May 14, 2009

Vienna Way Residence — Landscaping + more

exterior aYesterday, we visited the spectacular sunken kitchen at the Vienna Way Residence in Venice, California (designed by Marmol Radziner and Associates). Today, we’re going outside to take a look at the award-winning landscaping that surrounds this beautiful modern home.

asla logo On May 5, 2009, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) announced the winners of its 2009 Professional Awards. The nearly-600 entries were narrowed down to 49 winning projects that were recognized in the areas of General Design, Residential Design, Analysis and Planning, Communications, and Research. The Vienna Way Residence won an Honor Award in the Residential Design category.

The Professional Awards Jury said…

“The landscape architect shows such a confident hand in this project. The ideas follow the modular forms of the house. The front elevation is so beautiful with the sumac against the black plaster. It represents very clear thinking about landscape architecture.”

landscape 1

Project statement

landscape planThe design of the Vienna Way landscape fully integrates the residence within the surrounding California native landscape. The architecture and landscape were designed to work in unison, creating a seamless transition between the interior and exterior living spaces. The element of water links a “corridor” of exterior spaces — swimming pool, garden roof, riparian planting — and intersects with the interior spaces at the sunken kitchen.

The site landscape plan to the right gives you a better idea of how the gardens are laid out. The property is quite narrow, and the house extends almost the full length of the lot. You can see how the main gardens form the corridor through the center of the property and the house. The front garden has simple, monochromatic, architectural plantings. Behind the front garden is the swimming pool, which extends all the way back to the kitchen and is edged with mass plantings of Cape Rush.

Going up a level, there’s a grass garden on the kitchen roof. And coming back down to ground level, there are three California Sycamores lined up in the rear garden. The whole corridor is flanked by drought-tolerant plants, including Coastal Live Oak, Valley Oak, native Deer Grass, and African Sumac.

An interesting note — many of the plants on the property were grown specifically for this project by two local nurseries. This was to ensure that the large quantity of native California plants required for the project would be the desired size at installation time. All of the trees were field grown and craned into the site.

Now let’s look at some pictures!!

How would you like to lounge by the pool in the front yard, hidden from the world by the plants all around you?? Your very own private urban retreat!!

landscape 2

I posted this picture yesterday of the grass growing on the roof above the kitchen. But it helps to visualize how the garden flows from the front of the property, along the pool (picture above), over the kitchen (this picture), and into the backyard (following picture). So here it is again :-)

kitchen roof

The line of California Sycamores and grasses in the back of the house. You can catch a glimpse of the pool through the kitchen windows behind the trees…

landscape 4

A great outdoor spot to eat dinner, next to the garden and the fireplace. Reality sneaks in just a bit here with the neighbour’s house just poking out above the hedge…

landscape 5

The hallway in the one-storey wing of the house leads from the family room and dining room to the outdoor eating area with the fireplace. The kitchen is to the left of the open doorway.

landscape 3

Although the home and landscaping have more adult aesthetics, there’s room in the garden for the kids to play too :-)

landscape 6

Before we leave Vienna Way, let’s take a final peek at a few of the other spaces inside this unique home. Although the way the home is designed, there really isn’t a defining line between the indoors and outdoors.

You can see the master bedroom and bit of the ensuite on the second floor, with the front yard outdoor eating area below the bedroom. I like the thin strips of grass between the tiles. It adds colour and softness, as well as a graphic element.

Vienna_21 001

A close-up shot of the 2nd floor hallway. You can see the grassy kitchen roof through the windows.

Vienna_05 001

The dining room in the one-storey public wing. The table and chairs are understated, and the chair backs are very low to maximize the sightlines out the windows.

Vienna_16 001

The living room is next to the dining room (see the bit of the dining room table at the bottom of the picture). The windows slide open to really bring the outdoors in

Vienna_13 001

And finally, one more shot of the family room. The gray velvet sofa looks soft and comfy and welcoming :-) It’s just too bad that you can’t see the great view out the windows if you’re sitting on it!!

Vienna_15 001

And that’s the end of our tour of Vienna Way. Do you enjoy touring homes like this?? Or would you rather tour homes that are less grand and more within reach of the average home-owner?? I’ll never be able to afford a house like this, but I do enjoy looking at the pictures and dreaming :-) Leave a comment and let me know what you think…


Landscape plan from American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)

Landscape pictures from Contemporist

Interior pictures from + Mood



American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)


Christy said...

I, for one, LOVE viewing homes like this. Love it. This might be a silly question, and maybe you've answered it before, but who lives in that house?!

I do also love viewing homes that are more attainable, but please do continue to showcase showstoppers - it's my eye candy!

mrsben said...

I like Christy enjoy touring these homes, however find myself often asking the question;
'does it have a basement'?. (Remember Sarah R's first renovated home project and how upgrading an existing basement really put a dent in her budget.) Just think Kelly, if we Northerners didn't require one, what we cud do with the extra $$$$'s. Just a thought. :)

Gayle said...

I love to daydream! That is just amazing.

Oh, and the pen stuck in the photocopier thing is hysterical!

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Kelly I love the opportunity to view homes such as these. It gives me inspiration & feeds the soul. I was in visual heaven. What a lucky woman to view this spectacular home in person. Next house the goal is those sliding picture windows but in a home in San Diego! Thanks for the fun post.

Tom Erdman said...

Knowing me, I'd spill ketchup (or do you say it catsup up there?) or grape juice and ruin the whole thing.

James said...

Very elegant house indeed, it could have been more pretty to look at if the surroundings of it are cleaned up well. It is where the professionals in landscaping come in to the rescue.

mrsben said...

Kelly re my statement above regarding 'basements'. Found the specs on Sarah's (as had them filed away).
Estimated Overall Cost was $45,000.00 HOWEVER
Dig 'n Repair $48,000.00 plus drainage correction $15,000.00 = $53,000.00
Final cost (decor etc.) was actually: $105,000.00 which wud cover a swimming pool quite nicely. :) -Brenda-

Kelly said...

Thanks for the info, Brenda :-)

You made a really good point -- if your house doesn't have a basement, that can potentially free up a lot of money for other things that are more fun and/or glamourous than a basement.

We need to move to California!! ;-)


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