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American Society of Landscape Architects


December 2007 Issue

Connecticut Contemporary
Two recent ASLA residential award winners, located less than 20 miles apart in Connecticut, reveal that even in staid New England modern gardens rule.

By Susan Hines

Connecticut Contemporary

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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