• New England Home features ZEN Associates

    Modern Adaption

    We had the pleasure of working with Zero Energy for this project in Belmont which put a contemporary spin on a classic 1960’s split-level home. We share an appreciation for clean, contemporary design which enhances our client’s well-being and creates a calming aesthetic.  We design to break down the barriers between the interior and outdoor living spaces and create an ease of flow. 

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  • Home & Design Feature Article

    Calm Reverie

    Home and Design Magazine recently featured a very special project of ours on the Chesapeake Bay. This project began over 20 years ago when our Founder, Shin Abe designed a traditional Japanese Garden based on an abstraction of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Over the past 5 years, our interior design team has worked with our clients to reimagine their interior space to create a peaceful and tranquil interior that maximizes the viewing of the garden.

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  • Modern Luxury-Interiors Boston

    Back to Nature

    In this article, Peter White, principal landscape architect, and Rina Okawa, director of interior design share their insight on design principles used to strengthen the flow between interior and exterior spaces. These techniques create a seamless connection to our natural environment which enhances our well-being on a daily basis.

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  • Shinichiro Abe awarded the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation

    We wanted to share that our founder, Shinichiro Abe, was awarded the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation. Shin received this recognition for his longstanding contributions to spreading and cultivating Japanese Gardens in the United States as well as his efforts to promote the planting of the U.S.-Japan friendship Sakura ( cherry) trees. He received the award from the Japanese Consul General Ohmori .

  • Benefits of Winter Pruning

    One  of the pleasant things about winter are the fond memories of walking through a  snowy landscape in the Arnold Arboretum or the Tower Hill Botanical Garden and looking at the winterberry hollies bursting with colorful fruits and the paperbark maples with their cinnamon peeling bark.

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  • New England Home – What Makes ZEN Associates Unique

    Mastering the Timeless Art of Japanese Design, Inside and Out

    Recently featured in New England Home Magazine, this article introduces many of the Japanese Design Principals which guide our work as we approach interior and landscape design projects. We are grateful that there is a growing appreciation for living our lives in balance with nature and creating serene environments for our daily living.

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  • ZEN Associates COVID-19 Update

    Update as of June, 2022

    Since 1980, ZEN Associates has effectively managed through many challenges, we believe we have the resources in place to respond successfully.  Our Landscape and Interior Design, Landscape Construction and Maintenance departments are operating to service our clients in accordance with the CDC and State guidelines. Please know that every decision we make is based on our client’s and staff’s safety and wellness.

  • Award-Winning rise magazine features a ZEN Associates rooftop garden

    The Lush Life – A Private Garden in the Sky

    The increased interest in rooftop gardens is certainly understandable given the continued real estate boom in Boston! For this project, our clients were leaving the suburbs for the city but weren’t willing to say good-bye to their connection to the natural world. This article shares how we created a natural retreat for their enjoyment 12 months a year.

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  • New England Home features ZEN Associates Landscape Design

    Tiers of Joy

    High up on a bluff overlooking Wellfleet Harbor and the Cape Cod National Seashore we designed the clients program to include – swimming pool, spa, outdoor kitchen and bar area, multiple fire features, outdoor shower, and a relaxing lounge area protected from the elements.  We were responsible for strategically navigating through a complex permitting process including conservation.  We also had the pleasure of working with a dynamite team of subcontractors for the  electrical, lighting and pool installation.  Enjoy the read. 

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  • 5 Best Details – Rooftop Terrace

    These details can make all the difference when designing your rooftop terrace. 

    We love the challenge of designing for a Rooftop Terrace!  Similar to a landscape, each rooftop is unique given their position (exposure) to the elements sun, shade, wind, water and neighboring buildings.  Below we highlight the top 6 picks to think about when creating your rooftop getaway.

