Category: Portfolio

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Turning an Empty Bald Hill into an Italian Hillside Village

When I unrolled the drawings, I said to myself ‘this looks like a village’.  From the front of the house there was only a little farmhouse entrance.  However as one travelled further into the spaces, arches and structure, the house would grow and grow.  And so the story began….’There was an old fortification, then support buildings were added.  A church and a town plaza.  A moat and bridge, and an abandoned quarry filled up with water.  Leaking, centuries old dams.’  A truly amazing place.

Old salvaged roof tiles and bricks came in from Italy, along with large terracotta pots.  Centuries old, foot worn stone tile came from a French monastery.  The Town Plaza paving stones came from Turkey.  Fountains were carved in France.  And the golden Tuscan colored building stone came from just north of Tulsa.

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Updating the Garden and Adding Outdoor Rooms

This residential landscape evolved as the client became more interested in incorporating historical garden styles to match the architecture of the building.  The gardens were enhanced, enlarged, and designed in a style that evokes the French countryside and incorporates color and variety.

When the client bought the property it was pretty enough, but it lacked any significant outdoor spaces that one would want to spend time in.  Now there are numerous places where one can sit and contemplate or be active.

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Having Fun in the Rock Outcropping

These clients love to entertain.  This is a place to bring their family and friends and enjoy each other in the sun.  There is plenty to do:  Go down the water slide; relax in the rock spa; sit under the water fall and let it go over your shoulders; climb the rock faces in the water; or sit by the fire at the hole in the rock.  The outdoor ‘palapa’ bar and the ‘cave’ restroom / changing room are outcroppings of the stone formations.  Maybe best of all, due to the expanse of house windows, this garden is a constant part of life from inside the house.

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Casual country lifestyle with minimal maintenance was the client’s request.  The ranch and vineyard are slowly evolving yearly following the master plan that we prepared five years ago.

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Maximizing space at the waters edge was a priority for this small lot.  Decks and a dock, stairs and walls helped to integrate the water to the yard and increase the usable space.  Stone walls and other durable materials were used to combat the destructive forces of water.

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A collection of parts turned into a relaxing oasis

The hillside was unused.  The pool was all by itself.  The neighbors house stood out like a sore thumb.  The family wanted a vegetable garden and a pond.  We connected the parts, enhanced them, and created a wonderfully useful and colorful garden.

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Living Outdoors

Negotiating the slope, creating outdoor living spaces, and screening the pool.  All in a tight space to create a livable and cozy setting.

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Helping to Improve the Presidio One Project at a Time

Whether it is adding simple sidewalks, improving parking lots, enhancing neighborhoods, upgrading ball fields, or bringing the barrack buildings’ landscape and disabled access up to date, helping to improve the San Francisco Presidio has been very gratifying.  We have participated in over 40 separate projects.

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Having fun between the buildings

Situated between two recreation buildings, this area provides a wonderful outdoor experience for a multitude of activities in a relatively small space.  The stream winds its way through the site creating areas for different uses., It creates drama as it travels from calm to rapids, from ‘cliff’ to ‘broad valley’.  The facility feels very comfortable for an individual, yet can accommodate many people.  It has become a very favorite meeting place for the community.

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Outdoor Restaurant

How do you add an outdoor restaurant at the hotel front door and the area is in the parking lot?

  • Add hedging to screen the distractions,
  • Build a structure with vines and infrared heating to create an outdoor space with a ‘roof’
  • Add large palms to call attention to the front door
  • Bring in furniture.
  • Maybe a little vineyard too.