The elements of the site program for this residence are relatively simple: a large pool and deck area without fencing; a large lawn area for children’s play; perennial gardens; concealed parking; and native plantings included in a playful manner. Since the dune height precluded any ocean views from the natural elevation of the site or the ground floor spaces, a large living and dining space was floated one story above grade, supported by three tower elements. This provides ocean views while preserving ground level space for pool and gardens.
The stone ruin “folly” echoes the stone pool house; the playful arched doorway and windowsills present a fantasy “outpost” in which to linger. Native stone terrace walls, pool house and “follies,” combined with bluestone and pea gravel, integrate the structured landscape with its natural surroundings.
The property’s edges have been shaped to blur the boundaries between the natural and structured landscapes and the house. The dune top and rear slope vegetation has been reinforced with bearberry, rugosa rose, bayberry and native grasses, while other natural areas, including the field edges, have been planted with eastern Cedars, shadblow, chokecherry and other indigenous shrubs that offer seasonal enjoyment and promote wildlife habitats. Transitional landscape zones are planted with masses of lavender, bearberry, catmint, Russian sage and pennisetum grasses. Creeping thyme and scotch moss further soften the stone ruin “folly,” while masses of iris, creeping phlox, Shasta daisy and coreopsis form a colorful backdrop for the pond’s water lilies and papyrus.
The resulting landscape is one that is relaxed, yet playful and provocative, always urging the Alexander’s and their guests to consider with sensitivity the beautiful ecosystem they are privileged to share.
Vi Living (Formerly Classic Residence By Hyatt)
The Classic Residence by Hyatt in Palo Alto provides seniors with independent and assisted living facilities. The roughly 19-acre site is adjacent to the San Francisquito Creek, a shopping mall, Ronald McDonald House, and Stanford West Apartments. Hyatt has been working closely with us as well as the City of Palo Alto and Stanford University to develop the si...
Perched atop a two-story structure, towered over by a connecting residential high rise and surrounded by studio apartments, this unique urban pine forest stands in a bed of low-hanging fog and reaches to the clear skies above. One hundred and one white pines, planted in a loose formation of elliptical mounds, seem cast adrift in a sea of washed river stone. Dw...
Normandie Court is a large luxury residential complex which occupies an entire city block of the Upper East Side. Coinciding with the transformation of the 2nd Avenue corridor by the MTA subway expansion, the owners were inspired to redesign the exterior and landscape. They called on SWA/Balsley’s experience and vision to provide a complete redesign, which wou...
SKY is a luxurious 71-story residential tower whose new at-grade and rooftop landscapes figure prominently at the western extremities of this world-famous street.
SWA/Balsley’s designs for the project merge a crisp, contemporary geometry with a refined material sensibility. The residences’ motor court stands at the front door of an otherwise transparen...