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Program:
  • Conservation District and Floodplain constraints
  • Stunning front entry
  • Outdoor living areas
  • Pool & Spa
  • Maintain views
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Residential Retreat

Glen Ellyn, IL

This land-locked property borders a local Forest Preserve and is adjacent to a designated floodplain on three sides of the property. Because of these constraints and in addition to local village building codes, there is very little available space for outdoor amenities. The client expressed interest in a swimming pool and spa, multiple terraces for entertaining and a fire pit for enjoying the native surroundings in the evening and late fall. The house itself was built at a higher elevation to protect it from possible flooding and consequently the grading is a key consideration throughout the design process.

A grand front entry is designed with terraced planting walls and a mixed woodland border planting keeping maintenance and wildlife in mind. The clay paver court allows for overflow parking for family and friends, and then transitions into the side motor court for everyday use. Dry-laid stone retaining walls, a complex drainage system, and careful grading were integrated throughout as the design came together. Storm water calculations and wetland mitigation were taken into account using professional consultants to insure the design would be a success and permittable.

The house itself is very linear and parallels its rear property line with only 40’-50’ of distance to fit all of the elements of the design program within. Our design team developed a very contemporary, linear pool and terrace with a round “floating” wood deck separating the spa from the pool. The cut stone steps and pool terrace connect guests to the wide terraced steps leading out to the naturalized rear yard and surrounding wetlands. In order to not infringe on the floodplain setback, an infinity-edge for the rear wall of the pool was designed to support the pool and give the appearance of the pool blending in with the natural setting. Glass fencing was also proposed to increase visibility of the forbes and grasses and still meet village code. The fire pit patio was set at a lower elevation to work with the existing grades and to create a separate entertaining area. This was reinforced in part by designing a water wall at the end of the pool to increase this privacy so each area could be enjoyed to the fullest!

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