DESIGN GOALS The site was a new construction site in a residential development of Sherwood, Oregon. There was a new deck, the perimeter was fenced with solid 6’ fencing and there were 3 Maples newly planted when we began the project. Effectively, it was a blank slate.
The clients wanted more space to entertain. They wanted more visual privacy from neighbors and also audio privacy from the busy intersection which backed up to the back fence.
CHALLENGES Several neighbors’ houses were sited relatively close to the house and the deck, because it was four feet or so above grade, could be seen easily by the neighbors. However, at grade, the backyard was more private.
The lot sloped from the front to the back approximately 5’ and presented a possible drainage problem if not addressed.
SOLUTIONS A ground level patio was designed a short distance from the house and deck. One corner of the patio was framed by 2 benches not only to provide seating but to create a back edge to the patio. And the patio was sized to accept lounge furniture and possibly a fire pit comfortably.
The issue of the slope was solved by creating a series of COR-TEN retaining walls to level the yard, slow down the transfer of rain water and provide level planting beds.
And audio privacy was attained by creating COR-TEN rills which run nearly the entire length of the yard and drop water into a pool at the bottom of the natural slope of the land. The water then recirculates back to the upper pool. The sound of water creates a layer of noise which overlays the noise from the nearby intersection and it the water provides a water source for wildlife. Both pools at the top and bottom are lit so on warm summer nights they glow and create a soft ambiance. The free standing sculpture on the new patio and the garden shed were added by the clients after the project had been completed.