Private Residence Patio - CODAworx

Private Residence Patio

Submitted by Kathy Richardson

Client: Michelle Tsui

Location: Menlo Park, CA, United States

Completion date: 2010

Artwork budget: $25,000

Project Team


Keith Willig

Keith Willig Landscape Architecture


Kathy Richardson


Create a patio and entertainment space, primarily leveraging a small backyard patio and side yard space which already had a fireplace and grill space.


The artwork and collaboration were integral to the design. There were two main space use problems that the artwork and collaborative design was able to quickly and effectively solve.
The problems were: discontinuous unfocused space, and lack-luster spec house style.

To solve these problems required something more than a creative use of traditional hardscape materials to create a spectacular entertainment space. The structural components and art components were created together for a truly integrated design.

Overall design creates a continuous space, to which the mosaic art is a crucial component.
The colorful ribbon patter plus a wall to support a second ribbon and integrated seating area tie together an "L-space" where the long side of the "L" is not initially noticeable.

By creating custom artwork, we were also able to fully complement the existing color palate of the house – soft goldenrod on Spanish style architecture. Thus creating a focal point, entertainment space and substantially enhancing the home's livability and functionality.


We had a great time working together. The patio was a complete collaboration between the home owner, landscape architect and Mosaic artist. They each brought ideas and perspective of their needs, capabilities, and methods to the table.

The home owner wanted a entertainment space and needed it to work with the existing house color. The landscape architect brought 3-d substrate ideas and a great installation team. The mosaic artist brought color, mosaic design flow elements.

We started with a clean slate didn't try to add art onto the patio design or design the patio around the art. We all worked together to create a truly continuous integrated space that added a a vibrant unique entertainment space to an existing Spanish architecture. It was really the most delightful and successful collaborative projects I've worked on as an artist.

Additional Information

As an artist, the aspect that I feel is critical to fully leveraging what an artist can truly bring to your project is to bring them into the project early and listen to their ideas. The know their material and capabilities and can bring much more to a project than fabrication and highlighting a specific space.