About Us

outdoor gardenRené J.L. Fransen Landscape Architects serves high-end residential and commercial clients who demand the utmost quality in design and detailing. The firm’s specialty is locating specimen plants, which give its projects a mature, established appearance as soon as the installations are completed. Projects are diverse in scale, ranging from French Quarter courtyards, high-rise condominium terraces, beachfront estates in the Hamptons, a two-thousand acre estate in northern Mississippi, a Palladian style mansion in Mountain Brook Alabama, and a 500 acre ranch in the Hill Country of Texas.

The firm’s philosophy is that it can be done. This is integral to its reputation and success; as clients demand the seemingly impossible, René and his design team always devise creative solutions to turn dreams into stunning reality.

Ongoing and recently completed projects include a 1932 Tudor Style estate in Pass Christian, Mississippi; a Georgian style mansion in Mobile, Alabama; a Bed & Breakfast in Fredericksburg, Texas; an Offshore Energy Complex in Houma, Louisiana; and numerous fine homes throughout the New Orleans area.


René has served as a guest lecturer for the Longue Vue Symposium, the Texas chapter of the Garden Clubs of America, the Brazos Forum and many other organizations. He was the first landscape architect selected by the National Pool and Spa Institute to judge its design competition in 2003. He also garnered the ASLA Honor Award for the design of the grounds of a Richardsonian Romanesque mansion on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans and for a 2000 acre estate in Mississippi where 10 acres were intensively developed adjacent to the residence. HGTV featured an 1850’s Gothic Revival villa and its grounds, landscaped by Fransen’s team, in its Homes Across America series. The firm’s work is also frequently featured on garden tours in the New Orleans area, as is René’s own courtyard, which was also featured in Secret Gardens of the Vieux Carré.

 

 

In the fall of 2005, René was inducted as a fellow of the American Association of Landscape Architects for the body of his works. In July 2009, his work was once again featured in Architectural Digest. The firm’s work has also been featured in numerous publications.  To date, René has been honored with three distinguished design awards from the Louisiana Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects.

 

Letter from René

 

 

Awards:

  • 2015 - Art in Bloom - Movers and Shakers
  • 2012 - LCASLA Merit Award: Residential Design - Comprehensive Scope
  • 2012 - LCASLA Merit Award: Residential Design
  • 2011 - LCASLA Merit Award: Residential Design - Comprehensive Scope
  • 2010 - LCASLA Merit Award:  Residential Design - Comprehensive Scope
  • 2006 - LCASLA Honor Award:  Residential Design
  • 2005 - LCASLA Honor Award:  Residential Design

 
Books:

  • 2011  - A Classical Journey by Ken Tate
  • 2007 - Orleans Embrace with The Secret Gardens of the Vieux Carré by TJ Fisher, Roy F. Guste Jr., Louis Sahuc
  • 2006 - New Southern Classicism: The Residential Architecture of Barry Fox by Philip Kopper
  • 2005 - Courtyards: Intimate Outdoor Spaces by Douglas Keister
  • 2005 - The Classic House, Windy Hill, Ken Tate Architect by Graves Nelson
  • 2005 - New Classicists: Kent Tate Architect, Vol. 2 by Oscar Riera Ojeda
  • 2004 - New Orleans Style Past & Present by Susan Sully
  • 2003 - New Classicists: Kent Tate Architect, Vol. 1 by Oscar Riera Ojeda
  • 2001 - Gardens of New Orleans: Exquisite Excess by Lake Douglas and Jeannette Hardy
  • 2001 - The Majesty of St. Charles Avenue by Kerri McCaffety and Cynthia Reece McCaffety
  • 1994 - Home Landscapes: Planting Design and Management by Edward C. Martin, Jr. and Pete Melby
  • 1993 - Live Oak’s Splendor by Dr. Neil Odenwald
  • 1993 - Secret Gardens of the Vieux Carré by Roy Guste

 

The Advocate:


The Times Picayune:

  • August 15, 2009 - InSide Out section, "Every Leaf in It's Place
  • August 15, 2009 – InSide Out section, “2 pools, 2 personalities”
  • November 24, 2007 - InSide Out section, “A Manse for All Seasons”

 
Magazines:

