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Modern Landscape Design

Tour this modern landscape design created by landscape architect Joseph Huettl for Swatt Architects.

A video transcript featuring Joseph Huettl, Huettl Landscape Architecture

This project was involved in a new house design by Swatt Architects, and basically this house is like a piece of modern sculpture. It has volumes and masses and compositions which are very sculptural. At the same time it's great for living, with lots of indoor-outdoor relationships. The architects designed a series of volumes that relate to individual outdoor spaces, and the architects had some ideas in mind already with patio spaces and walkways based on concrete. We introduced a walk-across water feature, some flush hardwood decking, and a raised terrace and then a series of parallel walls to help retain the back slope and provide a little sense of enclosure.

The plantings here are very regional in nature, and we wanted to address the sort of dry, hot western climate that's found in this area. So we used a lot of ornamental grasses, manzanita, some olive trees that are found in the area, a few flowering perennials to give some color.

Expanding the indoors to the outsideFor the layout for this project, first of all we involved some concept from the architect. We worked off of the house plan to expand the indoor living spaces to the outside. The property is quite large; it's about seven acres. But with the budget and scope, we wanted to restrict the landscaped areas to the areas most adjacent to the house and then let it bleed out into the surrounding landscape with the planting.

We decided to keep the hardscape fairly subtle and not flashy, and the chosen hardscape material then was an integral-colored concrete with a light, sandwashed finish and the patio areas were fairly solid. The pathways, we wanted to break them up into small pads to give more of a segmented-line approach as opposed to a solid-line approach, less of a runway feel, and create a pattern and a rhythm.

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