Contemporary split level
Landscaping this striking modern split-level involved taking cues from the natural space as well as careful consultation with architects, engineers, and the homeowner. This project challenged us to combine a natural plant palette with a modernist house for a cohesive design. The planting design blended low-maintenance approaches with a contemporary design feel to reinforce the architectural sensibilities of the house.
In looking at the original space and imagining all possibilities required working closely with the architect, builder, and property owner. From project scoping to finishing touches, a commitment to detail and precise execution delivered this dramatic transformation. The concept of the front of the home, in contrast to the original residence, was to be bold, modern, and with a high degree of symmetry. Removal of older trees provided for a clean slate and ample, direct light. Stone pillars announce the beginning of the bluestone walkway that climbs the incline two steps at a time through the expansive turf. A dark brick-paver driveway provides a rich contrast to the white home and light slate roof.
On any small property, the challenge is to create usable spaces and not have it feel cluttered. Privacy, sun/shade conditions, and drainage are additional issues that need to be considered throughout the design process. For this Chicago residence, the client was looking to restore the property by creating a colorful front courtyard to welcome friends and family year-round, as well as a private retreat in the rear yard for rest and relaxation. Unifying the detached garage with the house, and screening off the undesirable alley views and utilities were key components to the success of the design.
Nestled against an existing pond, this property had the charm and atmosphere one might look for in a back yard, yet it lacked the aesthetic and functionality desired by this growing family. So when asked to design an outdoor retreat fit to entertain both large groups and small family gatherings, it seemed only appropriate to address the home’s surroundings by visually incorporating the “borrowed” landscape.
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2001 Spring Road, Suite 150
Oak Brook, IL 60523