Wagner Hodgson
Landscape Architects & Designers
North Cove contemporary-landscape

North Cove

North Cove Residence
Shelburne, Vermont

We worked very closely with the architect to create a multi-generational home for grandparents, their daughter and 2 grandchildren providing both common and private outdoor space for both families. The 12.3 acre site sits facing north on the shore of Lake Champlain and has over 40 feet of grade change from the point of entry down to the lakeshore and contains many beautiful mature trees of hickory, maple, ash and butternut. The site offered opportunities to nestle the two houses into the slope, creating the ability for the architecture to step, providing a logical division of space for the two families to share. The landscape creates private areas for each family while also becoming the common fabric that knits the 2 households together. The natural terrain, sloping east to west, and the views to Lake Champlain became the basis for arranging volumes on the site. Working together the landscape architect and architect chose to locate the houses and outdoor spaces along an arc, emulating the shape of the adjacent bay. The eastern / uphill portion of the site contains a common entry point, pergola, auto court, garage and a one story residence for the grandparents. Given the northern climate this southwest facing alcove provided an ideal setting for pool, utilizing the west house and retaining wall to shield the lake breezes and extending the swimming season well into the fall.
Approximately one quarter of the site is classified as wetland and an even larger portion of the site is subject to seasonal flooding. The site program included a swimming pool, large outdoor terrace for entertaining, year-round access to the lakefront and an auto court large enough for guest parking and to serve as a place for grandchildren to ride bikes. In order to provide year-round access to the lake and not disrupt the natural movement of water, an elevated boardwalk was constructed of galvanized steel and cedar. The boardwalk extends the geometry of the lakeside terrace walls out to the lake, creating a sculptural division between natural wetland and lawn area.

Architect: Truex Cullins & Partners Architects

Image Credit: Westphalen Photography

This photo has 5 questions

design219 wrote:
How was the curved boardwalk built. - I have been trying to figure out how to make a curved boardwalk though my landscaped garden. Are all the boards cut to curve? or is there some technique you used?
   Comment   October 19, 2013
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i would appreciate very much if you could give me a closer look at the way you did your wood board walk cuts.
August 27, 2014 at 5:06PM   
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Wagner Hodgson
They stayed horizontal the entire length.
August 27, 2014 at 6:29PM        Thanked by design219
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niccole721 wrote:
What kind of trees are these?
   Comment   April 8, 2013
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Wagner Hodgson
They were existing trees consisting of Oak, Red Maple and Shagbark Hickory...
April 9, 2013 at 4:47AM   
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gbergh1 wrote:
run off - This is very nicely sculpted, but I notice how much grass there is so close to the lake. I am assuming it needs a lot of fertilizer and weed control products. I face a similar dilemma at our lake cabin. What can be done to prevent too much run-off into the lake.
   Comment   August 17, 2012
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Rustic Brick and Stone
To reiterate what Keith Wagner Partnership said, there are all natural forms of pesticide and fertilizer. It's well worth your time to speak with a local organic landscaper who can analyze your soil and recommend or create a compost tea to naturally maintain your landscape. With beautifully natural contours like this particular site, it's difficult to justify changing grades to alleviate runoff.
August 17, 2012 at 2:14PM     
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Almost all states restrict use of phosphorus in case of sites where there could be runoff. Turf has heavy root systems that naturally prevent runoff also, unlike many other surfaces and plantings. Herbicides work by being quickly absorbed into weeds, this usually prevents runoff. For information on the proper use of all products and runoff prevention in steep areas check with your local extension services, they are very helpful.
August 28, 2012 at 10:38PM   
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frenchie123 wrote:
This is the shape I am trying to achieve but for some reason it is not working out for me. I have almost cut
   Comment   August 9, 2012
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Wagner Hodgson
It is important to have the curves tangent to one another and as smooth as possible, no sudden shifts...
August 13, 2012 at 6:46AM     
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Thanks for your reply. I finally got the curve to look nice and it is a soft curve so is appealing to the eye.
August 13, 2012 at 8:14PM   
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djaguilar wrote:
what did you use for the steps?
   Comment   June 20, 2012
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Wagner Hodgson
They are bluestone slabs
June 21, 2012 at 4:40AM   
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June 21, 2012 at 10:44AM   
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What Houzz contributors are saying:

