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. Starting here with Sunny
Originally from Iran, and a qualified Landscape Architect in The UK, Sunny has been in the UK for 16 years, working for LKW University before joining CGLA in 2017. Sunny is the Team Lead for the Design Team, assisting Eike, our Head of Design across a broad range of projects.
Sunny has worked on pretty much every possible type of project, from smaller bespoke domestic gardens and roof terraces, to some of our largest commercial and domestic clients. Sunny has worked with many of her clients from the first concept design ideas through to full landscaping and project oversight, often forming the important link between the clients and the construction teams (whether ours or the clients’), assisting with design changes and updates as required, as well as detailing all aspects of the build from basic construction through to furniture, planting, water features and lighting- and much more!
This can include sourcing huge screen planting and trees from Europe, hunting down perennials in local nurseries, and arranging the fabrication of custom-made metal work.
Describe your style
“It is important to try to understand the client’s style rather than impose our own, although each of us does I think have a unique way of achieving this. Landscape design is always site-specific and influenced by a wide range of contextual factors in addition to the requirements of the client. I believe that every site is unique and has the potential to develop into something interesting and exciting. I approach each project with a fresh perspective, using my imagination and creativity to maximise the potential within each project.”
“I always get excited when it comes to planting design. Clearly we need to consider colour, texture and form, but there is so much more to planting design than that, as there are changes over time and that elusive quality of “feel” that certain plants have or create within a space. Whilst I love so many plants that it is really hard to choose, I think if pushed I would choose a Persian Ironwood tree- Parrotia persica.
This really is a 4 season treasure- an excellent medium-sized tree with unique and beautiful spring bloom on bare branches, dark glossy (beech-like) leaves in summer, and outstanding Autumn colour and fruit. In winter the grey mottled bark and elegant form still look good, so you truly have a year round delight. The other wonderful feature of these trees is that they will take pruning and training well, so they can be kept restricted if desired, and sourced in many forms- from a natural open “cup shaped” form, which is always a delight, through Standards (upright trees), pleached (“hedge on a stick”), multi-stems, umbrella shapes, and miscellaneous architectural forms that come from the imaginations of the nursery teams! Whilst they get the best autumn colour when planted in acid soil, they will grow almost anywhere, and will grace any garden.”
“Every new project is a challenge, each site has its own difficulties and each client has their own requirements, priorities, and preferred approach. Pulling this together in a way that is flexible for our clients whilst maintaining a good sensible process is always something we have to think hard about! Probably the hardest thing I have tried to do is to work on a huge design for a (very demanding!) client I had never met. We knew we could create something that was aesthetically pleasing, and covered the practical requirements of the site, but capturing the imagination of someone you know little about is very hard! We approached this by using our unique “concept development” process, building the design language from a single point of inspiration based firmly in something we knew the client to be attached to. In this case, it was a spiritual concept that the house had been named after. This gave us a focus for the whole design, that was highly personal to the client, and entirely unique.”
How does your background inspire your creativity?
“As an international designer with a Persian background, I carry my own cultural dimensions which inspire my design and help me to evaluate a design through these lenses.
The character of the region in which I grew up, including its climate, art, literature, and writing and reading influences, have all shaped the way I think, look at things, and approach design.
The idea of an earthly paradise that is spread through Persian literature and culture is always in the back of my mind when I’m designing. The most fascinating aspect of Persian art and culture that has had a significant influence on me is the conceptual patterns and poetic literature which I am particularly proud.”
Do you have any hobbies that influence your design approach?
“I love architecture (my husband is an architect) and I find a great deal of inspiration from visiting wonderful buildings and looking at images of building design. It is amazing to be able to create a dialogue between interior and exterior spaces and unite the built and natural environments through landscape architecture.”
Proudest moment at CGLA
“My greatest professional achievement to date was when I received an email from one of my clients saying that she could never have imagined it, but the garden looks just like the amazing visuals. I truly enjoyed the whole process, from the conceptual ideas to the implementation of the design”.
Sunny is part of 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