Queen Anne hill became a popular spot for the city's early economic and cultural elite to build their mansions, and the name derives from the architectural style typical of many of the early homes.
This particular home was not one of those early mansions. It was a modest one-story craftsman built in those early years that was renovated into a three story gracious and tasteful home.
The client requested that the landscape be respectful of the traditional architectural style of the neighborhood, meet their desire for a subtly Asian influenced landscape and maximize the amount of usable outdoor space on this small urban lot. The scope of design work included fencing and gates, a covered back, a roof top deck added to the existing garage, a back patio play and dining space, planting and lighting design.
There were a few surprises on this property during construction. The first was that the adjacent property owner had compromised the structural integrity of a 9’ high retaining wall, which was holding the grade for length of the back yard. The project was halted. KRLA quickly coordinated meetings with the neighbor, the city, the client, a structural engineer; a concrete contractor and the landscape contractor to pulled together a team of experts to address the issue. KRLA obtained permits, procured bids and managed the construction of the wall as well as the entire project. A few months later the project continued as planned. The second surprise was that there were cracks in the back foundation wall of the garage. KRLA consulted with and referred the client to experts in order to provide water proofing membrane and venting for the garage. KRLA provided details for the rooftop railing so as not to compromise the waterproofing or attach to the parapet wall on the garage. The third surprise came when the city would not allow the contractor to crane the large boulder over the garage to the back yard. All access to the back yard had to be by hand. The elevation of the back patio was 9’ above street grade. The creative solution was to cut the stone into three pancake type sections, carry one piece up at a time and reassemble in place.
The Asian influence melded with traditional craftsman details are visible in the fence detailing, bead board ceiling of the porch roof, the stone work, the use of flowering fruit trees, grasses, bamboo, Japanese Black pine and Japanese Maples.
The final result is a highly used, child and dog friendly landscape that compliments the house and meets the client lifestyle needs. It is landscape that is relaxed, functional and family friendly without compromising high quality or style.