This Hampstead Arts and Crafts house has undergone a dramatic contemporary extension, 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. The architects had already created the strong architectural lines of the house so it was important the garden design reflected this.
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. It was important that the upper area didn’t feel oppressive, as it was heavily shaded with mature trees. To counteract this the planting structure is predominantly lush greens and cool whites to light up the darker corners, all tolerant of dry shade.
Key materials in the landscaping are Cor-ten 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.
At night time the garden takes on a different atmosphere, with the basement light wells providing key warmth and patterns in the overall scheme.