2013 Merit Award Smith Residence Coen + Partners
Project Location: Credit River, Minnesota Category: Residential Design Additional Credits: Contractor - Scott Frampton, Landscape Renovations Pool contractor - Lance Ness, Pisces Pools Located within the mixed prairie and agricultural landscape of southern Minnesota, the Smith Residence landscape design is a response to the clientâ€™s desire to accommodate both large social functions and small, family gatherings. A simple, flexible layout consists of gardens, expansive terraces, and a raised-edge swimming pool to counter the dramatic, curving facades of the home and pool house, grounding the architecture to the site. A bold rectangular plinth was conceived in response to the existing locations of the home and pool house, as well as to the topography of the site. Intensive hardscape and planting intervention were restricted to this area while the landscape beyond was restored to its native prairie origins with a carefully selected seed mix. The programmatic desires of the client were to create distinct connections across the site while protecting small areas of privacy and retreat. In response to these needs, the landscape architect designed a band of Whitespire Birch and Autumn Joy Sedum to form a dividing line between the entertainment terrace at the front entry of the home, and the recreational lawn. This plant pairing carries through the site.
An elevated pool and spa in the rear terrace is inspired by the Japanese soaking tub within the houseâ€™s master suite. The 12-inch raised edge of the pools adds an unexpected verticality to the main terrace that accentuates the strong horizontality of the site and landscape beyond. The overall planting design uses just a small selection of common landscape species combined into tight grids, patches and undulating carpets. Additionally, the seasonal changes in the plants along with a winter carpet of snow provide year-round interest. The majority of the property was seeded with a native prairie mix, which, once established, will not require regular maintenance or irrigation, and will provide a patch of important habitat for native species and migratory birds.
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