Our Residential Projects

“Perhaps the light of the soul is like Rembrandt’s light—that tawny, gold light for which Rembrandt’s work is known. This light gives you a real sense of the depth and substance of the figures on whom it gently shines. It achieves a profound complexity of presence through the subtle use of shadow. Such golden earth-light is the natural sister of shadow and cradle of illumination.”

From Anam Cara The Book of Celtic Wisdom, by John O’Donahue.

Creating Residential Retreats

The Dynamic Artistry of Gardens

“Gardens are works of art and have to be treated as such.” As in painting, sculpture, and architecture, we have to keep in mind color, texture, volume, and form. Yet, there is a requisite to gardens that we do not find in other works of art. That is instability. Even if a garden is built, it is not finished. Plants have to live before they reach the required volume; besides, there is a mutation, periodic and cyclic, in the course of the year, that is, flowering, fruit-bearing, and the fall of leaves. Finally, there are changes in the course of the day, such as light, atmospheric conditions, and other aspects. All that, while almost imponderable, must be taken into account in the design of a garden, which I believe must start from an impulse controlled and limited by principles, not by formulas or recipes."

From the Roberto Burle Marx Lectures, edited by Gareth Doherty.

A garden with many different plants and trees

Redefining Gardening Spaces

Building Based on Ideation

“It is important that the garden be built around a dominant idea. Do one thing well, and let all others be subordinate to it. If it is to be a central grass plot surrounded by a flower border, do not clutter the area with miscellaneous planting and garden ornament, which will diminish the dramatic effect of the scale of the original conception.”

From Gardens Are for People, by Thomas D. Church.

Styling Outdoors

The Rhythm of Art

“A work of art cannot be, I think, the result of a haphazard solution. The development of the creative impulse is carried out by means of rhythms that will produce what the artist knows to be the desired result.” From Roberto Burle Marx Lectures, edited by Gareth Doherty

Garden Projects

A large yard with palm trees and a walkway.
Diamond Head Beachfront

“Gardens are for People”

Tommy Church, “The house/landscape construct is more about the flow of articulated spaces than about reaching a static destination. One of our first moves was to pull the floor plane into the landscape. Each area or room has its own program (orchard, children’s lawn, recreation), yet all are bound together in a loose, dynamic order of spatial flow.”

Referring to the Miller House From Dan Kiley, The Complete Works of America’s Master Landscape Architect by Dan Kiley and Jane Amidon

Designing Happy Spaces

Unveiling the Inner Structure of Design

“It has often been pointed out that 20th-century painting and physics share a common tendency toward probing behind appearances into the underlying structure of things; that the retreat from likeness in painting is akin to sciences peering far within the surface of the matter.” From Beyond Appearance, by C.H. Waddington.

Residence at Diamond Head: My professor at the University of Oregon, Robert Murase, designed many innovative and beautiful monumental works of stone. He inspired me to move to Japan after college to study these gardens in person. While designing the Blue Rock water wall at this residence, I often asked myself what Murase would do.

Cut Blue Rock from Kapaa Quarry, Waterfall, Island with Bronze Sculpture; Owner: “I want to bring Diamond Head inside the house.” Randall took the owner inside another promontory on Oahu at Kapaa Quarry to see if we could bring the inside of Diamond Head inside the house, so to speak.

A fireplace with many boxes of white paper

From Start to Finish

Designing Waterscapes