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Vegetated Surfaces

Programming the landscape for vegetation requires a synthesis of design intentions with the habitat requirements of a given ecological community.  Planted surfaces simultaneously fit into the landscape design program and the corresponding ecosystems niche that has been derived. 

Native short grass turf

(passive surface)

Mulch

(hardwood + mineral)

Seeded patch

(wildflowers + grasses)

Zoysia turf

(active surface)

Surface Water Flows

During a rainfall event, excess water flows by being pulled along by gravity and pushed by volume.  A key part of surface programming is acknowledging the corridors available to drain inundated surfaces, corresponding vegetation, in addition to the scripted interruptions that buffer the force of flowing water. 

Basalt

(trestle rock)

Ghostwood

(sculptural tree relics)

Limestone

(coarse gravel)

River stone

(gravel + honeycomb)

Metal

(porous steel bar-grate)

Functional Surfaces

Designed spaces that provide the surface context for human enjoyment, entertaining, and useful access.  The surrounding landscape sets the mood for the functional surfaces in every project, especially as urban life beyond the garden gets faster and more complex. Even while you’re away, you can remain connected here to this place we’ve built together.

Basalt

(finely crushed gravel)

Cedar

(staves + posts)

Exotic hardwood

(decking + seating)

Granite

(finely crushed gravel)

Limestone

(gravel + patio stone)

Polygal

(modern plastic panels)

Shou sugi ban

(charred wood treatment)

Metal

(industrial materials)

The analysis + application of materials to solve a design requirement in the landscape is what ecotopes calls surface programming.

Surface programming can simultaneously improve numerous variables.  For example, proper programming will both allow stormwater infiltration for the immediate benefit of plants + yield necessary drainage for the protection of structures, elements + ground materials.

The thoughtful interplay of delightful people-spaces + amenities alongside fully functional natural elements is the overall goal of surface programming.

SURFACE DYNAMICS RANGEFINDER