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  • Northshore Home Features ZEN Associates Landscape Design

    Sea & Sky -The Beauty Of Cape Ann Granite

    The incredible site of this North Shore home featured dramatic ledge, dynamic views, and an intriguing grade change between the driveway and the house.  The solution?  A bridge to the front entrance, terraces and walkways hewn from native Cape Ann granite, and plantings that frame the vistas and buffer the wind…and a one-of-a-kind outdoor shower.  We hope you enjoy the article.

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  • ZEN Associates Interior Design Featured In rise

    High Design Meets High Tech in a Chic Boston Condo

    ZEN Associates is proud to be featured in rise – New England Home’s premier publication focused on stylish city living. Our senior interior designer, Rina Okawa balanced the clean geometric lines of the open floor plan with the softness and warmth of natural materials to create a serene environment in the middle of busy Boston. Our clients didn’t just want an open layout with strong design elements; they also wanted every hint of clutter and technology banished behind closet and cabinet doors.  It’s a great read, hope you enjoy!

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  • Gardens Illustrated Features ZEN Associates Landscape

    Monadanock Vistas

    Gardens Illustrated, the international horticulture publication, certainly picked one of our favorite projects when they chose to feature Sharon Malt’s Monadnock country estate. It was a pleasure to visit with Sharon and Tova Martin for the interview and share the story of our vision as we designed and planned for the evolving landscape of her family’s retreat.*

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  • Visionary Landscapes

    Featuring the work of Shin Abe, ZEN Associates

    Visionary Landscapes written by Kendall Brown, examines the work of five leading landscape architects in North America who are exploring the extraordinary power of Japanese garden design to promote personal and social well-being. The Founder and Principal of ZEN Associates, Shin Abe was highlighted as one of the five contemporary masters of Japanese Garden Design in North America.

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  • Garden Landscape Boston The Gardisans

    The Gardisans

    Garden Care and Maintenance

    The Gardisans offers special care for special gardens. From landscape management and expert maintenance to seasonal planting, pruning and cleaning, we know exactly what needs to be done — and when to do it.

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  • Traditional Japanese Dry Rock Garden

    Creating a Positive Void

    This garden was created based upon traditional Japanese dry rock design techniques which have been in use for over 500 years. This technique simply utilizes rocks and white sand to express the beauty of the natural landscape without vegetation, ponds or streams. 

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  • Home & Design Features our Landscape & Interior Design

    Perfect Harmony – A  Serene, Modern Retreat

    We are so proud to have our project featured in the recent issue of Home & Design Magazine. What we love about this project is that by designing both the interior and exterior it allows us to approach the design as one, creating a seamless flow in and out.

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  • Thinking About a Heated Driveway?

    Our Clients Sure Love Theirs!

    Tired of Shoveling Snow or paying for snow removal? Wondering if it’s a good idea to install a heated driveway? Our clients sure think so!

    Heated driveways, also called “snow-melting systems,” are a technological alternative to shoveling, salting, snow plowing, snow blowing, and other snow-removal methods.

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  • Maryland Horticultural Society Garden Tour

    ZEN Associates Garden – Chesapeake Bay Expression

    This design is a modern interpretation of a traditional Japanese garden – an expression of the nearby Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, abstractly represented as a dry garden. This garden offers a dramatically different version of the typical “back yard”.  

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  • George-White-Memorial-ZEN-Associates

    The George Robert White Memorial Fountain

    Restoring a Beloved Boston Landmark

    The George Robert White Memorial, nicknamed “The Angel” by local residents, is a cherished Back Bay landmark. By the beginning of the millennium, however, the memorial was in disrepair: its fountain had stopped working and was overshadowed by overgrown shrubs and trees.

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  • Crown Prince of Japan Visits Garden Designed by ZEN

    The Peace Bell Garden, United Nations, New York, NY

    Crown Prince of Japan, Naruhito, recently visited the Peace Bell Garden at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, NY which was designed by ZEN Associates. ZEN Associates’ Principal, Shin Abe, was honored with the opportunity to explain the concept and history of the garden to the Crown Prince of Japan.

