When given the opportunity to work collaboratively with the client, architects, engineers and contractors, we are able design new homes that take maximum advantage of the site from the very first schematic plans through the planting of the last perennial. By developing the landscape master plan in conjunction with the architectural plans, we work together through the mundane issues such as utility and septic location, drainage, car and fire truck access and the grading of the site and house foundation levels. This allows us to organize and sculpt the site in a way that maximizes outdoor spaces that welcome visitors and that are an extension of the interior architecture. Working in concert with the client and other professionals provides an opportunity to get everything right from the beginning.
This Northwest Style rural estate south of Eugene takes advantage of stunning 360-degree views of the Cascade and Coast Ranges and the Willamette Valley. The L-shaped design of the house allows for unimpeded views of the borrowed landscape while creating a space that is protected from the wind. The home rests on a hilltop and is sited to embrace a man-made stream and pond. Its doors, windows and outdoor living spaces overlook these water features and the diverse parade of birds and wildlife that they attract. The serpentine entry drive choreographs an arrival sequence that slowly reveals the landscape and -- only upon arrival -- the breath-taking views. Artful grading tucks the driveway below a bank, making it invisible from the house so as not to disrupt the meadow views of the Cascade Range. At night, subtle landscape and architectural lighting lends an operatic touch to the driveway that guides visitors to parking and the front entry.
Stone terraces and wainscoting on the house exterior reflect the colors of the landscape and anchor the home in its natural environment. Wide landscape stairs draw visitors into the meadows, dissolving the borders between the cultivated native and ornamental plantings near the residence and natural landscape. Architectural structures extend into the landscape, providing shelter on this exposed site. The dock and boathouse on the pond, the hot tub pavilion near the master suite, and the sheltered terrace with outdoor grill and gas fire pit are all sited to capitalize on the estate’s superior views.
Below this seemingly simple naturalistic meadow landscape, an intricately designed infrastructure is camouflaged by careful planning and sculpting of the land, letting function inform the design. Beneath the home lies an elaborate plumbing system for water needs (household, irrigation, fire- fighting water supply and access, geo-thermal heating lines, well water filtration treatment & storage, water feature plumbing, as well as septic), the electrical systems, and engineered soil to support both buildings and the dam for the pond.
Plants were chosen to accommodate the site’s wind and sun exposure, the presence of deer, and a desire to mimic the surrounding native landscapes that include brush, forest, and wildflower meadows. Through the collaborative design and construction process, this multi-faceted site plan allowed our clients to build a gracious estate that is in harmony with its natural context, creating the impression that it was always meant to be there.More