating a biophilic environment where the natural world dissolved boundaries within the interior and exterior mixed-use space. Working within the constraints brought about by the unanticipated onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, both teams persevered to complete the project successfully despite the year-long delays in the construction phase. Working with space heaters at times to get through the winter months when heating had not been installed, Ambius Boston stayed on course, creating a truly unique, natural environment for this high-tech client. The transformation blends old and new in a sustainable environment for all to enjoy for years to come!
Restaurant Award-Winning Projects
The owners of the stylish restaurant and bar, The Train Shed, wanted to transform the large dining space into a holiday destination. By covering the entire ceiling of the restaurant, they hoped to create an immersive and memorable holiday experience for both diners and employees.
Lodging Hospitality Management asked Ambius St. Louis to help them with many unique projects but when the holiday design team met with them they were not expecting to be asked for the entire ceiling of The Train Shed Bar and Restaurant, located in the St. Louis Union Station entertainment venue, to be covered with Christmas. The client wanted to turn the restaurant into an overwhelmingly over-the-top talked-about experience. Luckily, Ambius St. Louis was up to the challenge and was intrigued by the possible outcome.
The first and most important concern was safety. The large establishment has a concrete ceiling which made the usual ways of securing hanging decor impossible. The team had to develop an anchor and steel grid system that was rated to hold the weight. All elements were weighed and tested in a mock-up system in the workshop. The grid work also allowed the team to hang the decorations anywhere in the space.
The 14-foot ceiling did not allow for the desired intimacy, so an interpretation of chandeliers brought the decor down four feet, helping to enclose the vast space. Thirty-seven decorated chandeliers were produced in various shapes and sizes and served as anchors to the design. Large ornaments, packages, lit evergreens, and ribbons were used to fill in between. Hundreds of plush Santas, dolls, and deer added to the whimsy and gave little surprises throughout the design.
From concept to completion the project took many months of planning, preparation, and staging, sometimes taking on a life of its own, sending the team in unexpected directions. But it all paid off as The Train Shed was named in the top ten holiday destinations in the St. Louis area by local news and social media outlets. During the holiday season, people stood in line to experience a memorable meal or drink in this magical space.
Townhouse Detroit underwent a full renovation in 2021. Once a cozy, modern burger and sushi bar, the restaurant is now a sophisticated spot for events that serves inspired and elevated interpretations of modern American cuisine. Conveniently located in the heart of Detroit, this masterpiece showcases a magnificent atrium and bar, and outdoor terrace.
The Ambius Detroit team was overjoyed to take on this exterior landscape project and to work with Jeremy Sasson of Townhouse and Heirloom Hospitality on the interior remodel, as well as the exterior building facade. Lauren’s vision was to create an exterior patio planting that was as chic, modern, and sophisticated as the new interior of the restaurant while maintaining the softness and femininity of a summer garden. The team executed this planting flawlessly, despite having to plant around existing irrigation lines on a busy street corner. The extraordinary display turned out beautifully and delighted the client (and us, too!).
Piper is a prestigious restaurant located inside the Seabird Resort in Oceanside, CA. The restaurant was designed with a bright, convivial California Coastal vibe in mind. Their description of this space was relaxed, earthy, comfortable, organic, biophilic, and sustainable, so the team worked closely with the design firm to create an organic, light, free-flowing interior landscape design.
The restaurant has a farm-to-table theme and being organic is the foundation of its vision. In order to align with their concept, Ambius San Diego selected terracotta and stone planters in a variety of shapes, textures and sizes. The team was random in their selection of these planters and decided to push the design envelope a little deeper by being random in the plant selections as well. These plants had to be locally sourced as well to maintain the owner’s vision for his restaurant. There were variations of lighting throughout the restaurant and with the wabi-sabi-inspired biophilic design, the team had to make sure that the plant technicians were educated on how to water these plants with varying watering and light requirements. The plant design at Piper turned out beautifully organic. This design concept pushed the team a bit outside of their comfort zone but they were certainly able to deliver!
Retail Award-Winning Projects
Mercedes Benz is a name we all associate with a high standard of excellence and a logo recognized by everyone. The general manager of the Easton showroom wanted to update the facility and called on Ambius Columbus for some direction. Many ideas were tossed around but the consensus kept coming back to moss walls. The spaces themselves dictated the direction. The question was, how can they all be different, yet work together?
