pittsburgh, pennsylvania

This addition to the South Side Courtyard House (Pittsburgh Magazine's Home of the Year 2010) expands the series of landscape spaces of the home. Through the purchase of two small adjacent properties, a new outdoor area with a series of activity zones comprise a recreational precinct. The overall site boundaries are defined by a series of polished concrete block walls delineating both the landscape space and the street edge as well as contain pool equipment and a changing/restroom. The existing concrete wall of the Courtyard House is lined with Hornbeam trees that act as a shade edge overlooking the swimming pool and contain within them a weathered steel entry vestibule leading to the main residence. These trees, when matured, will be trimmed to define a spatial bosque similar to a formal garden. An in-ground trampoline ends the landscape zone along with a series of steel gabions at the street edge that contain limestone and sedum planting. A pool pavilion containing a modest seating area and bar has direct views of the landscape zone and the adjoining swimming pool with which it is on axis. The cube-like massing of the pavilion reflects the volumetric properties of the two-story living room found within the residence. The pool pavilion continues to define the landscape by engaging its back wall with a half court basketball court. Two round roof scuppers drain roof water into the basketball court that in the winter months help to compose the facade with long forming icicles. Additionally, the concrete surface of the basketball court can be flooded to become a skating rink allowing the recreational activities to continue year round.