This home is located in a unique escarpment area of Oak Cliff. An urban meadow embraces the minimalist architecture providing lightness and movement. It is a haven for pollinators and birds. This landscape provides textural interest and evokes a sense of the Texas bucolic landscape, accentuated by native limestone boulders, steps and an agrarian water trough. The elevated deck overlooks a gathering spot for fires and entertaining below. Views from the house and deck are of a surrounding meadow park just beyond the property boundary with similar native vegetation blurring the lines between these two properties.
Photography: Robert Tsai Photography; Christa McCall
This architecturally significant home was built in 1956-57 by Arch Swank. It was purchased as a guest house to an existing estate that we were fortunate enough to collaborate on in 2015. The pink hued flagstone was salvaged on site and reused as a walking path and outdoor dining patio. A brick serpentine wall was refurbished and its sinuous geometry extended to enclose a fire pit and stair to allow access to an existing pecan grove. Boulders left on site as momentos from the previous owner’s travels across the United States were re-incorporated into the landscape as accent pieces.
This project, a wonderful collaboration with the owners, architects, and interior designers, overlooks a large lake yet is protected from full view by a native Pecan grove. Perched above the landscape, glass connectors span from the original house to three new additions, allowing intimate views and access to the surrounding landscape which supports an herb and rose garden as well as native plantings in and around carefully crafted stone elements. Basalt steps, reminiscent of the interior flooring, descend from the glass entry into a courtyard created by the arrangement of buildings and a retaining wall. Functioning as both a sculpture and retaining wall, a native limestone wall, creates interest while providing a contrast to the lightness of the buildings. Rich greens, light pinks and blue hues take center stage creating contrast with the native limestones and architectural forms.
Dallas, TX 2016-2017
Situated atop a cliff overlooking the Trinity River and downtown Dallas, this project emphasizes the connection between the architecture, built landscape and natural landscape. The architectural form and materials contrast dramatically beside the native landscape evoking a feeling of modern simplicity. The southern entry is supported by a soft meadow punctuated with wild flowers while the northern landscape falls away offering the architecture views in a setting overlooking an ecological backdrop of greenery. There is a highly unified dialog between the architecture and the adjoining landscape spaces to establish quiet transitions from inside to out.
Architect: Russell Buchanan, Buchanan Architecture Photography: Charles Davis Smith
Dallas, TX 2018
In the heart of one of Dallas’ most bustling neighborhoods, this urban garden provides outdoor dining and entertaining. A concrete porch creates a landing and a place to sit above the garden. Detailed concrete steps create shadows, giving the garden dimension. The rhythm and scale of architectural concrete paving slabs provides an intimate space and contrasts with the crushed stone joints in tone and texture. Water and fire elements are positioned on either end of a flexible space currently used for dining. Japanese maples along with evergreen rushes and sedges provide a botanical edge between garden and garage access.
Dallas, TX 2015
This garden renovation pays tribute to the home’s mid-century design by retaining the original front auto court —reimagined in crushed stone. Just off the primary living spaces, a main private garden surrounds a pool and outdoor pavilion. A native limestone retaining wall serves as a sculpture in the landscape, its position and rough texture creating a tension with the building and its materials. Rich greens and blue hues take center stage creating contrast with the native limestone and architectural concrete forms.
Dallas, TX 2018
This large urban garden responds to this family’s lifestyle with play space, an updated pool, a spa, additional parking court in the front garden space and outdoor seating spaces. Bands of paving create connections between the pool and house while wood decking provides warmth and creates a transition from pool to spa. The existing pool was updated with new coping and tile and is positioned to offer an elongated view of the pool from the adjacent paving. A seating area with pergola off of the main living space provides morning light and afternoon shade patterns. Native and adapted plantings provide a year-round background for this family’s activity and entertainment-focused outdoor lifestyle.
Dallas, TX 2015
This small, intimate urban lot is divided into two garden spaces on either side of the building, each providing the opportunity for different experiences. Since the larger space is located along a visible corner, privacy was paramount. This space maintains a visual connection to the large open living room and is used as an outdoor lounge area for entertaining. The second smaller garden near the kitchen provides a respite to this urban lot. Tucked within this sanctuary is a water feature and native planting.
Dallas, TX 2016
This garden renovation maintains a relationship in scale and space that recalls the interior of this newly renovated home. Outdoor spaces are crafted to create connection and transition from interior to exterior while accommodating the clients desire for outdoor dining and entertaining, a cutting garden, lawn, vegetable garden, and engaging water and fire elements. These spaces are defined by using native vegetation and hardscape materials. The front entry maintains simple lines with a steel planter bordering the neighboring property creating a ‘court’ feel when entering the home.
Dallas, TX 2014
Dallas, TX 2013
This garden renovation was a collaborative effort between Paper Kites and the homeowner, who is an architect. The garden extends and mirrors the home's uniquely styled interior, which was designed and renovated by the owners. A front landscape boasts native plantings with varying textures, creating harmony and contrast with the stone house. Antique gates, curated by the architect, invite guests to the private garden which opens up to a dining deck and fire element beyond. To accommodate larger groups for entertaining, the fire and carport elements were designed to function as one space.