Collection by Michael Sylvester

Dwell Home Venice: Part 4


In this series, Sebastian Mariscal designs a home in Venice, California, that brings the outside in. We track the project from start to finish with future resident Michael Sylvester. Part 4, April 2011: Getting to Know our Tree Roots.

With mature trees being an integral element of our house design, it helps to know where the tree roots are located.

While our plans are with the City for building permit processing we’ve decided to undertake some investigation of tree root locations. The home design incorporates two mature trees and we need to resolve how the footings of the house will interface with some of the tree roots. We cannot simply cut through major roots that are located in inconvenient locations as this will kill the trees. The plan is to allow major roots to pass through the footings in the same manner as plumbing pipes. We will wrap the roots in a fashion that creates a “sleeve” for the roots to pass through the concrete footing. First we need to locate the roots… We sent photographs and drawings of root locations to our structural engineer and he made some modifications to the placement of steel rebar in some of the footings, adding strength in these locations.

Shallow trenches were dug in the locations where concrete footings will be eventually be poured.
Sebastian Mariscal discusses tree roots with arborist Lisa Smith.
Sebastian Mariscal documents tree roots. Each root presents a specific design challenge.
Examples of smaller tree roots that will be retained.