Landscape Architect & Specifier News

NOV 2017

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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Site Analysis The landscape architect observed the site sloped toward the house and contracted a civil engineer to create a topographic site survey, along with review of any grade changes she proposed. The transit readings demonstrated the back of the property was eight feet higher than the finished floor of the house, which resulted in a 6% grade change along the length of the backyard. The grade made it difficult to place tables and chairs for guests to sit comfortably. After researching the walking trail northwest of the site, which had been marked with signage as a trail for over 20 years, the landscape architect learned there was no trail easement designated, which allowed its removal. Design Concept After analyzing options for the project, the final design concept was to start at the rear property with the rough, natural terrain of the hillside. As the design proceeded closer toward the front of the property, it became more traditional and formal. The rear property was divided into terraces to minimize the water flowing toward the house. The areas from rear to front: • Fruit orchard • Relaxing natural space doubling as an entertainment area, with a 50-foot stream, ponds and waterfalls • Open turf space/dog area with a graded swale, dry water bed with catch basins to drain water across and around the site • The main entertainment zone • Cutting garden with updated plants, seating and lighting • Office garden • Inviting formal entrance to the home • Formal curb appeal from the street Natural Areas By merely adding an orchard of deciduous fruit bearing trees, the rear tip of the property embraces a natural landscape. A small level seating area was designed in front of twin weeping mulberry trees to provide a view to the rear of the house. The first waterfall was designed next to the sitting area. 54 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Continued on page 74 Above & Top Right: Other amenities designed were a custom fountain; planters with additional citrus trees; a sitting area with love seats; and a 14 foot by 26 foot second story balcony with iron railings and spiral staircase. The structure was designed with arched stucco pillars similar to the front of the house. The balcony doubles as an outdoor dining room below to offer an enclosed eating area. The tongue and groove wood ceiling was carefully engineered to accommodate can lighting and built-in Infratech heaters. A chandelier hangs over a ten (10) foot long custom built alder table. Custom hardwood gates were also designed from alder. All were built by Ed Cunningham. Across from the interior dining room is a ten (10) foot tall custom fireplace and sitting area. Bottom, Right: Recycled broken concrete from the demolition was designed for two new uses: retaining walls and steps to build terraces; and walkways through the more natural areas. The concrete was stained to mimic the appearance of natural stone. Ponds and streams throughout the site were done by Mystic Water Gardens.

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