Encompassing two distinct spaces, this peaceful, elegant garden moves through a large courtyard and culminates in a sunken end garden. Stylish and modern, the garden begins with an expansive open area that is framed by a stainless steel arbour. This then leads into a recessed space that gives depth and tranquillity to the design.
Flanked on three sides by the residence, this inner courtyard provides stunning focal points for many areas of the interior.
The design plays on perspective and illusion, adding highlights that the eye can glide over and points at which the eyes naturally come to rest. The extensive glazing that frames the garden turns the outdoor space into a dynamic feature, a ‘living painting’ that draws on Japanese landscape and garden design to emphasise the importance of careful positioning and composition.
As the first space that visitors enter upon leaving the house, the courtyard is impressive in its simplicity.
The arbour, articulated in steel, is a light structure with minimal beam size.
A gentle arc in the frame’s shape serves to soften the rigid geometry of the hardscaping beneath it. Selected for its durability, the steel frame adds an interesting contrast to the more earthy, textural materials used in the adjoining garden. The stainless steel itself also serves as a beautiful juxtaposition to the bright green foliage of the grape vines, transplanted from their original locations to work in the new spatial composition.
Meanwhile, the sunken garden is, by design, heavily structured and yet simple. A long koi pond reinforces perspective lines from the house, while an L-shaped bench seat allows for comfortable, quiet conversation. The exaggerated perspective is reinforced by the installation of two large frangipani trees, the larger of which is planted towards the view from the inside, while the smaller sits behind it.
A minimal use of plant types and considered species selection throughout the yard was used as a means of ensuring water efficiency and low maintenance. A range of succulents introduces an interesting contrast to the frangipanis’ colours, textures and forms without compromising the garden’s ease of use.
Natural limestone is used in the hardscaped spaces as a durable, practical base and is balanced by natural slate mulch in the gardens. This represents another low maintenance offering, which, in turn, also provides an unusual texture within the garden composition.
The garden’s focal water feature represents a ‘mirror’ for the residence, as its travertine marble cladding is used as internal flooring within the house. The parapet wall located behind this feature is plain, and painted ‘cobar’ red, contrasting against the frangipani trees without creating a visual distraction from the water.
Designer: Matthew Huxtable
Project Lead: Matthew Huxtable
Builder: Phase3 Landscape Construction