A hybrid of architectural structure and outdoor space, pergolas sometimes are walkways for slow strolling or airy outdoor rooms that invite us to sit down and rest, such as poolside pergolas.
Pergolas may be constructed of glass and metal, such as Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square promenade. But more often, they may be small, wooden lattice structures tucked into corners of gardens or backyard decks.
A Welcoming Shape
Corner pergolas naturally call to mind triangles, which are structurally dependable (think roof joists), delectable (apple turnovers) and dramatic architectural shapes (New York City’s Flatiron Building).
The triangular shape of a corner pergola is welcoming, like arms spread wide and inviting you in to relax. It is a design idea with deep roots in ancient history.
The House of Sallust in the ruins of Pompeii, included a corner pergola as a triclinium — a place of rest and revelry. Tricliniums were dining areas in which couches extended around three sides of a table. It’s easy to imagine ancient Romans reaching up to pluck a handful of grapes.
In some ways, people haven’t changed much since ancient times. We still enjoy settings that help us to relax, including the combination of open and enclosed space provided by a pergola.
Long Lasting Redwood Construction
One thing the pergola lovers of ancient Rome and Egypt didn’t have was fragrant California Redwood. It is one of the most durable woods for outdoor structures due to naturally resisting insects and decay.
During wet weather, Redwood isn’t sponge-like. It’s stable, because its thinner cell walls minimize shrinking and swelling. So it’s rich red is ideal for livening the hardscape of poolside settings.
These days, the practice of restoration forestry is minimizing the loss of old-growth forests. Those who practice it — including companies such as Forever Redwood — focus on harvesting trees that have fallen and replanting Redwood forests. It’s a policy as strong and appealing as triangles.