Our Beacon Hill site started as an empty lot, seven feet below street elevation. After extensive construction permitting for the once proposed residential lot, we began construction on what is soon to be a private residential pocket garden.
Landscape Architect: Studio 2112 Landscape Architecture
The design incorporates terraced spaces utilizing materials prevalent in the historic neighborhood. The garden will provide great outdoor space in the heart of Boston with a greenhouse, seating terraces and large areas of planting. A perimeter hedge will provide privacy for users of the site and security will be provided by a wrought iron fence constructed of custom forged castings designed by the team. The granite which will serve as the fence's base has a bush hammered finish, referencing a texture of days long past. Scheduled Completion is Spring 2015.
Completed Project Rendering
Staging was erected at the neighboring party walls to complete the new brick veneer over the existing concrete wall as well as restoration of the brick and precast panels on the existing brick walls bordering the site.
A steel supporting angle was installed atop the neighboring foundation wall to increase the depth of our setting bed. Concrete block was installed at the portions of the party wall that will soon be below finish grade.
The block and adjacent foundations were then waterproofed to protect against the future buried conditions.
The existing perimeter wall was cut below sidewalk elevation to allow for the preparation and installation of our granite perimeter wall.
Brick veneer mockups were prepared to determine brick color, coursing, and texture as well as mortar joint sizing and color. The final selection closely resembles brick found elsewhere in the historic Boston neighborhood.
Starting the brick veneer work
The precast panels at the existing brick party wall were shored with steel bolts and angle iron so that the brick below could be dismantled and replaced. The panels themselves were then removed, replicated and replaced.
All utilities were run to the site, including the water service shown here.
New concrete was formed and poured atop the existing perimeter wall to serve as a foundation for our granite base and fence.
The brick veneer work nearly completed.
Copper flashing is installed at the parapet of the party wall.
Completed brick veneer work
The subsurface drainage layer included penetrating the existing concrete slab in multiple locations, allowing water to travel from the future finish elevation of the site back into the ground.
A layer of crushed stone was then added that can accommodate a one hundred year storm event. The terracing starts to take shape as the increased layer of crushed stone can be seen towards the rear of the site.
Geofoam base installation. Geofoam, also known as Rigid, Cellular Polystyrene Geofoam, is a lightweight fill option that offers strengths similar to concrete with very low density. Bringing the site up to grade, the weight of traditional earth materials would have greatly increased the risk of immediate settling, making geofoam a great option for this project.
The geofoam base was installed in layers, paying careful attention to shape the product around our future site uses including planting areas, the greenhouse and interior masonry structures.
Form work for the greenhouse footing. The closed cell geofoam is nonabsorbent , giving us frost protection and allowing the structures to be built directly atop it.
Form work for the greenhouse knee walls. A narrow concrete wall profile was constructed to allow for brick veneer without increasing the overall width of the wall.
Looking down at the finished greenhouse knee wall. The narrow concrete profile allowed for a full brick veneer on the outside while also incorporating an airspace and insulated thermal break, important with the temperature controlled greenhouse. The same brick was cut into a thin veneer for the interior side of the knee walls.
Installation begins of the monolithic granite perimeter wall.
Brick and precast restoration completed at adjacent party wall
Installing the monolithic granite walls and bluestone steps inside the site
Granite interior walls completed
Upper terrace paving
Site Progress, December 2014