Sycamore Residence, Pacific Palisades

Our goal for this new home was to complement Michael Kovac’s spare, elegant architectural design with an equally graceful palette of plants and garden rooms within the context of the wild California chaparral.

The architect/client wanted to earn a LEED Platinum rating and the property is powered entirely by a series of photovoltaic cells on the roof. The front yard is home to two massive existing native Sycamore trees. The entire area was planted with bold, graphic curves of unusual Mediterranean materials that were similar to the surrounding native plants of Rivas Canyon. The landscape in the back of the home opens up to the canyon and has a very steep slope. The planters between the descending paths are filled with flowing grasses and colorful Kangaroo Paw.

The bottom of the slope can accommodate a future pool. For now, the decomposed granite pad is home to a small greenhouse for the owners’ orchid collection that also serves as a refuge for contemplation and beauty.