The cleverly designed, private garden space for this modest home and garden, located on a tree-lined street in Culver City, was created as a family-friendly, versatile, sustainable outdoor environment that evolved with the rapidly changing needs of the owners, their three children and their close-knit community. The purpose of the project was to expand and bridge the private and public spaces. By reclaiming the unused, exposed front yard, the design solution transformed this small lot into an outdoor living room, meeting space and study area for a growing family, as well as an outdoor theater with retractable screen used for a “Neighborhood Film Festival”.
We designed a Yin/Yang water feature that straddles a decorative fence providing the sound of water for passersby and the homeowners. The decorative screen and gate, a design of horizontal bands of redwood accentuated with linear lexan windows, is animated as sunlight passes through the openings throughout the day. These design elements maintain the owners’ privacy while allowing the neighborhood to enjoy subtle public elements.
The challenge of this project was to create balance between the private family space and the desire to maintain a strong neighborhood presence. We gracefully blurred the lines of what one considers either strictly private or public spaces.