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Greenwich Residence格林威治公寓居所/Stephen Stimson Associates Landscape Architects

RESIDENTIAL DESIGN AWARD OF HONOR

Greenwich Residence, Greenwich, Connecticut

Stephen Stimson Associates, Falmouth, Massachusetts

"Elegant restraint. Great transitions, the plant and building materials are beautifully proportioned."— 2006 Professional Awards Jury Comments

The owners of an existing residence in Greenwich, Connecticut, hired the landscape architect to redesign the entire site of their four-acre property.  The vision was to create a year-round garden that would be a gracious extension of the residence and provide spaces for pleasure, recreation, and respite.  The program encompassed circulation, parking, swimming pool and spa, basketball court, play lawn, golf putting green, tennis court, tennis court shed, and screening for privacy.  Initially, the property consisted of an early twentieth century New England wood frame home, a pool house undergoing renovation, a swimming pool in disrepair, a canopy of mature northeast hardwoods along the periphery, and a small pond on the southeast portion of the site.

The landscape architect and owners approached the project with a modern sensibility respectful of the regional setting, materials, and craftsmanship, and the client’s interest in the work of Dan Kiley.  The landscape design strongly emphasizes formal orthogonal arrangements.  The landscape architect provided the design direction from initiation through construction detailing and administration, with the client being closely involved day to day.

The property is low relative to the surrounding streets, it slopes to the south, and the western boundary is a busy suburban secondary road.   A system of parallel fieldstone retaining walls organizes the site into terraces from north to south, creating gentle transitions over the fourteen-foot drop in elevation along the length of the site.  One enters the site through a bronze and mahogany gate, designed by the landscape architect, onto a gently curving drive.  A thickly planted, mixed hedge of evergreen and deciduous shrubs, trees, and groundcover borders the wall.  Nestled into the ground plane at the entry, a rectangular fountain pool quietly sends water over a small bluestone weir into an eighty-foot-long bluestone runnel.  A row of red maples, a bluestone walk, and holly hedge frame the court and lead to the front door.  An arborvitae hedge separates the entry court from the service parking and basketball court.  

Bluestone walkways and monolithic bluestone steps define site lines and lead into the landscape. The entry walk continues from the porch out into a birch grove, where it joins a walk leading to the pool. Terraces at the south side of the house provide gathering areas, and there is a tea lawn on the east side.  A birch grove shades a dry-laid bluestone walk that runs in an east west axis parallel to the length of the house.  The birch grove’s veil of canopy and stems shades the house and forms a foreground for viewing the gardens beyond.  The linear grove contains individual trees planted in various sizes and spacing to mimic a woodland’s random pattern of growth. The ground plane is a continuous band of lily turf with stripes of bluebells and cinnamon fern for seasonal color.

Terminating the birch grove walk on the west side is the pool terrace framed by fieldstone retaining walls supporting the slope from the road, the residence, and the pool house.  Dense plantings of Norway spruce, hollies, redbud, rhododendron, and witch hazel screen the busy road.  Stripes of summer-blooming perennials bordering the sunny sides of the pool terrace include lady’s mantle, iris, daylily, fountain grass, and Russian sage.  The north side of this terrace, astilbe, ferns, and lily turf thrive in the birch grove’s shade. Water spills from a bluestone scupper in a stone wall on the west side of the pool terrace into a small garden basin. 

A few steps lead down from the birch grove and the pool terrace to a play lawn carefully graded to preserve a magnificent elm tree. A fieldstone retaining wall supports the grade on the south end.  Further steps lead down to a rectangular golf putting green defined by stone walls, and then to a tennis court and shed at a lower level.  Trees and shrubs such as yellowwood, serviceberry, red maple, deciduous holly, and blueberries were planted in rows parallel to the terrace walls.  Bands of perennials and grasses including indigo, iris, aster, goldenrod, and switch grass at the southern terrace beside the tennis court create a rhythm of linearity and seasonal color.  The site plan and its execution create a place of beauty and discovery based on relationships of line, plane, and pattern, employing subtle detailing, fine craftsmanship, and lush planting.

Project Resources

Architect:

David Kleinberg Design Associates

Site Development and Landscape Contractor:                       

Ceci Brothers

Fountain Consultant:

Dan Euser

Pool Contractor:

Wagner Pools

Pool Contractor:

Water’s Edge


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