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Guy Ayers, Architect
Reverse Shed Eichler This project is part tear-down, part remodel. The original L-shaped plan allowed the living/ dining/ kitchen wing to be completely re-built while retaining the shell of the bedroom wing virtually intact. The rebuilt entertainment wing was enlarged 50% and covered with a low-slope reverse-shed roof sloping from eleven to thirteen feet. The shed roof floats on a continuous glass clerestory with eight foot transom. Cantilevered steel frames support wood roof beams with eaves of up to ten feet. An interior glass clerestory separates the kitchen and livingroom for sound control. A wall-to-wall skylight illuminates the north wall of the kitchen/family room. New additions at the back of the house add several “sliding” wall planes, where interior walls continue past full-height windows to the exterior, complimenting the typical Eichler indoor-outdoor ceiling and floor planes. The existing bedroom wing has been re-configured on the interior, changing three small bedrooms into two larger ones, and adding a guest suite in part of the original garage. A previous den addition provided the perfect spot for a large master ensuite bath and walk-in closet. Natural materials predominate, with fir ceilings, limestone veneer fireplace walls, anigre veneer cabinets, fir sliding windows and interior doors, bamboo floors, and concrete patios and walks. Landscape design by Bernard Trainor: www.bernardtrainor.com (see “Concrete Jungle” in April 2014 edition of Dwell magazine). Microsoft Media Center installation of the Year, 2008: www.cybermanor.com/ultimate_install.html (automated shades, radiant heating system, and lights, as well as security & sound).
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Exterior Worlds Landscaping & Design
This shade arbor, located in The Woodlands, TX north of Houston, spans the entire length of the back yard. It combines a number of elements with custom structures that were constructed to emulate specific aspects of a Zen garden. The homeowner wanted a low-maintenance garden whose beauty could withstand the tough seasonal weather that strikes the area at various times of the year. He also desired a mood-altering aesthetic that would relax the senses and calm the mind. Most importantly, he wanted this meditative environment completely shielded from the outside world so he could find serenity in total privacy. The most unique design element in this entire project is the roof of the shade arbor itself. It features a “negative space” leaf pattern that was designed in a software suite and cut out of the metal with a water jet cutter. Each form in the pattern is loosely suggestive of either a leaf, or a cluster of leaves. These small, negative spaces cut from the metal are the source of the structure’ powerful visual and emotional impact. During the day, sunlight shines down and highlights columns, furniture, plantings, and gravel with a blend of dappling and shade that make you feel like you are sitting under the branches of a tree. At night, the effects are even more brilliant. Skillfully concealed lights mounted on the trusses reflect off the steel in places, while in other places they penetrate the negative spaces, cascading brilliant patterns of ambient light down on vegetation, hardscape, and water alike. The shade arbor shelters two gravel patios that are almost identical in space. The patio closest to the living room features a mini outdoor dining room, replete with tables and chairs. The patio is ornamented with a blend of ornamental grass, a small human figurine sculpture, and mid-level impact ground cover. Gravel was chosen as the preferred hardscape material because of its Zen-like connotations. It is also remarkably soft to walk on, helping to set the mood for a relaxed afternoon in the dappled shade of gently filtered sunlight. The second patio, spaced 15 feet away from the first, resides adjacent to the home at the opposite end of the shade arbor. Like its twin, it is also ornamented with ground cover borders, ornamental grasses, and a large urn identical to the first. Seating here is even more private and contemplative. Instead of a table and chairs, there is a large decorative concrete bench cut in the shape of a giant four-leaf clover. Spanning the distance between these two patios, a bluestone walkway connects the two spaces. Along the way, its borders are punctuated in places by low-level ornamental grasses, a large flowering bush, another sculpture in the form of human faces, and foxtail ferns that spring up from a spread of river rock that punctuates the ends of the walkway. The meditative quality of the shade arbor is reinforced by two special features. The first of these is a disappearing fountain that flows from the top of a large vertical stone embedded like a monolith in the other edges of the river rock. The drains and pumps to this fountain are carefully concealed underneath the covering of smooth stones, and the sound of the water is only barely perceptible, as if it is trying to force you to let go of your thoughts to hear it. A large piece of core-10 steel, which is deliberately intended to rust quickly, rises up like an arced wall from behind the fountain stone. The dark color of the metal helps the casual viewer catch just a glimpse of light reflecting off the slow trickle of water that runs down the side of the stone into the river rock bed. To complete the quiet moment that the shade arbor is intended to invoke, a thick wall of cypress trees rises up on all sides of the yard, completely shutting out the disturbances of the world with a comforting wall of living greenery that comforts the thoughts and emotions.
Welcome Home Design Group
Coates Design Architecture + Interiors
Backyard fire pit. Taken by Lara Swimmer. Landscape Design by ModernBackyard
As with the lounge, the outdoor dining room is defined by the shift in ground-level materials from the precast pavers with joints to saltillo tile. Table by KS Designs
Hobbs' Ink, LLC
This Neo-prairie style home with its wide overhangs and well shaded bands of glass combines the openness of an island getaway with a “C – shaped” floor plan that gives the owners much needed privacy on a 78’ wide hillside lot. Photos by James Bruce and Merrick Ales.
California Home + Design
Landscape architect Andrea Cochran added warmth to this outdoor living space with a long modern fireplace. Photo by Marion Brenner for California Home + Design
K West Images, Interior and Garden Photography
Photo: ©Kelly Horkoff, K West Images www.kwestimages.com
Clarke - New England’s Sub-Zero & Wolf Showroom
This outdoor kitchen includes a Wolf barbecue. See and try this equipment when planning your New England outdoor kitchen. http://www.clarkeshowrooms.com
The brief for this garden design in Glasnevin Dublin was to create a beautiful family garden that incorporated a new garden office studio. We created a design that allows multiple uses of the space, functional for all the family from working days to relaxing evenings. The large south-facing patio is ideal for the sun worshippers in the house. Summers at this house are for family BBQs with their nearest and dearest and chilled-out late nights with a great company by the Firepit.
Alderwood Landscape Architecture and Construction
Hoping to make better use of their large backyard, these homeowners contacted us for the wooden retreat of their dreams! With an outdoor swim spa, custom outdoor structure, and two fire pits, this luxury landscape provides the perfect "getaway." Features that are unique to this property include a gorgeous palm tree, a crusher cone fire pit, and a custom-designed covered structure. The dog run was also added in such a place to be accessible from the enlarged deck, allowing for easy canine access. Our clients are thrilled with their new backyard space! With it checking off each item on their list, they can now enjoy their outdoor entertaining space for years to come!