Architecture and design do not end at the front door. They are elements that extend to the landscape, blending lines that can lucidly define living in beautiful places. And the sounds and sight of water, in particular, provide tranquility, enhancing the idea of a house as respite or sanctuary.

Using water to create drama extends living space from inside to outside.

Water as a design feature can serve to create intimacy, drama and connection to the natural world. In some instances, the edges of the backyard can feel static, but clever arrangements of hardscape elements can make a garden or water feature extend the beauty of the built environment. In other scenarios, the addition of water can serve to break up the expanse of a broad open space while also creating intimate focal points that relate back to the house. The surface of water as used in ponds can also frame the view of the built and natural environs for dramatic effect. The result enables gardeners and visitors to change their vantage points to appreciate the pond’s varied beauty and how it relates to the architectural design.

The use of a “dining bridge” in this Wyoming house serves to connect two distinct areas of the house and provide a serene connection with the outside world.

Our longtime JLF Architects’ design teammate, Verdone Landscape Architects, based in Jackson, Wyoming, has been enhancing the overall architecture of our projects since the 1990s.
Founder Jim Verdone has always stood by the design tenet of keeping things simple. That is to say, using elements that flow naturally with the existing environment. His team often works in tandem with JLF to coordinate our designs for integrated forms from inside to outside and for all seasons.

Creating a micro-environment that enhances outdoor living can be done with cascading water features. A blend of hardscape and water features creates a focal point from the patio of this Wyoming home.

Integrating the landscape and the architecture requires an understanding of how a house will be positioned on a building site. It necessitates attention to nature, how it relates to the landscape design and how both relate to the structure that will stand on the site in the end. When we work with the VLA crew, the origin of design is defined by the materials that will form the house. Often those same building materials are worked into the landscape architecture for a seamless extension of design inside and out, with the thoughtful addition of water features providing that extra element of serenity and connection to the natural setting.

This backyard fountain —cleverly used as both retaining wall and focal point—repeats the classic shapes and materials in the rest of the outdoor space.

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