Hardscape Solutions: Creating a stellar sportsplex

October 2, 2019 -  By

Location: Essex Fells, N.J.
Company: Landscape Techniques

This project began when the clients purchased the property immediately adjacent to their home with a plan to create a sportsplexlike environment.

The clients recruited their longtime contractor, Landscape Techniques, for the project. The team began by demolishing the existing home on the new property and then completely regrading the site to construct regulation tennis and bocce ball courts. The original property had a large depressed retention basin, which had to be drained, have wet soils mucked out and then filled to bring it back to grade. Overall, the site’s wet soils also had to be removed to stabilize hardscape elements.

According to Landscape Techniques President Brian Koribanick, the extensive site work required the use of Caterpillar construction equipment, including a 314 excavator, D3 Cat dozer, mini Cat excavator and a track skid loader. The cabana was constructed on 21 concrete-reinforced piers that were 6 to 10 feet deep, 18 inches in diameter and tied into a 10-foot reinforced slab to support and stabilize structures. The company trucked in 2,800 tons of crushed concrete aggregate to stabilize the wall and backfill the cabana, tennis court and patio areas.

The project earned Landscape Techniques a 2018 Gold Award from the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence program.

Pool and sportsplex (Photo: Brian Koribanick)

Photo: Brian Koribanick

The newly acquired 1-acre property was cleared and renovated to include a cabin, fire pit, tennis and bocce ball courts.

Construction phase of sportsplex (Photo: Brian Koribanick)

Photo: Brian Koribanick

The extensive demolition and grading in progress.

Cabana and tennis courts (Photo: Brian Koribanick)

Photo: Brian Koribanick

After photos of area complete with cabana and sports courts.

Bocce courts (Photo: Brian Koribanick)

Photo: Brian Koribanick

The 12- by 80-foot bocce court is surfaced with crushed oyster shells and surrounded by lush, colorful plantings.

Tennis court (Photo: Brian Koribanick)

Photo: Brian Koribanick

The regulation-sized tennis court was a must for this active family.

Construction phase (Photo: Brian Koribanick)

Photo: Brian Koribanick

Three hundred tons of 4- to 5-foot boulders were used in the construction of retaining walls surrounding the tennis and bocce courts.

Sportsplex photo (Photo: Brian Koribanick)

Photo: Brian Koribanick

A diverse mass of grasses, flowering perennials, roses, hydrangeas and countless other varieties of plant material soften the boulder wall construction.

Upper level landcape terrace (Photo: Brian Koribanick)

Photo: Brian Koribanick

The upper level landscape terrace provides maximum turf area and perimeter screening.

Cabana construction (Photo: Brian Koribanick)

Photo: Brian Koribanick

The cabana was constructed on 21 6- by 10-foot deep, 18-inch wide concrete piers with 8-inch reinforced concrete slab.

Firepit (Photo: Brian Koribanick)

Photo: Brian Koribanick

The 250,000 BTU fire pit sits within a 2-foot by 2-foot porcelain tile patio, detailed with clay brick matching the home’s facade.

Cabana interior (Photo: Brian Koribanick)

Photo: Brian Koribanick

The 1200-square-foot cabana includes full bath and kitchen, storage area, indoor/outdoor shower and TV viewing area.

Pool area (Photo: Brian Koribanick)

Photo: Brian Koribanick

The newly installed raised patio overlooks the existing pool patio which was installed seven years prior.

yard view (Photo: Brian Koribanick)

Photo: Brian Koribanick

Every angle of this yard delivers diversity and interest in both landscape and hardscape construction.

Sportsplex (Photo: Brian Koribanick)

Photo: Brian Koribanick

A once-neglected acre of land has been transformed into a private sportsplex in eight months.

Abby Hart

About the Author:

Abby Hart is the managing editor of Landscape Management. A native Clevelander, she spent 10 years in Chicago, where she was operations manager of a global hospitality consultancy. She also worked as managing editor of Illumine, a health and wellness magazine; and a marketing specialist for B2B publications. Abby has a degree in journalism from Boston University’s College of Communication.

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