Wilton, CT -- Hoffman Landscapes, Inc. is once again recognized by industry peers and professionals for outstanding work in the field of design/build with two awards this year from the Professional Landcare Network’s (PLANET) National Landscape Awards of Excellence program.
“We are honored and proud to receive these most recent awards,” says Hoffman president, Mike Hoffman, whose company garnered the Grand Award for a New Canaan, CT property and a Merit Award for a Fairfield, CT residence in the Residential Design-Build category. Hoffman beat out entries nationwide in PLANET’s 44th awards competition, and made it their 13th year win. The company received two Merit awards in 2011, Grand Awards in 2010, 2008, 2007 and 2002 and Merit Awards in 2009, 2005 and 2001.
Long considered the “Oscars” of the landscape industry, PLANET recently re-branded and revamped its signature awards program, now called the National Landscape Awards of Excellence (previously called the Environmental Improvement Awards). Every year they receive entries from 4,500 members nationwide, demonstrating the association’s commitment to creating and preserving the natural beauty of the landscape.
Creating a landscape worthy of its home
Hoffman’s first challenge winner was a strapping New Canaan, CT Colonial. It had an ordinary backyard that couldn’t match the grandiosity of the front, as well as an unusually flat site that threatened to consume the view of the yard. Luckily for Brian Cossari, lead landscape architect on both Hoffman’s winning entries, the owners were longing for a backyard the envy of their neighbors and willing to take some risks.
“They allowed me to be creative with a dining room, living room, outdoor kitchen, pool and spa to gain a very unique look,” he says.
Brian manipulated elevations in order to control views from the home while separating different areas for each hardscape element. Using excavated material (from the pool) also allowed him to create interesting raised planters without the feeling of being cramped.
To further complement the house and its considerable size, the axis of the pool was brought as far away from the home as possible.
“We kept the project elements cohesive by using bi-axial symmetry in the pool layout,” he explains. “The centerline of the door access spears through one set of elements making the nighttime view from the residence stunning. The other axis carries the view through the remaining elements terminating at the living room and fireplace.”
The grand finale is a stone façade built as a creative neighbor buffer on one side of the property. It leaves the door open for a future project – a pool house that can be connected to the façade.
Outdoor Living – The New Trend
The demands of a busy fast track executive and his family in Fairfield, CT provided Hoffman with their second PLANET win.
“We needed to provide an easily accessible place for the husband to relax after work, and expand their existing patio into an outdoor living space and dining area to accommodate intimate family gatherings, or the little league team for an impromptu barbecue,” says Brian. “Our challenge meant expanding the patio as requested without obscuring the rear yard view.”
To solve this dilemma, he created grade changes that raised the existing yard to the same level as the home’s kitchen and family room. The addition of a slightly oversized pergola helps keep the view of the yard in tact and is open to permit sunlight into the family room. A retractable shade curtain provides cool enjoyment in the new outdoor room.
Brian also recycled and expanded the property’s existing bluestone by adding fieldstone retaining walls to provide enclosure for the rooms and additional seating for casual entertaining.
After the project began, the owner requested the addition of an outdoor TV. Incorporating it into the fireplace structure aesthetically presented quite a challenge but Brian created a recessed cabinet to house the TV by stepping the veneer back. The modern gas fireplace provides warmth and aesthetics at the flip of a switch.
Hoffman Landscapes’ award-winning team has been recognized many times for outstanding landscape design and maintenance during its 26 years in business. The company also specializes in complete property management for lawns, planting beds, gardens, trees and shrubs. Hoffman Landscapes has three Connecticut locations: Wilton, Greenwich, and Washington, serving Fairfield, Westchester and Litchfield counties. To find out more, call 203.834.9656 or visit www.HoffmanLandscapes.com