With the client’s trust to venture outside the box and Ambius’ ability and talent, the new design was a hit. The design team used various types of moss; reindeer, sheet, fern and pole moss in a variety of tones to create different moods while maintaining the elevated experience. They was even able to incorporate the iconic logo into the walls. With the new design, the facility is bright, refined and welcoming. Employees and customers alike enjoy the lift these moss walls give to their facility. Waiting for your car has finally been made interesting!
The Ambius Boston team was tasked by the client to remove old, dusty, and out-of-scale existing replica trees and replace them with a new replica design as a refresh of an established large mall in the Boston area.
Due to budget constraints, the original turquoise containers needed to be kept in the design plan. The team needed to help their long-standing client of over 26 years realize their vision of a more streamlined and modern look for the mall while using some existing elements. The most efficient way to achieve this was to remove the heavy fill and the existing 10-foot replica trees from the containers and bring them back to our warehouse facility for cleaning and rebuilding with the proposed new replica material.
Now, how to complete the installation as efficiently as possible without interrupting the 7-day-a-week business function of the mall? By incorporating an innovative technique used in the fencing industry, the team refilled the cleaned-up very large existing containers with lightweight expandable foam to not only secure the new, lush replica trees but to ensure that they would be durable and safely stand in place for years to come. Working tirelessly, they were able to deliver the end result within the budget and timeframe allotted. The Boston Ambius team was able to transform the space for an airy, fresh biophilic environment much to the delight and enjoyment of the client, mall shoppers and visitors!
The Ambius Chicago team had the pleasure of working with this fast-moving, rapidly growing organization for more than a year. This client acquired what was once an empty manufacturing plant in the midwest, creating 6,000 local jobs since 2018. During this growth period, great care has been taken to make each division of the organization a collaborative culture in every way. Part of that effort was to provide and maintain a sustainable biophilic environment using natural products.
The interior plantscape became a large part of their campus providing that culture, with more than 2,000 plants installed during this phase of the project. Working closely with their architects, including visits by the client to the local Ambius warehouse, the team was able to determine the exact plant style/arrangement the client preferred. Each plant installed was selected to mimic an indigenous species of the local area in the Illinois Prairie. All containers of natural clay were personally selected and provided by the client. Additionally, all custom containers were built of natural wood. It was a very exciting project and a pleasure for the team to have assisted the company in meeting its plantscaping objectives, as well as witnessing progressive manufacturing and sustainable goals working hand in hand.
Transportation Award-Winning Projects
The client’s request was to refresh three square 8’ x 8’ raised planter box-seating areas inside the Florida Turnpike Service Plaza. The vision was to modernize the dated planter boxes into beautiful statement islands to enhance and brighten the rest stops. This new look would be achieved by sourcing more realistic-looking replicas to be potted in curved white containers of staggered heights, set among the two original palm trees. Along with plants in containers, the client requested adding sporadic grasses and plants to appear to be growing up through a bed of round river rocks. The caveat was that everything had to be safely and securely held down, in an effort to keep safe any children who might climb up onto the islands. As a resolution, the Ambius Ft. Lauderdale team learned to work with mortar and grout to install the rocks permanently onto the base of the planters.
Due to the supply chain issues elevated by the pandemic, the biggest challenge was sourcing out high-quality replica plants. Consequently, the team had to work with multiple vendors. Of course, a project of this scale comes with a few hurdles but with a lot of time, patience, and elbow grease, Ambius exceeded the customer’s expectations. Even better, the newly modernized planter boxes became photo opportunities for travelers passing through!
Healthcare Award-Winning Projects
Humana partnered with Ambius National Accounts on this renovation for the main corporate office in Louisville, KY. The building was very old and had to be retrofitted in the process to accommodate the desired renovations — a complete redesign of the lobby, dining hall, cafeteria and lounge area. Though the design concept of this project began in mid-2020 in the middle of the pandemic, installation didn’t begin until October 2021 due to various construction delays and global supply chain shortages.
One such construction delay gave the team some significant challenges. When the team arrived to waterproof the millwork with the intention of installing the plants later that week, they discovered that the millwork had not been constructed as designed. This forced the team to have to redesign their portion of the project, including reordering new plant materials. The original design of this project had over 615 live plants, and with innovation and collaboration, the team was able to still utilize 278 of them. Ambius incorporated a replica design in the dining hall and delivered two stunning moss wall projects as well. Even with all of the setbacks, the project came out beautifully. It was with teamwork and dedication that Ambius was able to achieve such a great outcome on a very difficult project.
To have an award-winning design installed in your space, contact us today!