Collected Works, Restored Land: Northeast Ohio Residence
Hunting Valley, Ohio, United States
Reed Hilderbrand LLC
Client: Scott Mueller
The designers thought through all dimensions of the project and showed restraint in where to push the design expression.
- 2023 Awards Jury
Peter Pennoyer Architects, Architect
Doug Brown/Site Design Pros, Landscape Contractor
CT Engineers, Civil Engineer
Hess Engineering, Civil Engineer
Dan Petit / NorthWoods Consulting, Ecology
Craul Land, Soils
Ohio Prairie Nursery, Meadow Consultant
McSteen & Associates, Surveyors
Artists: Ai Wei Wei, Andy Goldsworthy, Anish Kapoor, Fischli & Weiss, Gabriel Morris, George Burges Miller, Haroon Hunn-Salie, James Turrell, Janet Cardiff, Jonah Freeman, Josiah McElheny, Julius Von Bismark, Justin Lowe, Mark Grotjahn, Mark Manders, Mathieu Lehanneur, Matt Johnson, Nari Ward, Pierre Huyghe, Rdai, Richard Serra, Robert Lazzarini, Roman Signer, Roxy Paine, Saint Clair Cemin, Sol Lewitt, T R Ericsson, Thomas Schutte, Tom Friedman, Tom Joyce, Tony Matelli, Ulriuch Ruckreim, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Virginia Overton, Xu Zhen, Yoshimoto Nara, Artists
Gary Hilderbrand, FASLA, Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architect
John Kett, ASLA, Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architect
Adrian Fehrmann, ASLA, Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architect
Leslie Carter, ASLA, Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architect
Kezia Ofiesh, Reed Hilderbrand Team
Hao Liang, Reed Hilderbrand Team
In 2010, an arts patron acquired 150 acres of former production orchards and steep woodlands east of Cleveland, Ohio. The client presented the design team with ambitions to build a home and gardens inspired by Czech Cubism, to enrich wildlife habitat, and to site a contemporary sculpture collection that one day will welcome the public. Our work, realized over a decade, located the home in a way that foregrounds the sculpture collection and introduced newly aligned drives, orchards, gardens, overlooks, and a pond, to situate significant sculpture commissions and accessions. In so doing, we have shaped many types of new experiences: of the land’s diverse character, of seasonal phenomena, and of a striking dialogue between art and landscape.
This 150-acre site once held a production orchard, which has since reverted to open meadow. The new owner and resident, an avid art collector, was drawn to the site’s potential for art experiences and improved ecological value. We encouraged the client to treat the new house as its own work of sculpture in a collection. Finding inspiration in Czech Cubism, the client proposed an exploration into the movement for house and garden. Through horticultural, material, and spatial means, we explored the prismatic qualities of Cubism across the garden precinct, from gate handle to pavers to planting design. Chief among these garden elements is the Ribbon Embankment, a sculptural landform that bounds the domestic precinct against the meadow below. Bands of amsonia, boxwood, spirea, and fragrant sumac create a series of faceted planes with strong seasonal character. The Ribbon defines level terraces around the house, including a kitchen garden and dining terrace, and frames the edge of the pool terrace. In the arrival garden, a birch walk created in homage to Warren Manning’s nearby Stan Hywett Hall, leads on one end to a belvedere overlooking the Pepper/Luce Creek; at the other Tom Friedman’s "Outdoor Open Box" frames meadow views. From the house, multiple itineraries lead to sculpture walks throughout the property.
Ecological principles in support of the site’s flora and fauna guided our work beyond the residential precinct. An early ecological assessment identified areas of higher to lesser ecological potential, shaping restoration priorities as well as opportunities to site sculpture in disturbed areas and at the periphery of meadows to protect habitat for ground-nesting birds. We also used careful management strategies to control invasive species and reintroduce native warm-season grasses in the meadows. Additions of roads, trails, and installations of larger sculptures in the woodlands catalyzed restoration of woodland ecologies. We interpreted necessary improvements to water management infrastructure as an opportunity for a new pond near the house and a site-specific commission for Andy Goldsworthy’s "Stone Dam" at the historic farm pond. The incremental implementation of these projects maintained critical habitat during the transformation.
An extensive network of trails through the woodlands and meadows visits highlights of the renewed ecology alongside works of contemporary sculpture. Several of the works are site-specific responses to our investigations, recommendations, and design work. We worked closely with the owner, artists, and contractor to site the works through design studies and full-scale mockups, managing installation logistics and choreographing each experience carefully. Many of the artworks live in garden rooms or groves within the woodlands, where plantings and paths guide interaction and contemplation. Examples include Xu Zhen’s "Corporate" (Thousand Arms) and a sequence of plates by Richard Serra that step down to the Pepper-Luce Creek from the house’s domestic precinct.
We developed a management and maintenance plan for the owners, who intend to guide the landscape to maturity over the next decades while expanding their collection and improving accessibility. The team is preparing the site with its living and sculptural collections as an endowed gift to an internationally renowned arts institution, where conversations between art and ecology will continue in the form of a public sculpture park.
- Finelli Architectural Iron (fabricated fences and gates)
- Aqueous (designer)
- Hunter (products)
- Tim Craul (designer)
- Lacroix (sourced granite)
- Atlantic Green (sourced granite)
- Lukas Sturm (designer); products include BK 'Nite Star,' Bega wall light
- Acer freemontii
- Betula populifolia
- Carya ovata
- Fagus grandifolia
- Gymnocladus dioicus
- Liriodendron tulipifera
- Nyssa sylvatica
- Platanus acerifolia
- Quercus muehlenbergii
- Quercus rubra
- Robinia pseudoacacia
- Salix babylonica
- Ulmus americana ‘Frontier’