Field Collective

Oakland Hills Residence by Field Collective Landscape Architecture. A graphic section showing a forested slope with a raised deck

Oakland Hills Residence

PROJECT LOCATION: Oakland, California
SIZE: 0.5 acres 
STATUS: Concept
ROLE: Landscape architect

Site context

This incredible residence is nestled serenely in the Oakland hills. The property is in close proximity to Dr. Aurelia Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park. Markedly, the landscape contains multiple coastal redwood trees (Sequoia sempervirens) of varying maturity. In addition, located centrally is a spectacular grove of mature, large, coast live oak trees (Quercus agrifolia). An existing topographic bench cuts along the north bank of the property exposing several rock outcrops. Beyond this, a forested slope drops away towards Redwood Regional Park. Generally, the current backyard is a landscape of undeveloped exotic grassland interspersed with trees, with a few wood steps through the steep slope.

An existing pool terrace adjacent to the house and a deck that wraps around the western and northern sides of the house. These create flat outdoor living areas with epic views towards the hills of Redwood Regional Park.

Project brief

Chiefly, our clients wanted to reconfigure their existing curvy pool to a more functional and contemporary rectangular shape. Another focus was expanding the size of the current pool terrace to incorporate additional functions like a hot tub and an expanded outdoor dining area. Finally, they also hoped to better utilize the backyard to create different areas for play, respite and socializing. All the while amplifying the property’s inherent beauty and ecological function. 

Our response

Field Collective designed a system of pathways and stairways that connect different programmatic elements throughout the backyard.  Including a rain garden that infiltrates runoff from the pool terrace and a series of terraces that will form an orchard. We also designed a multi-level deck set amongst the oak grove and rock retaining walls that carve out space for circulation.  Different areas for seating and socializing and sculptural stairways provide moments of adventure and respite. In addition, two options were developed for the pool terrace, each with alternative spatial configurations. 

Proposed materiality is natural and refined, with decomposed granite, wood, rock and limited concrete and weathering steel. Overall, we proposed a minimal intervention in the backyard because of the significant ecological and aesthetic value of the existing landscape. Planting in the backyard will be entirely native, and mostly regionally specific. Whereas the planting for the entrance and pool terrace will have a wider geographic reach. 

Landscape plan – showing pool terrace option 1 and front entrance courtyard option 1.

Two options for the front entrance courtyard area. There is an existing small raised garden around the olive tree, retained by a low brick wall. Our clients wanted to remove the brick and create a space that was inviting and allowed for casual play and socializing.

Pool terrace option 1 – looking from the side entrance as you first arrive into the backyard area from the street.

Pool terrace option 1 – looking back towards the house, showing the fire pit area, dining area, swimming pool, in-ground hot tub and planting areas.

Pool terrace option 2 – looking from the side entrance as you first arrive into the backyard area from the street.

Pool terrace option 2 – looking back towards the house, showing the swimming pool, raised circular hot tub, dining area and planting areas.