The entrance of the Nomentana house is set on a ridge of a bowl shaped landform. At the bottom of the hill lies a horseshoe shaped pond. The house was designed to frame and transform views of Lord's Hill, which lies beyond the pond.
MVVA designed a pathway that explains the relationship between the house and its surrounding landscape by lending vistas to the pond in a route that goes by, under, and alongside the house which is held above the landscape on thin columns. A courtyard-like space marks the entrance to the residence and contrasts with the dynamic interventions further along the path. A monolithic stone, concrete stair, and steel walkway begin the story by bridging the gap between the front door and the landscape. Stepping stones lead the way to a series of terraces beneath the house, capturing a spectacular view of the pond and the hill in the distance. The terraces prevent soil erosion and guide the path downwards into the forest. Simple rectangular concrete blocks in the form of steps guide the path as it continues its descent to the pond. At one moment an intermittent stream is crossed by a concrete walk that emerges from grade to become a ridge.
The path was intended to engage the spaces and dynamic relationship to the site, created by the placement of the building, and the planting was designed to reconcile the highly disturbed landscape post-construction with its original natural state. The seamless dialogue between the house and the landscape are the result of a close collaboration between Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects and MVVA.
The Nomentana Garden received a 2008 ASLA Residential Design Honor Award