Residential Landscape Architecture

Residential Landscape Architecture

Residential landscape architecture is the art of transforming ordinary yards into extraordinary outdoor environments homeowners can enjoy.

In Architecture, the yard is referred to as “the fifth room” and can be used for many different programming needs such as gathering and entertaining, recreation, growing and cooking food, or just relaxing with family on a Sunday afternoon.

As a high-end residential landscape design firm, the ultimate goal of Marcus Parker Landscape Architecture (MPLA) is to create outdoor living spaces that are in harmony with the needs of homeowners while simultaneously respecting and drawing from the beauty of the surrounding natural environment. The use, placement, and blending of colors, textures, plants, and hardscapes are all determined by this delicate balance.

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Marcus Parker personally meets with homeowners on site to discuss their project objectives and needs. He evaluates the site’s opportunities and constraints, such as usable space, natural light, terrain, and existing soil quality.

Landscape site analysis may also include budget constraints and identifying ideas for sustainable landscaping methods that maintain an environmentally friendly but aesthetically pleasing appearance. We constantly strive to integrate the natural and built environments to create an established “sense of place” for your project.

Landscape Concept Design is the exploratory process that seeks to distill all the components of a project, including the site program and site analysis, down to one simple yet effect design “parti” or concept. At this level, details are not as important as broader design factors such as scale, gathering nodes, circulation, and the overall organization of these elements.

When a design concept that works is achieved, it is a primary goal of the landscape designer to stay true to that concept throughout the rest of the design process and apply those core principles across all scales, details, and design problems.

Landscape planting design is the process of selecting the appropriate plant materials for a particular site to complement its natural habitat, create aesthetically pleasing view-sheds, produce climate-controlled spaces, and provide suitable growing conditions to give plants the best opportunity to establish and mature over time.

As a member of The Native Plant Society of Texas, MPLA promotes using native plant material in our designs and we feel lucky to have access to some of the richest and most resilient plant species around.

Hardscape consists of all flatwork included in a project. From elevated wood decks and poured concrete driveways to intimate paved patios and meandering stone garden paths.

Hardscape design is the discipline of laying out these exterior floors and walkways in a cohesive arrangement using project specific materials and patterns. Materials are chosen based on project objectives and site context. The latest in construction technology is used to design and detail paving profiles so installations last and do not fail over time.

Proper landscape grading and drainage can make or break a site. Too much water and sites will experience erosion and washout. Too little, and plants will die.

With our natural aquifers drying up at alarming rates in Central Texas, making the best use of stormwater captured on site is at the forefront of our designs at MPLA. We work with the surrounding topography and proposed site design to generate grading and drainage plans that will sustainably manage, direct, and disperse stormwater throughout the project site.

Landscape features include pergolas, fencing and screening, site walls, outdoor kitchens, and water features to name a few. The individual design of these elements should be completed with each other and the overall composition in mind, so they are seamlessly integrated into the entire project and don’t create piecemeal, disjointed results.

A goal without a plan is just a dream. Creating a master plan for residential projects helps homeowners visualize and eventually realize their dream property. A master plan takes all the aforementioned landscape elements and arranges them in one cohesive layout that achieves project objectives and works with the surrounding natural environment.

Master plans are very useful in that they can be used for pricing to understand overall project cost, bidding to relay design specifics to contractors, and permitting to share with local government agencies in order to obtain any necessary building approvals that are needed.

In order to produce the highest level of design, MPLA is strictly a design firm and does not perform the installation of our projects. MPLA does however support homeowners by assisting in the bidding process and staying on the project through construction to project completion.

Once the project is awarded to a contractor our construction administration support consists of reviewing and approving material submittals, answering any requests-for-information (RFIs) the contractor may have, and most importantly ensuring that installation is being conducted according to construction documents.

MPLA will make various visits to the job site, generate field reports to record installation progress and notify the owner and contractor of any concerns. Once the project is complete, MPLA will make a final site visit to review punch list items with the owner and contractor before the project is closed out and completed.

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