Described by many as a visionary of our time, American designer Thomas Woltz is a landscape architect we respect and admire greatly. With a long list of accolades credited to his work, Thomas was awarded Design Innovator of the Year by the Wall Street Journal Magazine in 2013 and invested into the American Society of Landscape Architects Council of Fellows in 2011.
Woltz seeks to rearrange nature to reflect the hand of man. Unlike most landscape designers, he redesigns farms—working farms—though his aim isn’t to pretty them up. Looks matter, but in his broader, more scientific view of aesthetics, he feels that beauty springs from the ecological health of the land.
Thomas has emerged as a leader among a new breed of landscape architects who put as much stock in science as in art. He and his mentor and business partner, Warren Byrd, both raised to revere nature, exude passion not only for plants but also for the complex biological systems in which they thrive. “We design for ecological excellence,” Woltz says.
A fine example of their work, Iron Mountain House is a contemporary residence on a dramatic hillside overlooking a 300 acre working farm in Connecticut. Thomas split the landscape design into two areas: the residential garden and the greater landscape.
The residential area seeks to create a series of meaningful gardens that interact with the house while revealing the landscape through framed views, construction materials and elements such as stone, concrete garden walls and steel panels.
The greater landscape area seeks to connect the residence to its natural surroundings of exposed granite ledge, forest edge, meadows and cultivated fields. A series of walks and trails connect various points of interest of the farm including a guest house, lake, stream and orchard.
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