16 April 2009

Reading about Steve Martino

With Steve Martino visiting next week, now might be a good time to read up on his work.

In 2006 ASLA honored his Quartz Mountain Residence project with the Residential Design Award of Residential Excellence.

The site was limited in size:
A narrow 40-year house needed to be updated and enlarged for a growing family. Automobiles and asphalt dominated the arrival and outdoor experience. A drive-thru carport and a cul-de-sac sized asphalt parking area (4,300 square foot) were located at the ‘front’ door. The house was one lot away from the constant noise of a major roadway and lacked any outdoor shaded areas.
The solution is described in detail on the ASLA awards site. The description makes clear how much change was achieved on the site:
This project illustrates how new design work can be artful and at the same time responsible to the natural environment. The house celebrates where we live rather make apologies for it. The house strives to be in harmony with the site. A 6,600 square foot asphalt driveway and parking area has been replaced with porous decomposed granite paving. The entry courtyard with Palo Verde trees replaces the guest parking area outside the front door.
The jury was pretty impressed saying:
"Transforming. The landscape architect's ability to combine architectural elements with dramatic plant materials make this such a welcoming space. Great lesson value on sustainability in residential design, this garden emphasizes innovations in the use of native plants and shade trees."
And, since he has won several other ASLA design awards, our students and alums are welcome to stop by the Blake Hall reading room to read about them in our colection of Landscape Architecture Magazines.

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