photograph by JIM WESTPHALEN
for a contemporary residence in Shelburne, Vermont, Keith Wagner created a spillway that catches rainwater off the roof and cascades it over four low retaining walls into a stone-lined pool.
➤ “We say as much as we
can with as few maneuvers
as possible,” says Vermont
landscape architect Keith
Wagner. In fact, he sees his
work as haiku writ large on
Wagner, also an artist who paints and sculpts metal, is known
for creating a geometric connection between building and setting.
The straight line of a barn may become a long path across a
pasture; the stone plinth of a house may link to a fieldstone wall.
“We blur the line where architecture stops and landscape begins,”
H. Keith Wagner Partnership
he says. With partner Jeffrey Hodgson, Wagner leads the now
nine-person firm he founded in Burlington in 1987. His portfolio
is a cohesive array of residential and institutional landscapes,
including college campuses in Middlebury, Vermont, and Salem,
Massachusetts, and the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center
on Lake Champlain in Burlington. In 2009, he was elected a Fellow
of the American Society of Landscape Architects, one of only
1,054 honorees named since 1899.
His minimalist designs focus on context: architectural style,
history, environment. “Landscape architecture,” he says, “is not
art for art’s sake ... but our goal is to create functional spaces that
are also poetic.” — kathleen james