Located in Central Missouri, this 134 acre private residence is an unparalleled gem that highly contrasts the neighboring farm fields and expansive monolithic crop plantings. The surrounding crop fields became the inspiration for the landscape design, which incorporated the native ecology of Missouri instead of the commonplace crops of the region. An area that was once covered by prairie landscape has now been overtaken by agriculture and urban sprawl. We wanted to use a portion of our project to bring up the conversation about this drastic change in the Missouri ecosystem. In order to communicate this, we developed a design aesthetic we titled, “Crop Fields for Ecology” and carved out miniature monolithic plantings of native prairie plants. This property distinguishes itself from the surrounding properties because it focuses on utilizing natives and LID management tools whereas the neighbors focus on mass-production agriculture for food growth.

This project required thoughtful repurposing early on in the design process due to a dispute with the home builder on duplicate ordering of materials. Let’s just say there were a lot of windows in the wrong color at our disposal. We took the opportunity to make lemonade out of lemons by using these windows as retaining walls, which give a view point into life below grade. An artistic and sophisticated science project, visitors are able to watch the roots of the plants, insects, and even moss grow through the window panes. The idea of repurposing continued to evolve along the course of the project, and the remainder of the wood scraps were used to create two additional benches and sculptures. One of the sculptures was prominently placed on the island to become the focal point of the landscape.

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