Juxtaposed with a traditional architecture aesthetic, this Courtyard is a unique contemporary identifier and outdoor extension of a Lake of the Isles residence. Previously a single-family home, the Victorian mansion houses side by side condominiums, and consequently, small side by side yards. To solve issues of circulation and programming, Coen + Partners’ implemented a raised plinth of minimal materials to ground the space and create a flexible courtyard for entertaining.
The owner desired an intimate and versatile space where he could retreat, relax, and host social events. The raised plinth is constructed of bluestone with dry stacked bluestone walls at the south and west edges. Within the plinth a petite pool clad in Italian glass tiles is the showy centerpiece of an otherwise minimal space. An adjacent tapis vert of bent grass and an elevated sitting area with a pergola, round out the occupied surfaces of the Sullivan Courtyard.
The vertical transitions of the courtyard provide detailed vignettes of natural meeting constructed. To the northwest a gigantic White Oak tree is integrated just beyond the courtyard’s edge providing contrast to the flat geometries within. To the west a single, bold line of Whitespire Birch, sunk below the courtyard’s surface, reach towards the lake and soften the space with color and movement.
Location: Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota
Collaboration: Domain Architecture & Design
Select Awards: 2010 ASLA Award (Minnesota Chapter)
Photography: Paul Crosby
COEN + PARTNERS WINS THE 2015 SMITHSONIAN COOPER-HEWITT NATIONAL DESIGN AWARD
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