This client had just purchased a new home and really wanted to make a statement with the entrance – a way to make the home stand out in the neighborhood.
And honestly, the curb appeal was – shall we say – somewhat lacking with a row of dumpy looking little shrubs and uneven patches of dying grass.
The slope of the lot meant soil washed down the driveway in a substantial rain.
Our client had a particular vision in mind that involved a curved entrance so we started with a sketch she drew to share her idea. She was very certain that a curvilinear design was what she was looking for.
So we set out to create a curved wall design that would bring her idea to life.
Bear in mind that there are many kinds of curves. There are in-curves, out-curves, long-curves – you get the idea – there is an endless variety of curves.
From a design perspective, it was important to determine the type of curve that would work best in this situation. What curve (or combination of curves) would draw the eye upward along the driveway from the street towards the home?
For a more in-depth look at designing with a curvilinear theme you may read more at this link:
Once we came up with a design and layout that was workable and pleased the client, we began work on this lovely undulating wall.
In addition to being beautiful, this wall needed to prevent soil, etc. from washing down the sloped lot in the rain so the wall also had to function as a retaining wall. Walls that retain need extra strength. This is accomplished by adding rebar and concrete into every other cell block.
One question we get asked a lot is why doesn’t the wall follow the grade of the slope? If it did, the wall would fail because gravity, water and soil will push the lower level out. Stepping it up or down versus following the grade of the slope ensures gravity will help hold the wall in place and from a design perspective, everything should be level or the wall will look out of place.
The next time you see a lovely retaining wall or entryway wall, stop, and see if you can ascertain the many different design elements. Does it draw the eye to the focal point? Does it step-up the grade in order to remain level and therefore sturdy and neat?
In order to create the most beauty and impact, so many things must come together to make it work. That’s why it is always a joy to use our knowledge and expertise to bring a client’s vision to life.