Rough Middle

Dedham, MA

Project Description

Located in an established, historic neighborhood, the parcel formed part of an original land grant owned by Thomas Wight, one of Dedham’s earliest inhabitants. Aerial photos and local history suggest that the bulk of the site retained agricultural uses such as cropland and grazing well into the twentieth century.  Unique to this property was a conservation restriction placed by the previous owners on a significant portion of the property to promote the preservation of the Wight home site and a ‘relatively natural habitat of wildlife, plants, or similar ecosystems.’ The landscape design in turn focuses on highlighting natural features, such as large rock outcroppings that combine with planting to provide a simple yet strong and legible framework. Sightlines from the residence and outdoor living areas offer a choice of ways to explore this varied setting. The “rough middle” makes conscious space for the property’s meaningful history that spurred the conservation easement, nodding here to its original role in cultivating. Our goal throughout was a design that trod lightly on the beauty and history of the site without ever feeling superficial, or artificial.