Thank you Design New England for featuring our work in “Perfect 10” in the November/December 2016 Issue! We are so pleased to be part of your 10-year anniversary issue, and deeply appreciate that you consider our work to be timeless. We strive to create landscapes that feel as though they have been there for a long time, so this was an awesome compliment! It was also so nice to be able to show you our Hillcrest Residence in person—building this garden for this family was very special for our office. Congratulations to the two other firms and Principals that you profiled: Treff LaFleche of LDa Architects, and Heather Wells of Heather Wells Interiors are both incredibly talented professionals at the top of their game, and it means so much to be included in their company! Congrats on 10 years DNE!
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!
We very proudly share exciting news that MCLD has won a 2015 Residential Merit Award from the Boston Society of Landscape Architects for our “Winslow Garden” located in Cambridge! This honor signifies our 5th award from the prestigious professional organization.
As a space for any mood, this inspirational courtyard draws a successful urban executive outside into a sculpture-centered space where she can read, garden, and think alone in relative peace or share more lively moments with others. The serene landscape is tucked into a dense, often hectic part of Cambridge, Massachusetts. A sentimental piece of art from the client’s personal collection inspires a sliding aluminum gate, claiming center stage of the property. A crisp white dining set rests upon embedded linear slabs of reclaimed granite, and two contemporary Adirondack chairs nestle into an elevated corner. The design integrates water as both art—in the form of an antique-granite and stainless steel runnel—and as nourishment for the surrounding clusters of vegetation. The sculptural trees, shrubs, and season-shifting perennials are the perfect scale for the gardening homeowner.
Designing this courtyard, with this client, was an exceptional experience for me, and I am so grateful to have such good patrons! Special thank-you’s also go to Robert Hanss Landscape Construction, Ricci Brothers, Olde New England Granite, Metalsmiths, Select Horticulture, Artemisia Perennial Supply, Shadows and Light, Didriks, and Bay State Irrigation for everyone’s efforts to help make this garden come to life. Last but not least, congratulations to all of our peers from many local firms whose projects are also celebrated in this year’s awards program! We look forward to seeing you all in May at the annual Gala!
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!
Come one, come all on Wednesday, May 8th to hear me speak at Design New England’s 2013 Spring Salon Series on the topic of “Now and Future Classics: Creating designs that will stand the test of time.” I look forward to sharing the floor with several talented professionals, including Oliver Bouchier from Payne | Bouchier Fine Builders; Michael Collins from D. Michael Collins Architects; and Judy O’ Neil Labins from Shafer O’Neil Interior Design. You can register for free at DesignNewEngland.eventbrite.com. I look forward to seeing you all there!
We are so beyond excited to share the awesome article written by Jill Connors for the March/April issue of Design New England, featuring our collaboration on a fantastic new home in West Newton with LDa Architecture & Interiors, Jill Litner Kaplan Interiors, Wellen Construction, and the Phil Mastroianni Corporation. The piece, “One + Only” is an eight-page spread highlighting gorgeous images of the home, interiors, and gardens, photographed by Michael J. Lee.
The property belongs to a busy professional couple with three children under age 10, who sought to build the home of their dreams. Mature oaks, beech, and maples populate surrounding properties, and the yard feels nestled into context. The clients wanted to create sophisticated, but kid-friendly outdoor spaces that could evolve with their active, family-oriented lifestyle. They love to entertain, and imagined places to casually and formally host both small and large gatherings. In short, they wanted a home that combined the qualities of a vacation home with the realities of everyday life––a dream home and dream getaway in one.
From the start, the clients wished to make this project as “green” as possible, and they committed to building a home that embraced LEED design standards as set forth by the U.S. Green Building Council. In 2012, the project received LEED Gold Certification, and MCLD wrote a blog post describing all of the cool things the landscape does that contributed towards certification. You can learn more about this by clicking here.
One of the most exciting things about this article is that it thoughtfully describes and illustrates the collaborative process from the perspective of a satisfied client, and captures the great interior and exterior connections that our team was able to achieve.
Without giving away all of the details, please check out the article, or pick it up at your next trip to the market! Thanks DNE!
If you aren’t already wildly addicted to Houzz.com, then perhaps you might want to check it out ASAP––just be prepared to spend the rest of your day flipping through spectacular images, reading about amazing indoor and outdoor spaces, and learning about the teams that create them. We love being a part of the Houzz community, and truly appreciate the support they have shown us. They have made an enormous impact on the design world, and Houzz has become a trusted tool in our toolbox to help communicate ideas to our clients.
MCLD was recently interviewed about our South End Courtyard by Annie Thornton, a Content Coordinator at Houzz, and she has put together their third feature piece about our work! The name of the article is “Postage Stamp Garden Delivers in Boston” and Annie does a great job describing how we created a private, green, modern space within the historic context of Boston’s South End. If you have missed the other gardens they’ve featured, please check them out here: “Landscape Tour: Two Acres of Rural Hillside in Maine” and “Garden Tour: Colorful, Serene Woodland Near Boston” or here: at Boston.com.
We’ve just received awesome news that our recent collaboration with Charles R. Myer & Partners, Sara Bengur Interiors, Columbia Contracting, J&F Contracting, and Hartney Greymont, has received a LEED Silver Rating from the U.S. Green Building Council!
MCLD worked closely with our client and the design team to create a lush, textured garden embellished with reclaimed materials and a robust palette of plant materials. The building and its interiors creatively embrace the U.S.G.B.C.’s LEED rating requirements. Outside, terraces and walls are thoughtfully crafted from hand-picked, salvaged slabs of Cape Ann granite sourced from Olde New England Granite. A dazzling collection of drought tolerant evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs from Select Horticulture create enclosure and brilliant displays of seasonal color around the property. The garden boasts an extremely efficient irrigation system, and the entire property is managed organically. Areas of turf grass are kept to a minimum, and modest areas of lawn are situated purposefully. Last, but not least, the driveway is completely porous and stormwater is allowed to recharge into the local watershed.
Designing and building a LEED-rated residential project requires a great deal of thought, flexibility, and creativity from the start. A solid team of collaborators is essential, and communicating the various choices of “green” and “sustainable” products on the market to your client is not a task to be taken lightly. The process requires patience, vision, as well as a firm commitment from the client to live in a more environmentally conscious way than most homeowners are willing to take on. The LEED for Homes program has made remarkable contributions to the green building movement, and we are incredibly proud to celebrate the ‘Hemlock House‘ as our second LEED project!
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!
Wow! What an incredible week of exciting press and media acknowledgements!
On Monday, www.Houzz.com featured a great article on MCLD’s “Front Ridge Garden” in one of their ideabooks. The piece is entitled “Landscape Tour: Two Acres of Rural Hillside in Maine,” and it describes the wonderful collaboration I had with my former high school algebra teachers as they created their dream home overlooking Acadia National Park and Blue Hill Mountain in Downeast, Maine.
Then today, New England Home posted an awesome piece in the Designer Snapshot section of their Design Blog called “Rolling With Rock.” The story focuses on MCLD’s use of reclaimed granite in three recently built gardens: “Lower Mystic Lake House,” “Hemlock House,” and “South End Courtyard.” Sometimes when I mention the idea of integrating reclaimed materials into a garden, clients worry that the finished product may look messy or contrived. Each one of these landscapes utilize reclaimed stone in unique ways. Hopefully the story will convince folks who are ‘on the fence’ that if anything, using salvaged materials can create a very meaningful and established feeling in the garden.