MORRISTOWN, NEW JERSEY
Set on a five acre lot of a mature hardwood forest of oak, maple, and walnut trees, the design of the garden for this midcentury modern home was informed by its historical origins and programmatic elements adapting it to a landscape to be lived in for the new owners. The house was originally designed by Robert and Rowena MacPhail, two local artists and art educators. The Mac Phail's turned their passion for art in the 1950's toward the design and construction of their house that was completed in 1958. The house was recently purchased by new owners and Gary Rosard Architect is providing the design for the renovation and addition to the historic structure.
The garden for the house draws upon the artwork that is thought to have influenced the artist's design of the structure with its sloping triangulated rooflines reminiscent of the works of Maholy-Nagy and Wassily Kandinsky. In particular Kandinsky's Composition VIII was looked at as a point of departure for the design of the garden. The garden takes two-dimensional concepts found in the painting and extends them into three dimensional expressions of space, color, and movement in the landscape. This creates the essential elements of the garden - pathways, plantings, terraces, and reflection pools - that provide a space for outdoor living.