Squaring Up the Villa
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- The remarkably grand & ceremonial front steps combined with the faithful symmetry of this eccentric waterview residence give its front facade a powerful directionality. It faces the world with quirky resoluteness: straight ahead, & with careful balance.
- From the distances, the residence's angled orientation remains puzzling. Only when inside is the answer clear: It faces the water seen from the back side.
- Looking straight out from the top of the steps, though, the mis-alignment of the structure with its property is shocking. Plus, the curved driveway brings cars directly to the foot of the steps. Parked vehicles certainly don't improve an already troubled view.
- Although set far back from a very busy road, and bounded by a very high privet hedge, that same hedge only calls attention to the bizarre lack of alignment between the house & its front setting.
- One way to screen the original driveway—just a right of way to the rear property—from the main house was by extending the front privet hedge along its right side.
- The new privet hedge along the right-of-way driveway will soon hide it completely during the summer months. This warm-weather residence didn't need to concentrate on the year-round privacy solutions that would be required for properties occupied in the cold months.
- The original driveway, just a right of way to the property in the distance, needed especially high screening from the house as it neared it. Bamboo will soon fill in, creating a dense & deer-proof screen.
- The driveside bamboo along the right-of-way drive as it nears the house will in time provide two-story screening of the driveway from the house's front porch. The lane between the bamboo & the yew hedge will be grassed over, allowing the bamboo's wandering shoots to be automatically cut off whenever the grass is mowed.
- With the driveway & cars out of view, there was room for a suitably-ceremonial arrival terrace at the base of the grand steps, plus a huge bed planted with trees & shrubs that completely obscure the rest of the property that, from the house's perspective, seems totally out of alignment. This is a summer house only, so there was no need to concentrate on evergreens.
- A new driveway at the other side of the property ensures that vehicles are now never in straight-ahead view from house.
- Because the break in the high front hedge was necessary to allow the new driveway access to the busy front road, extensive plantings along the side of that driveway were needed to recapture the needed privacy. Handily, there was all kinds of un-used available space in the very deep front lawn.
- Box separates the new parking area from the arrival terrace. It thrives here in southern New England, and can be allowed to grow as high as needed.
- As warm weather arrives, the young front plantings are already large enough to bring the landscape into graceful alignment with the house.