"Whimsy Farm," designed by Bunny Mellon Garden Design Prize winner Justin Willard for Hollander Design | Landscape Architects
"Whimsy Farm," designed by Bunny Mellon Garden Design Prize winner Justin Willard for Hollander Design | Landscape Architects (Photo: Ed Hollander)
"Whimsy Farm," designed by Bunny Mellon Garden Design Prize winner Justin Willard for Hollander Design | Landscape Architects (Photo: Neil Landino, Jr.)
"Whimsy Farm," designed by Bunny Mellon Garden Design Prize winner Justin Willard for Hollander Design | Landscape Architects (Photo: Charles Mayer)
"Heritage Farm," designed by Bunny Mellon Garden Design Prize runner-up Douglas Clark for Janice Parker Landscape Architects
"Heritage Farm," designed by Bunny Mellon Garden Design Prize runner-up Douglas Clark for Janice Parker Landscape Architects (Photo: Neil Landino, Jr.)
September 20, 2022
The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) is honored to announce that Justin Willard is the winner of the second annual Bunny Mellon Garden Design Prize, recognizing work completed for Hollander Design | Landscape Architects. The runner up is Douglas Clark of Janice Parker Design.
The Prize recognizes the excellence and creativity of a project from an emerging garden or landscape design professional that embodies the principle that design and craftsmanship are vital to lasting and meaningful places. Further, the prize honors a project from an emerging professional that demonstrates skilled knowledge of horticulture in a design that holistically considers the symbiosis between outdoor environments and physical structures and is in the spirit of Bunny Mellon’s “ceaseless interest, passion, and pleasure” in gardens, horticulture, and design.
As the project manager and lead designer for Hollander Design | Landscape Architects on “Whimsy Farm,” Justin Willard transformed a 13.5 acre site located in East Hampton, New York into a beautiful and thoughtfully delineated environment that exists in harmony with a newly-built main house. New garden elements, including a circular pool, topiary garden walk, and outdoor kitchen and dining terrace answer the client’s desire for a property that is at once practical and imaginative. Elsewhere, elements that were previously off-axis were re-aligned through the clever use of historic stone walls and garden rooms.
The project was designed with an eye to the future, employing plantings, materials, and designs that lend themselves to sustainable gardening practices. Vast expanses of lawn have been replaced with native grasses and clover meadows, which not only require significantly less upkeep, but transition easily and elegantly into the surrounding rolling terrain.
As the winner of the Bunny Mellon Landscape Design Prize, Justin Willard will receive a $1,500 prize, and will be honored at a forthcoming luncheon at the historic Wethersfield Estate and Garden, where writer Mitchell Owens will deliver a lecture.
The runner-up, Douglas Clark, served as landscape designer and project manager for Janice Parker Landscape Architects on “Heritage Farm,” located in Litchfield County, Connecticut. Here, a property dating from 1790 was transformed into a practical working gentleman’s farm, paying tribute to the property’s origins while introducing judicious dashes of elegance to the landscape. By carefully aligning the structure of the new design to the historic farmhouse and employing a rich array of materials—including reclaimed local granite slabs and hand hewn hemlock—the resulting design is at once restful and pragmatic; both beautiful and rigorous.
The prize was awarded by a jury of distinguished architects, designers, and professionals:
As jury chair Richard Arentz observed, Justin Willard's submission was outstanding! His reimagination of "Whimsy Farm" clearly provides a compelling and fully-realized example of both his passion for his craft and his great sensitivity to place and context. He balances his clients’ desire for whimsey in this landscape while sustaining a working farm. Justin's sensitive plantings weave and connect the old structures and gardens to the new and the new to the native. The result is a very relaxed and beautiful landscape.”
Winner Justin Willard reflected on the honor, “I am so incredibly honored and excited to have been chosen as this year’s winner of the Bunny Mellon Garden Design Prize. It means so much to me that other designers in the profession thought my work on this project deserved recognition, especially for something I am so proud of myself. We wanted the gardens of the home to feel soft and whimsical, and I am excited we were able to achieve this by introducing ecological benefits that all support a healthy landscape.”
The ICAA is very grateful to the Gerard B. Lambert Foundation for its generous support of this program, along with the Curricula's Lead Co-Sponsor Edmund D. Hollander Landscape Architecture Design, Bunny Mellon Continuing Education & Public Programs Co-Sponsor Charlotte Moss, Bunny Mellon Curricula Landscape Design Prize Co-Sponsor Harrison Design, and Bunny Mellon Curricula Garden Symposium Co-Sponsor Kathryn M. and Ronald J. Herman Charitable Foundation.
The Bunny Mellon Garden Design Prize is the result of the Gerard B. Lambert Foundation's landmark gift that created and supports the study and practice of the landscape arts as part of the ICAA's Bunny Mellon Curricula. The Curricula honors Bunny Mellon, visionary garden designer and leading contributor to the horticultural arts, with programming that addresses the importance of garden and landscape design as part of the traditionally built environment.
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