Daniel Weinbach & Partners, Ltd.
Katz Residence; Evanston, IL

Client: Steven & Rochelle Katz
Contractor: Flamingo Landscape, Inc.
Consultant: Halloran & Yauch, Inc.
Category: Design - Residential

The design began with a newly constructed home, a blank slate garden space, and a magnificent, multi-trunk copper beech tree. At first sight, it was clear that this beloved tree was to be the focus of the new garden. The owner's program was to create a user-friendly garden space with a significant water feature, while carefully preserving the beech tree. Design considerations included the site's grade changes, along with various relationships to the architecture, designed in a very refined modernist style.

An upper terrace of decomposed granite paving surrounds the tree allowing its roots a free exchange of water and air. At the far corner of the terrace lies a modest pool that is the source of the water system. The water flows through a scupper, along a channel, and terminates in a larger pool at the lower level on axis with the home's dining room. Along the same axis, a very simple, yet refined pergola structure incorporates elements of the building's architecture.

High quality architecture and modern landscape design blend to produce a garden that is well used and will endure for many years to come. There is no lawn in this garden, only simple, yet rich colorful beds of low maintenance plant material and high quality hardscape materials such as bluestone, cedar timber, and granite cobbles. It is a garden for all seasons and all times. The preservation of the magnificent copper beech and the structuring of the garden around it pay homage to a work of art only nature could create. The value of such a tree cannot be measured, but must be recognized and understood.