Palo Alto Residence
This elegant, tranquil garden arose out of strict design constraints. The property’s owner, a mathematician, asked that the design mimic the Fibonacci sequence, or natural spiral shape found in nature. Featuring a controlled palette and a limited number of materials, the garden also had to provide a calm counterpoint to the residence’s architectural complexity.
The property is in an established, well-groomed Palo Alto neighborhood featuring expansive properties with large, mature trees. The owners, a young family of five, envisioned a modern residential landscape design with spaces for play, outdoor dining, and relaxation after a busy workday. At the heart of the garden, a custom firepit made from layered black granite initiates the Fibonacci spiral.
From the fire pit, a spiral of vegetation and concrete elements unwinds through the backyard and out to the front entry. Starting with a curved section of lawn, continuing the arc through a section of concrete terrace, then on to an outward circle of steppingstones before ending at the outer boundaries of the property, the Fibonacci spiral can be traced.
This Palo Alto landscape won a Merit Award in the Residential category from the Northern California Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.