2021 Merit Award
Large-Scale Residential Design
Renee Byers, Landscape Architect, P.C.
Grade NYC Archer Engineering, P.C.
Hudson Engineering and Consulting, P.C.
About the Project:
An unremarkable, suburban environment was transformed by creating a lush, amenity-filled family garden united to the home. In the process, a small yet important tributary to the Bronx River bisecting the lot was protected and enhanced. The lines between interior and exterior spaces were blurred through continual physical and visual links between the two. Collaboration with the architects gave character and functionality to both the house and grounds. Despite a one-story slope from front to back, grades were manipulated to create wheelchair access for the client’s disabled brother. Riparian plantings and a new stone bridge over the brook now beckon the visitor to explore—the creek now a highlight, rather than the barrier it was originally considered by the owners.
Image Credits for Creekside Residence
Image #2: Zillow.com
All other photographs were taken by
All plan and section graphics by
Renee Byers, Landscape Architect, PC
Special Factors & Additional Information:
After making the move from city to suburbs, a young family asked that we reimagine the entire site for entertaining, privacy and play. Wheelchair accessibility was required, but needed to appear nestled, not forced onto the land. The sizable house and sloping 1.2 acres lacked character, privacy, and good flow. The rear lawn was split from the pool area by a fenced, narrow stream bisecting the property. Decaying wood decking, brick walls, patios and a poorly executed swimming pool made for an unappealing, overbuilt hardscape.
In collaboration with the architects, we selected the house veneer and paving stone and laid out a sequence of spaces emanating from the upper and lower levels adjacent to the house, filled with careful details that combine to achieve the goal of an accessible, stylish, yet watershed-sensitive garden, exceeding all client requirements. Beneath the new upper terrace and porches is a renovated walk-out basement, accessed by a down- ramp near the grill area. Situated just above the new lower-level family room, a spacious stone pool terrace was re-organized around a transplanted specimen Japanese maple and custom firepit. Impermeable surfaces were greatly reduced, a rain garden and stormwater infiltration system were constructed. Undulating stone walls were built to replace the former brick walls that border the stream’s edge; a stone bridge with a grass walking surface now unites the pool area to the great lawn. Riparian plantings buffer the creek, a key drainage and wildlife corridor leading to the river.
Framed vistas were created to capture garden views from multiple vantage points. The spa and pool interior were reconfigured and finished in deep gray to reflect the sky and plantings. The contemporary lines of bluestone plank paving are softened with luxuriant foliage in painterly drifts, blurring the lines between architecture and garden in an elegant montage.