Debra Prinzing added this to Keep Your Garden in Lines
A few stone steps move across a vast lawn and connect with a low, curved boardwalk. The walk is obviously functional, leading people to the waterfront in the distance. Yet it gives the landscape a dramatic focal point. Simply sublime.More:Teach Your Landscape Rhythm
J. Peterson Garden Design added this to Give Your Turf the Fall Tune-up It Deserves
1. Know your grass. There are cool-season and warm-season grasses, and several varieties in each category. Cool-season grasses (Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, perennial ryegrass) are better suited for cooler climates, are most productive in spring and fall, sometimes take more irrigation and are generally mowed higher than warm-season grasses due to their erect growth habit.Warm-season grasses (Bermuda, St. Augustine, big bluestem) grow best in warmer climates, are typically more drought tolerant and are often mowed at lower heights.Be sure to check with your local lawn experts for specific recommendations for turf grass in your area.
The very important first step to great design is to do what in architecture lingo is called a site analysis — an examination of how the existing structure or new build relates or will relate to its unique existing environmental conditions. These conditions include topography, access, solar and wind orientation, views, existing trees or streams, and neighboring properties.
Mitchell Parker added this to Why We Want a House With a Great View
Rebuilding mental energyBut when we look at something that interests us, something that doesn’t require a lot of attention to monitor, we build back up our mental energy and our mood and performance improve. This happens when looking at nature, but also anything that produces a natural, soft fascination.In other words, if you can zone out on something simple and soothing — not Angry Birds — your mind is able to restore calmness.Most of this effect has to do with evolution. When early humans could observe their natural surroundings from a secure vantage point, with a clear view of any approaching danger — like lions — they could relax, feel at peace, reflect on life and make a plan for it. The same theory holds true today. "My brain is almost exactly the same as some relative I had several thousand years ago," Augustin says. "Our brains change so slowly that things that made us comfortable in the environment in which we evolved are comforting to us now. Watching the countryside allows us to look at our world softly, easily, and consider what might happen to us next.”
Eric Reinholdt, Architect added this to Design Practice: How to Ensure the Best Client Experience
Your client should always be informed of any schedule changes. This is really important, because depending on the fee structure, they can have a significant impact on the final cost for a client, your profitability and ultimately your reputation. Nurturing a reputation of being forthright in all situations is in everyone’s best interest.Systems: For the mechanics of communication, I advocate developing systems and templates for handling certain situations that frequently arise. There will then be one less thing for you (or your employees) to spend time on. Systems save time, ensure you’re delivering a consistent message and allow you the freedom to work on your business, not in it.For example, you’ll always have prospective clients contacting you via your website or by email. If you don’t have SOPs to address these messages, you’ll spend a lot of time answering the same questions. Figure out a means of processing inquiries that makes sense. You might direct people to a new client funnel, where they provide certain information to determine whether you’re both a good fit — even before they talk with you. Or you might establish frequently asked questions (FAQs) along with an email template containing a link to the FAQs. If you revise it as new questions come in, your reply will always be up-to-date and won’t require more than a minute of your time to respond.Automated systems like this can enhance the experience from both the client and business sides. Clients will be directed through a logical series of steps to prequalify them. If you ensure they’re a good fit for the work you do before you even talk to them, you’ve done both parties a favor — you both will have used your time efficiently.If you do nothing else, make sure you get your communication SOPs right. Commit to an email or a voicemail response time and stick to it. I respond to all client communication within 24 hours, no exceptions. Even if it’s just, “Thanks for your message. I’m working on a solution, and I’ll be in touch shortly.” When problems arise, open, honest and forthright communication can work wonders.

What Houzzers are commenting on:

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Cheaper stone step version
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gorgeous lawn with stone steps large
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vineyard house
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stone step in lawn
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landscaping, slope
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Live on a lake
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August 27, 2014
Like the stone step spacing. Very cool walkway.
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Path to water
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Manicured cared-for lawn
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nice slope design
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Large and simplistic. Clean lines outdoors without a lot of man made products.
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Separation of path from Grass
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Paving stones/steps down to walkway.
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Stairs on left side of house
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Stone grass walkway
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Cool steps down the grass
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Look to water
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Lots of land Could have less trees
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steps to play area
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That grass
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Sloping backyard
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Lawn at cottage
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steps down to fire pit
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still run mower over this path
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Big yard to waterfront
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Grass all round
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Conceal and Reveal / space between ground and tree plane
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Just beautiful.
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love this
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idea para patio cranston
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Lake view
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cool stone grass walkway to the shoreline
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interesting variation of steps
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Great Idea
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outdoor steps
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curved band bordering the back yard
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Large stepping stones . . . looks nice . . . .
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Path to lake
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stepping stones threw grass
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nice pathway
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maybe a way to go from front yard and meet up with walkway to lower back yard ? hmm . . . nice !?
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Nature walk
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Path to the lake
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This looks so peaceful and beautiful.
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Decking path
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steps in slope
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Steps separated by incline.
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Walkway steps AND a boardwalk
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large pavers
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Walk way to pond
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Anderson - walkway down to beach
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rolling lawns
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Nm yard
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Walkin path
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Wetland elevated boardwalk
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Steeping stones
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Stepping stones
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Pathway to water
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love the lawn
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WOW what a path to the lake
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path transition down
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to lake
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Wish my back yard looked like this
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A dream!
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Path in giant lawn
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Here's our front lawn and lakefront!!!!
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Escaleras en Los prados
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To fire pit
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ours will have curves too
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Garden and lake
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love the large clean space
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long gentle curve
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a nice timber board walk and blue stone slabs
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curvy, unique path
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the spaced out steps to a full path
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Stepping stones
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This is what I want :) :)
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the path
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Note the longer grass to the left in the woods. Is that an option for the wedlands?
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easy terrace
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pretty backyard
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Sloping grass
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Steps in grass
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Steps in grass for west side of lot
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down slope
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lots of grass
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House location to water
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Stone steps in lawn
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front yard steps simple
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Fertilize, dethatch & sow additional lawn seed in Fall.
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a beautiful walking trail for my property
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For back yard
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space management
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Under the trees
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stones to pathway
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jast a nice tree byhouzz
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Walkway to lake - simple and very nice
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Steps in slope
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serpentine walk down to lake
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Steps for hills
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so cool! walkway to lake
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love the grass and trees
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Like the shape of these steps
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Lake living....
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Greens and trees
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Steps to lake
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Very nice!!
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Manicured walk to lake
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curvas del caminito y ancho
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Steps to the lake
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bottom of the hill: note pier
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Grass needs care
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steps up to front entry
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Simple steps
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•Cool-season grasses (Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, perennial ryegrass) are better suited for cooler climates, are most productive in spring and fall, sometimes take more irrigation and are generally mowed higher than warm-season grasses due to their erect growth habit. •Warm-season grasses (Bermuda, St. Augustine, big bluestem) grow best in warmer climates, are typically more drought tolerant and are often mowed at lower heights.
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Stepenice u travi idu uzbrdo
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Stairs and path
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