The clients, a professor of anthropology, specializing in East Asian Archaeology, and a librarian/ researcher born in Kyoto, wished for a home that would: showcase their existing English Garden; conserve the site’s resources and evoke a spatial and cultural dialogue about the relationship between house and landscape. Most of all, they envisioned a home that would remain ‘timeless’ and rooted in the great traditions of Northwest modernism, and that would blur the lines between landscape and architecture.
To celebrate the owners’ love of gardening the architecture purposefully references historic aspects of landscape design. The L shaped layout and existing ‘day cabin’ creates an outdoor courtyard terrace that is raised above the existing garden by a 75 cm high rustic stone wall hand constructed by the owners. This wall evokes ‘haha’ walls of the English Landscape Garden Style used to separate pastoral landscapes from agricultural lands beyond without visual interruption.
The four degree shift in the foundation at the rear of the house creates a ‘forced perspective’, within the home’s two gallery spaces (an Italian technique used during the renaissance used to exaggerate a garden’s length).
The small 60x60cm windows in the concrete wall frame small views of the granite ridge and rock garden beyond and are suggestive of Chinese walled gardens. The concrete stepping stones at the entry and wood frames that support the wooden roof structure suggest a Japanese approach to garden design by creating pause and repose as one travels into and through the home.
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