We all understand the concept of a ‘architecturally designed home’ but many of us would not apply the same design strong techniques to our gardens, and there is no reason not to!
Architecture inspired gardens do not just have to be in city centre homes, a strong design aesthetic and a well thought out plan can be applied to any garden anywhere. Cottage gardens, suburban gardens, tiny gardens and large gardens can all benefit from architectural inspiration and an experienced garden designer to help you make it a reality.
Architects Style Inspiration
Many of us, either where we live, or when we have been visiting other cities have admired unique and interesting buildings that make us smile, question, or just look! Everyone has their own favourites but take a look at the work of the true post-modernist Sir James Stirling and his work on the Seeley Library in Cambridge, or iconic London skyline influencer Norman Foster who created the striking roof of the Great Court at the British Museum.
Forward thinking architects like Oscar Niemeyer took traditional concepts, for example a church and reimagined what they could be (see his Cathedral of Brasília). He favoured natural forms and curves rather than the created ‘straight line’ architecture that had come before which is a great starting point for any natural styled garden. In contrast to curves, Luis Barragan was a highly regarded and celebrated Mexican architect who drew on his engineering roots to create a distinctive look using block modernist clean shapes that eventuated in his personal home being made World Heritage Site in 2004.
Outside In & Inside Out
Creating a series of outside ‘rooms’ or spaces is a great place to start when considering a garden design. Bringing the outside in has been a long established interior design trend that has resulted in many homes having large windows or full folding glass doors to merge their living space with the garden. Great idea, but to full immerse your outside space with your inside rooms you should also consider bringing the inside out. Including artwork in your outside space that reflects or compliments what you have inside your home is a great way to do this, as is continuing a colour scheme of the rooms that lead out to your garden or having a range of hand fired flower pots that can be used inside or out.
Separating different parts of the garden to perform different functions -just like you do in your home – will make your garden stand out and really work for you and your family. A great terrace that includes areas for BBQ and tables for family gatherings, quiet spaces surrounded by tall planting for reading or reflection, lawns for playing, water features and places for wildlife can all be achieved as separate spaces with clever design.
Architecture in planting
It is not only walls, fences and other structures that can bring architecture into your garden, think hedges, flowers of different heights that can add depth and interest to different areas in the garden. Trees can draw the eyes up while boarders can define and paths lead. A strong planting design is required to keep this interest up throughout the changing seasons.
Garden art can be anything from mosaic tiled paths, to wall hangings, interesting bird baths to more formal sculptures, or your collection of garden gnomes! Whatever you think is beautiful can be included in your garden, accessorising and decorating your garden adds a real sense of your personality within a garden design.
Light & Space
As with any good design, light and space are forefront in the minds of designers. Light has different moods throughout the day and a great garden design can capitalise on this to reflect how you use your garden. Using water features and mirrors are great ways of getting reflective surfaces into a garden and consideration of the height and depth of hedges, fences, sheds or other structures must be given. Planting at angles, building in curves and ensuring there are light gaps are all good techniques to ensure your garden is well lit and spacious.
Well-designed gardens should always make reference to the architecture of the home, but this should not be seen as a restriction, but more of a celebration of how to get the two to work harmoniously together and a great garden designer can help you achieve these goals.