2018 Palladio Awards
Exterior Spaces: Gardens and Landscapes
Project: Main Line Estate
Winner: Doyle Herman Design Associates
They had a lot to work with—the house, built in 1921 by the architectural firm of Seeburger & Rabinhold, is set on 13 acres and retained many original trees and plantings that they could use as a style guide.
As with all the firm’s projects, Doyle says, the goal was to “create a landscape that elevates the land to the stature of the house and the estate.”
In this case, that meant bringing structure to the landscape by creating a formal approach and arrival sequence in the front and transforming the expansive, downward sloping lawn in the back into a series of spaces suitable for entertaining.
To create intimacy and visual interest, the Doyle Herman team divided the back property into a series of garden rooms. They defined the main garden plateau, which features a sculpture by Antony Gormley, with a hedge of sheared Carpinus betulus and two sets of four cubed Tilia cordata. From the back door, four cubed Lindens with flowering borders lead to the swimming pool area. A large terrace, shaded by umbrellas, was designated for dining.
Perennials and old-fashioned shrubs, including azaleas and rhododendrons, define the border between the rooms and the forested portion of the property and bring color to the base of the terrace walls.
“The client has several homes, so we chose plants that flower from early spring to late fall when they are in residence,” Doyle says.
The new structure allows visitors to become one with the landscape without feeling lost in the woods. “We made the space more comfortable so that it has a sense of home,” Harris says.