client: bob and margo alexander
The elements of the site program 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.