The Great Retaining Wall

Sometimes functional hurdles can result in a beautiful solution.

We are currently building a wonderful traditional home on a challenging lot. The grade change from the front to the back was steep. While the steep grade made it ideal to put the garage under the home, we also were trying to accommodate a parking spot on the main level for everyday use; quick grocery runs, kid drop offs, etc.

To compound the challenge, we were tight on the lot and only had room for a single drive entry. The drop in grade is 10’ but it is actually a 12’ drop between finished floors.

Austin, our lead architectural designer, solved the problem with a retaining wall that curves into a beautiful volute. Like a the termination of a hand rail on a stair newel, the turn here has a wonderful shape that will turn into a beautiful planter when we are done. For now, just seeing the shape come together, its footing, the form work and then final shape was great fun. We’ll share more pictures as the project progresses.