Somerset, MD

Completed 2002

31,000 sf

Anne Decker Architects (architect)

Located on a one-acre lot in Somerset, MD, the Will Residence project began as a neglected site full of invasive trees and vines.  Once cleared, the new gardens were established on three terraces to mitigate the east-sloping site. The family prioritized having distinct, occupiable outdoor spaces that complimented the renovated spaces on the interior of the house.

LAB’s design builds on the site conditions and the owners’ vision to create memorable, flexible spaces throughout the property that will grow with the family over time.  The upper terrace is at the level of the main public areas of the house. Stone retaining walls hold this space above the adjacent lawn and other exterior spaces giving it prominence and prospect. The middle terrace contains a generous lawn panel and the swimming pool making it ideal for entertaining.  The lower terrace serves as a play space for the children separated from the other terraces by a bank covered with flowering perennials. This colorful edge serves as an important transition to the lower lawn space as well as a visually significant backdrop for the middle terrace.  Finally, the front of the house is home to a Kitchen Garden which provides the owners with space to grow culinary herbs and cut flowers. 

Together these spaces accommodate the many activities of the owners’ family life.  They are knit together through repetitive material use - stacked stone walls define the many terraces edges - and geometric clarity.    

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Photo credit: Prakash Patel, Renderings: LAB & Perkins + Will
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Photographs: Prakash Patel