THE TOWNHOUSE GARDEN

The little townhouse garden site creates a rather intimate and per­sonal setting that often fits the relative scale of the human being. Limited Views and Interest The surrounding walls and/or fences of a townhouse site create a space that is inward and self-focused (Figure 13-28). The wall-like vertical planes and relatively flat ground surface establish a precise, architec­tural quality that is very much like the interior room of a house. This small architecturally defined garden requires special consideration. Everything within the space is seen from all vantage points. Whatever happens in this space is

Figure 13-31
Views from upper-story neighboring win­dows reduce the privacy in a townhouse garden. Fixed Access Points Fixed entry and exit points frequently determine access into and through the townhouse garden site (Figure 13—30). There is little room to make mistakes or adjust to special site issues. This may lead to a street, parking area, garage, or public green space. They give up what little outdoor space they have because they do not wish to be “on display.” Views and contact with the nearby environment are limited at best because of the separation created by the walls. Special Site Conditions
Space in a Box For all intents and purposes, the typical townhouse garden site is a rectangular box with an open top. Figure 13-29
Views from inside the house tend to be focused on the back wall of the townhouse garden site. This is particularly true for views from inside the house (Figure 13-29). However, for some people, this kind of space can also feel claustrophobic. The

Figure 13-30
Access into and circulation through the townhouse garden site tend to be fixed by door and gate locations. The singular spatial quality is frequently stark and completely without intrigue or appeal. This is true when standing in the space and when viewing it from inside the house. The limited size of the townhouse garden site makes this experience a difficult one to escape. Access points are located less frequently on the side walls. points of entry and exit normally cannot be altered because of the fixed position of ex­isting doors, gates, windows, or off-site conditions. One point of access is from the house itself. Lack of Privacy Even though solid walls or fences enclose the townhouse garden site, it commonly lacks privacy because nearby neighbors can see into the garden space from upper-story windows (Figure 13-31). This creates a “fish-bowl” like ex­perience for people in a townhouse garden site. Walls or fences commonly enclose the “box” on three sides while the residence forms the fourth side (Figure 13-27). It may be as small as 100 SF, and usually not any larger than 500 SF. Another point of entry is often from a gate or door in the end wall. The top of the “box” is ordinarily open to the sky, and the ground is often a simple, level plane. Furthermore, most views into or through the townhouse garden site tend to be directed to the back or outside wall. like being on a theater stage to nearby upper-story windows. This diminutive size accentuates the qualities already discussed and limits the uses or elements that can be placed within the space.

Updated: 01.11.2014 — 19:40