Design snapshot: Entry Portal & Gate

Some consider fences, arbors, gates, and hedges to be the domain of landscape architecture. To me, more broadly, they’re elements of architecture. As an architect, I’m interested in the design of it all.

This gated entry portal elegantly draws attention to the threshold between the public way and the private garden and home on the other side of the gated fence.

The exposed rafters (complete with shaped tails) and eave brackets form a small rooflet just wide enough to provide a moment’s shelter and to formally announce the property entrance. The rooflet's detailing complements that of the flanking fence posts and contrasts the simple fence they in turn abut.

The blue gate, with the arched top comfortably below the rooflet, acknowledges that this is an outdoor passageway to a private, but welcoming place. The shape and disposition of the gate’s recessed panels suggest the proportions of an abstract person: head, shoulders, legs. The hardware could even be seen to express arms, the rooflet an implied hat. All of which make it a relatable scale. The peek-a-boo cutout further entices and invites.

An entry portal like this sets the stage for a house and garden which exhibit thoughtful scale, proportion, craftsmanship, and whimsy.

by Katie Hutchison for the House Enthusiast