VILLA TERRACE RENAISSANCE GARDENS
IIDA Award of Merit
Villa Terrace is a decorative arts museum on the shore of Lake Michigan, and is a Partner Place with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The elaborate gardens in the Italian Renaissance style had been overgrown for nearly 50 years, and extensive restoration of the garden included numerous water features, dozens of sculpture gardens, an orchard, the terrace, and a new open-air tram. Lighting was critical to the success of the restoration for use during numerous evening tours, events, and weddings, but it required a sensitivity to the Villa’s historic setting and classification.
Hidden miniature sources cast soft blue shadows up and down through trees, while a romantic counterpoint of warm pools of firelight was created by actual flame torches and enhanced by warm-filtered hidden sources. Water features were strongly emphasized with seemingly concentrated moonlight and dancing reflections from hidden and underwater sources. The Villa’s architecture, statuary, and garden elements were grazed with shafts of light and warm glows to bring out their texture. And hundreds of fireflies placed in the miniature fruit trees wink slowly through fiber optic technology.