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Water’s Edge by Candid Rogers, AIA Project Rockridge Gardens, San Antonio Clients Emma and Toby Calvert Architect Tobin Smith Architect Design Team Tobin Smith, AIA; J. Brantley Hightower, AIA Photographers Kemp Davis and Mark Menjivar

Embedded in a cliff, a concrete spline ties a rock wall into stable ground and supports a perfectly pitched pool jutting out above a park basin. The newly fortified landscape, with its sublime view, is the rear garden of a 1958 O’Neil Forddesigned home. Tobin Smith, AIA, principal of Dado Group, designed the new garden. The project addressed the integration of the front parking court, intimate inner courtyards, and rear garden. With a restrained material palette, Smith was able to articulate the grounds as a harmonizing architectural landscape of linear elements that work seamlessly with the mid-century house. Tile, rock, and steel surfaces weave around the house, through the inner courts, and out onto the great platform that is the central pool. The precise stitching of the paving reflects the many lines of Ford’s brick masonry walls, echoing the interior spaces of the outdoor site. The tactile

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experience offers richness in its composition. New elements are employed with great subtleness, creating a layered experience. And this play with emotions is most strongly felt at dawn and dusk. The house is oriented along a 60-ft-high cliff. Smith was charged with stabilizing a failing retaining wall and extending the ground plane

The pool appears to float out over the cliff, infinitely extending the figurative space from the house’s entry to the landscape beyond. closer to the cliff’s edge. The garden’s plan celebrates the central axis of the house. A new plinth supports a remarkable new central patio — the “runway terrace” — offering a view outward from the main entry of the house, through its

Texas Architect May/June 2014: Water  

Exceptional craft and a relationship with water characterize all of the projects in this issue. Water is a scarce commodity in Texas, and wi...

Texas Architect May/June 2014: Water  

Exceptional craft and a relationship with water characterize all of the projects in this issue. Water is a scarce commodity in Texas, and wi...