Imagine our complete surprise this morning to hear that Ocean Home Magazine has named MCLD as one of the Top Landscape Architecture Firms of 2016! We are very honored to be recognized alongside so many incredible design firms! If you happen to be passing through the pages of the 2016 April/May Issue, you’ll see one of Le Petit Chalet’s reclaimed granite terraces included in a story by writer Mary Grauerholz beginning on page 46. “Breathing Space” includes an interview with yours truly discussing how “the once humble outdoor patio is now a seamless extension of a home’s interior.” Thanks so much Mary and Ocean Home for this great exposure!
The “two birds” were myself and landscape contractor, Martin Lucyk. The “one stone” of course, was gorgeous Maine granite…
It’s crunch time and winter weather is coming fast, so in an effort to secure some amazing reclaimed stone for a few great projects we have in the works, Martin and I took a whirlwind trip to Maine to see what we could find. The weather was stunning, and the verdant and rocky coast of my home state was putting on one hell of a dazzling fall foliage display.
Stop one was to a top-secret, antique quarry, complete with a fantastic old VW hippie van that probably still gets better mileage than current models. (Ha ha) We tagged incredible slabs of stone while talking with the quarry’s owner about the property’s fascinating history. The sun was setting quickly and there was a nip in the air—the perfect conditions for mother nature to work her autumn paintbrushes on the surrounding woodlands.
Stop two was to our absolutely inspiring new project site near Acadia National Park. The property sits on a spectacular vein of pink granite that juts out into the Atlantic, presenting dreamy views for as far as the eye can see. To top it off, the hayscented fern, moose maple, and tupelo were in full fall color, creating shocking visual scenes that are almost too much for the brain to process.
My line of work takes me to many wonderful places throughout the Northeast, but nothing could ever compete with the sights and sounds of waves crashing on weathered granite. It’s trips like these that remind me just how lucky I am to have a job (and clients) that I love so much… Here’s to wishing you all a happy fall!
This past November was filled with many exciting and memorable moments for MCLD, but the “cherry on the sundae” was having our 2014 ASLA Honor Award-winning Le Petit Chalet published in Landscape Architecture Magazine. I fondly reflect on times I spent in the W.E.B. DuBois Library at the University of Massachusetts, reading issue after issue of LAM from front to back. There was nothing quite like sitting up high above the Pioneer Valley on the 15th or 16th floor on a snowy afternoon, flipping through the pages and dreaming of one day being able to share one of my gardens with the world.
Over the summer, while dashing between job sites and client meetings throughout the northeast, I had the incredible opportunity to fulfill this dream with a meaningful collaboration involving Journalist and Designer, Jane Berger, and Managing Editor of LAM, Lisa Speckhardt. In early September Jane and I met in Maine to tour this Acadian treasure. It was a dazzling, sun-filled morning, and the property showed-off all of its remarkable qualities. Jane and I had spoken about the project a few times before, but it wasn’t until I was able to personally visit the garden with her that I could convey just how magical this place is…
LAM has captured the spirit of Le Petit Chalet in “Acadia Remaid.” Click the image below and enjoy!
It is with an overwhelming sense of humility that we announce our first professional Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects in their 2014 Professional Awards Program for “Le Petit Chalet” in Southwest Harbor, Maine. Today’s press announcement from the ASLA revealed a stellar list of 34 award-winning projects selected from more than 600 entries submitted by firms worldwide. Le Petit Chalet is no stranger to recognition; it received a 2011 International Gold Award from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, as well as a 2012 Merit Award from the Boston Society of Landscape Architects. Of the 34 recipients, only 8 residential awards were given so to be recognized as one of the top residential projects from across the U.S. and around the world is beyond rewarding. The 2014 awards will be presented at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Denver on Monday, November 24th; and the October issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine (LAM) will also feature the winning projects. The competition for this recognition is tremendous, and I am grateful to the prestigious 2014 Jury for seeing the magic of this landscape in our submission.
