WCA, Inc.
P.O. Box 489
Ashfield, MA

413-628-4600 Fax:413-628-0117

Firm Statement

Walter Cudnohufsky Associates is committed to landscape design that meets real needs. We are a full-service landscape architectural and land-planning firm, staffed with experienced, multi-disciplined professionals who bring their broad expertise to every project, no matter how large or small. Our watermark is not a reproducible “style,” but designs that respond to the unique requirements of each client and site—innovative solutions that function smoothly and harmoniously, please the eye, and fit the budget.

We believe that quality design is based in the natural systems and human uses of a particular site. Each site has treasures and serendipities waiting to be discovered and each client program has unarticulated desires and priorities. By carefully studying the site and probing the client’s needs, design solutions emerge that are uniquely appropriate to the place and the people who will use it. Preconceived, decorative solutions can be limiting, costly, and difficult to maintain. Our experience permits us to read the land, ask telling questions, and create designs that take advantage of the revealed opportunities. The result is stunning, truly distinctive, thoroughly practical and economical design.

We are quick and flexible. Our small size and wide-ranging experience let us respond swiftly to changing plans and readily incorporate new information in a timely fashion. Clients work directly with dedicated WCA staff who have a detailed knowledge of their project. Principal Walter Cudnohufsky is fully involved in all phases of the work.

We provide a range of services, from siting buildings, developing a master plan concept for a home/new community/institution, running a public meeting, to sizing a drain pipe, illustrating a zoning code, or selecting a particular plant species.

WCA’s design, planning, and consulting services include:

•   Landscape Design

Residential and public, including large estate, housing, commercial, industrial, institutional, campus, public park, town common, motel, industrial park, and school projects. We begin with analysis, program development, and design development and move to full construction documents, specifications, and construction inspection.

•   Site Inspection and Construction Management

From initial bid management, incremental work and material approval, to change orders and final project close out.

•   Master Planning and Land Planning

New communities, institutions, village and town centers, condominium housing, parks and recreation lands, estates, agricultural preservation, limited development, and private land-protection initiatives.

•   Environmental Design/Land Preservation

Natural resource planning, Notice of Intent conservation permitting, erosion control, wetland replication, minimum impact design alternatives. Trails, boardwalks, barrier-free access.

•   Land Use Feasibility and Project Analysis

Analysis of multiple site components, such as topography, soils, slopes, drainage, sun, wetlands, infrastructure, context, views, vegetation, buildings, codes etc. Cost estimating, code review, and similar tasks essential to the project success.

•   Plan Compliance, Zoning, and Impact Evaluation for Communities

Review of open space plans, subdivision, industrial and site plans for projects submitted to communities under impact fee review procedures. We also review proposed bylaws, recommend revisions, evaluate their impact and applicability to specific land parcels, and aid in preparing proposed zoning.

•   Community Visioning, Workshops and Meeting Facilitation

Meetings, forums, events, and workshops for communities, organizations and businesses; design workshops and clinics. Services include planning, organizing, moderating, and summarizing.

•   Publications, Information Graphics and Illustration

Documents that are easy to use. Effective integration of words and graphics using diagrams, renderings, perspectives, elevations and other visuals. Applications include: information design and graphics for zoning regulations, reports, planning documents, design guidelines, public presentations, and books.

Walter Cudnohufsky

Early in his career, Walter Cudnohufsky became dissatisfied with the shallowness and omissions of most American landscape design—“decorating with dollars” instead of addressing the human and natural needs of a particular site and its intended use. He was interested in responsive solutions derived from the land and the clients rather than generic, cookie-cutter designs imposed upon the land and people. Before the term was fashionable, Walt began to craft an ecological approach to landscape design based on a profound vision of a project’s total context and a detailed understanding of the multiple factors.

In 1972 Walt founded the Conway School of Landscape Design as a working laboratory where students could learn while doing. Analytical tools, basic design principles, and a responsive, logical design process were forged in the field while working on actual residential and public projects. Today, CSLD is nationally recognized as an important accredited alternative program and grants a Master of Arts in Landscape Design degree.

Through his work at CSLD, in private practice, on organization boards and public task forces, Walt has sharpened his ability to conceptualize and execute responsive design. The range and depth of WCA’s services is the direct result of this deep involvement in every aspect of landscape design and land planning.

Quality Design Depends on a Quality Process

WCA follows a design process that is inclusive, incisive, and efficient. Our methods of analysis and design enable us to quickly identify key issues, find possibilities hidden within constraints, and move smoothly from complexity to design solutions. These basic principles shape our process and practice:

•   The best designs begin with an intimate understanding of a project in all its complexity and multiple dimensions.

Too often “analysis” is mere inventory. We listen carefully. We walk the land. We ask difficult questions. We dig deep to expose hidden attributes, constraints, opportunities, and future implications—and to carefully articulate the real needs before we commit to solutions. Over thirty-five years of project work has repeatedly demonstrated that time spent in analysis and design is repaid in lower construction and maintenance costs, improved functionality, and design longevity. Every client’s needs will alter over time. The flexibility inherent in an enduring design allows new requirements to be accommodated, even if they cannot be foreseen.

•  Design is an orderly process of creative problem solving.

We purposely explore diverse alternatives, propose designs and reject them, and evaluate tradeoffs against requirements. In this winnowing process, priorities come into focus, design ideas converge with serendipitous insights, and the “right” solutions emerge. It is a process that combines exhilarating discovery with rational decision-making and leads to distinctive, responsive design.

•  We practice form-finding rather than form-giving.

Our designs grow out of the defined problem and context. We have no “WCA style.” Our style is design that fits the site and those who will use it.

•  Simpler solutions are better, less expensive, and more elegant.

A lavish budget is not the most essential ingredient for a quality design. Limits can be the springboard to innovative, wise solutions because they demand a closer fit between form and function, and create an aesthetic harmony of smoothly working components.
We can usually save a client more than our fees by offering timely insights, questioning expectations, avoiding unwise choices, and exploring new technologies.

•  Good design is a team process that includes clients and users.

We are comfortable thinking on our feet—brainstorming design concepts in large meetings or solving problems spontaneously during one-on-one, on-site consultations. Tough questions from both client and designer draw out valuable information.

•  We are hands-on from start to finish.

Over time, we have developed strong, trusting relationships with a pool of talented contractors and artisans. We work closely with them during installation to take advantage of their wisdom and expertise.
Continual communication with our clients, documentation of issues and decisions, personal attention, responsiveness, and hands-on involvement underscore our commitment to quality service.

Walter Cudnohuhsky Associates, Inc. P.O. Box 489
Ashfield, MA 01330
Phone  ............ 413/628-4600
Fax  ................ 413/628-0117
E-mail  ........... Send e-mail to WCA
Web  .............. www.wcala.com