Meet the Team
Our design team are a wonderful melting pot of ideas, creativity and hard work. We realised that these days, when we are getting out and about much less, it would be a great idea to briefly profile each of the team to share something more about them. Meet Eike our Head of Design at CGLA
German born Landscape Architect with over 20 years of international experience on some of the worlds most prestigious developments. Graduating from the University of Greenwich with a Batchelor of Arts and Diploma in Landscape Architecture along with a Master of Science in Construction Project Management, Eike was previously Managing Partner of the world-renowned Martha Schwartz Partners before joining CGLA in 2018 to lead the design team. Over the last two years Eike has also been involved with the University of Westminster teaching conceptual design to Environmental Architectural students.
Eike is involved in driving the design direction of all projects CGLA undertakes. Guiding, directing, and mentoring the design team to be at the forefront of design creativity. Taking projects through from concept design, planning to construction detailing, imparting his many years of industry experience in residential developments, hotels and resorts, commercial and public realm developments all over the world.
Describe your style
I don’t have a particular style, nor do I subscribe to the notion of needing to be stylistic. I feel that having a particular style already predetermines the aesthetic outcome of any given project at the risk of ignoring and not responding to the unique characteristics that are intrinsic in every site.
The design aesthetic for any project is driven by a multitude of unique driving factors. Whether its contextual in nature, cultural or historical for example, all can be powerful influencers in informing a design aesthetic. I try to ensure that our designs, wherever possible illicit emotional responses and challenge perceptions of what constitutes a landscape, although one thing my experience has taught me is that it is important to know what to do, but essential to know what not to do.
I view plants more as three-dimensional, architectural elements. I focus heavily on architectural form, structure, and contrasts when it comes to planting; the more robust and sculptural, the better. It is essential that the planting matches the architectural quality of the spaces we design. Whether manipulating scale, creating framing devices or focal points the planting is just one of a sum of parts that needs to strike a harmonious balance with the rest of the design. It should be viewed as one holistic and artistic composition.
What has been your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge was to change the way my team perceived and approached design. Challenging their perceptions on what a landscape actually is and encouraging them not to bend to conventional norms. There is a lot of fluidity now between art, architecture, and landscape architecture – a lot more cross-pollination in the disciplines and the blending of art and landscape design is something I continuously instill into our design process.
How does your background inspire your creativity?
I was always artistic even as a young child, always drawing or sketching. My earliest inspiration that I can recall came from studying impressionist artists particularly Cezanne but also artists such as Mondrian and Kandinsky. I still to this day look to them for inspiration. I think my true design inspiration initially came from university looking at case studies and examples of work from some of the great international designers such as Peter Walker, Martha Schwartz and Zaha Hadid to name a few. This was to be further reinforced much later in my career when I was Managing Partner at Martha Schwartz Partners which was a turning point and completely transformed the way I approach design.
Proudest moment at CGLA?
There have been so many moments at CGLA to be proud of, so many achievments in a very short space of time. The biggest challenge but the most rewarding that I am most proud of is being able to build a tight knit team of dedicated and comitted international designers from a wide range of disciplines. Being part of an amazing team dynamic where the designers are thriving and growing in confidence and being encouraged to push their boundaries. We are still evolving, still growing and we are only just scratching the surface of what we are capable of.
Eike heads up the design team at CGLA who are an award winning team of Garden Designers, Landscape Architects, Landscapers and Garden Maintenance Operatives working in Buckinghamshire, London and the South East, as well as on prestigious design projects across the UK and abroad. We are currently working in Oman, Jersey and France, and welcome enquires for design, landscaping or garden maintenance. Contact us here