When our clients requested that CSG develop a tranquil, meditative garden space for their company’s office, we pondered: How do you marry a meditative outside garden space within a Louis Sullivan-designed building, the renovated Krause Music Store on Chicago’s northside? The answer: follow the lead of the interior space, developed by the client’s architects. The open, airy floorplan employs glass office dividers, clean, straight lines and minimal clutter to enhance transparency and keep the space feeling light. Taking a page from their book, we continued the sight lines from front to rear by leaving the central garden space clear and open. A minimalist approach to the space – patterned stone and ipê (ee-pay) wood, with a restrained palette of plantings – keeps the eye at rest. A Buddha presides serenely over the garden, while the water feature washes away the city’s clamor with its quietly calming presence.

At night the glow of the interior space suffuses the garden in a soft light. Accent lighting on plants and architectural elements highlights these focal points. But whether day or night, the garden remains a tranquil oasis perfect for clearing the mind of the day’s worries.