Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Another discovered Cor-ten landscape

Shortly after I posted the pictures of the “lust-worthy” metal planters last week I discovered this Cor-ten masterpiece… Wow. I would have loved to hear the conversations the neighbors were having while this one was going up. I love it, but I don’t imagine it’s everyone’s cup-of-tea. I wonder what is on the other side of the wall? A pool? A patio with fabulous modern furniture and containers? There is a rectangular reflecting pool under the front windows. And even a group of matching raised planting boxes for a garden. Who knew there was so much fabulous metal work to be found in NE Portland? I wonder if it is all the work of the same artist?

17 comments:

  1. Wow. I think you need a little sticker or calling card, "Danger Garden was here," so they can find the photos on your blog. (In fact, I'm going to steal my idea.) That's a serious infatuation with Cor-Ten.

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  2. Hmm... definitely garners a closer look. I'd love to see the backyard.

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  3. not my cup of tea. I liked the planters in the previous cor-ten post, but this one is too much of one color and texture, especially the big wall with the planter underneath.

    I like the raised beds in both posts, but on a practical level, I wonder if the material is too thin to lean on. Working with plants on top of my retaining wall, and in my raised beds, I know I need to lean on the edges quite a bit. I imagine the same problems with the corrugated aluminum sided raised beds I've seen in recent books.

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  4. I like Denise's idea...maybe even an offer to do an interview that you would post here.
    I think the Cor-Ten always looks good, but these folks have used it especially well, and it is so in keeping with the style of the house. Another great post. Thanks!

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  5. We corner-lot gardeners have to be a little bolder with our privatization, right? That is a serious investment in steel! I like it, but like Ryan, I'd like to see it somewhat broken up with taller plants on the long side. The grasses aren't enough of a counterpoint to all that rust color in my mind.

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  6. I have to agree with Ryan, too much of a good thing...seems a bit too monolithic...rather like a fortress! I'm sort of undecided about the transluscent material...was it frosted glass or some sort of "plastic". The effect, taken as a whole, is a bit too "harsh" I guess...it will be interesting to see how it looks when the plantings have matured and softened the look. I AM curious about what the view from inside is like ;-) I do have to commend them on matching the existing lines of the house, though, it's excellent craftsmanship, for sure.

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  7. totally digging the raised beds. i love when people take design risks though. so much more fun that safe boring lawn, squared off symmetrical planters, boring boring blah stuff.

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  8. At client's request back in '99 or Y2K, I designed a rear cor-ten steel divider wall between two outdoor spaces. Came out great with bluish Sotol and other plant combos. I like the one you show in Portland, though perhaps a bit much for some people. I'll always side with someone making a statement over one who announces how boring they are...

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  9. But what about context??? Does this Cor-ten corner relate to the architecture of the house and property? How do these vertical pillars relate to the rest of the Cor-ten 'fence'? How do the vertical lines relate to the horizontal lines of the house and land? I've spent some time looking at this house (in person) and it makes me sad. To me, it seems there was considerable Cor-ten excitement without enough planning and visualizing -resulting in an overbuilt corner of the property that is out of scale and context.

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  10. What a great post of a really interesting place. I also agree with Ryan and the others about plant selections.

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  11. Denise, you know actually I have one...I just forgot to use it! Plus I like the anonymity. I was pretty sure this post was going to illicit some strong feelings (read on).

    Grace, me too!

    Ryan, from what I saw I would have to say that it would definitely stand up to leaning, no problem. It is pretty thick. As for too much...well actually I agree. Don't get me wrong...I love it but there is something I would have changed. I think the plant palette doesn't even begin to stand up to the strong lines of the metal. I am giving them the benefit of the doubt on that one as maybe they are waiting to go plant crazy when the weather warms. But yes...I think the long wall is a little to much metal. I wonder what they are hiding back there?

    ricki, got 'em (cool calling cards)....now I just need to think to use them.

    MulchMaid, as a previous corner lotter (?) I so agree. And also agree that the plantings need to really step it up a notch or three to compete.

    scott, perfect word! Fortress. You know I assumed it was glass and didn't even touch it to see.

    Bianca, yes! I would so much rather have this as a neighbor than one who either ignores their property or has just a lawn that they let go dormant every summer.

    DD, again I totally agree.

    Lauren, I am so glad you commented as I thought of you when I saw this. Why? Because you are the master of tasteful use of rusty metal in the garden. As for context I have a couple of thoughts on that. First...it was REALLY hard to get a photo where it didn't look like the tall house behind wasn't actually some bad addition on top of this one. The two styles clash horribly. Maybe if this house had played it a little more low key with the hardscape that wouldn't be so striking. But still I feel like the neighborhood already has some serious issues with context. Secondly I really like how the frosted panels relate to the windows of the house. I feel like they got that part right. I just didn't understand why the west (?) side wall had to be so tall. Unless maybe they are playing basketball back there? I also loved the front steps (which don't look original?). But what I do not get at all are the plant choices. You say you've spent time looking at it in person. How old is it? Are these plants it? Nothing grander to come?

    Aerie-el, me too.

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  12. looks cool. too bad it doesn't seem to fit the style/scale of the house. but now that i know what cor-ten is, i think you do owe it to us to march back over there, knock on the door and demand to see (and show us) what's on the other side!! inquiring minds want to know!

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  13. I love the warm natural patina this stuff acquires over time, and it's a terrific foil for plants. That said, even beautiful material used in excess can be too much. I'm curious, were people doing with wood what these folks were doing with the steel? Then it wouldn't seem so hostile, but if they were the only one building a fortress--even out of the gorgeous materials--then I'd say it's too much...back to Lauren's comment about context...

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  14. Very unique. I can see why it caught your eye.

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  15. Danger Garden, I'll make another site visit. I want to study it again. I agree about the sand-blasted glass relating to the windows of the house. There are elements of this metal/glass work that are very nice but like Ryan said, too much of a good thing. I first looked at the house about one year ago and don't remember noticing any significant plantings then.

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  16. (I know, I'm slow on the pick-up, but can't resist this one.)

    Every time I walk by that place, my cells positively jitter in nervous anticipation of how damn hot it's going to be if the sun ever comes out again.

    And since our corner lot is six blocks from theirs, I don't quite get the privacy issue. This here's the city. Our houses are shoulder to shoulder. I like to see what's going on out there in the hood. The next-door neighbor's are 10 feet away, so who would we be kidding anyway?

    Here in PDX—land of one fabulous nursery after another—the solution to "privacy" seems simple: plant some trees and shrubs. We can sit on our front patio all day long with nary a notice. Unless we clink our wine glasses too loud, and then neighbors come running—which is always fine with us...

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  17. That would look FABULOUS in my Phoenix yard. Lust-worthy indeed.

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