The closing keynote speaker for our Greenscapes conference was Richard Piacentini, the executive director of the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh. His talk was entitled “The Reverse Greenhouse Effect” and, using the structure of those great 19th century glass houses as a metaphor, Piacentini described the inspiration and efforts that went into the recent renovations at Phipps, renovations that resulted in a silver LEED award from the U.S. Green Building Council. Very cool!
Something else very cool that Richard Piacentini talked about that night was the exhibition of Dale Chihuly pieces at Phipps. I love Chihuly’s work, I love botanical gardens and conservatories, and I’m currently writing about the relationship between art and gardens, so when Laurie suggested we take a road trip down to Pittsburgh to see the show for ourselves I jumped at the opportunity. The installation was originally scheduled to come down in November, but it has been held over until February. If you are anywhere near the Pittsburgh area I highly recommend seeing this show. It is simply stunning! I’ve posted a few pics below, but the photographs don’t come anywhere close to doing it justice.