Two recent ASLA residential award winners, located less than
20 miles apart in Connecticut, reveal that even in staid New England modern
By Susan Hines
ASLA residential juries change annually, but their tastes
remain strikingly consistent. When it comes to domestic landscapes, jurors are
thoroughly modern Millies. In recent years, modernist restraint has been the
design byword trumping exuberance in plants or materials.
Of course, most of these award-winning landscapes offer an
appropriate response to newly built, contemporary residences, houses designed
by architects of high caliber who are often award winners themselves. But what
of landscapes designed for existing homes? Will form still follow fashion? And
will the resulting landscapes seem appropriate?
Two award winners from two consecutive years suggest that in
Connecticut, at least, landscape architects and owners are comfortable
contrasting traditional architecture with modern landscapes. Notably, in each
case, the inspiration was the late landscape architect Dan Kiley.
And despite the high caliber of the landscape architecture,
both the Connecticut Country House, a 2007 Design Honor Award winner by Wesley
Stout Associates of New Canaan, Connecticut, and the Greenwich Residence, a
2006 Design Honor Award winner from the office of Stephen Stimson Associates in
Falmouth, Massachusetts, were designed in large part to meet outdoor needs of
families with growing children.
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