Located in West Los Angeles, the Emerson Residence is a home with modernist and minimalist sensibilities. The architecture comprises a 4000 square foot single-family residence and office, which is situated on a lot that measures approximately 9000 square feet. The design is composed of distinct volumetric spaces that cohere as a village. The sculptural qualities of the house are reinforced and enhanced by the gardens, which include a 78 foot-long lap pool, built-in seating, extensive use of ornamental grasses, and Zen-like courtyards. Simple materials, such as pebbles, stone paving, teak, water and planting are elegantly combined to create fluid connections between garden rooms and interior spaces. Mass planting accentuates the boldness of the composition, celebrating the colors and forms of a refined plant palette while allowing for a readable series of inter-connected layers. Many of the grasses and rushes respond to wind movement, adding a playful rhythm to the garden experience. Adornment and ornament are minimal in this project, and the emphasis is on simplicity. Materials were carefully selected for their artistic and functional characteristics, and Orange Street Studio worked closely with the builders and craftsman to achieve a composition and finish of high quality. Sensitive to the environmental concerns at hand, a drought tolerant plant palette was utilized. No lawn is incorporated into this project - the parkway is planted with dymondia.  In one of the courtyards, a native tobacco tree resides. A volunteer during the construction, it rises proudly out of a sea of vibrant green pebbles. 

Award: ASLA Design Merit, 2003

In collaboration with DesignARC

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