Söng Ranch is a unique design build named after the relaxed, highly alert state referred to as ‘söng’ in Tai Chi practice.
Hygiene, Colorado Design Build 2019
2021 APLD Silver Award-Winner, Specialty Therapeutic Gardens Category
The original site consisted of the home and studio on a 34,000 sqft stretch of land in disarray. The client’s freely-roaming cow combined with no containment of the irrigation ditch along the property resulted in extensive flooding of the garden areas. A dilapidated pergola stood on top of a rotting deck in between the home and Tai Chi studio, and no clear sense of arrival or flow patterns existed.
The clients desired a landscape design that would provide distinguished outdoor spaces and flow patterns for both the client’s private spaces as well as the Tai Chi student’s experience. They needed proper water management, an established sense of arrival, spaces for outdoor Tai Chi lessons, a parking solution, and overall cohesiveness between all outdoor elements.
Our Design Build Team’s intentions at Söng Ranch were to:
(1) Use the building blocks of the Tai Chi practice, such as flow, balance, and path of least resistance to inform the geometry, architecture, and experience of the landscape
(2) Enhance and define the Tai Chi student’s practice space while simultaneously creating an intimate experience for the client’s private residence
(3) Create a purposeful, unified journey throughout the landscape while adding beautifully crafted features for a one-of-a-kind, healing experience
At the cedar arbor at the edge of the parking area begins a meandering journey through the outer garden at Söng Ranch. Sculpted land and layers of native grasses and perennials mirror the surrounding rural landscape, while creating screening between this path and the client’s private residence. Carefully formed and planted berms frame the destination for arriving Tai Chi students, elegantly creating clear direction and flow toward the main patio.
Söng Ranch is a historical homestead where the clients cultivate and harvest fresh food from their gardens. Environmental responsibility was exhibited through the use of repurposed flagstone and wood, native plantings suited to our region, and recycled concrete road base under hardscape areas. The water management plan allowed for integration of multiple solutions for long term sustainability and protection of the watershed including a high-efficiency irrigation system, site grading, berm formation, and underground culverts.
The patio space outside the Tai Chi studio is defined by the shade shack, moon gate, and a grounding wall of boulders. The triangle of activity creates an intimate space for the clients and students to experience peaceful practice. The custom water feature mirrors the natural sound of the adjacent creek and adds soundscaping to the therapeutic experience. Oriented East-West to frame the rising and setting of the moon, the custom steel and cedar moon gate frames the studio space within.