2012 Awards

Design: Residential, Single Family Home

Merit Award

Orinda Residence
Orinda, CA
Thuilot Associates, Stefan Thuilot
Client: Derek and Cathy Stein

One of the many open views toward this pyramid-like hill. Large Monterey pines were removed from the side of the house to bring back views of the regional oak savanna.
The transparent and bold architecture of the house are mirrored by the large water element. The formal living room has views onto large expanses of water on both sides
The same porch area viewed toward the driveway.
The sun highlights the spouting water of the front porch water element. This view greets the visitor all along the front walkway.
Late afternoon sun light washes across the planting areas and terraces near the kitchen. The decking walkway aligns and articulates with the alike of the pool garden
The generous terrace, deck and pool offer broad views of the surrounding landscape.
A small terrace near the guest room overlooks the meadow and pool beyond. The bluestone ledger wall offers ample seating.
The pool deck looking back toward the house. The ledger wall separates and organizes the various adjacent terrace areas, and carries the warmth of the wooden siding on the house to the garden.
The fire pit area offers an overlook to the adjacent valley and hills during the day, and a special destination when night falls.
Launching deck at the shallow end of pool with a Carex pansa meadow in the foreground.
Master plan

This Orinda property offers spectacular views, plenty of level garden space – a novelty in this hilly community—and a house that features seamless living between the indoors and outdoors. The landscape design capitalizes on these attributes with a layout that is at once imaginative, respectful of the architecture and views, and simple without compromising on details. Breathtaking views from the family and living room onto the surrounding hills are highlighted by glimpses of the pure, broad sky mirrored in the pool just outside. The surrounding low-lying plantings gently frame this view as the graceful greenery moves in the wind. As day shifts to evening, a new view emerges as the flames of a fire pit dance over the valley below. A supreme achievement of this garden is the creation of a peaceful, inviting space that incorporates a complex program while feeling graceful and effortless.