Captured Garden House

rendering of courtyard


Captured Garden

The typical suburban garden manifests as an elongated fringe stretching taught around a centralized building core, essentially wrapping or capturing the building in a thin veil of disgruntled shrubbery, overcrowded and baking in the sun. These gardens inhabit the left-over or unusable space.  This project is a response/alternative to that typology, a study of its inverse condition. The spaces are thin, efficiently arranged as a perimeter condition around a centralized garden core.

basswood study model

The house was originally designed for a couple who have retired to Orlando, a painter and a woodworker, both of whom were born and raised in rural “old Florida” communities. The slash pines forest and deeply layered shadows of the live oak hammock inhabit their earliest memories. The garden space of this house responds to those memories, capturing conditions of a similar quality. The house responds to their programmatic requirements: spaces to continue their artistic work, a library sufficient to hold a vast collection a books, a small apartment/ cottage for guests and family, as well as a lap pool to stay fit.



1.    Entry
2.    Kitchen
3.    Dinning Room
4.    Living Room
5.    Porch
6.    Bedroom
7.    Bathroom
8.    Closet / Utility Room
9.    Woodworking Shop
10.    Shop Courtyard
11.    Laundry
12.    Painting Studio / Guest Bedroom
13.    Garage
14.    Garden

15.    Pool
16.    Shop Fountain Waterfall
17.    Library
18.    Herb Garden Balcony


The master suite sits above the  kitchen and opens to a covered balcony looking over the street on the South. The glazing on both sides of this room may be opened to allow the breeze to pass all the way through in a manner similar to the sleeping porches of  the “old Florida” vernacular.

The master suite connects to the painting studio via a long bridge which doubles as a library. The painting studio is open completely to the North and South, though the southern exposure is mitigated by the garden trees as well as the main building.

Beneath the living room of the main building is a woodworking shop, a two car garage, and a laundry/service area. The wood shop looks directly to the garden via a small embedded courtyard. A stair connects up to the garden and then continues to the porch off the main living room. The embedded courtyard also incorporates a waterfall from the pool above, which functions as sound mitigation for when the wood shop is in use.

lap pool, stairs to woodshop, library, and living room

stairs down to woodshop, up to library

Study model of street frontage, garage and entry stair

study of entry sequence


entry into courtyard


view from studio balcony