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Play yard is also a driveway.

More for people than for cars, this driveway is a two-purpose solution to a problem facing many houses on corner lots. Setback requirements often push such houses so far back from the streets that they leave only very limited back-yard space for outdoor living or gardening. Behind Jean and Paul Ekman's corner house in Seattle was a scant 6-foot-wide swath of garden where their young children could play. The driveway was the only logical place for scooting around on trikes and in wagons, but it was open to the street and not really big enough for a good game of tag or four-square. Enlarging it made it big enough; enclosing it made it safe. But the landscape architecture firm of Thomas L. Berger Associates took the concept further by designing a handsome space that functions like a back-yard patio and play area. Now the children can play on the expansive new surface while their parents sit beneath a glass-covered trellis, enjoying a cup of coffee. The L-shaped patio-driveway has a distinctive grid of brushed concrete that frames 4-foot squares of exposed aggregate. The grid runs at a 45' angle to the house and street; along one side, it makes a sawtooth pattern that defines the edge of a raised planter. The planter, built Lincoln log style, has sides of pressure treated 6-by-6s with 1-by-4s spaced between each course. When the children are outside, the owners roil a 24-foot-long section of welded steel fencing across the mouth of the driveway. This long gate fits behind the brick columns and matches the fencing around the rest of the 50-foot-long play yard. The trellis runs above a deck of 2-by-3s that wraps around a corner of the house. Wire glass above the main part of the deck creates a covered place to avoid the Northwest's frequent drizzles. L I
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Sep 1, 1990
Words:306
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