Expanding our reach up into Southern Maine, UBLA was contracted to help these clients with an overall scheme for their backyard. After extensively analyzing the site, several problems became apparent:
- Parking in the winter is problematic, with no off street parking allowed. Presently, the garage is used for storage, and a weakly defined area for one car is insufficient for owner / guest parking.
- Added approx. 10 years ago, the shingle style garage relates poorly to the main house, entry and parking.
- There is a slope of approx. 4.5′ from the porch steps to the threshold of the garage. This slope is poorly graded and uneven.
- Several large trees are in poor health.
The schematic design, shown at the top of this post, calls for a circular lawn space which would serve to unify the disconnected garage, parking area and main house. This ‘Great Lawn’ would be given shape by a retaining wall, walkways, and plantings. The retaining wall would allow for a gently sloping lawn suitable for grandchildren to play, and adequate space for the yearly summer lobster bake. Walkways of either antique brick, or a native irregular stone will be used to further strengthen the connection between garage, parking area and main house, while also providing for easy wayfinding. Existing trees will be evaluated and removed as necessary to accommodate additional owner / guest parking.
After a meeting between the design team and client, this project has moved beyond schematic design and into design development. We are in the process of exploring materials for parking areas, driveway, wall and plantings. The schematic design has also been passed along to a contractor for initial pricing. This will provide crucial feedback on how best to proceed, and guide final materials selections.