Jepson Residence, Oakland
When a new owner with a young family moved into this woodland site, they envisioned a landscape design that would complement the home’s imposing architecture, including its cantilevered floor plates and tall structural columns. The design also had to be easily accessible from the house and incorporate existing auxiliary structures in the layout. Finally, the client requested a retreat-like atmosphere.
The Jepson Residence received a Merit Award from the Northern California Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
The garden’s central spine is a crisp zig-zag pathway routed to run with the topography in order to eliminate the need for more expensive retaining walls. The path winds through the home’s prominent structural posts as if they were trees. Corten steel retaining walls frame the path, adding a rich tone at ground level to the lower garden’s greens and yellows but mingling imperceptibly with the whole when viewed from above. A fire ring and simple stone-and-corten seat add sculptural accents while inviting strollers to rest and enjoy the woodland setting.