13 Pergolas That Keep it Cool For Indoor/Outdoor Living
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13 Pergolas That Keep it Cool For Indoor/Outdoor Living

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By Duncan Nielsen
These pergolas and trellises throw shade (in a good way).

Slatted and airy, trellises and pergolas provide a little extra structure to outdoor areas without the confinement of a gazebo or awning. They give vines and plants a place to spread out, and keep outdoor areas covered from an overbearing sun for summertime barbecues and deck hangs. This collection of pergolas from the Dwell Magazine print archive makes the outdoors that much more inviting.


A Wooden Pergola in São Paulo

Architects Simone Carneiro and Alexandre Skaff transformed a cramped São Paulo apartment into a mid-city refuge for Simone Santos. On the terrace, plants, vines, and pergolas form a barrier against the city’s notorious noise and pollution.

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Lofted amid eucalyptus and oak trees, Graham Paarman’s house in South Africa is a glassed-in, steel-frame structure with a veil of vertical slats. Excluding outdoor areas, it measures about 720 square feet. Half-round bays project to form a balcony, a pergola, a dining alcove, and a bathroom.

A new cedar deck and facade—with its jutting pergola—face drought-tolerant plants and a gravel hardscape that surround the Craftsman bungalow in Piedmont, California.

Two art studios adjoin a central volume at this work/live residence built from terracreto (sustainable concrete), glass, and painted steel just outside of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Residents Austin and Lida Lowrey, retired design and museum professionals, collaborated with their two daughters—Sheridan, an artist, and Elizabeth, an architect—to design the structure as a place for creative contemplation.

In Sweden, architect Bengt Mattias Carlsson created a pavilion adjacent to a residence dating from the late 1800s. The pergola is made from glue-laminated timber beams set atop steel posts; it protects the pool from falling pine needles. George Nelson benches offer places to sit.

A level, trellised garapa-wood deck connects the main structure to the pool house. "The arbors near the pool knit everything together," says Mikiten. "The deck is constructed over a drainage pit so the wood surface can be completely flush with the interior floor and the surrounding yard, which is critical for a fluid experience by someone using a wheelchair."

Wooden beams extend beyond the structure to create shading trellises for the terraces at the front and the back of architect Ray Kappe's Los Angeles home.

Fields of native grasses connect the main residence, situated at the top of the slope, to the new structures scattered below. A pergola extends from the post-and-beam structure that was maintained during the remodel of the midcentury home. 

The Babat residence in Nashville is blessed with a big backyard; however, the blistering Tennessee sun once made it feel more like a broiler than a place to kick back and relax. Enter architect Michael Goorevich—then on staff at Manuel Zeitlin Architects—who devised a wood-and-steel trellis to cover part of the space.

Landscape designer Lillian Montalvo swapped disparate plantings for a cohesive plan centered on a pergola. The elevated, covered deck acts like a less constricted gazebo with more air flow. 

The back of the house was designed by owner-architect Caroline Djuric as a contemporary counterpoint to the more traditional front facade. A pergola reaches beyond the roof and over the deck on the second story. An asymmetrical wooden stairway leads down to the garden.

Joel Loblaw, a landscape designer, created "a series of outdoor rooms," including an alfresco kitchen that is sheltered beneath a cedar trellis. The Butterfly chairs are from Fresh Home and Garden in Toronto.

A blackened-timber pergola extends from the modern barn that architect Greg Scott designed for Jody and Deirdre Aufrichtig in the Elgin Valley, an apple- and grape-growing region near Cape Town. Made of narrow slats stabilized with randomly scattered blocks of wood, it covers roughly half of the outdoor deck.