Graham Landscape Architecture's Piedmont Retreat enables the leisurely passage of time

Posted by Julie McClure on 6/21/13 9:32 AM  |  2 min read time

This cutting-edge landscape combines proven environmental restoration and sustainable living tactics with a beautiful, formal, modernist design. Courtesy of Maxwell Mackenzie.

We have published a new Vectorworks Landmark software case study in which you can read about Annapolis, MD-based Graham Landscape Architecture (GLA) and its work on the Piedmont Retreat. Sited on 178 acres of farmland at the base of Virginia's Shenandoah foothills, the project involved a collaborative effort with the architect for the site analysis and land use study. The result is a house that GLA helped site in order to minimize tree removals and soil disturbance, all while enabling a sunrise view to the east.

From there, GLA's work included repair of the existing site walls and drainage pond, creation of a new bioswale and pond to hold water from the home site, establishment of native meadows on former tilled tracts, removal of invasive tree species and reforestation of two small cleared areas, and planting of more than 100 flowering native trees to enhance the woodland edge.

Art and rainwater management are combined in this formal rain garden, forming an axial view towards and from within the house. Courtesy of Mike Stog |

Further, GLA oriented a new driveway such that visitors and owners could experience the home from a multidimensional perspective before arriving at the front door. The drive curves around a clearing close to the edge of the property, travelling around 60 percent or more of the house and capturing an initial view of the foothills before meandering through a clearing and wooded areas, through stone walls, and curving under overhanging, mature oak limbs. The result heightens the home's appearance as a sculpture situated in the landscape.

The drive includes gateways such as seen here to introduce guests to different experiences on their scenic approach to the house. Photo courtesy of Maxwell MacKenzie.

To read the full case study about the award-winning Piedmont Retreat, click here.

Topics: Graham Landscape Architecture, Success Story, Case Study, Landmark, Landscape, Piedmont Retreat, Project Highlight

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