Sun Terrace Evolution

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Home and Carriage House constructed at Balsam Mountain Preserve in 2009.  A case study in design process evolution from first schemes to constructed home.  Owners were avid gardeners and even had an extensive compost system that worked.  They sought a gardening friendly environment for vegetable and herb gardening as well as an evolving sense of the site.

Involvement began with scheming the location for buildings and driveway.  Developer had suggested driveway location through the best garden spot on the parcel that owners wanted to preserve where they now keep a timber bench.  Three driveway schemes and site analysis were drawn using placeholder home plan from architect to weigh pros and cons of each.  Construction drawings were assembled based on driveway location selected and construction began.  During home construction, owners expressed a desire for a morning sun coffee terrace large enough for a small table and chairs.

The color landscape concept was developed indicating the Sun Terrace as more an extension of the front walk.  Plans were reviewed on site, yet the owners weren’t comfortable with the location.  It was at this meeting that the final location was determined while watching framers working on the front porch right next to covered outdoor living area (center).  A simple three step access from outdoor living was constructed onto a simple dry-laid boulder slab terrace.  The terrace was connected to walking paths through the native garden via a stone slab bridge across a water feature.

Since this project, I’ve recommended waiting for the Final Landscape Plan until dry-in of the home.  Experience has taught that owners are not typically ready to visualize site and landscape improvements until that time.