The backyard of this home was in rough shape. There was a neglected kidney shape pool, a small storage shed, inconsistent ground cover and a collection of 4 different fences wrapping the perimeter. Broadly speaking, the goal of the homeowners was to transform the space from one that repelled them to one that drew them to being outside for improved metal and physical wellness. The specific uses they wanted to achieve this goal were a new cabana with multiple functions (including a home gym, shaded lounge space, dining space, and a small outdoor kitchen), a renovated pool and consistent landscaping with a more cohesive design.
The design uses a juxtaposition of naturally colorful dark wood in shaded areas with saturated, warm colors in non-shaded areas. The idea was to evoke consistent brightness and joy with colors that also helped to organize the backyard as a more unified whole. The various fences surfaces (resulting from abutting neighbors’ lots) were all painted with a stratum of warm colors on each fence board from dark warm to lighter bright warm at the top suggesting the pretense of a sunset. This color wraps the yard to provide visual depth from multiple vantagepoints. The shaded areas, by contrast feel darker and cooler for cognitive reinforcement.
The weather in New Orleans is often pleasant but can get very hot in the summer and mildly cold in the winter. With the right setup, the less pleasant days can be made agreeable. The shade and ceiling fans are provided for the summer, and two heat lamps are provided in the lounge space to make the mild winter days more bearable. There is a retractable projector screen with outdoor projector, which were used rather than a tv so that the shaded space can be more open on multiple sides (enhancing ventilation).
As avid fitness buffs they needed a space for a lot of major weightlifting and cardio gym equipment. Due to the lockdown at the beginning of the global pandemic, the equipment they previously had was spread throughout their house. The total space allowed for the cabana was limited so the gym space was specifically sized with all the equipment arrange for compact but optimal use. The gym is the only conditioned space within the cabana, but large sliding glass walls are provided to take advantage of the gym’s proximity to the pool and outdoor areas.
The space is used by the owners everyday for working out, cooking watching movies or just meditating. The project presupposes that Artifice, when done with intention, is just as functional as the physical uses of the spaces and objects it decorates.