As stated before, the advantages that walls and fences have in fulfilling these functions in comparison to plant materials are that walls and fences do not take time to mature and they do not require specific environmental conditions for location. Walls and fences can fulfill the same functions as plant materials do in the vertical plane by serving as spatial edges, screening views, creating privacy, directing views, modifying exposure to sun and wind, and directing movement
An example of the graphic differences among the functional diagram, preliminary design, and master plan. The layout of walls and fences can accentuate the overall design theme architecturally. The illustration in Figure 11-89 shows an interior and exterior setting in which walls and fences (1) help create a variety of spaces, (2) vary in height to provide different degrees of privacy, (3) include openings (windows) for defining special areas and views, and (4) support a number of furnishings (potted plants, sculpture, pictures, etc.) that provide additional character to each of the spaces. The second way walls and fences can connect a house to its surroundings is by serving as extensions of the house that stretch out into the site from the house (Figure 11—84). Retaining walls hold back a slope or upper level of ground from a lower area of ground (Figure 11—81). As with plant materials, the designer is typically most concerned with the location and function of walls and fences as well as with their general materials during preliminary design. There are two general categories of walls and fences that can be used on the residential site: (1) retaining walls and (2) free-standing walls or fences. Here again, the design of walls and fences needs to be closely coordinated with form composition so that it is reinforced in the third dimension. Figure 11-86
Walls and fences can visually unify elements that are otherwise seen as separate elements. Planls ore зaeл as separate and isolated. Architectural Extension Walls and fences can be used to visually and functionally connect a house or other building to its surrounding site in several distinct ways. Such architectural extensions act like “arms” that reach out to “embrace the site.” Both these techniques make the house and site appear as a totally integrated environment. For example, the designer may decide that a wall near the outdoor entry foyer should be stone, whereas a fence along the east property line should be constructed of rough-sawn cedar. The layout of walls and fences can also furnish visual interest. Figure 11-88
The plan layout of walls and fences can provide visual interest while complementing the design theme. Walls and fences also do not take up much area on the site and are very practical where space is limited. In addition, walls and fences can be used for several other purposes: (1) architectural extension of the house, (2) background to other elements, (3) unifier, and (4) visual interest of form and pattern. Figure 11-87
Examples of walls and fences detailed with decorative material patterns. Background Walls and fences can serve as neutral backgrounds to other foreground elements if the color and material patterns of the walls or fences are subdued. groupings
Wall visual I u linKs the iwo^rexps inrte one cornpas it/on. Walls and fences used for this purpose are often best placed at the edge of a space or along the site boundary. First, walls and fences can repeat the materials that are on the house’s fa£ade in the landscape, thus providing a visual link between the house and the site (Figure 11—83). Unifier A similar use of walls and fences is to visually connect or link otherwise unrelated elements (Figure 11—86). The designer usually does not determine the actual appearance of walls or fences or the specific pattern that the materials will have on these vertical planes. Both retaining walls and free-standing walls can be used for a number of functions on the residential site. Figure 11-82
An example of a free-standing fence and wall. This repetition of materials creates a strong sense of unity between house and site. Free-standing walls or fences are elements that stand in the landscape without the support of other structural elements (Figure 11—82). Visual Interest Walls and fences can be designed and detailed with attractive patterns of materials and textures that delight the eye (Figure 11—87). Walls and fences can also be designed so that protrusions or indentations cast attractive light and shadow patterns that change throughout the day and year. These four aspects of designing with walls and fences need to be explored so that these design elements can be as spatially valuable as interior walls. Walls and fences do not always have to be placed in absolutely straight lines. Retaining walls are usually constructed with a masonry material, such as stone, brick, or masonry block, or with a pressure-treated wood that can withstand constant contact with the ground.