Jack Patterson Residence

Winner of the Planet Professional Landcare Network's 2009 Environmental Improvement Merit Award

The customer had, up til this point, lived on a quiet street backing up to an overgrown nursery. The approval of a new three lane connector road running between them and their neighbor changed this status to that of a corner lot with little or no privacy in their back yard. To make matters worse, their back porch angled towards the new road, rather than away from it, and was elevated, making it difficult to provide screening. Faced with these changes, the customer was considering selling their dream home and moving to another location.

The customer employed our company to see if a plan could be developed that would enable them to stay in their home and still have the privacy they desired. They wanted a swimming pool and adequate space for entertaining guests. Due to the height of the back porch, and the amount of slope in the back yard, they were concerned as to how many steps would be involved between the porch and the pool.

We addressed the elevation issue by constructing a retaining wall and raising the elevation of the pool higher than they originally thought. We split the pool deck into two levels and placed an arbor and fireplace on the lower level. The fireplace and arbor were centered on the axis of view from the back porch and the fireplace provided a focal point to be seen from the house.

The top of the spa was constructed flush with the upper pool deck to make it more accessible. The waterfall from the spa provided background noise needed to help mitigate the effects of the increased noise pollution caused by the new road. It also provided a focal point from the sitting area by the fireplace under the arbor. The arbor structure provided the shade needed to make the new outdoor living space comfortable in the summer.

A fountain centerpiece was added at the walk intersection at the base of the steps and served as the third focal point. Together with the fireplace and the spa, these three focal points formed a triad which defined the three axis of our design.

The greatest challenge was providing adequate evergreen screening between their home and the new road. We were able to do this by providing several layers of screening in depth with the first line of evergreens being that of a row of Yoshino Cryptomeria parallel with the arbor to provide a thick layer of greenery. Large pines were planted below the wall in the open space buffer between the pool and the road.

Outdoor lighting was a principle component of the screening plan and was used to uplight plant materials between the outdoor living area and the road.

Download and view project drawing here

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