Our Contra Verde project is a modern minimalist force majeure of outdoor entertainment, integrating the architectural style and framework of the home with outdoor spaces of action, subtle artistry, and modern sustainability. The focus of the project was to create modern integration of simple modern outdoor living areas that enhanced the home’s architecture while providing meaningful active areas for the clients in a low maintenance environment. Contra Verde, meaning “contrasting energy,” represented the personalities of the clients along with their stylistic and architectural ideas.
The vision for the site was to match the scale and architecture of the home’s aesthetics and to create a functional landscape environment. The house was a new build in the framing stage, allowing for more customization of the landscape features. The design was intentional and consisted of geometric forms, along with colors and scales that matched the house. Clean finishes and contrasting colors were desired. The clients also wanted to bring the landscape closer to them to create intimacy in a wide open space. It was a new house in a new neighborhood, and the clients wanted their house to stand out from the rest.
Outdoor living spaces in the back included a dining area and a fire terrace with a custom gas fire pit connecting two view corridors of the home. The steel planters were transitional items, acting as screens for the master bedroom, and were custom made to match the stone base of the house. A fitness court made of artificial turf was designated for the usage of sled pulling. Berms with hydroseeding in the back create intimacy in outdoor spaces. Plant material was catered to the modern finish desired. Unique sculptural screens provided privacy for the master bedroom windows. The trees and native grass on the edge of the property blended with the borrowed landscape. Low maintenance columnar plant varieties, agave, and yucca plants were utilized on the site because of their ability to thrive in our region. The raised planters at the entrance to the home intentionally created an asymmetrical accent of the entrance. The driveway was transformed from a circle drive to a geometric layout and created a grand sense of arrival to the home.
All hardscaped areas utilized recycled concrete as a base and the steel was repurposed. The drainage was integrated to a dry creek bed running the length of the site, which allowed water to return to the soil. Every surface except for the driveway was permeable, allowing for preservation of the watershed. Berms were raised to block out the old fence and ditch along the sides of the house. Hydroseeded areas with native grass mix allowed the artificial turf to blend with the preexisting meadow behind the home, which eliminated the issue with spaciousness, created intimacy, and unified the lawn with the natural landscape.
The finished site provided more intimacy with the environment and matched the aesthetics of the house, producing a sense of unity to the site. Contra Verde was truly a piece with contrasting energies from the modern style of the home’s aesthetics to the sustainable implementations throughout the site.