Dream Home Project in Burlington County, New Jersey
by Steve Chepurny, ASLA

Beechwood Landscape Architecture & Construction LLC (Beechwood), recently completed work on a wonderful project—a private residence on three acres of property in Burlington County in the southern part New Jersey. When my client purchased the property, it had been neglected for some time. But he and his wife could see the vision that others could were unable to imagine.

Chepurny - Image 1
Before any work was done. Image courtesy Beechwood Landscape Architecture & Construction LLC, John Martinelli, photographer.

The property’s main assets are the extended natural vistas to the Rancocas Creek watershed, and the natural oak and holly wooded perimeter.

Chepurny - Image 2
View of Rancocas Creek at the pool without fence along siteline. Image courtesy Beechwood Landscape Architecture & Construction LLC, John Martinelli, photographer.

The owners commissioned Beechwood to do all of the exterior work—from completing a masterplan to installing all of the features.

Chepurny - Image 2A
Master plan for property. Image courtesy Beechwood Landscape Architecture & Construction LLC, John Martinelli, photographer.

The improvements for the property included a raised terrace, pool, cook station, fire feature, ample entertainment space, landscape masterplan, lighting, irrigation, and a complete reevaluation of the entrance driveway and walkway. The main criterion was to preserve the open views of the Rancocas with no visual sight line interruptions inclusive of fencing.

To complicate matters, existing easements provided additional limitations throughout the property. The rear yard was severely restricted with a stream encroachment easement and a farmland preservation easement. The front yard had both utility easements and storm water easements. Once we established the limits, it was clear that the pool would need to be integrated into the terrace and essentially raised out of grade. With the elevated pool, we took advantage of the exposed pool wall to meet our required pool code barrier.

Chepurny - Image 3
View looking south to the back of the terrace. Image courtesy Beechwood Landscape Architecture & Construction LLC, John Martinelli, photographer.

The terrace was molded around the pool and this visually integrated the terrace and pool to the rear foundation expansive windows. The pool deck is a full-range color bluestone with a natural cleft top.

Chepurny - Image 4
View of the fire feature, pool, and cooking/dining station. Image courtesy Beechwood Landscape Architecture & Construction LLC, John Martinelli, photographer.

The vistas from inside the house were a critical design consideration. The Rancocas Creek is a major waterway and tributary of the Delaware River and is constantly in fluctuation and change.

Once we were able to design the terrace to meet the pool code requirement, the next challenge was going through the approval process with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the township. The DEP’s role was to evaluate the stream encroachment line and eventually approve the project for construction. We worked closely with an environmental engineer and a civil engineer to prepare all of the required information for the DEP. The process was quite arduous and took approximately 14 months for approvals. Once approved by the DEP, the Moorestown Township also gave us the green light. The total endeavor was expensive for my client but in essence, the process maintained the integrity and monetary value of the property.

The rear terrace consists of 2600 square feet of full-range color Pennsylvania Bluestone with a natural cleft top. The pool is 550 square feet with an oversized 64 square foot spa. The copper scuppers offer a simplistic but elegant water feature that can be enjoyed from both inside and outside of the house.

Chepurny - Image 5
Copper scupper water feature, pool, and dining area. The pool coping and steps have a thermal to, the bluestone is 1.75 inches thick and has a rock face edge. Image courtesy Beechwood Landscape Architecture & Construction LLC, John Martinelli, photographer.

The walls are veneered and a natural stone mix of antique Pennsylvania Bluestone ledger and a Pennsylvania shist. The stone was custom cut to fit with no size exceeding 4 inch in width. The exterior cook station and bar includes Viking components consisting of a 48 inch grill, sink, icemaker, double refrigerator, warming drawer, storage, and trash receptacle. The countertop is custom fabricated concrete surface, which offers a great finish with no maintenance. Other amenities include a surround sound system, glass tile in both the pool and bar area, and LED lighting.

Chepurny - Image 6
Custom cook station with concrete countertop, and the glass tile is consistent with the pool tile. Image courtesy Beechwood Landscape Architecture & Construction LLC, John Martinelli, photographer.

Cepurny - Image 7
Cook station with beer meister, refrigerator, grill, warming drawer, sink, storage and ice maker. Image courtesy Beechwood Landscape Architecture & Construction LLC, John Martinelli, photographer.

However, the best “design” feature is the Rancocas Creek—mother nature at her best with no obstructed views. Throughout the process, the views and vistas were a constant point of discussion. Plantings were selected specifically for height or the lack of height. We were able to introduce a few vertical points to frame select positive views.

Chepurny - Image 8
Living area with built-in fire feature and custom stone veneer planter. Image courtesy Beechwood Landscape Architecture & Construction LLC, John Martinelli, photographer.

Upon completion, the client was ecstatic with the results. The following spring we moved to the remaining front yard to complete the renovation. 

Steve Chepurny, ASLA, is a landscape architect and the president of Beechwood Landscape Architecture & Construction LLC in Southampton Township, New Jersey. He can be reached at: steve@beechwoodlandscape.com.

 
CommentsComments(0)  |  Print PDFPrint PDF  |  Send to a FriendEmail Newsletter
ASLA Home
PPN Home

CONTENTS


Letter from the Chair
Davidson Reading Garden: Reinventing an Underused Space With an Artistic Touch
Marketing Your Services to Maximize Your Exposure
Rethinking the Lawn: Low Water Design and Sheetmulching Can Save the Day
The “Jewel Box” Trade: Thoughts on Our Wonderful Profession
Dream Home Project in Burlington County, New Jersey
 

 

Jennifer Horn, ASLA, Co-Chair
(202) 573-7581
jennifer@jenniferghorn.com

James Hughes, Affiliate ASLA, Co-Chair
(850) 294-3227
jhl.contact@gmail.com