This project illustrates three alternative design solutions for a front yard. Unlike the previous two examples, this project varies the client and design program, yet the site remains unchanged. The base map for this project is shown in Figure 14-16. The front of the house faces southeast with a direct view to the water. A small 50-foot­wide beach is located approximately 200 feet from their property. There will be a de­tached garage at the rear of the property to house two cars, a small boat, and a golf cart. An existing concrete driveway, in good condition, is located along the southern part of the property. It extends to the backyard and connects to the garage. The eleva­tion from the sidewalk to the ground near the front door changes by approximately 3 feet. A sloped area that extends across the front yard may need to be modified to in­corporate the client’s wishes. Underground water and gas lines are shown on the base map. Four young maple trees are located at various places in the front. Although the clients may want to save them, they can be transplanted. The adjacent houses are about the same size as this residence and are set back from the street approximately 50 feet. The owners of each adjacent property are quite friendly and look forward to hav­ing another new house with new neighbors next door to them.




Major Design Aspects

Form. This entire design was developed with a rectangular theme.

As a powerful architectural form, this design allows for some very

strong symmetry. Several axes in the design include:

• One at the site entry

• One that is parallel to the front of the house and runs from the fence through the entry court and into the formal garden

• One that extends from the space immediately outside the front door into the formal garden

• One that links the front door, through the entry walk and out into the front lawn

• One that is in line with a view out the formal dining room window and through the formal garden

Vehicular Circulation. The drive was situated to the far northwest of

the property to maximize lawn and planting areas in the front yard.

In addition to space necessary to park three cars in front of the garage, two more parking spaces are located immediately adjacent to these and with adequate back-up space.

Entry Court. An entry space is defined by a low hedge, central paving, and steps up to the upper entry level. There is a bench lo­cated on this upper level to allow for outdoor sitting and viewing into the formal garden. Access to the formal garden is from both the lower and upper entry spaces.

Formal Garden. The formal garden is centered on axis with the for­mal dining room. It is defined by a low hedge, similar to the entry space, and incorporates a narrow walk throughout the entire garden. A grouping of trees adjacent to the formal garden provides strong privacy from the neighbors.

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Major Design Aspects

Form. A series of semicircular forms are used to define a lawn panel, planting areas, the formal garden, and the walkway. Together, these forms establish a softer landscape character than Alternative #1, which used a rectangular pattern for all hardscape edges and planting beds.

Vehicular Circulation. This alternative illustrates another approach to maximizing lawn and planting area. Vehicular access and parking are pushed close to the property line, yet still allowing enough space for easy exit. Plantings are massed near the entry to the site to help separate the driveway visually from the street.

Entry Court. The front entry space is divided into two walkways around a central tree, providing a canopy as one walks from the driveway into the entry space. The entry space is generous and focuses attention on the front door, with access to the front lawn.

Formal Garden. The formal garden is designed to be part of the entry experience. A narrow walkway wraps around the formal garden and provides a central focal point in the formal garden, which could be an ornamental urn, a small sculpture, or a small water fountain.

Major Design Aspects

Form. A rectangular design theme is used to create a dominant entry/drop-off space near the front entry to the house.

Vehicular Circulation. A U-shaped driveway is incorporated to allow easy entrance in and out of the site, without backing up. Plenty of space is provided for three cars to park in front of the garage. The two additional parking spaces are located off the drop­off area near the front entry.

Entry Court. This scheme establishes a large entry/drop-off space with a few different materials to create patterns that reflect the design theme. The entry court is separated from the front lawn by a combi­nation of low rectangular hedge and a low decorative fence.

Formal Garden. The formal garden is located directly outside the formal living room and formal dining room. The garden is de­signed to reflect the windows in these rooms. Again, a narrow walkway exists for easy access to the garden from the main steps outside the front door.

Major Design Aspects

Form. Most of the forms in this alternative are curvilinear, except for the entry and formal garden. This provides for an overall softer setting for the house than some of the other more structured design themes.

Vehicular Circulation. The driveway is placed near the center of the property to allow for easy access to the garage and to the additional parking spaces. A back-up area is provided for ease of exiting the site without backing into the street.

Entry Court. This scheme situates the front walk adjacent to the parking spaces and centers the front walk on the formal garden, providing a strong visual focal point as one approaches the front door. Additional access from the driveway is also provided.

Formal Garden. The formal garden focuses on the formal dining room and from the walkway by the driveway. A focal point with a walkway around it emphasizes the entrance into the garden.

Updated: October 16, 2015 — 5:12 pm