There were two main challenges on this two-level small residential garden: One, to make the garden visible from the inside of the house as it was originally blocked by an existing deck’s handrail, and Two, make the space feel larger and more appealing while maintaining the previous uses and taking advantage of the existing structure.
The existing garden and deck did not take advantage of the houses’ design qualities, breaking the harmony of the interior’s clean-open space concept and creating a harsh and distasteful outdoor environment. To create the necessary transparency and visual integration between the inside and the outside, a very slim stainless steel guardrail with glass panels was designed.
The original deck structure was maintained, re-cladding and extending it to accommodate the stair in its new location and configuration.
The new stair also created an opportunity for one of the steps to extend and become a bench at garden level. The lattice behind the step-bench, not only serves as a visual screen to the storage area below the deck, but as a back for the bench itself.
At deck level, an existing wood screen was removed allowing for the bare structure to be re-finished. By re-cladding the structure with a wood lattice that matched the new deck’s design, a new background for the BBQ area was created. A wooden movable bench/box was added to this area to provide extra sitting for guests and at the same time hide the client’s son’s outdoor toys.
Two types of woods (Ipe and Cedar) were used to differentiate the horizontal planes from the vertical ones creating a visual decorative effect. The garden played with the polarity between a modern, geometric, linear landscape in one end, and a sinuous, softer one in the other. The water feature was the major focal point of the garden. It provided a vertical continuity to the geometry of the garden, while hiding the neighbour’s shed that was originally visible from the property. A Japanese maple acts as the counter balance on the softer side of the garden linking it with nature and the changing of the seasons.