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Pacific Palisades, CA

A project in progress, this is a large house on a large lot, in which a giant rocky cascade dominates the transition from the upper main living levels of the house to the lower backyard areas, posing a considerable design challenge. We started by creating a natural courtyard to encompass the upper pond: adding a sycamore to provide canopy, modifying the rockwork, planting a variety of grasses and native perennials, and building a firetable around which to gather. Charred wood (shou sugi ban), a feature of the house architecture, was used for the frontyard and entry fencing that enclose a garden space, with a meadow and tree planting covering the slope on which the house rests. The next phase will focus on the planting and softening of the rock cascade, with ultimate development of the lower backyard garden.

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