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‘ A garden must combine the poetic and the mysterious with serenity and joy’ Louis Barragan
The house and landscape relationship is about motion. It is as much about articulating space as reaching a singular static destination. This home is sited on the highest section of bluff along the Lake Erie shore with the southern coast of Canada 50 miles north. Entry is made through the gate and under an Allee of pleached Pears into a granite cobble and sandstone motor court. The definition and features in this space set the precedent for the high level of detail throughout the project. Pink and salt and pepper granite cobbles with red and buff sandstone accents pave the motor court while mature White Pine provide visual terminus and cypress punctuate the corners. The relationship of the first floor to the site required retaining grade to create both an entry garden off the front stair hall and a dining terrace outside the breakfast and sitting rooms. The vertical separation between the motor court and entry garden disconnects pedestrian and vehicular traffic and further articulates the entry sequence. The dining terrace with its elaborate pavement inlays is positioned slightly above the pool so that views to the lake are unimpeded. The inlays relate the natural slate roof to the ground plane and distinguish the space. An iron gate, lighted from the arbor above separates the motor court from a side garden. Through the gate, a specimen Chinese Dogwood terminates the path’s axis. The visitor is subtly directed through the intimate kitchen garden which is paved with tumbled brick and sandstone setts and contains several espalier fruit trees. First view of the lake is revealed through a second iron gate and arbor, covered with pink and white climbing Roses and autumn Clematis. The basement bistro opens to an intimate lower terrace where a glass mosaic spa and fountain are concealed from view in the upper garden. A 19th century carved stone figure of Bacchus is integrated into the space’s retaining wall. Several steps with custom iron railing lead from the pool house into the space and from the spa terrace up to the swimming pool terrace. The swimming pool’s glass mosaic pattern relates to the overall project’s inherent geometry. The pool terrace acts as promontory with sweeping views of the lake and urban skyline. The overall design is informed by the intimacy and detail required of the scale and by the client’s intent to use the home to entertain on a large scale for benefit of social causes. The design is a study of richly detailed unified indoor and outdoor spatial sequences.