This commercial studio is a rental space for small businesses, and a host space for medium-sized gatherings. The client hoped to build multi-functional spaces for entertaining, while protecting the huge oak from further root compaction by guiding visitors through garden paths to open spaces. The aggregate game pit infiltrates overland water, as does the pervious paving. Raised planters define space. The streetscape along this corner lot is full of native sun-loving perennials, such as muhly grass and echinacea, underneath the fruit-bearing native serviceberries. 

oak house

commercial portfolio

EST. 2008

The site had functioned as an industrial loading dock for nearly 50 years. The soils were abysmal and hard as a rock, lacking organic matter and hardly able to infiltrate water. The large oak tree on the front of the building was negatively impacted after years of root compaction.


site conditions

Construction complete





gathering space under the oak

Featured images: front view with game pit and fire pit; fire pit on circular pervious patio; retaining wall for seating; sunflowers and side street view; custom circular patio in low-mow organic lawn; steps along raised planter and seating wall.