The coastal upland forest running along the edge of Cape Cod Bay unifies the region of abundant kettle ponds and bogs. The design objective of this project was to strategically site a residence amongst the existing mature Oaks, and carefully integrate it within its natural surroundings. New native plantings enhance and restore the contiguous coastal woodland, celebrating it’s critical landscape connections.
The landscape architect began with a thorough site analysis, completing a rigorous inventory of the adjacent woodland tree and shrub densities. This was used to replicate the naturalized spacing and clustering patterns. The restored woodland surrounding the residence was anchored by thickets of young American Holly, Oak and Beech saplings, Sweetgale, Arrowwood Viburnums, and Summer Sweet, with an understory mix of native grasses, forbs and ferns. The matrix of species and sizes was intended to accelerate natural succession and enable long-term stability of the landscape.
The transition from coastal woodland to an open lawn is experienced through the dappled shade provided by a layer of fast-growing Birch. The low-maintenance lawn, planted with disease-resistant and drought-tolerant fescue seed, provides the canvas for outdoor games. A gentle slope on the lawn directs water run-off into a slight depression in the woodland area for cleansing and infiltration. Celebrating on-site stormwater management is further achieved through capturing runoff in finely crafted infiltration boxes of bluestone and beach stones. These, coupled with gravel parking areas are used to capture, infiltrate, and recharge the aquifer through the sandy soil below.
The site materials and composition were carefully selected to recognize and incorporate the humble character of the area’s dirt pathways and undisturbed vegetation, further linking the project to its natural and cultural history. The design restores what was a disturbed lot, into a compelling woodland landscape through careful investigation and understanding of the surrounding regional character.
architect: Jill Neubauer Architects
contractors: Cape Associates and Ponderosa Landscaping
photographer: Meredith Hunnibell