Oakland Hills

Oakland, California

The steep terrain dictates the design:  a sequence of geometric circular spaces, a dialogue between upper and lower landscape through the formation of views, and a stream of moving water.  A large semi-circular retaining wall forms the edge of the upper terrace and makes an arc from house to fence line.   At the garden entry, a landing acts as a node; its shape formed by a perfect circular retaining wall that mimics the upper patio wall.  The node introduces the larger garden and provides views of the upper patio wall, and the trough system and cisterns.   The circle is repeated again in the cisterns that receive water:  one at the base of the arced retaining wall, the other where the trough terminates at the bottom of the hill.  Aluminum troughs carry the water in a pattern that traverse the hillside.