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Mid-Century Modern Landscape Design

See how this home got a mid-century modern landscape design to match the architecture of the house.

A video transcript featuring Joseph Huettl, Huettl Landscape Architecture

This project involved a mid-century modern home which was built by the developer, Joseph Eichler. Eichler was a developer who after the mid-century and post-war, he decided to do some modern concepts in his developments, and this house exemplifies that. He used different architects along the way, but the main thing his houses had was a lot of indoor-outdoor relationships with glass walls. Some of them have atriums and the houses really take advantage of the California climate and the potential for outdoor living. Unfortunately, as these neighborhoods have aged, many people have remodeled their homes over time and compromised the aesthetics, and otherwise they just haven't taken advantage of that indoor-outdoor relationship.

On this project, the homeowners are very big fans of the Eichler style and aesthetic and wanted to extend that out and take advantage of the size of the lot to increase their outdoor living. We incorporated a series of walls, allowing us to define spaces to create buffer between them and the neighbors. And part of it was to capture an additional front yard space and create a courtyard effect where one did not exist before.

Wall design and materialsWhen we started the project, they had this wonderful Hollywood Juniper tree that was quite sculptural. They had an existing small outdoor patio, and then they just had a lot of junipers and the patio didn't really provide any privacy. And they wanted to really utilize the potential for living outside in the front yard. One of the techniques for doing that was to create these series of walls, and we designed these walls to be this sculptural composition of overlaps, and we used two materials. One was a ground-faced block which has been integrally colored, and that blockwork has been used in the past with Eichler and mid-century homes. We wanted to use blockwork, but we wanted to upgrade the material, and by finding a ground-faced block you get a very smooth surface and it just has a higher-end feel than a regular block. And then to contrast the grid of the blockwork, the walls that are perpendicular to the house are of a steel-troweled stucco. So you have these overlapping junctures where you get to see the materials play off each other.

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