Mount Fair Farm is a 330 acre working horse farm and residence located outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. NBW began work on the restoration of this property with the completion of a master plan in 2010. The master plan located additional horse paddocks, areas for maintenance barns, a composting operation, horse and running trails, indoor and outdoor riding arenas, a greenhouse and vegetable production gardens, a vineyard, meadows, and tree-lined farm roads. Since the adoption of the master plan, all of these program pieces have been implemented. Current work is ongoing to complete an arena landscape that includes areas for horse trailer loading and unloading, a mounting court, and a water trough. The client's commitment to beautifully designed and executed landscapes phased over a number of years has resulted in an equestrian farm that is thoughtfully laid out, easily maintained, and ecologically connected.


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    With the discovery of a large cemetery at Mount Fair Farm the designers responded quickly, providing a design intervention that relies on a process of subtraction to reveal the memorial grounds. The designed experience engages the visitor through the delineation of the cemetery boundaries with a “curtain of light” reclaimed from the forest thicket. The experience in the cemetery recalibrates the senses with the diffusion of light through the canopy, the rhythmic depressions in the ground and fieldstone headstones. The removal of the invasive understory revealed not only the dimpled forest floor but also the coiled trunks of the released trees – hackberry, cherry, black locust, and dogwood.