A hallmark of a good designer is the ability to work with both nature and existing site features. Most of our client’s sites are relatively flat, so we work hard to create interest in them. But when presented with a site that has over 15 feet of slope and a gorgeous river view, we knew the work of creating interest was already taken care of.
We layered five terraces over the existing terrain, careful to reduce the number of stone retaining walls. From the backdoor, you gently descend from the covered patio, to the pool deck and lounge area, down the lowered seating wall. From there, we proceed down a set of steps to the fire pit terrace, and finally down to the lawn. In the future, a staircase will be built to connect the yard to a dock at the river below.
To lessen the visual scale of the 3-storey house, we built a pergola near the back of the home. The ceiling created by the pergola lends a sense of calm and lowers the sight line from the roof of the house. Using the same vertical metal cladding from the home’s exterior on the pergola’s siding, as well as the elevated and lowered sections of the pool, creates a visual symmetry in the built landscape. The pergola shades a relaxing seating area and offers a tucked away space for pool mechanical equipment while creating subtle privacy for the pool area from the neighbouring home. To preserve natural resources, we also designed and installed a rain garden to catch rainwater, ground water, pool overflow, pool waste, and down spouts. We filled the rain garden with drain rock and river rock and installed moisture-tolerant native plants throughout.