Wrought by Hand

Perched on a spectacularly steep half-acre, this c. 1895 house was originally designed by William Bates. Enthralled by the possibilities presented in RBLA’s master plan, the new owners postponed renovating the house to focus on creating a remarkable, functional, and layered garden.

Working with a 60-foot drop, rock outcroppings, and attendant concerns of safely, erosion, and lack of useable space, RBLA shaped this challenging site into a sequence of elegant destinations that relate back to the house. Walls, steps, and winding staircases guide the eye to lawn panels and terraces below. New plantings augment the rugged site while providing privacy and stabilizing the sloped terrain. Due to the steep drop, stone, soil, and every tree had to be carted in by hand. Zoning setbacks and height restrictions added further complexity, but ingenious solutions, careful phasing, and a massive construction effort renders the result predestined and natural.

At Home FC, A-List Award Finalist, Landscape: Less than 1 Acre,  2021
ASLA New York, Residential Landscape Architecture Design, Honor Award, 2019