This past weekend someone special said “if you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I couldn’t agree more. For me, this project is an absolute reflection of this sentiment. The work we have completed at this property has been one of the most rewarding professional and personal experiences I have ever had, and to have it celebrated and shared with my peers, mentors, and collaborators is profound. There is an enormous list of people to thank for all of their hard work and dedication on this project, but I would be remiss if I forgot to thank our amazing client for giving us this wonderful opportunity, or to praise our friends at Gardenform Landscape Construction for their incredible commitment in helping to build this garden.
Congratulations to our fellow professional and student award-winners. We are honored to be in your company and cannot wait to celebrate with you all in Denver in November!
I am so incredibly proud to announce that Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design has received a Merit Award from the Boston Society of Landscape Architects in their 2012 Professional Awards Program! Only 6 awards were given in the Residential and Garden Design category this year, and I am honored that MCLD’s “Le Petit Chalet” is recognized along with submissions by other firms such as Keith LeBlanc Landscape Architecture, Reed Hilderbrand LLC, and Ground, Inc.! I would also like to send a huge congratulations to the folks at Stephen Stimson Associates for receiving the Award of Excellence for their work at the Southwest Concourse at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst! Last but certainly not least, thank you Gardenform Landscape Construction for all of your amazing dedication and hard work––building this project with you in the context of Acadia National Park was an amazing and unforgettable experience.
The Annual BSLA Gala will be held at the Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge, MA on the 26th of April, where the award will be presented. I look forward to connecting with old and new friends to celebrate!
Special thanks to New England Home magazine for featuring MCLD’s ‘Le Petit Chalet’ in Southwest Harbor, Maine in their March/April “Special Focus – Landscape Design” section! In the spread I was quoted as saying “I wish it were the kind of place I could (easily) take people to, because it’s such a magical property.” It truly is, especially in the early fall as the foliage on the hay scented ferns and blueberries begin to turn. The air is so fresh and clean, and the way the early morning sunlight washes the garden is something to behold. And yes, the adorable little fox in the photo is very real! She was a frequent visitor to the garden during construction, especially as the plants began to arrive. She developed a taste for Gardenform Landscape Construction‘s leather gloves!
In 2008, MCLD was involved in the creation of a minimalist landscape in Rockport, Maine for a home designed by architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen. An article by Joseph Giovannini in the October 2010 issue of Architectural Digest tells the wonderful story of how the clients established a connection with Mr. Jacobsen over a number of decades before commissioning his firm to create their dream house.
Designing the landscape for a home imagined by such an iconic architect provided exciting challenges. The dramatically sloping ocean-front site called for creative circulation strategies that worked with both the topography and the strong geometries formed between the house, bunk house, and garage. A salt-tolerant plant palette had to stabilize disturbed areas of the property, and the new garden had to respect the long-established sentimental connections to the landscape that the clients had formed after raising their family on the property.
Photos by architectural photographer Richard Mandelkorn capture the simple yet elegant lines of the building and illustrate brilliant interior and exterior views of Rockport Harbor. The landscape, which is being installed in phases, includes lush perennial and cut-flower gardens, a sloped lupine meadow, low and high-bush blueberry colonies, a path to the sandy beach, and a small bluestone sitting terrace.
Look for images of the garden to appear in the MCLD portfolio as the garden matures!
The Bangor Daily News recently ran an article in their “Community” section about MCLD’s 2011 International Gold Award from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, (APLD), for “Le Petit Chalet” in Southwest Harbor, Maine!
I am originally from Bucksport, Maine, and building a garden on Mount Desert Island provided an amazing opportunity to reconnect with a landscape that has shaped a massive part of my appreciation for native plants. It just so happens that the summer the landscape was built was one of the wettest ones on record, making for some unpredictable and memorable experiences during the installation process. One storm in particular dumped over 4-inches of rain on site in less than 24-hours––I was staying on site that night, and let me just say that I barely slept a wink!
The garden was built by Gardenform, a Massachusetts-based landscape construction firm. The owners, James Barrett and Susanna Jewell, lived on site during the five-month construction period. Having the builder so close to the project provided immeasurable value in responding to frequent, torrential rains and high-wind storms throughout much of the installation process.
Building this garden within the context of one of the nation’s most cherished national parks provided unparalleled career-changing experiences for everyone involved.