Robinson Residence

Pictures 1 through 3

Winner in the Private Residential Design, 2500 to 5000 sq. ft. Category

This lovely, classically formal brick home had minimal existing landscaping and the site itself presented some challenges. In the front yard the homeowners and their guests had to walk down the narrow driveway to the sidewalk and then come back up the central walk to the door because of the lack of a path and the grade difference between the driveway and the entrance. The backyard was very shallow and lacked privacy and didn't provide an attractive view from inside the home.

In addition to resolving these issues the homeowner wanted to to respect the symmetrical appearance of the house in the landscaping, widen the driveway slightly to allow people to walk passed parked cars and to eliminate the lawn. In the backyard the wish list included the incorporation of a hot tub, the creation of a cooking, dining and sitting areas, a small shed and a water feature as well as perennials and shrubs for colour.

The final result was a semi formal front garden with a walk from the street and access both to the driveway and around the other side of the house to the new shed. In the backyard the new hot tub is accessible directly from the existing deck and the barbeque is conveniently located near the house and the new outdoor dining area. The water feature is visible as a reflecting pool from the deck and as a sheer descent fall from the sitting area. The lattice panels are strategically located to provide privacy where needed and the balance of the yard is enclosed with pre-finished metal fencing.


Urban Paradise

Pictures 4 through 7

Winner in the Private Residential Design, 5000 sq. ft. or More Category

In addition to creating an attractive outdoor living space these clients had a series of issues with their yard that needed to be addressed with a comprehensive re-design.

The driveway was nearly level from the garage floor to the curb which led to ice buildup on the driveway and runoff into the garage. Rather than raising the garage floor and door the water issues were addressed with the creation of a permeable pavement driveway which will act as a reservoir for the water runoff from the walk area and prevent water from running into the garage.

The other issue in the front yard was the access along the side of the driveway for pedestrians. The three family cars plus frequent visitors significantly impeded access from the front of the house to the street, especially in winter. This was addressed by creating a paving stone walk along the side of the drive and an enlarged front entry area.

Additional requests were for a larger front landing, a sitting area at the front of the house and that the existing plants be maintained or re-used where possible.

At the side and back of the house the existing deck had reached the end of its life and was due to be demolished. The upper deck was to be replaced and enlarged, with a single run of steps at the side of the house.

Since the deck stairs would no longer continue down to the backyard landscape steps needed to be created. The existing hot tub was also to be removed and replaced with a new model which would be accessed from the lower level of the house.

Privacy for the new hot tub was a consideration due to the pending removal of the cedar fence along the back of the yard with the municipal chain link fence along a pedestrian path beyond remaining.

The additional feature that the clients wanted to incorporate was a water garden with a stream flowing down the existing slope at the side of the house to a water feature near the patio. Due to the expense of this size of a project the design was structured to allow for the portion of the water feature adjacent to the patio to be constructed as phase one, with the stream and additional lower section of the water feature to be added at a later time.


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