Every project Ed Hollander undertakes centers on three ecologies: natural, architectural and human. As the founder of Hollander Design Landscape Architects, his is ultimate goal is to create healthy, strikingly beautiful landscapes. “Whether it’s for our two-legged, four-legged or winged clients, there is a growing appreciation for the use of pollinators and non-toxic landscaping for families, children, birds and bees. We always want to be a positive part of a larger ecosystem,” he states.
Hollander’s affinity for designing public spaces was greatly influenced by Laurie Olin and Ian McHarg, masterful landscape architects known for their environmentally sensitive approaches. “All of HDLA’s projects consider the natural ecology of the site, the architectural ecology of the buildings, and the human ecology of the people that will use and inhabit our landscapes. Both McHarg and Olin espoused these ideas, so their influence is seen in all of the public spaces we design,” explains Hollander. For instance, 11 Hoyt Street in Brooklyn is a residential building in the middle of a monarch butterfly migration path, so Hollander kept that in mind when designing a second-floor amenity deck. “We looked into food for the butterflies using plantings that maximize the benefits, and pollinators to attract butterflies and birds,” he explained. “It’s so important, even in an urban environment.”
Hollander’s design advice is poetic in its simplicity, “The real key thing is listening to nature; let the ecology of the architecture be your guide as to what to develop. Always think of the health of the landscape and the health of the people living there.”
Rendering by Binyan.
“This or That?” with Ed Hollander
aspire design and home: Outdoor room borders: leafy boxwood hedges or composed tree lines?
EH: Mixed tree lines with different foliage.
adh: Accent pieces for the garden: bright modern forms or moss-covered ornamentals?
EH: It depends on the architecture; a contemporary home invites a bold piece, while traditional architecture is better suited for a mossy ornamental.
adh: Water features: serene lily pond or dramatic waterfall?
EH: I prefer to create a water feature that unifies the architecture and the land, and let that be my guide.
adh: Garden color scheme: bold reds, oranges and yellows or cool whites, blues and greens?
EH: In a garden generally blues, whites and greens grown in the shade and are more tranquil.
adh: Outdoor seating: vintage garden bench or put-your-feet-up lounge chair?
EH: Comfy lounge chair, always!
adh: Spotlighted landscapes or whimsical string lights?
EH: You want to create magic in a landscape with lights. String lights sparkle more and give the look of fireflies.