Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JAN 2018

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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This residential design project is located in Trabuco Canyon, an unincorporated community in the foothills of south Orange County, California. The backyard joins up with the 2,500-acre Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. Because the property is long and narrow, tapering towards the end, one of the primary design goals in this project was to open up the view to the park, making the property "borrow" the view and create a transition from residential property to park. The clients wanted a pool of suitable size for daily lap swimming, combined with a spa to provide after-hours comfort and relaxation, and an opportunity to enjoy the view. A gas fireplace anchors the dining area off the kitchen and dining room, and a redwood patio cover provides afternoon shade for dining and the rooms at the back of the house. Broken concrete, recycled from this project and others close by, form raised planters for vegetable gardening. Within the enlarged central entertaining space, are several intimate seating and dining areas, centered around the pool and spa. The property is divided in two by a change in grade and a glass fence for pool safety. This division, through a set of staggered concrete steps, marks the transition from public and more human dominated space to private and more nature dominated space. The "lower 48," as the homeowners call the lower half of the property, is intended to be a quiet area for reading, working, and viewing the larger landscape. A swath of meadow draws your eye out from the upper lawn to the transition to true chaparral. 76 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Left: Seen from the dining patio, the Bella Blue Pebble Fina pool is a jewel in the California native landscape. An automatic pool cover provides significant energy savings. Heuchera maxima and broken concrete walls frame the view upon entering the property from the side yard. One red stucco wall frames the pool on the left. Two other red walls (at right and behind the firepit at a right angle to the pool) frame the view on the right. Middle: Staggered concrete steps lead from the lower, more natural area to the spa and pool. A large existing oak tree frames the view on the left, and the fireplace provides massing and screening on the right. Right: The upper, more manicured human centered landscape transitions to the lower, natural landscape that abuts open space. Curving decomposed granite and flagstone paths let the owners slow down and experience the California native plants in the area they call the "lower 48." Meadow and chaparral plantings continue the open feeling from the lawn down to the property line.

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