This Brighton project won “Landscape of the Year 2019”. Summed up by one judges’ comment that “this was one of the best finished gardens ever entered in the awards” Walking through the home, every window looks out to water features, living walls, or gentle pathways through soft foliage. This is a carefully considered project ensuring the garden can be enjoyed equally from inside or out regardless of the time or the weather.”
The home is a McKimm architect design with intrinsic rawness of concrete, steel and timber working together to create a beautiful minimalist flowing living space. The project brief: to create an extension of the home, with seamless flow and integration of materials from inside to outside whilst creating an outdoor lounge area to sit around a fireplace and enjoy a wine.
The theme was clear for our design, to simply complement their minimalist home and be clever about ways to incorporate subtle wow factors and different rooms within the garden without feeling contrived and predictable.
As this was not a blank canvas and was a renovation of an existing pool and space, we were challenged working with current pool location and orientations etc. Raised garden beds behind the pool were adopted to change levels and create interest in what was a boring flat level yard originally. The highest point of yard featuring a custom-made black powder coated multi spout water feature. Additional pipes were drilled through pool shell to accommodate the sound of water coming from the highest point of the landscape.
The choice of materials was key to providing the seamless flow from inside to out. The outdoor fireplace was installed on our floating concrete hearth, replicating a similar vibe to the internal fireplace. Cedar cladding was selected to frame the fireplace, giving it the feel that it’s an extension of the home and creating a snug inviting area. This is in stark contrast to the the polished concrete raised wall bordering the pool which simply mimics the modestly raw theme of the home’s architecture.
Colour palettes of white, black and surf grey were obvious choices to compliment the home. The pool was tiled with a crisp white tile creating a magnificent turquoise water which balances effortlessly with the home’s white façade. The use of the austere grey tone polished concrete on cantilevered hearth and long floating bench seat work extremely well as a contrast to the white tones.
A visual yet functional addition of the concrete bench was built at the end of the pool to give the client a tranquil space to sit and listen to the water feature or second as a diving platform. Black powder coating on the legs of the bench and the spouting of water feature synchronise beautifully with the black window frames and in turn disappear into the landscape
The main central garden bed that divides the space between the pool area, fireplace and entertaining zones is a very non predictable egg shape that the pool fence cuts through which creates the feeling of the areas being joined as one but are also clearly separate.
Just like the house, my design encompassed great use of spaces that flow but remain separate. An example of this was having the necessary services such as the clothesline hidden in the sideway. Whilst other spaces were to be highlighted like the lush vertical garden added to the other small sideway. An area that is now a wow factor as you look out from the living area. A focal a point that again ties inside to outside.
The plants used throughout the landscape were a mixture of multiple varieties with pops of colour and different textures being the driving force of the chosen plants. Dichondra spills naturally over the concrete to soften the harshness. In spring the garden comes alive with blossoming mixed perennials.
The result is a fantastic use of space to accommodate leisure time by the pool or entertaining by the fireplace. The landscaping works in absolute harmony with the contemporary minimalist style of the house.