Brookline, MA (1989–1990)
The Pucker Garden occupies a 60 by 90-foot area behind a traditional two-story brick house built in 1915. The garden design is based on four basic strengths of landscape-making: the importance of sequenced spatial structure, the power of earth form, the evocative temporal qualities of plants, and the tactile characteristics of mineral and metal elements.
The asymmetrical spatial volumes of the garden are organized along an axis that originates at the street with an entry walk, passes through the house, and then continues into the lower terrace of the new garden and up the slope with a metal stair. A bowl of space, retained from the excavation of the existing hillside, allows air and light to fill the new volume, relieving the formerly oppressive atmosphere caused by the close proximity of a twelve-foot retaining wall. The asymmetry of this earthen form establishes a visual tension with the axial walk and the metal stair.
A curved walk on the upper level of the garden provides elevated vantage points for viewing the sculpture, the garden, and the house. Approximately two-thirds of the upper perimeter of the garden and the entire northeast edge of the lower lawn next to the house are veiled by seven-foot-tall, translucent scrims made of prefabricated, woven galvanized wire mesh and metal posts. Granite bases for sculpture are placed on the slope of the bowl, near the curved walk within the grove.
Pucker Garden received a 1995 Boston Society of Landscape Architects Design Award.