The following is based on notes prepared some 9 years ago as an outline of db:a's strategies for designing a 'fire-safe' house in the chaparral -
Brilliant Pool & Courtyard
Mark Singer may have designed "Ryan Murphy's Brilliant Beach House" - but somehow we (db:a with landscape consultant Bridget Hedison) managed to score the cover! Mark's building was already in construction when we came on board and were charged with creating both a hardscape and landscape in which his building, widowed at the bottom of a very steep, pie shaped double lot, might sit. We created terraces at the main house, stairs and landings that dropped down the slope - all with commanding views of the Laguna bay - and then a French-style decomposed granite allée at the base of the slope that sweeps around to the pool and courtyard pictured at left. The pool is plastered in a shell-flecked white pebble finish with a raised sit-wall surround.
This was a landscape transformed: requiring many hundred cubic yards of concrete and tons of steel to retain the hill and then many hundreds of trees and shrubs. A vibrant green lung set in the hills above the beach, it now makes a real impact on the areas' micro-climate.