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Potomac Playground

April 28, 2011 Leave a comment

In the afternoon sun, the rustic stone pavilions glow like two pots of honey flecked with cinnamon. Set beside a swimming pool and against a backdrop of evergreens, the warm hues of rough rock suggest a fantasy from Tuscany (her dream), or a mountain retreat in the American West (his ideal). The genius of this Potomac landscape is that the timeless materials and iconic forms free the imagination to choose whichever dreamscape suits the mood. And dreamscape it is, now that two properties have been joined into one seamless family playground with a boulder-strewn spa and waterfall thundering toward a Zen-like fishpond in the lower quadrant of the annexed lot. The owners—an attorney, his wife and their two sons—waited six years to acquire the property next door, a corner site that has more than doubled their half acre. The project took three years and required a skilled design team to manipulate the land and replace the neighbors’ vintage rambler, tennis court and kidney-shaped swimming pool with features for an active family and their friends. Anne Decker of Rill & Decker Architects called on landscape architect Lila Fendrick to tame the site, now supported by a large stone retaining wall.

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