Potish Residence

A Country Home in the Woods

Stillwater, Minnesota
MNLA Honor Award, Residential Full Yard Design

Taking our cues from the cottage style architecture and high quality detailing throughout this residence, we developed a design that would meet our client’s goals. We began our work determining the appropriate geometry and materials for the hardscape features that would provide shape and pattern to the landscape design.

There is a distinctive geometry of this building, as if two structures had been joined at a 30 degree angle. The circular stone terrace is the form that we came upon that elegantly unifies the two rectangles together while creating a pleasant form in itself. The terrace allows the interior space of the kitchen and great room to extend out into the forest and provides a view through the trees to the lake in the distance.

We echoed the split fieldstone veneer of the house, selected by the Architect, by detailing the vertical surfaces of the steps and seatwall with the same material. The stone seatwall around the rear terrace provides enclosure and seating for this outdoor room. A dry-laid, Chilton stone stairway connects the stone terrace to the exposed aggregate terrace at the walkout level. The lower terrace is simple and contemporary in form. This space is primarily used by the teenage family members as a gathering space outside of the recreation room. The lower terrace overlooks a small pond designed to absorb much of the stormwater run-off while simultaneously providing habitat and water for wildlife.

The steep rooflines and interesting configuration of this structure help it blend into its woodland setting. Soft, casual plantings strengthen the way in which the home connects with the landscape, while providing color, texture, and seasonal interest.