Lush gardens frame this home, creating a series of intimate spaces and wide views. While beautiful, these gardens were mandated by planning to manage stormwater from the new home and its paved surfaces. The rain gardens, meadows, and green roof design form a living landscape and a native habitat very different to the home’s suburban context of lawn and hedge. The property, located on the Philadelphia Main Line, borders a stream, forested areas, and other homes. The previous residence featured huge expanses of suburban lawn that wrapped around the home and tree lines separating lots. The designers used the opportunity to create a landscape that connects with the native landscape.


The client had a large building program but desired a small footprint on the site. To meet this goal, much of the building’s structure was hidden underground, requiring parts of the lawn and gardens to occur over a concealed green roof system. The plantings blend seamlessly with the adjacent terra-firm landscape, allowing for a generous building program while still leaving room for nature.

Rain gardens capture and cleanse runoff from the building and paved areas, irrigating a larger meadow in front of the building with sustainably harvested water. The meadow provides a lush, layered foreground that buffers the building from the road. Mown pathways meander through the meadow, providing opportunity for reflection and exploration of the native flora and fauna on display. Dense plantings and outbuilding structures create a sense of enclosure and provide privacy from nearby neighboring homes. Following the completion of the initial project, the clients reached out with a new request. They wanted to extend their meadow onto a neighboring property and develop a plan for the riparian buffer area. The result is an expanded meadow that further intercepts and filters water run-off before it enters the stream. Mown paths provide guided adventure through warm season grasses and forbs. The native landscape is an alluring addition to the community, interested in the fresh approach to residential design.

Project location :
Wayne, PA, USA
Design year: 2010 & 2014
Year Built: 2011 & 2015-2016


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