Project Portfolio: Classic, contemporary retreat

August 4, 2014 -  By
Photos: Lambert Landscape Co.

The mission

Transform an ordinary landscape into an extraordinary, resort-feel pool and garden.

Landscape architect Paul Fields, president and director of design for Dallas-based Lambert Landscape Co., recalls what this residential landscape looked like at the onset: “The existing small loggia terrace, curvilinear pool and water feature not only reflected the architecture, but were also located too closely to the home and were out of scale.”

Hidden behind existing poolside plantings and a pile-of-rocks waterfall, he adds, was a “half acre of forgotten green space.” The Lambert’s team was tasked with building an outdoor space that extended the home’s interior to the outdoors and creating entertainment spaces for groups ranging from family swim parties to corporate events of about 150 attendees.

The designers focused on building a schematic design that “created a flawless transition between the existing home and proposed outdoor space, and to make the pool and landscape not look like an afterthought,” Fields says. The team decided to use the same brick as the home on all new construction.

The site was re-graded with approximately 36 in. of fill, creating a gracious, terraced transition between the house and garden. To make the outdoors usable year-round, the small terrace was transformed into an expansive loggia. Special attention was taken to extend the roofline out and connect both wings of the home.

“The clients always felt their property was compact and out of scale with the home, so the design team used forced perspective to enhance and enlarge the views throughout the rear garden,” Fields says. “Linear pavilions were designed to flank the rectilinear pool, and trees were selectively removed to give glimpses of what lay beyond the back door. These pavilions also provided additional his-and-her outdoor rooms for entertainment.”

The work

  1. Cramped quarters. This “before” shot shows the tight loggia space, awkward swimming pool placement, chaotic materials, pile-of-rocks waterfall and difficult transition from house to garden.
  2. Home in harmony. This view from the rear lawn looking back toward the home shows how Lambert’s unified design makes the house and garden feel as one.
  3. French connection. The new loggia facade with central arches provides a connection between the two wings of the home and a symmetrical backdrop to the garden. French-inspired custom ironwork creates an airy parapet.
  4. Gracious living. The new entertaining space shows all finishes, furniture and fixtures designed and selected by Lambert’s and the interior designer. The layout allows three separate areas for interaction.
  5. Poolside dining. The dining pavilion was constructed of limestone and mahogany. Custom storage closets flank a commercial grill. Curtains and overhead acrylic panels allow all-weather dining. Antique French limestone paving provides a foundation for the color palette.
  6. Let there be light. The bold harlequin pattern of limestone and grass provides the illusion of more depth, in contrast to the fine textures beyond. Dramatic landscape lighting plays up the beauty of classical architectural forms. 

Founded in 1919 in Shreveport, La., Lambert Landscape Co.’s founders came to Dallas to plant the city’s first azaleas in 1935 and decided to relocate their business to the city. Today, its more than 150 team members focus on the design, installation and maintenance of fine gardens.

Photos: Lambert Landscape Co.

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