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  • New England Design Hall of Fame Induction Gala

    Boston, MA

    The New England Design Hall of Fame Induction Gala was held on November 12th at the State Room in downtown Boston. It was a special night to celebrate the highest caliber of work and those who have made a lasting impact on the design field in our region. One of  ZEN Associates’ Principals, Peter White, is honored to be included among the other inductees.

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  • New England Design Hall of Fame

    Inductee, Peter White, ZEN Associates

    We are proud to announce that the New England Design Hall of Fame for Landscape Architecture and Landscape Design has inducted one of ZEN Associates’ Principals, Peter White as one of its members.

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  • The Labyrinth, Simmons College

    The Labyrinth, Simmons College

    Boston, MA

    ZEN Associates has just completed construction of The Labyrinth at Simmons College which was designed by Deneen Crosby of Crosby | Schlessinger | Smallridge.

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  • The MFA’s Tenshin-en Garden Reopens After 18 Months

    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

    ZEN Associates is excited for the reopening of Tenshin-en, the Japanese Garden at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston on April 27, 2015. We are proud to have had the opportunity to work with the MFA and the original support team to renovate this wonderful garden.  Tenshin-en’s much anticipated reopening is the result of an extensive yearlong effort to preserve and renew the garden, generously underwritten by Nippon Television Network Corporation.

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  • It’s Finally Spring

    5 Things to help your plants thrive!

    No one would argue that this has been a tough winter, but, in the end, it may have been toughest of all on plants, shrubs and sensitive trees. According to the arborists at ZEN Associates, here are five things to look out for after this brutal winter.

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  • Japan Society of Boston Annual Dinner ZEN Associates

    Japan Society of Boston

    Annual Dinner

    ZEN Associates attended the Japan Society of Boston’s 2014 Annual Dinner and it was an exciting evening. The Annual Dinner was held at the Taj Boston.

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  • ZEN Associates Best Landscape Design Firm Boston

    ZEN Associates Editor’s Choice Award

    Best Landscape Design Firm

    Northshore magazine recognizes ZEN Associates as Editor’s Choice for Best Landscape Design Firm in the Ninth Annual ‘Best of North Shore’ Awards and we are really excited about it!

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  • Barrage Mansion Penthouse Interior Design

    Barrage Mansion Penthouse

    The Boston Herald

    The Boston Herald recently featured a project that Maho Abe and Rina Okawa designed the interior for.

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  • Ocean Home Magazine Pool Design ZEN Associates

    Pool Cabanas

    Ocean Home magazine

    ZEN Associates was featured in the Spring 2014 issue of Ocean Home, a luxury coastal lifestyle magazine, to discuss how pool cabanas and pavilions can add real value and enjoyment to oceanfront homes.

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  • Yale University Asakawa Garden

    Yale University: Asakawa Garden

    New Haven, CT

    As a landscape architectural firm rooted in Japanese design, we were honored to create a garden dedicated to Professor Kan’ichi Asakawa. His spirit is remembered with each leaf, his legacy with each stone.

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  • Hillwood Museum Gardens ZEN Associates

    Hillwood Museum and Gardens

    Washington, D.C.

    In a city known for its Japanese cherry blossom trees, developing a restoration plan for a historic Japanese-style garden only seemed natural.

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  • Contemporary Pool and Landscape Design

    Eastern Point Retreat

    Gloucester, MA

    This contemporary pool, spa and pool house rest serenely upon Gloucester’s rocky shores, achieving the client’s dream of a retreat set apart from the main house, yet joined with nature.

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  • Landscape Gardening The Gardisans

    Secret Garden

    Beacon Hill, MA

    This classic courtyard garden is a hidden gem in the heart of Boston’s Beacon Hill. Inspired by the home’s elegant beauty, we turned this landscape into a peaceful terraced garden.

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  • Boston Flower Show 2014

    Boston Flower & Garden Show 2014

    Seaport World Trade Center

    This year’s Boston Flower & Garden Show theme was “Romance in the Garden,” and our exhibit reflected the romantic courtyards and secret gardens found throughout the city’s oldest neighborhoods.

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