A network of landscaped spaces designed to work as one in this modern waterfront home
Designed to complement a new pavilion-style home in a waterfront development, the landscaped spaces that embrace the contemporary residence each have a different look and feel, yet each flows with absolute ease into the next.
For landscape architect Brandon Wallis from Sitedesign Studios in Sydney, designing this garden was a real treat — in part because of the opportunity to flex his creative muscle and integrate various themed spaces, and partly because of the site’s considerable slope.
“A site with a lot of fall from one end to the other is, to me, a great site to design with,” says Brandon. “It means you can create different spaces with level changes. You can incorporate steps, landings, walls, courtyards and so on. To the homeowners it may seem daunting, but to me it is actually a great way of helping to delineate the design ‘skeleton’.
“I really love the structural elements of a landscape and the strength these add to a design, especially when the house has such strong architectural lines and details as this one does. You don’t want the landscape to get lost, but you also don’t want to over-ride and dominate the architecture with the landscape. A successful outcome is one in which the house and landscape work as one, from inside to out.”
For Brandon, there were two chief challenges, the main one being the prevailing water-side conditions. The site is assailed by north-east winds in summer, south winds in winter, as well as salt and sun. Plants and materials had to be chosen with these often punishing conditions in mind.
The other challenge was keeping the neighbours on side. “As the house is in a development, what we did on this property could affect the value of the next-door properties so we had to ensure they were properly informed and consulted,” says Brandon. “That said, I embark on every project with the idea of not just creating a beautiful, environmentally aware landscape, but also with the intention of adding value.”
The mix of materials selected for this project leans heavily towards the natural; it includes the natural stone used in the contemporary “sunken” courtyard that greets you upon entering the property, and in the intimate Japanese-style courtyard off the main bedroom. Plants play an integral role in setting the theme for each outdoor space and ensure there is a sense of calm wherever you venture.
What Brandon and the team at Sitedesign Constructions have delivered is a design that is tailor-made for the site and the owners. “I never premeditate a design for any space. I think that a good designer should be able to hone in on and channel all the variables and inputs that go in to make a successful space and design accordingly,” says Brandon. “One of the variables in the owners’ brief was to create spaces, each with a different feel and purpose. How I ran with that was up to me. Happily, the owners were impressed by the final result.”
Originally from Backyard and Garden Design Ideas, Volume 12 Issue 2