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Bold entry court instead of asphalt driveway.

There's nothing timid about the timbers used to transform the front yard of this Los Angeles tract house into a spacious entry court. Their bold size is key to the design's success at emphasizing horizontal space and visually anchoring the house to its site. Wedged between street and steep canyonside, the house had level space only in front--and most of that was driveway. Owners Mary Ellen and George Guffey wanted to add an office for each of them (without eating up level ground), make patios opening off indoor living areas, and improve the house's appearance. Malibu architect Doug Rucker added the two studies, with balconies, over the two-car garage. He replaced the living room's aluminum-frame window with two sets of wood-frame French doors. To make a patio that could support cars, he laid a framework of redwood 4-by-8s, poured concrete inside the framework over a grid of reinforcing steel, and then filled in with bricks. Redwood also frames the steps. An arbor stretches across the front of the garage, turns the corner at the entry, crosses the living room wall, then turns again at the patio's seating area. The posts are 12-by-12s, bolted in concrete footings and notched at the top to receive laminated 5-by-12 beams; 4-by-6s notch onto the beams. The Guffeys are training bougainvillea to climb the arbor. A new brick-capped stucco wall, lined with planting beds, encloses the entry court. Now the entire court doubles as driveway and outdoor party locale.
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Title Annotation:remodeling of front yard
Date:May 1, 1990
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