Our Polaris Escape project won a Bronze Award in the 2019 International Landscape Design Awards from the Association for Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) for the category “Residential Projects over $100,000”. The project’s focus was to allow the stargazing clients to escape outside, forge a connection to the native areas in the landscape, and create an atmosphere for quality family time. The original site contained a wooden retaining wall and a ramp that led to a small, weathered deck with stairs that led down to a grassy area without landscape development. The watering was manual and multiple areas on the property could not be accessed because of the abundance of rocks. A larger deck was desired, along with shade structure and utilization of the lower level area. The design sought to create triangles of activity including the existing hot tub, new wood fire pit, seating areas, and water feature.
Polaris Escape truly emphasizes the connection to nature through awe-inspiring elements and flowing multi-functional outdoor rooms. Watershed management, permeable hardscapes, and the carefully planned drainage system directed water sustainably through the site. The irrigation system was highly efficient through utilization of advanced water sensors and cloud-based control. The renovated deck and patio space included a metal shade structure, which helps to filter out artificial light, allowing for stargazing from the deck. An oval stone patio was installed, and natural seat boulders were placed around a wood fire pit as a space for family gathering. A natural water feature was also installed.
Regional plants were incorporated, creating a seasonal color palette. The plantings transitioned from a blue grama lawn to striking native areas. Plant beds where no mulch or fabric was installed were created intentionally, providing transition from native areas to cultivated areas. The design preserved the mountain views to the west. Materials were locally sourced, including flagstone, granite boulders, and fire pit materials.