Lafayette Backyard: Project Profile

The owner of this Lafayette property wanted to demolish the existing backyard structures and completely redesign the yard. They wanted to include a new garage, outdoor kitchen, lounge, patio, swimming pool with a waterfall, cabaña and fireplace covered with a mechanical, louvered trellis. They wanted the new work to complement their existing craftsman style house, while remaining a calm and clean-lined design.

Since this was a landscape-heavy project, I brought in Joseph Huettl, the landscape architect, and collaborated with him to establish the site layout and detailing.

Each structure had different levels of detailing. The garage was a stripped-down version of the existing hip-roofed house and the fireplace/kitchen/lounge trellis and cabaña had flat roofs, which were expressed with modernist detailing. The buildings were laid out so the outdoor fireplace and lounge were adjacent to the house. The garage was placed further from the house, and the pool and cabaña were furthest. This created a pattern of alternating traditional and modern structures in a comfortable progression away from the house.

A major problem arose when we found that since the garage required a double-width car access, it pushed the kitchen/lounge structure to the center of the house, blocking the view of the yard. We solved this by allowing a 10ft. wide driveway to pass the house and garage to a motor court which accessed the garage from the rear. This freed the space between the house and garage for the kitchen/lounge area, allowing views of the pool from the house.

We stained he wood structures to match the existing house colors. The wall which screens the motor court behind the garage and carries the fountain, was built of stone to match the house, and the patios were rendered in limestone matching existing paving. This unified the project into strong visual continuum.

Andre Ptaszynski, AIA, Architect
Joseph Huettl, Landscape Architect
Asha Engineers, Structural Engineer
Midas Construction, Builder
Envision Landscape Studio, Landscape Construction
Riviera Pools, Pool Construction
Joseph Huettl, Photography

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