This Beacon Hill courtyard had fallen into disrepair. New owners' desire for an outdoor living space without sacrificing crucial outdoor storage were the goals of the project.
Existing views into neighboring lots.
The existing air conditioning unit needed to be relocated for the garden space to be successful.
An existing well from the original neighborhood is located in the courtyard. While no longer active, it reaches a depth of nearly twenty feet and presented an opportunity for a future site element.
Landscape Architect: Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design
The proposed design transforms a small existing space without function into an intimate courtyard garden, well suited for hosting small gatherings in a private setting. Outdoor closets are constructed along the rear of the property that will house utilities such as the air conditioner, have an integrated seating area and provide functional screening from neighboring properties.
Demo work began and with access only available through the residence, stockpiling and making efficient team trips were the only option.
Construction began on the new rear stairs as well as reinforcing a neighboring brick wall.
Our storage area and access! Thankfully, we were allowed to use the basement while we worked. The bricks that were originally on site were saved for use in the new courtyard.
Strips of bluestone where used to construct the new rear steps.
A lower set of steps were built in a similar manner, with a vertical piece of bluestone retaining grade on the sides. A brickslot drain was incorporated at the bottom so that water would not be a future problem.
Closet construction begins.
The closet was clad with cedar, no finish was applied. The air conditioner is now housed on the shelf inside this closet.
A bench was constructed between the two end closets, integrating seating into the space without encroaching on the limited garden footprint.
The closet structure completed. The cedar screen extends behind the closet to match the height of the existing fence.
The inside of the closet is clad with azek.
Dry-snap, under deck drain, was used to waterproof the inside of this closet. Tied into a simple gutter that outlets outside the closet.
The well is exposed and prepared for a concrete substructure around it's perimeter. The concrete will support a steel frame to hold a glass well cover, allowing future appreciation of a historic element.
Paving work begins. The brick on site when we arrived was reused on edge, combined with linear bands of bluestone paving.
Paving work continues and the completed stair structure.
Aluminum planters with a black painted finish were installed against the existing site wall. The top of the bench in construction is hinged to provide more storage inside.
The planters were produced in a 'U' Shape to accommodate the movement in the granite wall. A stainless steel piano hinge was used to make the bench top operable without interference from the planters behind.
The steel well frame that will support the glass viewport is installed. While only the inner circle will be exposed at completion, a 1" thick subsurface piece was required for adequate safety.
The glass well cover arrives and is installed.
The planting is completed