2019 Honor Awards - Thompson Lake House

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Thompson Lake House

CTA Group

The overall site consists of 80-acres, which was originally a cattle ranch. Most of the property was then converted to a gravel mine and dewatered.

Through cattle and mining operations, the natural environment of the site was severely damaged.

Once the mining operations were complete, landscape architects were brought in to restore the property. An existing stream, negatively impacted by the cattle operations, was restored with extensive native vegetation and with pools and gravel bars for feeder fish and spawning beds. Natural water flow was allowed back into the mining pits forming lakes with constructed islands consisting of native plants attractive to water fowl. Newly constructed green space included a comprehensive planting of trees and native shrubs, meandering streams, and areas of open space. Low water use fescue was seeded as the tree understory. To make the site suitable for residential and recreational use, engineered soil and stone terraced walls

were used to raise four large lots out of the flood zone.

Lot 2 was envisioned as a single-family oasis that could be restful and serene yet open and welcoming. The client wanted the interior and exterior to blend effortlessly together. To accomplish this, architects and landscape architects worked closely together to assure this seamless transition was accomplished. Large windows and operable hanger doors allow for the extension of enclosed space to flow into the integrated outdoor space. The home was carefully aligned to provide focused views to significant outside features such as the lake, waterfalls, forested berms, and the temple on a distant hill.

To experience the landscape, one enters the site crossing a stone bridge and driving through an allée of trees. On the left is an open lawn set aside for recreation and special events. A circular drop area allows for easy access to the house. Paver walkways direct guests indoors or alongside a meandering stream, past a cascading waterfall, and to the large lakeside patio. Footbridges cross the stream and introduce users to a long boardwalk that terminates on one end over the waterfall pool and on the other at a viewing platform above the lake. The back patio is terraced via locally quarried sandstone walls above a sand beach at the edge of the lake. The terraces are planted with a variety of drought tolerant and native wildflowers, shrubs, and trees to provide color, movement, and a feeling of respite. The majority of the hardscape, both vehicular and pedestrian, is comprised of dry set concrete pavers that allow for the percolation of stormwater.

The Thompson Lake House Garden is an example of adaptive reuse through the conversion of a damaged site into a beautiful oasis for the enjoyment of both humans and wildlife.