You really can find opportunities in unexpected places, insists Mehrnoosh, a Los Angeles architect and designer who enjoys making refined aesthetic statements in previously plain suburban environments. To illustrate her point, she takes us to a project in a modest neighborhood to define how simple architectural and landscape elements – and water – can bring elegance and tranquility to otherwise overlooked and underappreciated spaces.
I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of urbanism as defined by Thomas Jefferson: He boiled it down to the notion that everyone should have his or her own private space as well as a buffer against the outside world.
In a sense, the physical concept of the front yard fits perfectly within Jefferson’s utopian ideal. At root, it’s an ingenious setup that has probably endured for so many centuries because, on some level, it addresses our primal need to have land all around us. By the very configuration of our residential spaces, we each have a small, open, pastoral area that [more]