Chestnut Hill Residence
Newton, MA 2012
  • Charles Mayer Photography

This property occupies a corner site in a historic neighborhood of Newton. As avid art collectors, the Owners envisioned a museum addition below the rear of the property that left a large part of the landscape on structure. This gallery space was designed to integrate fully into the site, with flush skylights that puncture a lawn panel for entertaining, and a glass head house as a focal point of the garden, that also allows significant pieces of sculpture to be brought into the gallery below. A series of outdoor spaces comprised of gravel, granite and lawn become a neutral framework for an expanding sculpture collection. Pleached lindens punctuate the installation at the glass head house, while espalier oak trees screen the street beyond, and form the backdrop for landscape sculpture. A long linear garden of hedges and witchhazel establish a repetitive rhythm that connects the rear gardens to the front of house, where the planting forms a pattern language. From the street side, the site design remains restrained and elegant, with weathered bluestone, minimal lawn and groundcover, responding to the historic context of the surrounding neighborhood.