This diverse garden “island” had the design intent to flow many intricate yet spacious-feeling elements and activities into a compact, varied, yet unified garden.
The central feature is the spacious organically-purified swimming pool and adjoining spa where carefully designed boulders encourage many activities surrounding the pool. There are places where you can ankle wade while sitting on boulders, or sit and witness the playful goings-on in the shallow end. There are boulders from which you can dive into the deep end and ones on which you can comfortably recline while watching the sunset. The spa is comfortably lined with smooth stone and vast enough to seat a party-full of people.
The teahouse structure, lined with an interior bamboo roof and hand made beams from Bali, is set over a granite millstone in the center. The teahouse helps define a space that is both intimate yet spacious and provides many opportunities for individuals, couples, or large gatherings to sit, talk, or enjoy the many sculptures in detail or join in a pool gathering.
Within this garden is an entire above grade, sophisticated, pump house for the pool that you will never see or even suspect. The surrounding garden embraces, and folds over, traveling up and over the roof of the structure using majestic stone columns, sculptures, and dense tropical plantings. A stone pathway meanders through the open tropical poolside and travels up the lush hill to the pump house “intricate roof garden” where views are diversely designed.
The challenges to this garden were many: technical challenges for designing the pool pump system; designing the shotcrete pool structure to accommodate large boulders that demanded absolute precision when setting; harvesting and transplanting of numerous huge 30’ tall palm trees and other large plants with heavy equipment; and designing a spatial arrangement of all stone features, tall plants with grace yet with boldness in order to feel both relaxed and open while hiding the pump house.
Design of the many passages of open sweeping spaces, and intimate courtyards, was combined with an integral celebration of water that combined view of the ocean with major water features in the landscape. The grand entry over the Balinese-style water garden courtyard embraces and penetrates the primary house structure. The overall landscape that surrounds the main residence, guesthouses, and caretakers house contains majestic graded areas along with many intimate garden experiences.
This project contained design and construction challenges that ranged from large-scale infrastructure logistics to small-scale handwork and craft.
The courtyard began with a challenge that entailed a detailed renovation and complete waterproofing of an existing large pond in the entrance courtyard, which had insufficient infrastructure and strength. Several methods of waterproofing were used including a state-of-the-art technique that is used in the military. Custom boulders were used to conceal the edge and create a natural pond appearance.
Infrastructure challenges including solving a saltwater intrusion problem from the well pump which would’ve killed all plants, a sophisticated and coordinated irrigation system involving 5 separate controllers for both turf, agriculture and detailed ornamental gardens, and extensive reengineering of the drainage and storm water system.
Design and construction for this project first needed to meet the challenge of its location on top a knife-shaped narrow ridge, bordered by cliffs on two sides and a steep slope on the third. In addition to complete recreation of the estate gardens to provide lush, diverse and engaging surroundings, the long narrow driveway demanded expansion to accommodate fire trucks and a wide turn-around.
Building out over the steep slope the hillside was reconstructed and broadened by over 15 feet at the top, providing opportunity for an engaging and dramatic entry circle and the opportunity to use sculptures, water pots, diverse plantings and surprises along varied pathway niches. The entire entry drive now invites at every glace with luxuriant tropical plantings and art, alcoves and mystery, and peek-a-boo views of the ocean.
Hillside reconstruction initially utilized specifications engineered according to conventional textbook standards. The standards, however, were insufficient to create the level of compaction required for longevity and stability. Hendrikus Group developed a custom structural soil involving local aggregates and ingredients that provided extreme stability and yet the ability to grow roots as well.
Stone boulder outcroppings were used to retain the hillside, and other areas of the site, and develop a textural and almost rhythmic expression of line. The tropical forest replanted in the hillside above a lawn covered access road represents less than l years amazing growth.
Custom dark stone lanterns dot the landscape and light the pathways in combination with colorful and contrasting tropical plants. Natural-shaped wood benches placed just back from the cliff edge allow for comfortable viewing of the ocean, shoreline and sunsets.
Another major challenge on this project was to develop this sites “resiliency” to unexpected weather and storm water. We utilized our innovative system of non– point drainage buffers, living bioswales, and back baybio-retention areas to successfully control and direct even the most torrential rains.
The specifics of this design created several construction challenges. Among these were creating concrete reinforced small pedestals for each “floating stone” that allowed the steppingstones to be installed at a precise height. Each pedestal also needed to be hidden from view and therefore was intentionally made overly strong yet small.
The interface between the pond and the surfaces used for the foundation and the finish flooring needed to be ultra durable, waterproof, and compact. In this case several methods of redundant waterproofing were used.
The mechanical and hydraulic system utilized a combination of ionization, filtration, and ultraviolet to maintain water purity.
The client, a noted musician, utilizes his open air designed home to host his renowned parties and gatherings at pond side under both sunny and starry Kauai skies.