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Kent + Frost

Carrying a number of mysterious antique metal objects, a man walked into what he thought was an old blacksmith shop at the end of High Street in Mystic. He soon discovered that the unique old building has not housed a blacksmith in some time, but that it now houses creators of a different and more modern sort.

Today, this century old shop is home to Kent + Frost, the landscape architecture firm led by Brian Kent and Chad Frost. Kent, a graduate of the University of Georgia and a registered landscape architect since 1985, founded the firm in 2000. In 2003, Frost, a graduate of the University of Connecticut and registered landscape architect, joined the firm. He became a partner in 2007.

The partners are assisted by Tim and Elisa Magee, also landscape architects, who play key roles in the planning and management of projects.

A Most Distinguished Legacy

The list of projects they have worked on is distinguished, including Hygienic Art Park, Tri-Town Trail Planning and Design for Ledyard and Groton, the Ledyard Center Streetscape, the Mystic Seaport Museum, the Groton Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Trails Master Plan, and more.

“Our most successful projects are notable for their collaborations with architects, engineers, artists, open-minded clients and stakeholders,” Kent explains.

Vitality of Community Design

Community design is vital to a vibrant and healthy community. Kent goes on to say, “Successful community design results in projects with positive aesthetic, environmental, social, and economic consequences. Kent + Frost believes in the essential value of public participation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and consensus in the development of creative, yet practical solutions to community needs.”

Always mindful of the restorative power of the garden as a sanctuary from the fast pace of contemporary life, Kent + Frost shapes beautiful landscapes from a palette of earth, plants, wa­ter, architecture, and art. “We are committed to the use of native plants and ecological principles to establish sustainable land­scapes that are appropriate to their place,” Kent adds.

Their web site explains, “A healthy and sustainable landscape that accommodates human uses is an intrinsically beautiful thing in itself. But when the visible elements are carefully composed from harmonious materials like stone, plants, sculptured earth and architecture, the result is especially rewarding. K+F adheres to a philosophy that each site, client, and project program is unique – and therefore, each design solution must be unique – within a framework of appropriateness, practicality and environmental sensitivity.”

Creating Bike and Pedestrian Friendly Environments

Most New England communities suffer from a lack of walkable and bike-friendly streets. Improving the environment for walkers, bicyclists and handicapped persons is a goal Kent + Frost has incorporated as a guiding principle. Bike and walk-friendly streets make economic and quality-of-life good sense. Kent elaborates, “We have provided bike/ped planning services to local communities since 2004 including master planning and Complete Street Policy formulation.” The firm has been involved in local advocacy and Brian Kent is a member of Connecticut’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board.

When asked what is the greatest inspiration in his work, Kent says, “We are inspired by the environmental and social benefits of our built projects.  Our clients and the people who use and enjoy the places we create give us positive feedback and gratitude for our work.”

Enjoying the Landscape

The team at Kent + Frost makes some time to enjoy the landscape in between designing it. “We all strive for a healthy work/life balance. There is a bike rack outside our front door and we often bring a bike to work and take lunchtime or after work rides up River Rd and beyond,” Kent tells us.

Why did they have a visitor with the mystery items? Kent explains that their business home has a fascinating history. “Our office is in a 100 year old blacksmith’s shop.  There’s a historic sign next to the door.  Over the years many businesses have been located here.  Random people will walk in and reminisce about the antique shop, or seamstress, or cabinet maker that they remember here.  One fellow walked in holding mysterious antique metal objects hoping we could tell him what they were used for until he realized we weren’t blacksmiths.”

Clearly, this historic building provides great inspiration for some wonderful work being one right here in Mystic. To learn more about them and see more pictures of their beautiful work, visit http://www.kentfrost.com

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1 High Street
Mystic, CT 06355
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