Monday, October 8, 2007

And Now for something Completely Different !

And now for something Completely Different

I do not often recieve the opportunity to work on historical renovation projects but 3 years ago I had such an opportunity in San Francisco.

The house is registered in with the S.F. Historical Society as one of the city’s original Italianate Victorians.

The current owners purchased the house 25 years ago and underwent a year long renovation project in 2004-5 to seismic retrofit the home and refurbish some of the exterior and interior woodworking , plumbing , electrical and heating systems.

My own personal taste and style runs toward contemporary pan pacific . In other words, I like sparse pared down clean line design.
I appreciate old world craftsmanship and antiques but it is not a style that I am influenced by or try in any way to replicate.

So it was a challenge for me ( and I love a challenge ) when I was asked to collaborate with the owners in creating an old world Italianate styled garden complete with water spewing cast concrete sculptures , pedestal urns and ornately carved wood work .

..... all ‘so not me’.

Last week I visited my clients home and garden and took these pictures.
I am going to be working with them again on another historical victorian renovation at another location in the city.

Let the silly ornateness begin !

The fair maiden wishfully awaits for those to enter into the garden from the gates beyond.

The pathway is bordered by English boxwood. The fence is hedged with Eleocarpus and a low border of white agapanthus.
The huge old draceana tree was a remnant from the original back yard planting. It was the only plant that was kept from the past old garden.

The fair maiden.
During the installation the crew sensed my lack of excitement over ‘the fair maiden’ and I would often find baseball caps sitting on her head, my sweater draped around her shoulders and other silly little dress up pranks to lighten up the mood.

I’m not a fan of plaster cast statues but my clients love then and chose this for their center piece.
They also had a really fabulous contemporary art piece by Richard Wareham that I was dying to place in the garden , but they really wanted a little slice of Italy in their back yard and so it being their garden we were happy to place ‘the fair maiden’.

Upon walking into the garden , past the fair maiden, you enter upon the dining terrace surrounded by turned balustrades and surfaced with Italian travertine stone tiles.

The set of gates that ‘the fair maiden’ watches.


Christopher C. NC said...

Well you did good. I would say the garden is still pared down and clean lined. It has a very soothing uncluttered look, not modern, but the modern clean lines came from some where else first.

Seems like a nice sized back yard for the city.

Phillip Oliver said...

Oh, I like it very much! The statue is okay but I might have chosen one slightly taller than that.

I've missed your postings!