You can’t start a project like this one without some serious design plans, so I reconnected with the landscape architect that did my first new home years ago. He did a great job then and I somehow managed to talk him into doing this one as well. The size of this project will require nothing short of an Egyptian pyramid building contingent and Ben Hur himself, but we started with the plans.
Our first meeting with the landscape architect included a discussion about plantings and flow. We wanted to add an iron remote operated gate across the driveway, we wanted to replace the back lawn with slate. I wanted to capitalize on the fact that we lived on Iris St and add a zillion different types of Iris’ in the front yard and most of all – I wanted to get the design going for my very own quincho.
Using a picture I had of Tia Rosa’s built in grill in her quincho we laid out a drawing of a large brick rectangular structure housing both a pizza oven and a wood burning Argentine grill. When he presented it at our next meeting we all agreed that it looked more like a crematorium than a barbecue – so we went back to the plans with a new style that had more of a hip to it, tapering up to a chimney and covered by an arbor.
By this time I’d requested an undercounter fridge, stainless steel cabinets and found a Viking smoker. My project was underway. The countertops will be cast-in-place concrete. They can do some fabulous things with these now – and they offer a variety of creative finishes to give it that rustic Argentine feel that I wanted.
The barbecue area will be “U” shaped with the bottom of the “U” being the brick barbecue and the side being the counters. One side in front will be higher than the one in the back since that will act as a bar, while the back counter will be used more for food prep area. The fridge and the smoker will go back there. In the middle of the “U” we will put a long table where we can serve our asados to friends and family. This whole thing is covered by an arbor with stucco columns that match the ones on the house.
Phase 1 of the first pass of the plans is complete. These are now with the structural engineer and will go to the city after that. Meanwhile we are getting bids from the landscape installer, the mason, the concrete guy, a stucco guy, a plumber and an electrician. We expect demolition to begin in about a month – my poor neighbors.
Here’s a glimpse of my plans. You can see the main BBQ structure, the grill and the pizza oven. The arbor is over the whole thing and you can see the ends of each side of the counters.
Next up, I’ll take some pictures of the backyard and post them so you can see the “before” part of this project.