  • 2014 January Louisiana Life
  • 2014 Summer Gambit's CUE: Magazine
  • 2010 October New Orleans Living
  • 2010 Summer The Magazine Antiques
  • 2010 April New Orleans Living Louisiana
  • 2009 Summer Summer Flowers Magazine
  • 2009 July Architectural Digest
  • 2009 March Southern Living
  • 2009 March New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles
  • 2009 March Greater New Orleans Living
  • 2008 December/January 2009 Preservation in Print
  • 2008 December Greater New Orleans Living
  • 2007 July New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles
  • 2007 Summer/Premier issue Distinctive Backyard Ideas
  • 2006 September Louisiana Homes and Gardens
  • 2006 Spring Garden Shed
  • 2005 July Architectural Digest
  • 2005 March - April Southern Accents
  • 2004 Signature Pools & Spas
  • 2004 November New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles
  • 2003 August - September Elle Décor
  • 2003 May - June Southern Accents
  • 2003 May - June Veranda
  • 2003 Spring New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles
  • 2000 September - October Southern Accents
  • 2000 July Metropolitan Home
  • 2000 May Unique Homes
  • 2000 January Unique Homes
  • 1999 Southern Living Garden Guide
  • 1999 February Times-Picayune, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1998 May Dan’s Paper, a Hampton weekly
  • 1997 February Southern Living
  • 1997 Garden Design
  • 1995 4th quarter Ambiance Piscines International
  • 1995 May Southern Living
  • 1994 October Southern Living
  • 1994 September Southern Living
  • 1994 August Southern Living
  • 1993 Crescent City Secrets
  • 1993 March Southern Living
  • 1992 Summer Southern Living's Garden Guide
  • 1991 August Southern Living
  • 1991 June Southern Living
  • 1988 April New Orleans Magazine
  • 1988 April Southern Living
  • 1988 March Southern Living
  • 1987 July New Orleans Magazine
  • 1987 May Southern Living
  • 1987 February Southern Accents
  • 1986 October New Orleans Magazine
  • 1986 May Southern Living
  • 1985 November Southern Living
  • 1982 August Better Homes and Gardens
  • 1981 October House and Garden

 

National TV Broadcasting:

  • Oct 18, 2004 - HGTV’s “Homes Across America”, First landscape architect to be featured on this show. This show is still in rotation.

 
Organizations:

  • American Society of Landscape Architects, Member 1984 - present
  • Louisiana Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects, Member 1984 - present
  • French Quarter Citizens, Member, Chairman of Membership, Secretary, Chairman of the Progressive Dinner - 2015
  • Longue Vue House and Gardens, Member, Board of Directors 2004-2015, Garden Committee 1992-1999 and 2004-present, Site Committee 1994-1996 and 2004-present, Chair of House Committee 2004-2007, Vice President 2007, President 2008-2010, Emeritus 2010-2015
  • Friends of the Cabildo, Member since 1968, Board of Directors 1981-1989, Executive Committee, Corresponding Secretary 1986-1989, Chairperson of House and Garden committee and long term planning, Board of Directors 2005-2008, Executive Committee Vice-President of Membership 2005
  • Save Our Cemeteries, Member, Board of Directors 2000-2008, Executive Committee 2001-2008, President 2003-2005, Vice President of Membership 2001-2002 and 2006-2008, named Board Emeritus 2008
  • D-Day, The National WWII Museum, Founding Member
  • French Heritage Society, Member
  • Friends of the Audubon Institute, Member
  • Friends of City Park, Member
  • Herman - Grimma House, Member
  • Louisiana Landmark Society, Member
  • Louisiana Nature Center, Member, Site Development Committee 1984-1987
  • Louisiana Nurseryman’s Association, Member
  • Louisiana Preservation Alliance, Member
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation, Member
  • New Orleans Botanical Garden Foundation, Board Member 2009 - present, In charge of exterior design exhibits 2010-2014
  • New Orleans Museum of Art, Member, Art in Bloom Committee Member 2008, 2009
  • Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Founding Member
  • Preservation Resource Center, Member
  • Smithsonian Institute, Member
  • Summer Lyric Theater at Tulane University, Member, Steering Committee 2000-present
  • Magic in the Moonlight - fundraiser for the Board of Trustees of the New Orleans Botanical Garden, Creator 2010