Laurelhurst Side Porch

The side porch project is an answer to two needs:

  1. The existing cedar deck was old, deteriorated and becoming a hazard.  Therefore, it needed to be replaced.
  2. The owner wanted a porch.  While the style of the home didn’t lend itself to a front porch, it did allow for a side porch.  The concept of this project was largely formed by the nature of the site, the sun, and how water can not only flow away from the house but how the sound of it can enhance the atmosphere.  About 1/3 of the existing roof sheds water onto the new translucent side porch cover, which directs it to two opposing rain chains.  One rain chain deposits water into a concrete planter wall running along the perimeter of the site and the other fills a small basin that deposits it via a scupper into a Mexican black beach rock filled basin.  The scupper creates a peaceful, continuous fountain that helps to block out nearby sounds.   From the basin, water has the ability to overflow into a special drain into the landscape beyond.

There are few impermeable parts in this project.  The concrete planter box and basin provide the framework that holds the concrete roof pavers sand-set in the porch floor.

The existing dilapidated cedar shed also needed replacing and the new shed is designed for durability and ambiance, two things not commonly found together.  Two sides of this corrugated metal structure are covered with a living wall.  One side of the living walls faces the porch lending a calming tranquility to the atmosphere.  The other side faces the backyard and houses a reclaimed Mexican teak shed door nestled in one side.  Not only do the living walls add a vibrancy to the space but they also add a coolness on hot summer days.

From the street the design appears as if it has always been part of the original house but delights the visitor when stepping beyond to find a calculated play between classic forms and clean rectangular modern shapes.  The site fabricated steel frame of the porch cover is carried by fiberglass columns similar to ones found existing on the house.  This steel frame carries a tranbslucent polygal system that brings light to the rooms of the north wall.   The structural wood beam which carry the framework extend in front of the existing structure to help block unwanted west light in the evenings.

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