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GD: How do setting and size shape a project?
AC: We work on everything from urban courtyards to vineyard/hotel complexes that are hundreds of acres, and each takes a very different approach. Urban landscapes are about architectural spaces. It really becomes an outdoor room connected to the architecture. The landscapes are generally more hardscapes, almost idealized, where we bring in the sense of nature in a very controlled but not-trying-to-copy-nature kind of way.
On a suburban project, I’m really thinking about the edges of the property, about how to fool the eye to make the space seem more permeable with a larger environment. What I don’t want to do is create a box. So I’m thinking a lot about how those edges define space and about screening and light. When we get to a more rural landscape, then I’m thinking of the zone around the house as being very architecturally defined.
Cochran often uses reflecting pools, here flanked by 100-year-old olive trees at Walden Studios, a vineyard and arts facility in Sonoma County, California.