vision

vision

vision

vision

vision

We are landscape architects who are inspired by the healing power of nature. We collaborate with our clients to create environments that are modern, vital, and immersive. We believe nature is more than a final thought. It is the place where we become most ourselves.

We are landscape architects who are inspired by the healing power of nature. We collaborate with our clients to create environments that are modern, vital, and immersive. We believe nature is more than a final thought. It is the place where we become most ourselves.

We are landscape architects who are inspired by the healing power of nature. We collaborate with our clients to create environments that are modern, vital, and immersive. We believe nature is more than a final thought. It is the place where we become most ourselves.

We are landscape architects who are inspired by the healing power of nature. We collaborate with our clients to create environments that are modern, vital, and immersive. We believe nature is more than a final thought. It is the place where we become most ourselves.

“Being connected to living things makes you happier and healthier. Shake hands with a tree and try not to forget its name.”

experiencing nature makes you happier and healthier

“Being connected to living things makes you happier and healthier. Shake hands with a tree and try not to forget its name.”

ryan moody
karl-fredrickson-74973-unsplash

a tree for
every window

maximizing health benefits at the intersection of landscape and architecture

1 — welcome sun and
air with a porous perimeter
1 — welcome sun and air with a porous perimeter

Operable windows with shading controls increase comfort, connect us to the exterior environment, and provide better air quality than mechanical cooling and heating. Increased daylight exposure improves circadian rhythms, raises vitamin D levels, and regulates serotonin levels, resulting in decreased risk for depression and disease. (Kellert 2008).

Landscape Architecture Photographs – Washington DC, Maryland, MD, Virginia, VA
Implementation guidance

Employ windows wherever possible to bring light and clean air into buildings. East facing windows are especially effective at combating stress and illness (Choi 2012).

ways to measure

Target 100% of windows to be operable and maximize south (northern hemisphere) and east facing windows with proper summer shading.

2 — bring gardens inside

Indoor plants reduce stress, increase job satisfaction, lift mood, and improve cognitive performance (Bringslimark 2007).

MG office
Implementation guidance

Design interior spaces with plants in mind. Group plants together to create a garden where they can share resources and establish a microclimate. Create “Green Rooms” in buildings dedicated to places to sit surrounded by plants and sunlight.

Implementation guidance

Design interior spaces with plants in mind. Group plants together to create a garden where they can share resources and create an ecosystem.

Implementation guidance

Design interior spaces with plants in mind. Group plants together to create a garden where they can share resources and create an ecosystem.

ways to measure

Target 5% of floor area for indoor gardens.

ways to measure

Target 5% of floor area for indoor gardens.

ways to measure

Target 5% of floor area for indoor gardens.

3 — plant (or save)
a tree for every window

Views of plants improve cognitive performance and accelerate healing (Ulrich 1984, Sullivan 2009). Properly sited buildings and carefully considered windows provide neurological nourishment.

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Implementation guidance

Align building fenestration with views to trees. Consider roof or balcony planters to provide visual access to evergreen and deciduous plants. Save existing trees whenever possible.

Implementation guidance

Locate exterior trees on-axis with windows, select plants with canopies that align with building fenestration, and consider roof or balcony planters to provide views to evergreen and deciduous plants. Save existing trees whenever possible.

ways to measure

Protect existing trees on-site, especially street trees and those with a circumference of 50” (16” caliper) or more. Provide at least one view to green space with trees from common areas in buildings such as break rooms, cafeterias, waiting areas, desks, and hospital recovery areas.

4 — enrich the edges

Protected outdoor areas adjacent to buildings provide cover, transition, refuge, and environmental modulation. Thoughtfully placed trees and vegetated structures can reduce building energy consumption.

Landscape Architecture Photographs – Washington DC, Maryland, MD, Virginia, VA
Implementation guidance

Incorporate vegetated pergolas, colonnades, porticos, porches, solariums, greenhouses, and balconies to enrich and expand the threshold between indoor & outdoor. Use vegetation to shade HVAC units, west and southwest building facades, and building roof area. Use evergreen trees and shrubs to create winter windbreaks.

ways to measure

Design enriched edges at 25% of the building perimeter, especially areas that offer prospect views and connections to nature. Use vegetation to shade 100% of HVAC equipment and 25% of west/southwest facades. Use canopy trees to shade 60% of the building roof area in 10 years. Use staggered planted evergreen windbreaks in front of building facades exposed to prevailing winter winds.  

5 — open views

Humans prefer prospect views that allow us to survey our surroundings for opportunity and hazard. We also have an innate desire to explore and appreciate mystery (Ulrich 1993).

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Implementation guidance

Create long views in buildings and landscapes. Use plants and other landscape elements to frame, focus, or obscure views. Utilize open plans, transparent windows with unobstructed views, low partitions, and open stair landings to provide the benefits of prospect in architectural settings.

ways to measure

Create long views in buildings and landscapes with a focal length greater than 20’.

