A Terrace for a Modern Lifestyle: Merging Beauty and Utility

A Terrace for a Modern Lifestyle: Merging Beauty and Utility

with Richardson & Associates

Landscape Construction by, Salmon Falls Nursery and Landscaping 

Photography by Joshua Tompkins

 

This residential project seamlessly integrates a multi–functional outdoor gathering space with modern architecture and a client’s modern lifestyle. An distinctive house of impressive verticality was carefully studied and guided the direction of the project. A collaborative and iterative design process with the client was instrumental to this achievement.

As a key first step to the spatial integration of the old with the new, a stone wall was located at the back of house, of the same character and on same geometric plane, as an existing wall at the front of house. Driven by a modern aesthetic, terrace spaces — fire table gathering, dining, lounging, grilling — are defined but not constrained. Long rectangles of planters and granite blocks define spatial edges, while breaking at key locations, maintaining fluid circulation throughout the terrace. Within the stainless steel planters, cultivars of either Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’ or Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’ switch grass were planted, forming semi-permeable screens. LED strip lights wrap the interior of the planters, softly illuminating the wispy grasses. Salvaged granite, repurposed as outdoor sculpture, links the terrace and Bay.

Strongly influenced by a modern aesthetic — spatial ordering, clean geometry and the juxtaposition of materials — the senses are heightened. The sculptural qualities of the terrace, either viewed from within the home or while occupied, is fully realized through four seasons, day and night.

LET'S CONNECT

 From the terrace to the Bay beyond.

From the terrace to the Bay beyond.

 A fieldstone wall visually unifies the front and back of house while retaining earth for the terrace.

A fieldstone wall visually unifies the front and back of house while retaining earth for the terrace.

 A break in the wall allowing access to the terrace from a footpath.

A break in the wall allowing access to the terrace from a footpath.

 Granite blocks define space and provide seating.

Granite blocks define space and provide seating.

 A harmonious material vocabulary of granite blocks, switch grass, stainless steel planters, and crushed granite surfacing.

A harmonious material vocabulary of granite blocks, switch grass, stainless steel planters, and crushed granite surfacing.

 The crisp corners and luster of stainless steel planters.

The crisp corners and luster of stainless steel planters.

 The linear spatial composition of the terrace was strongly influenced by the existing home.

The linear spatial composition of the terrace was strongly influenced by the existing home.

 Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’.

Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’.

 A simple stone sculpture mediates between house and bay.

A simple stone sculpture mediates between house and bay.

 Repurposed salvaged granite as sculpture.

Repurposed salvaged granite as sculpture.

 Existing trees as foreground to the bay beyond.

Existing trees as foreground to the bay beyond.