Backyard Transformation - Cedar Pergola and Fence
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BackgroundThis project was part of an extensive landscape revision, and installation of a new garden space in the backyard of an Arts & Crafts period home in North Portland. This project is included here as an example of how fine woodworking principles (design as well as fabrication) can be brought into practice on a project that is all too often treated as a second-class citizen for home improvement. It also illustrates how we pull in other trades and designers for specialized needs such as landscape design, metal fabrication and specialized finishing for the Portland climate.
The garden design challenge was to conceive an elegant interpretation of a Japanese garden, while adding contemporary and industrially-influenced details. The design also needed to tie into the Arts & Crafts architecture of the house, but at the same time, present fresh and innovative approaches to the overall design aesthetic. The garden was to include an area for outdoor dining and entertaining under a pergola, and an extensive and elaborate wrap-around fence system to provide privacy that is "neighbor friendly" and does not present as a fortress from outside the garden.
Scope of ProjectFor the overall garden design and planting specifications, we pulled in the landscape designer Barbara Hilty and worked with her in a collaborative manner to fine tune the design. The installation of the hardscape, walkways, irrigation, lighting and plantings were handled by the landscape contractor Structures in Landscape of Portland. Best Services designed, fabricated and installed the pergola and the complete fence system. The in-ground supports for the fenceposts and pergola posts were provided as part of the landscape contractor contract.
An early decision was made to fabricate the pergola and fence from clear western cedar which came to our shop as rough timbers. We designed the metal mesh-panel windows in the upper section of the fence to add interest, provide a contrasting element to the wooden structure, reinforce the "industrial" direction in the garden design, and provide air circulation throughout the garden. These mesh panels were fabricated to our design from steel by Structures in Landscape of Portland, then epoxy coated and powder coated to eliminate the potential for rust by Tufcoat finishers of Portland.
Click on each image to reveal more specific information about the fence & pergola design and construction.