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Andrea Cochran: Landscapes Mary Myers Foreword by Henry Urbach

Princeton Architectural Press New York

Published by Princeton Architectural Press 37 East Seventh Street New York, New York 10003 For a free catalog of books, call 1.800.722.6657. Visit our website at © 2009 Princeton Architectural Press All rights reserved Printed and bound in China 11 10 09 08 4 3 2 1 First edition No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the publisher, except in the context of reviews. Every reasonable attempt has been made to identify owners of copyright. Errors or omissions will be corrected in subsequent editions. Editor: Laurie Manfra Designer: Jan Haux Special thanks to: Nettie Aljian, Sara Bader, Nicola Bednarek, Janet Behning, Becca Casbon, Carina Cha, Penny (Yuen Pik) Chu, Russell Fernandez, Pete Fitzpatrick, Wendy Fuller, Clare Jacobson, Aileen Kwun, Nancy Eklund Later, Linda Lee, Aaron Lim, John Myers, Katharine Myers, Lauren Nelson Packard, Jennifer Thompson, Paul Wagner, Joseph Weston, and Deb Wood of Princeton Architectural Press —Kevin C. Lippert, publisher Front cover image by Vicky Sambunaris Back cover image by Marion Brenner Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data: Myers, Mary, 1952Andrea Cochran : landscapes / by Mary Myers ; foreword by Henry Urbach. — 1st ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-56898-812-2 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. Landscape architecture­—Unites States. 2. Cochran, Andrea. I. Cochran, Andrea. II. Title. III. Title: Landscapes. SB469.33.M94 2009 712.092--dc22


Co ntents 7

f o rew o rd Henry Urbach


I ntentio nal Landscapes : the designs o f A ndrea Co chran Mary Myers

P R O J E CTS 30

Walden Studios


Brookvale Residence


Children’s Garden


Perry Residence


Curran House


Hayes Valley Roof Garden


Ward Residence


Portland Art Museum


Ross Residence


Peninsula Residence


Stone Edge Vineyard




Appendix A: Plant Index


Appendix B: Materials Index


Project Credits


Selected Bibliography


Image Credits


Staff Members, 1998–2008

Walden Studi o s

Location: Alexander Valley, California Site area: 6 acres Completion date: 2007

Cochran finds raw beauty in agricultural landscapes where the purposeful arrangement of a few simple materials conveys a sense of order. Soil, grapevines, and trees are the essential elements of the Alexander Valley, where Walden Studios is sited. Stone terraces lift the garden above the floodplain. Conceived as plinths and carved as bas-relief-like planes, the terraces appear to pivot around the fulcrum of the existing building, formerly a prune packinghouse. The property was purchased with the intention of creating a studio for artists in residence to develop and display their work. The terraces include an outdoor dining area, reception space for art openings, and a bocce ball court. The experience of pure geometric space is heightened by a reductionist palette: stone, steel, gravel, lawn, and trees. Shrubs and other middle-height plants are eschewed. Instead, plinths floating bargelike above the vineyard emphasize the ground plane, while stonewalls contain carpets of lawn or gravel. Views are generally open and responsive to the external valleyfoothill vista. Carefully placed rubble at the base of the walls appears animated, like breaking


waves. The horizontality of the composition is balanced by the strategic placement of trees. Great

Beschorneria yuccoides

gnarled olives, positioned at the corners, anchor the rectangular spaces. Their organic contorted

Festuca mairei

forms contrast with the terraces’ geometry and the regularity of distant vineyards. A bosque of

Furcraea foetida

pear trees hearkens to the days when the valley was replete with orchards. Their autumn color and

Morus alba ‘Fruitless’

spring blossoms bring a sense of ephemerality and change to an otherwise timeless landscape.

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri Olea europaea ‘Sevillano’ Parthenocissus tricuspidata Platanus x acerifolia ‘Bloodgood’ Pyrus calleryana ‘Aristocrat’ Pyrus fauriei ‘Korean Sun’ Stipa gigantea


The landscape and architecture represent a permeable relationship.



Precisely fitted stone walls create a datum around the project.


Specimen olives anchor the planar landscape.


A bocce ball court is elevated above the vineyards.




Courtyard with gravel rings for wheelchair access


A reflecting pool creates a seamless plane.





Plan of Walden Studios N





A Cor-ten ramp is lit from below by narrow slits with hidden LED lights.


Br oo kvale Residence

Location: Hillsborough, California Site area: ¾ acre Completion date: 2003

In the Brookvale Residence, a series of thoughtfully considered gestures orchestrate movement through the landscape. The visitor’s journey begins with a sense of disorientation, as the predictable suburban environs are left behind with the click of the garden door. You meander up an entry path, through blocks of densely planted horsetail. Tall reedy stems surround you, obscuring views of


the arrival courtyard and front door. Cochran’s intent was to create a mazelike experience, where

Acer palmatum

you must find, almost feel, your way to the destination, focusing closely on the smooth white

Anemone x hybrida

pavement underfoot and brushing against the dark upright plants. Unaware of being led by the

Chimonobambusa quadrangularis

path, you arrive at a small courtyard planted with Japanese maples, the heart of the interior, to

Cyperus papyrus

find water bubbling up through a cube of cool limestone. The courtyard’s height and depth are

Equisetum hyemale

roughly equal, resulting in a calmly reassuring space, like the rooms of a Palladian villa.

Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Mrs. Robb’s bonnet’

The datum of the house is set by the elevation of the courtyard and extends outward,

Ginkgo biloba ‘Fairmont’

encompassing the large pool terrace, which floats approximately twenty inches above grade. By

Hakonechloa macra

holding the exterior terrace at this consistent elevation, the viewer is positioned high enough to

Helleborus argutifolius

see into the distance, eclipsing views of the middle ground and capturing views of the neighboring

Juncus patens

golf course.

Lonicera hildebrandiana

The design eliminates the need for steps between the front entry, courtyard, and pool

Magnolia x soulangeana

terrace. A gently sloping path and the repetition of limestone pavement inside and outside of the

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’

house result in a seamless integration of interior and exterior. The easy flow allows attention to

Miscanthus transmorrisonensis

focus on the sensory and compositional aspects of the garden. The journey prompts an unusual

Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’

sequence of feelings: disorientation, calm, and finally, meditative absorption in the distant

Phormium tenax ‘Atropurpureum’

prospect seen from the terrace.

Phyllostachys nigra Pleioblastus pygmaea Quercus agrifolia Zelkova Serrata

Opposite: The pool terrace was designed to preserve the existing oak tree.



Andrea Cochran: Landscapes  

"Studies in repetition and order, orchestrations of movement in the landscape, and elements placed in geometric conversation," is how author...