Lombard Garden

San Francisco, California



This project introduces three new materials that define, shape and animate this garden perched above the iconic Lombard Street.  Wood defines the edge and becomes an important threshold between public and private, granite shapes the programmed areas of the garden and water animates the space and provides a focal element from the interior spaces of the house.

The two tiered garden interfaces with the historic and hectic Lombard Steps and Street, which generates a critical need to define a garden threshold that provides privacy without limiting the gardens commanding views.

The lower garden pays homage to the historical planting structure put in place in 1922, by the former Commissioner for Parks and Recreation, Peter Bercut.  His plan to plant hydrangeas along the length of Lombard Street exist to this day and helps create the stunning visual character of the beloved street.

The upper garden is accessed from the well-worn historic brick steps of Lombard Street and is the primary outdoor space for the residence.  The garden references the rich maritime history of the past and current residents; materials are left raw and exposed, the composition uses bold simple shapes.

The defining element of the garden is the wood clad garden wall.  Previously a concrete painted wall, the clad wall defines the perimeter of the garden and introduces a new texture and pattern to the garden.  Black Bamboo is used along the perimeter to shape and define the threshold between adjacent neighbors and the public walkway.  The horizontal spaces of the garden are demarcated with black basalt, which is cut and patterned to create a smooth rhythm that runs the long axis of the garden connecting the home and garden.