The homeowners gave something to the com­munity with the renovation of their home and garden. As the jury said, "A lot of places pull back from public space, but this opens up to it"

PENINSULA RESIDENCE3 Before the redesign, the entry stairs led straight and steep to the door, and there was no usable space. Surrounding plantings were an assort­ment of ornamentals with high water demands. Except...a grove of native live oaks, planted by the owners two decades ago, had developed a twisted, wild-looking quality. These oaks became the central feature of the new design and an expression of its identity. Narrow-profile Cor-Ten steel walls now protect the oak roots as well as hold the slope in place. The walk up from the street weaves through the sculptural oaks and swales of native rushes (Juncus). At the top of the walk, along with a reflecting pool flush with the ground level, two terraces extend the interior into secluded spaces for outdoor living. Steel walls four feet high are tall enough for privacy from the street but low enough to save views from inside the house. Further challenging the usual conventions of Bay Area front yards, instead of ground cover, the fallen oak leaves are allowed to stay there as an attractive natural mulch.

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