Hocker Design Group (HDG) is an internationally-recognized, award-winning landscape architecture studio based in Dallas, Texas. It was founded in 2005 by President, Founding Partner, and Design Principal David Lennox Hocker. Since its inception, the firm has been awarded over 30 design awards, including 4 American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and 24 Texas ASLA awards. HDG responds to unique design challenges with responsible, innovative solutions that are appropriate for each site’s ecology and client’s programmatic requirements. At the very core of the firm’s work is a mission to establish the landscape as a cohesive link between a project’s architecture and site. The awards serve as validation of these efforts. Texas and surrounding regions provide HDG with endless exposure to a diverse mix of urban, rural and agricultural landscape patterns.
Intimate knowledge of these native landscapes is integral to the design process, as it applies to a variety of projects ranging from residential gardens, to parks and urban design. Hocker’s personal travel in and extensive ties to Italy further inform the design principal’s basic understanding of landscape architecture, and these influences are revealed in every project. HDG’s designed spaces are meticulously detailed and reflect a strong material comprehension relative to site and context.
The built work of HDG includes institutional, corporate, mixed-use, and residential projects across North America and soon abroad, and the firm’s landscape architects hold current registrations in Texas, Oklahoma, and California. Regardless of typology or location HDG approaches each project’s unique characteristics with openness to collaboration and design exploration with the project team. The resulting work is anchored in connectivity to a region’s ecology, natural geographic features, strong programmatic development, and an overarching desire to create beautiful, simple spaces that exhibit the art of restraint.
As a battered stone wall and driveway approach the residence, the wall’s function shifts to the opposing side where it creates a backdrop for a sunken private outdoor living room. The gravel motor court opposite this space is defined on its far side by a pavilion that serves as both a carport and guest quarters. Fronting the pavilion’s far side, a bocce court cuts into the grade toward the tennis court. Native plantings and partial reforestation of native trees throughout existing and re-designed spaces further enhance the site and ensure its qualities and health for generations to come.
A great amount of collaborative thought was incorporated into every design detail throughout the entire process. The central spine of the site is a 6-foot privacy wall, comprised of a stainless steel cage filled with blue recycled glass slag. This element is lit from within, and emits a smoldering blue glow at night. Seamless transition between interior and exterior spaces was extremely important; the interior concrete floor extends outward, embracing the swimming pool that hovers 1-inch above the concrete deck with an infinity perimeter edge. An ipe sunning deck extends out over the pool into the garden beyond, extending the materiality of the house. A small integral water feature provides subtle noise, and stone slabs become “connectors” throughout the site, providing transition from space to space. These sinuous pathways culminate, encircling a fire pit. A minimal plant palette is massed for textural impact and privacy screening.
The exterior is an urban experience located near the Katy (hike and bike) Trail. Native buffalo grass, wildflowers and groves of Eve’s necklace trees soften the ground plane while creating seasonal interest and minimizing water consumption and maintenance. Along the western edge a raised basalt boulder plinth provides an urban edge where High Rise live oaks emerge to create shade for the three-story glazing of the residence.
Inside the compound a motor court is enclosed with a living green screen providing privacy. Upon entering the motor court, a windswept native live oak becomes living sculpture, rising out of a fitted boulder mound and providing relief from the intense sun. A living green screen encloses the private space. The main courtyard is surrounded by an existing brick wall. The existing concrete transformer and equipment pads are preserved and incorporated into the design. The north steel pivot gate opens to reveal a tilted plinth of flowing buffalo grass, held by an erupting steel plinth that creates a sense of upheaval. A lone mesquite tree is a living sculpture surrounded by basalt gravel, its shadows gracing the ground.