Japanese design concepts matched with local landscape architecture for a truly unique outdoor space. Designed and constructed by Ecodesign, this outdoor living area is nothing short of magical.
This stunning outdoor living area was done a little differently to most in that the design was not conceived for homeowners, but for a display village designed to inspire homeowners in what they could achieve for themselves. ecodesign Pty Ltd worked in conjunction with Seki Sui House Australia, who wanted to provide a unique and sustainable landscape solution for their display village.
Key aspects of the eco-friendly display house design were the inclusion of a minimum of five trees and the use of sustainable construction materials. No turf was to be used and each home and garden had to promote natural light and passive solar design.
Each home also had to be accessible for all people and ages.
Over a period of 12 months the concept designs, construction drawings and specifications were developed in co-ordination with the architects at Seki Sui House Australia. The gardens’ feature elements, including pergola and decking, were designed by the team at ecodesign, who also project managed the landscape construction undertaken by Seki Sui House Australia, including reviewing tender quotations, making site inspections and resolving construction issues as they arose by making adjustments to the construction drawings and specifications.
The house at Lot 243 and pictured here was designed and styled to appeal to the upmarket executive, with the internal décor slick and sumptuous. Landscaping to the outdoor area needed to be modern, streamlined and minimal in order to reflect the internal styling of the house. The transition from the inside to the alfresco area was to be seamless.
The overall aim of the landscape design was to soften the house and its impact on the street. In order to achieve this, many Japanese concepts were used in the design such as Satoyama, which encourages
mutual interactions between people and nature and embraces the stewardship of the landscape. It is also vital to the creation of a sense of place. The Gohon no ki, or “Five Trees”) gardening concept was used as a way to encourage the planting of vegetation in private residential spaces and effectively bringing Satoyama into the home.
The Gohon no ki gardening concept was key in creating the private gardens within all of the display homes within the village so that each is suited to the local climate and help to encourage the function of natural ecosystems.
N x yutaka was another concept used and relates to designing the entire environment as one for the multiple benefits of all, such as the inclusion of sustainable materials such as bamboo decking. Michi relates to how a user experiences the natural and built environment. For this concept, emphasis has been placed on the framing of views to the garden from the house and within the gardens. Vegetable and herb gardens were also included in the designs to provide another sustainable feature.
Some of the central features to the outdoor area are the deep sapphire pool and frameless glass fence and the pavilion-styled outdoor entertaining area that sits beyond the home in the backyard. The materials used in the outdoor area needed to be rich in colour and substantial in size — so timber was the natural choice. The outdoor room was anchored with custom 300 x 300mm timber columns that were fashioned from 4 x 150 x 150mm posts joined with custom-designed brackets. The columns support a bold fascia that surrounds the ceiling roof area internally. Lighting was installed under the raised deck to give the pavilion the appearance of floating, with low-voltage LED downlights adorning the ceiling and highlighting the rich dark hues of the timber lining the ceiling. Evenly spaced 100 x 100mm hardwood vertical posts were fixed vertically to the sides of the pavilion also, with 45 x45mm hardwood timber battens fixed horizontally for screening trellises to the side passages of the home.
The outdoor kitchen is the equivalent of a premium indoor kitchen and far from merely containing a barbecue and sink. Stainless steel and Caesarstone combined with the high-spec gloss finish of the cabinetry make this outdoor kitchen stand out from the crowd.
FSC Blackbutt timber decking was used within the outdoor room with ceramic tiles for the pool coping and surrounds. Alternating 150 x 150mm and 100 x 100 mm hardwood vertical posts were placed vertically behind the swimming pool for effect.
Limited use of planting was applied to the garden, with architectural feature planting preferred such as Agave, Sanseveria and other succulent species in raised garden beds surrounding the outdoor living space. Succulents were selected due to their hardy and water-wise nature, as well as their aesthetic appeal.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Landscape design by Ecodesign Pty Ltd (Construction by Metricon Homes)
Unit 61, 5 Gladstone Ave, Castle Hill NSW 2154
Phone 02 9680 7712
Originally from Outdoor Rooms magazine, Volume 17