We are delighted to share that two of our recently completed gardens, “Waban Hillside” and “Cambridge Garden,” are on display in the 2016 March/April issue of New England Home magazine! “A Little Piece of Paradise” provides a sneak peek of a great new contemporary garden we’ve created right outside of Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts—A collaboration with Anmahian Winton Architects, SeaDAR, and Martin Lucyk Landscape Construction. Our work at the Waban Hillside—A collaboration with Eck MacNeely Architects, Jennifer Palumbo Interior Design, Wellen Construction, and Paragon Landscape Construction, can be seen in this year’s Special Focus section of the magazine. For those of us who are tired of this winter-like weather, it is well-worth picking up a copy of the magazine to get yourself excited about the summer of 2016!
Happy spring MCLD’ers! This is always a crazy time of year for our office, and after the winter we just had, this season seems to be especially wild. In an effort to hold onto some sense of balance, I made it a priority this week to stop by and visit a few of the landscapes we finished up last fall to see how things are evolving. When I stepped through the old garden gate into a new space we created on Brattle Street in Cambridge, (which I will share with you all later this summer), I just knew I had to show you all what I saw . . .
Together with my teammate, Julia Sim, we developed a design for an awesome contemporary fountain that has quickly become the centerpiece of this great urban garden. The collaboration for this piece brought together a stellar team of local craftspeople, including Martin Lucyk Landscape Construction, Pond Creations By Sean, Paradis Metalworks, Lampasona & Bloomer Electrical Services, Inc., and Shadows and Light.
In this line of work when you are busy it is all too easy to forget and stop to smell the roses, (or the tulips in this case), but the last photo in this post says it all. Enjoy folks! : )
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!
We are so proud to share awesome news that MCLD has won two more Gold Awards from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers in their 2015 International Landscape Design Awards Program!!! This announcement is especially meaningful to us because it signifies our 9th and 10th awards from this incredible organization. We are completely humbled to receive so much support from the APLD; we are also honored that our work can be used in any effort to promote the valuable contributions that landscape designers make throughout the international design community.
This year’s prestigious judging panel was composed of well-known experts in the field: John Greenlee, of Greenlee and Associates; Greg Pierceall, Professor Emeritus of Purdue University; and Julie Moir Messervy, of the Julie Moir Messervy Design Studio. We will be attending the APLD International Design Conference being held in Washington D.C. to accept our awards from October 8th to the 11th.
Our winners this year are “Kat’s Garden” located in Cambridge, MA, crafted in 2012/2013 by Robert Hanss Landscape Construction of Chestnut Hill, MA, and the “Longwood Garden” located in Brookline, MA, built in 2012 by Martin Lucyk Landscape Construction of Acton, MA. I would be remiss not to point out that the success of each of these projects relies completely on the support and trust of two very special clients who were willing to think “outside the box” about their properties. The results are verdant, balanced, and inviting gardens that we eagerly look forward to watching mature over the coming seasons.
Congratulations goes to our peers who also won awards in this year’s Awards Program! We look forward to meeting you all and celebrating together in Washington DC this fall. Thank you so much APLD for recognizing our work this year!!!
In January, MCLD happily accepted an invitation from Design New England magazine and Historic New England to join esteemed architect, Patrick Ahern, and preeminent interior designer, Steven Favreau, in a program geared towards celebrating the City’s first annual “Boston Design Week.” The 10-day citywide festival is meant to increase the public’s awareness and appreciation of all aspects of design, foster recognition of the vital role design plays in our lives, and bring new audiences to a wide array of design industries and organizations. We are honored to participate in what we hope will become a yearly celebration of the amazing talent and magnificent venues throughout our incredible City!
The task was to “reimagine and reinterpret” a historic Beacon Hill mansion, The Otis House, for modern day living. The prominent Federal-style, brick home was built in 1796 for Harrison Gray Otis, (onetime Mayor of Boston), and stands today as a wonderful landmark reflecting the early history of Beacon Hill. Each firm was asked to imagine a modern-day Mr. Otis as our client, and the goal for each team was to merge the historic relevance of the property with the realities of a 2014 lifestyle for a family with extravagant taste and unlimited resources. Talk about a fun client and awesome project, right? In short, Molly Campbell and Gail Ravgiala from Design New England said, “let your imaginations run wild, and………. you have an unlimited budget!”
We treated this like a real client, and real project from the start. The existing property is stunning, and provided immediate inspiration. With the help of one of my incredibly talented designers, Julia Rose Sim, we developed an elaborate masterplan that fuses old and new, resulting in a series of luxurious outdoor garden rooms. Every move carefully considers ways to bridge the interior floor plan to the adjacent exterior spaces. A spectacular granite wall retains and elevates the front of the property above the hustle and bustle of busy Cambridge Street, and there were excellent opportunities to develop areas for the client to enjoy both sun and shade, year round.
Our proposal includes the addition of an elegant outdoor living room and entry court, embellished with linear bands of gorgeous reclaimed granite paving, and a custom granite and blackened stainless steel water feature surrounded by lush native plantings! An underutilized internal courtyard with a fantastic 4-story brick wall at the heart of the property becomes a porous, peastone dining court, and we incorporated a rainwater capture system that would collect storm water from the building’s roof that would be used for irrigation. We converted an empty roof area into a verdant green roof, and designed a vegetated vertical wall that spans all four stories with a vibrant tapestry of hardy perennials. Our renderings include a night scene that illuminate the planted wall—brace yourselves, because the wall would be visible from the street, and we guarantee it would be a traffic stopper! Last but not least, we included a cobblestone parking court, an herb and veggie court off the kitchen, and a 900-square-foot activity lawn. The modern-day Otis House incorporates many green and sustainable design concepts, and becomes a private urban oasis for a prominent modern family in the heart of historic Boston.
Both presentations on March 26th were completely sold out, and we shared an excellent day with our accomplished and talented peers. Thank you so much to both Design New England and Historic New England for inviting us to participate in such a fun and creative process for Boston Design Week. We hope to see you again in 2015 and beyond!
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.