Hampstead Garden Design
This Hampstead Arts and Crafts house has undergone a dramatic contemporary brick extension by Belsize Architects, with a large glass picture window offering a theatrical view onto the garden. The clients have a strong sense of design and were keen to use unusual materials to integrate the interior with exterior.
Photos by Marianne Majerus
The focus of the design was the view out from the kitchen. The geometry of the garden closely lines up with the strong asymmetric lines of the house walls and poured resin patio floor. Our aim was also to encourage the owners out into the garden more, so we have designed tantalising glimpses of soft planting and colour behind the more structured hedging. The patio wraps around the house, with the main garden area raised 1m above, with mature trees behind. It was important that the upper area didn't feel oppressive, as it was heavily shaded. To counteract this the planting structure is predominantly lush greens and cool whites to light up the darker corners, all tolerant of dry shade. Where the planting borders are raised and have more light available we have used burnt reds, oranges and blues to compliment the Corten steel. The lawn used is also a shade tolerant mix.
Key materials in the landscaping are Corten steel, hardwood timber, poured concrete, and polished micro cement. The colours of the rusty steel tie in with the red bricks and off set the lawn and planting, creating dappled patterns and a texture that changes with the weather. The water feature also plays an important role in reflecting dancing light and movement from the copper spouts onto the wall behind. The patio area around the side of the house combines all these materials in a tall fireplace wall, with a bespoke gas fire pit that provides warmth into the colder evenings, and visually lights up the area. At night time the garden takes on a different atmosphere, with the basement light wells providing key warmth and patterns in the overall scheme.
The front garden offers a balance between the much needed off street parking in Hampstead and a large area for planting to soften the scheme. The feel is more traditional here, in keeping with the façade of the house.