This Harbor Springs landscape is located within Michigan’s upper lower peninsula where barns, horse farms, and rolling hillsides dominate the land.

Before

After

The home surrounds a central courtyard that is sheltered from views out to the rest of the property. To the east of the house is a sunken lawn and 90-foot salt-water lap pool, and to the west, an entertaining terrace filled with a bosque of maples opens out onto sweeping views of an entertainment lawn, native meadow, and wood. Near the house, the landscape creates a sense of calm and order that responds to the contemporary architecture. As the landscape moves away from the house and away from the enclosed or contained areas of the terrace, courtyard, and pool, it becomes increasingly less stylized and incorporates more of Northern Michigan’s natural wildness in both form and plant palette.

This design – unfussy and seamless in its transition from a styled, enclosed space to the expansive, native horizon of northern Michigan – is distinctly Midwestern. A kind of ‘planned indifference’ throughout the landscape allows a sophisticated home to meet the landscape in an honest way that is both ‘country’ and artful.

To enter the property, visitors drive past an old barn, crumbling stone wall, and outbuilding covered in vines. When driving up to the property, views of a new contemporary house become visible, and two worlds collide: the rustic and the modern, the remote and the connected.

ASLA Illinois Presidential Award 2009