Green Wall in Cambridge, MA

Remodeling and Home Design


JMMDS created a garden of living walls and Corten-steel around a tall contemporary house that sits on a narrow lot overtopped with giant pine trees. The green wall greets the visitor at the front of the house while a water rill of Corten-steel recirculates around the side and back.

An elegantly curved wall of shade-loving native plants softens a six-foot high concrete retaining wall at the entry court that doubles as a turn-around and parking area. Native plants such as ferns, Solomon Seal, and foamflower fill the cells of the verdant vertical wall, offering privacy, textural interest and beauty for this welcoming entryway.

New York State bluestone and limestone planks set into a sea of pea gravel bear the weight of vehicles while allowing rainwater to permeate into the ground to reduce run-off.

Native plantings spill over the top of an exterior planter wall faced with blue tile around an angular Ipe deck. The small curving lawn is edged in steel and surrounded with native trees and shrubs that screen the neighbors.

The cylindrical steel water bubbler forms the beginning of the water journey that travels from the upper landscape to the lower level around the back of the house. The “handrill” of Corten steel follows the peastone and steel steps down a steep slope.

Devised to minimize root disturbance for the tall existing pines on the property, the continuous Corten steel structure is supported by concrete tubes rather than a foundation that would have required extensive excavation.

After flowing down the slope alongside the staircase, the handrill pours into another round basin, emptying into a channel that meanders through the narrow back garden at ground level. The water journey ends in a riverstone delta around a boulder fountain.

A tiny meditation hut cantilevered over the basin allows the dabbling of feet in the cool water. The hut looks out towards the fountain and backyard plantings.


Silver LEED certified


“A Daydream Garden” by Justine Guidry, Garden Design (Issue 190), May, 2015.

"Woodland Modern” by Courtney Goodrich - Design New England, March/April 2015.

"Soak It Up: How to Manage Stormwater in Your Landscape" - Houzz, Feb, 2015

“Marrying Elegant Design & Sustainability” - Organic Gardening, Feb/Mar 2013 


Cambridge, MA


Anna Johansen


Architect: Wolf Architects, Inc.
General Contractor: GF Rhode Construction, Inc.
Landscape Contractor: Robert Hanss, Inc.
Greenwall: g_space LLC
Steel Fabrication: Wovensteel and Richard Duca
Water Systems: Pond Creations by Sean


Susan Teare