Waterfront Extreme Slope, Medina, WA
The primary construction challenge on this slope was the stability of a major steep slope on top of which a tram was built to access the lower residence. Development of the house caused an already precarious slope to become even more hazardous. Secondary project demands dealt with naturalistic shoreline construction in a very protracted front yard.
The steep slope along with its many points of daylighting water, unstable soils, hydrostatic pressure and changing subsurface water channels was clearly the ambitious endeavor to this project.
The stability of the slope required a impressive skeleton of steel reinforcement together with soil nails and other anchoring systems and shot create. All shotcrete surfaces were carefully formed not only to provide stability but to create future planting areas.
Because the subterranean system was unpredictable with daylighting water in many locations we innovated an approach of steep slope water interception systems that collected water from various locations even if it moved.
We also provided several sources of sediment catchment and clean out so that the subsurface drains could be maintained and rerouted via a pump system as necessary. The clear subsurface water was also collected and used to proactively to create a waterfall and pond system behind the house and at the bottom of the hill. The picture with the trickling water over large interconnected boulders was designed and executed with textured and painted shotcrete to look identical to stone formations.
Our role was to design, manage, supervise and install all aspects of the slope reconstruction and restoration with soil and plantings. Certain trades were subcontracted as in the case of geotechnical soil nails and shotcrete.
The design of the shoreline involved a serious of sinuous and curved terraces retained by handpicked boulders. Even though permit regulations prevented adding more shoreline further into Puget Sound our choice was to decrease a small percentage of square footage of property in exchange for an increase in linear footage by adding a curved beach heading inland. The functional outcome of this is actually an increase in usable space directly at the shore. The perceptive outcome is equally huge. The design and feel of the land from house to shore feels much bigger with many more opportunities to experience the estate.