Blue Oaks Residence, Portola Valley

This rural project honors the pristine environment of its four-acre, hilltop site by integrating house, garden, and hardscape within the native chaparral and woodland setting. A preservation effort as much as a modern residential landscape design project, challenges included conserving forty precious, 80-year-old manzanitas, minimizing grading near existing oak groves, and carefully siting the project within a 1:3 sloped hillside.

The multi-level garden takes advantage of the site’s 180-degree views: from a custom, cantilevered “observation deck” floating above the breathtaking regional landscape; to an intimate, firelit sunken courtyard; to an artful sitting area at the edge of a lush, reestablished meadow. This project earned a Merit Award in the Residential category from the Northern California chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. 

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