A “garden folly” is decorative architecture created simply to astonish and delight—and this observatory designed by Bob Faesy is no exception. Centrally located on property being developed as a private park, this garden folly encourages walks, interaction with the local environment and appreciation of surrounding views, while also reminding all who use it of the many activities surrounding them.
As the homeowners developed this private park, working with Faesy-Smith Architects and local landscape architect Geoff Middeleer, they encouraged native and natural beauty in woodsy areas and carefully cultivated grasses, ferns and flowers. These are wonderful spaces, but also areas that could become claustrophobic with no open views. The folly allowed them to build a fun, central structure that elevates visitors above the space in a thoughtfully constructed edifice of metal and stone. Multiple pathways converge on the folly, made of stone and woodchips and even a bridge spanning a river of flowers. Alternating design elements in the railing draw visitors to approach the structure.
Lingering at this observatory invites contemplation, especially with a tranquil pond nearby providing a refuge for waterfowl. From this observation point, visitors can see the park’s putting green, tennis court, swimming pool and abundant environmental views—including a soothing spilling pond and its adjacent stone walkway, and the woods and native plants so freely nurtured. This is one garden folly that unifies its surroundings and engages all visitors with gladness and grace.Bob Faesy or Tom Smith can be reached at www.faesy-smith.com or 203.834.2724