6 — shake hands with plants

When we know something, we are more likely to protect it (Wilson 1984). Provide opportunities to meet and appreciate plants by making them accessible and inviting.

Landscape Architecture Photographs – Washington DC, Maryland, MD, Virginia, VA
implementation guidance

Allow plants to intersect, but not obstruct, walkways. Encourage people to touch foliage, smell flowers, and learn plants by placing them along to paths of travel and raised above grade where appropriate. Provide identification labels and other engaging information. Where possible, consider narrower walkways.

ways to measure

Label all trees. Identify one plant (or species), existing or proposed, that has meaning to the project and highlight it.

7 — layer gardens

Vertically layered gardens create enclosure, immersion, and attract the greatest number and diversity of wildlife. Studies show that positive psychological effect rises as the perceived biodiversity of a landscape increases. Native plants capitalize on evolutionary symbioses with local fauna (Tallamy 2007).

IslBG
implementation guidance

Include regionally native groundcovers, perennials, shrubs, vines, and trees in planting design to create visual complexity, maximize habitat value, and promote biophilic connections. Provide “orderly frames” around gardens to reduce concerns about unkempt appearance. Propose vines for exterior vertical surfaces. Consider green walls and architecturally integrated planters for additional vertical layering.

ways to measure

Design gardens to have a minimum of 2 species for every layer: perennial, shrub, tree, and vine. Select species from the Native Plant Finder (www.nwf.org/nativeplantfinder) to maximize habitat value. Target 10% of exterior wall surfaces for vegetation growth.

8 — embrace soft fascination

The non-rhythmic movement of light refracting off water provides soft fascination resulting in mental regeneration. The presence of water has historically signaled availability of drinking water, defensive advantages, and high food productivity which may support the nearly universal positive response and strong preference for visual access to water (Ulrich 1993).

Landscape Architecture Photographs – Washington DC, Maryland, MD, Virginia, VA
implementation guidance

When larger water features are not possible consider smaller fountains, rills, or other ways to highlight the flow of water. Position water between the viewer and sunlight. Utilize other design elements such as fire, kinetic art, or tall grasses that can create non-rhythmic movement and sound.

ways to measure

Identify an opportunity for non-rhythmic movement in each space.

9 — provide outdoor places to sit 

Sitting outside in a garden with a view is an act of self-care that provides contemplation, rest, and recovery. Moveable furniture creates flexible use and gives users more control.

Landscape Architecture Photographs – Washington DC, Maryland, MD, Virginia, VA
implementation guidance

Provide prospect and refuge by locating seating with open views and protected backs under tree canopies, architectural overhangs, or lowered ceilings. Make exterior seating easily accessible from interior spaces.

ways to measure

Provide at least one opportunity for outdoor seating in every garden. Design outdoor seating to accommodate 5% of building occupants at any one time.

10 — encourage twenty minutes with nature

Twenty to thirty minutes in nature is shown to provide maximum stress reduction in relation to time expended (Hunter 2019). Benefits extend to increased immune system resilience, reduced pain levels, increased serotonin levels, and improved cognitive performance.

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implementation guidance

Encourage time in natural settings by making garden entrances easy to find and providing comfortable benches, engaging pathways, moments of soft fascination, views to green, and areas for interaction. Consider digital free areas to inhibit distraction. Design garden lighting for safe use at night.

ways to measure

Define areas where people are likely to spend 20 minutes of time in a state of involuntary attention such as break areas, outdoor rooms, waiting areas, etc. Provide maximum visual and physical access to nature in these zones.

11 —  reveal time

By highlighting the seasonal change of plants and the life cycles of materials we reconnect to our broader climate and context.

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implementation guidance

Choreograph garden atmospheres by selecting plants with different bloom times and varying textures. Maintain dried seed heads, foliage, and grasses through winter. Select interior and exterior materials that reveal natural cycles of growth and decay. Use natural wood (untreated with urethane or vitreous-based coatings) whenever possible.

ways to measure

Identify one building material that is intended to change over time.

12 — look on the sunny side

Research shows that colors such as yellow, blue-green, and pink are associated with positive emotions (G.F Smith 2020). Lighter shades of color induce calm while more saturated colors evoke excitement and stimulation. The “happiest” color of all is yellow represented by the RGB values of R240 G190 B2. 

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implementation guidance

Encourage positive feelings by including lighter shades of these colors in building materials, artwork, flowers, and foliage.

13 — make it beautiful

Our efforts must be beautiful. They must attract our attention, promote wonder, weave the ground and sky, and change over time.

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implementation guidance

Nested symmetry, fractal patterns, complementary colors, the golden ratio, and biomorphic forms are design strategies that are consistently perceived as beautiful across human cultures. Include them in design work whenever possible.

want more nature knowledge?

Have a project in mind?

1318 H Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 543-1286
info@moodyarchitecture.com

Moody Graham Landscape Architecture
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