People often think we, as architects, act as omnipresent gods – that the finished work is of our own vision. In truth, it takes many creative and artistic hands to produce a completed project.
lawrence1bThis is the first in a series of posts focusing on some of the brilliant folks we collaborate with on a regular basis. Like any good team, they make us shine in the spotlight and deserve their own ovation.

Mike Kaiser of Kaiser Trabue Landscape Architects is just that type of resplendent cohort. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Mike has joined hands with us on at least two dozen projects and each have richly benefitted from his presence. Whenever we’ve brought Mike into a venture, it’s like having coffee with a long-known kindred soul – unsaid thoughts are completed and the unresolved becomes comfortably settled.

Landscape architecture is so much more than arranging shrubs. In describing what a landscape architect does, basically their work begins where the building envelope ends. They orchestrate drives, pools, terraces, property walls, courtyards, steps, gates, drainage – everything that falls within the panorama of the property. Much design exploration is done before a tree or flower bed is placed on site. Therefore it’s imperative that the themes we establish on the house continue into the surrounding vista. What good is a beautifully designed bay window if there is no response to it? It’s like a design version of dueling banjos – one musical refrain needs to be answered accordingly.

I cannot speak highly enough of Mike and his group’s work on our projects. His keen design sensitivity entwines perfectly with what we begin on the inside. Our concepts and themes are broadened beyond the confines of the building and the land is brought together in a seamless whole. What we start at a seating group broadens into the horizon.

Recently I was with Mike at a job we were wrapping up and as I looked around, he was literally up in a tree pruning away unnecessary branches. On another project, I’ve witnessed him arranging enormous palm trees like an expert florist arranging flowers. That type of attention is found in all his doings.

At the risk of sounding like a bad chick flick, he completes us.













Greg Tankersley for McAlpine Tankersley


  1. Really beautiful projects, thank you for sharing!

  2. Sarah Hamlin Hastings says:

    I could not agree more! Mike is so talented and a true pleasure to work with. Many thanks for bringing him onto our project—he has a keen attention to detail, and he really listened to what we wanted, and steered us to what would work best with the house and our lifestyle. The end result is a landscape plan that seams perfectly with Bobby’s design of the house and we cold not be happier. Bravo!

  3. Laurel Bern says:

    I can’t even begin to imagine how this all comes together in such exquisite perfection. Absolutely gorgeous! Thank you again Greg for your kind comment on my blog. I’m always careful to link back to original sources and it’s fun to get a response from a fellow “wordie” who got pinged as a result. It’s a new world, ain’t it? Gorgeous blog! x, Laurel

  4. Really beautiful! Great work.

  5. Beautiful Architects Design!

  6. Christine says:

    Your words and photos are so inspiring, even though my house is a “cottage” compared to your designs. I never feel jealous just inspired. Many thanks for sharing.

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