gate at Frederik Meijer Gardens

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Ranked in the top 100 most-visited art museums worldwide by Art Newspaper, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park has grown to become an international destination.

Grand Rapids, Michigan
8.5 acres
2010 – 2015
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Fred and Lena Meijer had long appreciated the traditions and experiences of Japanese gardens. Kurisu was deeply honored to bring their vision of tranquility, simplicity and beauty to life. As a centuries-old, yet timeless art, the Japanese garden complements Meijer Gardens' mission and values, and allows exploration in unique ways by bringing the art of the garden and the art of sculpture together. Meijer's team thoughtfully curated the inclusion of sculpture from world-renowned artists such as Jenny Holzer, Anish Kapoor, Zang Huan and David Nash, among others.

The ideal garden location was selected for the qualities of available water, elevation changes, and quiet surroundings. Over four-years in the making, Kurisu's design and construction process included close collaboration with Meijer's team, community-based education and outreach, sensitivity to native species, wetland mitigation, and preservation and creation of habitat for birds and other fauna. The result was a magnificent 8.5-acre garden.

rocky waterfall at Frederik Meijer Gardens
Four waterfalls grace the Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden. Main waterfalls on the north and south edges are designed to complement each other with contrasting feminine and masculine energies – emptying into a central pond at the heart of the garden.
An authentic Japanese teahouse is a featured highlight of the garden, offering traditional Japanese tea ceremony. First constructed in Japan by skilled Japanese craftsman, the teahouse was then dismantled, shipped then reassembled at Meijer Gardens using traditional tools and techniques. One of the most fascinating features, the teahouse may be seen from every view in the Japanese garden.
view of pond, path, gazebo, and bridge at Frederik Meijer Gardens
While the Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden includes plants traditionally used in Japan (including Japanese maples, cherry blossoms and bamboo), it also features plants native to Michigan and other temperate climates throughout the world.
rock garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens
An iconic form among authentic Japanese style gardens, the Zen-Style Garden invites contemplation and seclusion. Nearby, Meijer Gardens' acclaimed bonsai collection is thoughtfully displayed.
bonsai garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens
Long Island Buddha at Frederik Meijer Gardens
The Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden also includes such features as a natural style moss garden, viewing hill, boathouse, multiple gazebos, benches, gates, decks, ponds and an arched bridge.
zig zag bridge at Frederik Meijer Gardens

Description from Visionary Landscapes by Kendall Brown:

“The long walk around the pond provides views of the sculpture and glimpses across the pond to the architectural landmarks on the far side. The extended path is also a metaphor for life and gardens. The Meijer leadership uses the motto, ‘the journey begins’ to embrace the reality that the garden, in contrast to the sculpture in it, is not a product, but a process. The garden’s success is contingent on the fostering of the plants along with design adjustments natural to a large garden build in a short time. Equally important is imagining the garden less as another attraction on a long day’s tour and more as a resource for local visitors to imbibe, repeatedly, in small sips. One should experience the garden when the mood strikes for the encouragement of seeing a plant come into bloom or endure winter’s grip, the contemplative astringency of the dry garden, the expansive view from the hilltop, the biophilic connection with koi glimpsed from the zig-zag bridge or insight gleaned from studying one of the sculptures in relation to its shifting surroundings.” Kendall Brown, Visionary Landscapes, 2017

For more information, please visit the Meijer Gardens website.

Blue image of lotus flower

Healing Gardens

Our Japanese-style healing gardens are designed with an intention for restoration on the deepest levels. We incorporate the ancient philosophies and techniques of Japanese garden design to reawaken the connection between people and nature – between ourselves and the larger, timeless cycles of change and regeneration.

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