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Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design Integrates Land and Water into this Mountain Retreat

With scenic views to the Berkshire Mountains, Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design embraces steep slopes and water flowing through the site.
Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design Integrates Land and Water into this Mountain Retreat

With scenic views to the nearby Berkshire Mountains, Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design (MCLD) creates a landscape that embraces the natural contours of the land and harnesses water flowing through the site.

Carefully navigating the strict watershed protection guidelines set by the local Conservation Commission, this mountain retreat provides year-round connection with nature.

Seamlessly integrating with the existing woodland, the landscape and interiors provide scenic views to Berkshire Mountains.
Landscape Architecture by Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design // Photography by Chuck Choi Photography and Matthew Cunningham.

Seamlessly integrating with the existing woodland, the project consisted of three main goals:

  1.  Adhere to strict scenic and water quality protection standards
  2. Blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces
  3. Harmonize modern architectural forms with the rugged mountain environment.
Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design uses board formed concrete to create terraces located near steep slopes.
Landscape Architecture by Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design // Photography by Chuck Choi Photography and Matthew Cunningham.

With the existing landscape consisting of steep elevation change within a short horizontal distance, intensive project planning required careful spatial consideration to develop multiple walls and terraces to activate a swimming pool and lawns.

Throughout the project, board-formed concrete retaining walls and meticulously graded, vegetated slopes create dramatic terraces that unify interior and exterior spaces across the property.

A selection of native sods was used to revegetate and stabilize new landforms while select plantings are planned to prevent soil erosion and protect water quality within the sensitive watershed near in-ground swimming pool.
Landscape Architecture by Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design // Photography by Chuck Choi Photography and Matthew Cunningham.

Due to steep topography and thin soil layers, only a shallow layer of soil could be installed in many areas and erosion control was crucial to the design process.

A selection of native sods was used to revegetate and stabilize new landforms while select plantings are planned to prevent soil erosion and protect water quality within the sensitive watershed.

This series of design choices provide a dramatic, year-round display of seasonal color, firmly rooting the mountainside retreat into its natural surroundings.

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Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design Integrates Land and Water into this Mountain Retreat
Landscape Architecture by Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design // Photography by Chuck Choi Photography and Matthew Cunningham.

Corresponding to the home’s interior elevations, the landscape offers a series of diverse outdoor spaces to enjoy the scenic mountain ranges.

At the lower terrace, a swimming pool is carved from the land with linear reclaimed granite placed and a pixelated boundary to the pool’s edge for a modern touch.

This salvaged weathered granite creates an artistic, durable hardscape, while exquisite masonry complements the building’s complex geometries.

Embedded in the landscape are custom steel and river stone drywells which efficiently manage stormwater from the complex rooflines, while strategically placed drains and retention trenches slow water flow and direct it into bio-retention basins.
Landscape Architecture by Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design // Photography by Chuck Choi Photography and Matthew Cunningham.

Embedded in the landscape are custom steel and river stone drywells which efficiently manage stormwater from the complex rooflines, while strategically placed drains and retention trenches slow water flow and direct it into bio-retention basins.

These basins, located at the lowest disturbed areas, channel cleansed water into the adjacent undisturbed woodland and remain inconspicuous from prominent outdoor spaces.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design uses crushed stone for driveway near existing granite outcroppings.
Landscape Architecture by Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design // Photography by Chuck Choi Photography and Matthew Cunningham.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design (MCLD) is a firm based in Massachusetts, known for creating landscapes that seamlessly blend with the natural environment.

The firm focuses on sustainable design practices in residential design and aims to create spaces that are both beautiful and functional.

Cunningham’s designs often incorporate native plants and materials, promoting biodiversity and ecological health.

His work is recognized for its innovative approach to landscape architecture, prioritizing the unique characteristics of each site to enhance the overall aesthetic and ecological value.

Landscape Architecture by: Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design

Architecture by: Mathison | Mathison Architects

Home Builder: The Small Building Company

Landscape Contractor: Okerstrom Lang Landscape Architects & Ingersoll Land Care

Engineering by: Berkshire Engineering Inc.

Interior Design by: C&J Katz Studio

Masonry by: Monterey Masonry

Photography by: Chuck Choi Photography and Matthew Cunningham

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